In case that you are wondering, no I haven’t started making up names. In this article, I will show you how to grow hydrangea or hortensia as it is better known. It is an exciting plant which will surely make every garden more than beautiful.
Since I understand that not all of my readers have developed a green thumb yet, I’ll do my best to keep this article as beginner-friendly as possible. After all, my entire blog is dedicated to this.
What There Is To Know About Hydrangea?
This is the part where I usually present the plant, so let’s get straight to it, shall we? Although hydrangea is quite common these days, there are still some things about it which need to be said.
You are probably wondering how the plant can choose a color, right? Well, it is connected with the pH value of the soil, and you can do this, to make changes in color patterns. This is not a difficult task, and I will explain it as well.
Which Tools Will Be Needed?
Planting hydrangea is not difficult or complicated. Therefore, there will be required only the basic tools. However, when it comes to maintenance, things are a little bit complicated. In any case, here is what will be needed for growing these flowers.
How Should I Prepare?
As it usually happens, there are several things which need to be done, to prepare for planting and growing these elegant flowers successfully. In this case, preparing the soil is the least of your worries if you decide to buy seedlings. Starting hydrangea from cuttings is slightly more demanding, but I will cover it as well.
Usually, the first thing which needs to be dealt with is the location. Hydrangea loves the sun but can suffer if there is too much of it. So, choosing an area which is partially shaded in the afternoon is a good choice of action.
Don’t worry about pH and structure of the soil. This flower might seem fragile and gentle, but it can grow on almost any kind of soil. Still, it is recommended that the ground is rich in organic matter, so add that compost I have mentioned. If you have the skills, you can make some in your garage.
Considering the cuttings, take a young branch from an established plant. Look for those which have at least four pairs of leaves. Snap off lower two pairs of leaves, and push the branch into the prepared potting mix. Water it, and place somewhere warm, but shielded from direct sunlight. In about two weeks with proper watering, the roots should grow out.
How Should I Plant The Hydrangea?
Now, the planting process is rather straightforward and revolves around digging a hole and watering. So, grab a shovel, and go to the location where you have prepared the soil in a way I have described earlier.
The depth of the hole should be sufficient to fit the root ball of the plant. However, when I’m not certain, or cannot judge the depth correctly, I always go with a few inches deeper. The width, however, should be at least 2-3 times wider.
After you have set the plant, add soil to fill the hole to the half. If you cannot do it on your own, ask for help. Water the plant now, and add the rest of the soil. Now, water it again. This is done primarily to help the soil settle and making sure that there aren’t any air pockets left.
Is Caring Difficult?
Generally speaking, making sure that your plant is progressing well is not such a difficult task. However, there are some things you need to look after, and they start right after planting.
Keeping the plant fed is essential, and if you have quality soil, there is a high probability that no fertilizer will be required. On the other hand, if the soil is sandy or poor, adding some might be needed.
Also, this is the period where you will decide if you want to change the color of the flower or not. Note that it is much easier to switch from blue to pink flowers than vice versa. This is best done some two years after planting.
If you wish to switch from pink to blue color, you will have to increase the alkalinity of the soil. For this purpose, I have used a ¼ ounce of aluminum sulfate per gallon of water three times a year. Also, a 25-5-30 fertilizer should be added.
On the other hand, if pink shades are more pleasing to you, spreading 4 pounds of limestone per 100 square feet will be needed. Watering will be required, as well as some 25-10-10 fertilizer. This will increase the alkalinity of the soil, which will result in pink flowers.
The primary concern are undoubtedly several kinds of mold, including gray mold and powdery mildew. Both of those can be avoided, so don’t water the plant over foliage. Water should be added directly to the ground.
So, here we are. I did my best to show you as transparent as possible how to grow hydrangea, and I believe that it is nothing complicated. Plant’s exciting feature to be able to change the color of the flower will be fantastic to some people, and will also teach you a lot about the importance of the pH value of the soil.
As always, your comments are more than welcome in the comment section below.