Growing Hydrangeas – Hydrangeas are some of the most beautiful flowering plants seen on lawns and in gardens. They are France’s most popular flower. The blooming bush produces absolutely gorgeous colorful bunches of flowers that last throughout the spring, and through most of the earlier summer months. But knowing how to grow and care for hydrangeas is important if you want to maintain a healthy and attractive plant.
The first step to growing your hydrangea plants is being aware of where to plant them. Most shrubs prefer moderate shade, but make sure it gets at least half a day of sunlight.
Hydrangeas will not grow in full shade; on the other hand they do not do well in total, direct sunlight. They can tolerate high sunlight as long as the plants are watered consistently and kept moist. Be sure you give your plant an even mixture of sun and shade to ensure it gets the light it needs without overdoing it.
Next, you’ll want to be sure the plant is placed where it can get plenty of moisture. Make sure the soil drains well, as over watering or allowing the plant to sit in water can harm its root system. Before planting, ensure the soil is well mixed and fertilized, as hydrangeas prefer soil rich in nutrients. An interesting fact about hydrangeas: the content of the soil will determine the color of the flower. A highly acidic soil will produce blue flowers, while soil with a lower level of acidity will often produce pink or white flowers. You can even add different nutrients such as a fertilizer with varying PH levels to create blue flowers. The higher the level of acidity, the deeper color blue. Often this color can appear so deep, it may even appear to be more purplish in color.
Another tip to remember when growing hydrangeas is to prune them in either late winter or early in the spring. Be sure to cut back any overgrowth at this time to ensure full bushes in the late spring months and through the summer. Be sure to cut off any dead flowers, or entangled stems. This will ensure your bushes stay healthy and grow evenly.
Dependent upon which part of the country you live in can also affect how well your hydrangea plants thrive. There are several varieties of hydrangea, such as the Sadie Ray, Blue Bird, Dooley, Grayswood, among many others. You may want to check with your local garden shop to determine which type of hydrangea is best for your area. Factors such as rainfall, temperatures, and frosting times are all important things to remember when choosing a type of hydrangea.
If you want more bushes without purchasing them, propagation is a great choice, and most hydrangeas do well with this process as long as the proper steps are followed. Most of these plants do not root in water, but they will often root in a moist paper towel. Clip the flower just at the base, and wrap the stem in a wet paper towel for at least one to two weeks, ensuring that the paper towel stays moist. You can also change the paper towel every day or so if you desire. Within a week or two, you should see new roots forming, and the new plant will be ready to grow. Place the plant in a small pot inside with well-fertilized soil, and cover the plant with one layer of plastic. Be sure not to place the plant in direct sunlight at this stage, because the hydrangea is much too sensitive at this point to too much light. Water only when the soil becomes dry, as over watering can cause root rot. Once the plant has established strong roots, it will be ready to be planted outside.
With some care and easy handling, anyone can grow the beautiful hydrangea. Knowing how to care for the plant correctly will yield beautiful results, and you will get years of enjoyment from your plant. As long as you remember the key factors: soil content, moisture, and sunlight, you can grow a beautiful hydrangea bush that will liven up any fall garden or yard.