Hydrangea

Hydrangea_macrophylla_Blauer_Prinz_2Fewer plants signify summer more than a landscape filled with Hydrangeas.  Here is all you need to ensure your Hydrangea blooms are plentiful and colorful.

Location:

Choose a location with morning sun and afternoon shade.  If you live in zones 6 or lower, the more sun the better.  Avoid planting your hydrangeas in a heavily shaded spot. Give your Hydrangeas plenty of room to grow.

Soil:

Soil content is important for Hydrangeas because it should drain well, yet also maintain sufficient moisture.  Also, the acidity levels of the soil will have a direct impact on the color of your flowers.  For deep blue flowers, keep pH below 5.5.  For pink or red flowers neutralize soil to pH 7.0 or higher.

Hydrangea_macrophylla_-_Bigleaf_hydrangea1Planting Instructions:

  1. Choose a site that allows sufficient space for the Hydrangea grow to its full size.
  2. Dig the planting hole 2 feet wider than the root ball and to a depth of the tip of the root ball.
  3. Amend the soil with compost and form a mound to enable adequate drainage for the roots.
  4. Set the Hydrangea in the hole making sure it is not planted too deeply.
  5. Cover with amended soil and water.

Watering:

Give your Hydrangea an inch of water each week.  This includes any rainfall.

Fertilization:

Fertilize your hydrangeas once or twice in the summer prior to August.  Apply a good time release fertilizer 1-2 times a year. Fertilize in zones 6-8 in May and July.  If you live in zones 5 or north, one good fertilizing in June will suffice.  Discontinue fertilizing if the plant appears wilted or unhealthy.  Restore the Hydrangea back to health before any additional applications.

Pests:

The most common pest that affects Hydrangea is blight.  You’ll notice brown petals that begin to fall.  To control blight, avoid watering late in the day and apply Chlorothalonil.

Hydrangea_macrophylla_02Tips:

  • Add lime to raise soil pH if you want to grow pink flowers.

  • If you want blue flowers add sulfur to lower the soils pH.

  • To increase the amount of blooms make sure you are properly pruning and removing old canes.  Prune in the spring to remove dead tips from winter.

  • Don’t plant Hydrangeas under trees which will compete for their nutrients.