Who doesn’t love the ever-changing flowers of a hydrangea – changing to blue in acidic soil and pink in more calcareous soil? Besides, some variants of this gorgeous plant have beautiful snow-white flowers that resemble large snowballs.
Caring for hydrangeas is not a complicated task, and these plants are also quite resistant to most pests and diseases. If you know how to care for hydrangeas properly, you can enjoy the colorful flowers until late autumn.
Although they can be kept in pots, hydrangeas fare much better outdoors in the garden. If you live in an apartment, it’s best to keep them on the balcony where they can enjoy enough sunlight and air.
Although there are many types of hydrangeas, most should be planted in sunny or semi-shaded locations. However, keep in mind that many hydrangeas do not like extremely hot conditions, so try to plant them where they can get some shade in the afternoon. You shouldn’t choose too shady a place either, because the plants won’t bring plentiful blooms if they don’t receive enough sunlight.
Although they can be grown in a variety of soils, hydrangeas generally prefer rich, moist, well-drained, acidic soil. Compared to other garden or indoor plants, they are not very demanding, but they need certain climatic conditions in order to develop and bloom beautifully.
The hydrangea is originally from Japan and Southeast Asia, but it has spread all over the world because it adapts very well to different environments, having become one of the most popular garden plants.
Useful tips for hydrangea care
The scientific name of hydrangea comes from the Greek word “hydra”, which means water. This plant loves water, so it needs to be watered regularly, thoroughly and deeply at least once a week, especially during the summer heatwaves. However, be careful not to overwater the plants, or else its leaves may start to turn black.
You should fertilize the bushes once or twice a year, in spring or summer.
More tips for hydrangea care:
- Water the plants twice a week in spring and summer, and once a week in autumn.
- Water hydrangeas with rainwater to keep their flowers blue.
- Hydrangeas feel the best in moist soil and can quickly wilt in hot weather, so they should be watered more thoroughly during the hottest periods of the year.
- You can use barnyard manure or compost to mulch the hydrangeas (in spring). In addition, there is no need to fertilize the plants, as feeding with more manure encourages leaf growth at the expense of flowering.
- The color of hydrangea flowers can be changed from pink to blue with a fertilizer with a low phosphorus and high potassium content.
- Changing the color of hydrangea flowers from blue to pink is a more difficult task. For this, the pH value of the soil must be increased by adding dolomite powder and limestone. It is common for a plant to produce several different colored flowers in the first year of growth. Although few people bother to change the color of flowers, it may be interesting to know exactly why this can happen.
When pruning hydrangea, it is important to understand what type of plant it is. There are different types of hydrangeas and they need to be pruned differently. It is not absolutely necessary to cut back hydrangeas, only if the bush has started to take on a deformed shape.
The hydrangeas family includes about a hundred species, with countless hybrids and varieties.
Hydrangea macrophylla Quadricor: a rarer species in temperate climate, with deep yellow flowers and cream-colored spotted leaves.
Hydrangea macrophylla Lilacina: as the name suggests, it has purple-pink flowers. It is one of the most sought-after hydrangeas.
Hydrangea macrophylla Mariessii Perfecta: this subspecies produces flowers with a very attractive dark blue color.
Hydrangea paniculata: recognizable by its large flowers, difficult to overwinter in colder climates.
Hydranges aspera Vilosa: has large, flat, saucer-sized flowers. The leaves of this subspecies are purple and velvety.
Hydrangea Preziosa: with its delicate pink flowers, this variety is one of the most popular hydrangeas.