Hydrangeas Can Be A Garden Challenge

By CoolGardenThings

Photo by greenhem

One must have some gardening knowledge when it comes to having abundant blooms with hydrangeas. They can be tricky to prune so they bloom abundantly. They are particular about what kind of soil and fertilizer they receive for bloom color. Hydrangeas are also choosy about what kind of light conditions they will do best in-partial shade is just the beginning.The following notes are meant to help guide you with your different Hydrangea plants so you will get the most out of them.

Hydrangeas come in a few different varieties. One type is called Hydrangea Arborescence which usually have big white snow balls on them-these hydrangeas bloom on “new” wood. Because Hydrangea Arborescence varieties bloom on “new” wood they can be pruned in the fall. They will produce new stalks in the spring which will bloom. The tree form hydrangeas you see which are also usually white are called Paniculata hydrangeas and they too should be pruned in the late Fall. Seems simple: white flowers, prune in fall.

It gets more complicated when you realize that there are other kinds of hydrangeas called Hydrangea Macrophyllas-these are the kind of hydrangeas that have pink or blue flowers. These bloom on “old” wood and can ONLY be pruned before July the year before…did I say this was tricky or what?There is also Oakleaf hydrangea which is also an “old” wood bloomer. So when would you prune it??That’s right-summer before….tell me about it…so confusing.
Hydrangea Hortensia
Photo by viZZZual.com
So now that you are totally afraid to touch your hydrangeas it’s time to tell you about what you can do to help your Macrophyllas bloom in the color you like…pink or blue. If you want blue you need to acidify the soil and add aluminum to the soil. You can use pine needles, throw down a bunch of pennies or rusty nails(yeah, my thought exactly). Good luck with that because changing the pH of your soil from alkaline to acid is a lot of hard work. If you want pink hydrangeas then a little more clay in the soil and a little less aluminum should work in your favor. Incidentally if you can’t get them to bloom in exactly the right color you were hoping for you can always put a few gazing globes on metal stands in the hydrangea bushes in blue or pink to get the color that way. Or you can tuck some garden decor peaking out of the plant to help bring out the color. It looks nice and gives you the color accent you are looking for without all the hard labor of transforming your soil pH.
If your hydrangeas are still looking kind of strung out it is likely that they are not getting the correct kind of light. They need partial shade. They will live in the sun, but they won’t look good in the sun. They will live in full shade, but they won’t look good in full shade. They specifically need morning sun and afternoon shade. And as the name suggests they do not do well in drought conditions so remember to water them regularly and they should grow so abundantly you can use them as a hedge to hide an unsightly air conditioning unit, or plant them around the base of a bird feeder to hide all the spent seeds.
These tips are meant to help you achieve all your hydrangea bloom dreams. Clearly it is of utmost importance to be armed with some information about what kind of hydrangea plant you are dealing with before you even touch your plant or the soil around it. Once you are armed with this insider knowledge you won’t be afraid to incorporate these lovely flowering shrubs into your garden because they are indeed glorious.

Originally posted 2010-02-19 09:42:12. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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  1. Matti says:

    After 10 months of zero growth (I actually think it became smaller), we ended up ditching our Hydrangea. It seemed that back in Wisconsin we could grow them…but could not get it going in SF.

    Yours look gorgeous.

    MattiĀ“s last blog ..Rocky Succulent High My ComLuv Profile

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