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How To Grow and Care For Hydrangeas

How To Grow and Care For Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are captivating ornamental garden plants. They are available in wide different varieties.

The blooms of Hydrangeas are available in many different colors, including different shades of blue, maroon, pink, red, green, and white.

They are well-known for both indoor and outdoor applications. They may be used in any room, balcony, terrace, etc.

You can also even place them in the garden after flowering. Hydrangea originates from East Asia, North and Central America.

The name “Hydrangea” comes from the Greek words “hydro” (water) and “angeion” (jug).

Therefore, the name refers to an open fruit similar to the water barrel. Hydrangea is a genus with over 75 different species.

They are perennial woody ornamental plants. They live for a more extended period of time,

so they can add beauty to your garden because they produce copious amounts of flowers that last in the season of fall as well.

These plants are found growing in hardiness zones 6 to 9 as perennials. They start flowering in spring and continue blooming till fall.

They are fast-growing plants, and they can grow and fill up the space within the same growing season.

They may also grow to a maximum height of 15 feet. Here is everything you need to know about the plant.

 

How To Grow and Care For Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas prefer to grow in fertile soil which is rich in hummus. They are water-loving plants, so they require sufficient water during the growth season. The soil is supposed to be damp, but it should not be soggy. Their optimal growing temperature is 60 to 71 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 22 degrees Celsius). An adequate amount of fertilizers is required for the plant to grow well because it blooms so much.

 

How To Grow and Care For Hydrangeas

How To Grow and Care For Hydrangeas

 

 

Hydrangeas Care Guide

 

Soil

They are cultivated on soil that is naturally rich and productive. The soil is supposed to be well-drained. They prefer moist soil but do not overwater the plan.

The plant will root rot and wilt if the soil is mushy and poorly drained. Moreover, they grow in both acidic and alkaline soil.

An interesting fact about them is that big leaf Hydrangeas change color depending upon the acidity or alkalinity of the soil.

If the pH is around 6.5 or lower, then the color of the flowers will be blue, and if the pH is neutral or alkaline, then the color of the flower will be pink.

Other species whose flowers are pale green or white are not affected by the pH of the soil.

Hydrangea are grown in organically rich fertile soil, well-drained and moist soil but not overwater

Hydrangea are grown in organically rich fertile soil, well-drained and moist soil but not overwater

 

Light

They prefer morning sun and partial shade in the later hours of the day. You can place Hydrangeas for four to six hours in the morning sun.

It is recommended that you double-check everything that they are not placed in the direct sun on afternoon.

 

Watering

During the growing season, you can water them at 1 inch per week and do not overwater it.

With that, you can provide an ample amount of water thrice a week in order to enhance the growth of roots.

It is suggested to water them in the morning to prevent the plant from wilting in the hot season.

Bigleaf Hydrangea and smooth Hydrangea are water-loving plants as they require more water for their growth.

A soaker hose can be used to provide more water to the plants.

Bigleaf Hydrangea and smooth Hydrangea are water-loving plants as they require more water for their growth

Bigleaf Hydrangea and smooth Hydrangea are water-loving plants as they require more water for their growth

 

Temperature

The ideal temperature for Hydrangeas is 59 to 71 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 22 degrees Celsius).

Bigleaf Hydrangea requires protection from cold weather.

Spring frost is a threat to Hydrangeas as it can kill the flower buds of the plants, due to which flowering will be adversely affected.

 

Humidity

These plants prefer to grow in a moist and humid environment. The dry air in the winter season can cause them to wilt.

They require constant 40-45% humidity, and if you are placing them at home, you can increase the humidity to 50-60%.

The humidity can be increased by misting the plant with room temperature water several times a day.

Use a mister with a fine spray that will prevent the water from staying on the leaves.

 

Fertilizer

If the soil of your plants is sufficiently rich and fertile, then you may not need to provide them with fertilizers.

If a high amount of nitrogen fertilizer is given to the plant, then the growth of the leaves will be enhanced, but the blooms will be fewer.

Different varieties of plants have different needs for fertilizers. You can determine the fertility needs by doing the soil test.

Spring Hydrangea plants require fertilization only once, mostly in late winters.

Panicle and Oakleaf Hydrangeas need fertilizer application twice, during April and June.

Bigleaf Hydrangeas need fertilizers with light fertilizers during March, May, and June.

 

Propagation

Hydrangeas rarely produce seeds. So, you can propagate the plant through two common methods.

Firstly, you can take stem cuttings that can result in more robust and more tough roots, showing you great results when planted in the ground.

Secondly, you can root the plant directly into the ground without cutting it into a shrub till the last step of propagation.

This method will result in the dense growth of shrubs, and it will fill the gaps between the shrubs in the garden.

Hydrangea can root directly into the ground without cutting it into a shrub till the last step of propagation

Hydrangea can root directly into the ground without cutting it into a shrub till the last step of propagation

 

Growth

The average height of Hydrangeas is 15 feet. Their diameter ranges from one to one and a half inches.

They can be planted in the fall or in the early spring.

They are rapid-growing plants and grow up to two feet per year. To achieve full size, it takes 2 to 4 years.

The leaves of the plant are large, 10-15cm in size. The edges are serrated.

The foliage of Hydrangeas is shiny, thick, and heart-shaped. They have short stems (petiole).

There are small black or red spots on the stems. The fluorescence of Hydrangeas is a corymb.

All the flowers are placed in a single plane, or it makes a whole sphere in cultivated forms.

Each corymb consists of both fertile and sterile flowers.

 

Potting

Hydrangeas are easy to grow and low-maintenance plants.

 The steps for planting the plants to pot are listed below.

  1. Check the zone of hardiness, as they grow best in zones 6-9, and the optimum temperature for their growth is 59 to 71 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 22 degrees Celsius).
  2. You have to select the perfect time for potting these plants. The suitable time to pot Hydrangeas is fall and early spring.
  3. Choose a location where Hydrangeas benefit from four to six hours of early sunlight. The plants are supposed to be protected from the hot afternoon sun.
  4. Choose a large container of about 18 to 20 inches with various drainage holes for your plant. If the plant is potted in a small pot, it will eventually wilt.
  5. Spread rocks or pits of bricks at the bottom.
  6. Prepare organically rich fertile potting soil, and place the soil up to 2 inches below the edges of the pot. And evenly spread the soil.
  7. Loosen the roots of the plant by cutting some roots on the outside and pressing the soil gently to remove air pockets.
  8. Water the plants adequately until it fills upto the rim and let it drain out before repeating the process.
Steps to pot the Hydrangeas, easy to grow and low-maintenance

Steps to pot the Hydrangeas, easy to grow and low-maintenance

 

Types of Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas come in many different varieties. The most popular amongst them are

 

Bigleaf Hydrangea

They are the most common Hydrangea species. They grow from six to ten feet in height, and the size of their leaves is six inches.

And the color of their bloom is affected by the soil pH.

Bigleaf Hydrangea

Bigleaf Hydrangea are the most common Hydrangea species.

 

Oakleaf Hydrangea

They look similar to the oak tree. The color of their flowers is white and purplish pink. They reach up to the height of seven feet.

The bud begins to appear on the stems in midsummer through fall.

Oakleaf Hydrangea look similar to the oak tree

Oakleaf Hydrangea look similar to the oak tree

 

Smooth Hydrangea

They produce pink and white flowers, and the height and width of this plant are three to five feet.

The bud begins to appear on the stems during spring.

Smooth Hydrangea produce pink and white flowers

Smooth Hydrangea produce pink and white flowers

 

Panicle Hydrangea

The color of their flower is initially white, and then it changes to pink. The plant may reach a height and width of 15 to 20 feet.

And the blooms of this specie is cone-shaped.

Panicle Hydrangea has a color of their flower is initially white, and then it changes to pink

Panicle Hydrangea has a color of their flower is initially white, and then it changes to pink

 

How to propagate Hydrangeas

  • Propagating by stem cutting.
  • Pick a new stem during the early fall season and it is supposed to be six to eight inches long that does not have a flower.
  • Cut the stem below the node of the leaf with a sharp pruner.
  • In addition to a node, keep a set of leaves on the stem.
  • Cut the leaves in half horizontally, narrowly divide the leaves at the bottom but keep the leaves at the top.
  • The bottom of the cutting is supposed to be dipped in rooting hormone.
  • Take a pot of eight-to-ten inches, fill it with potting soil and place the cutting.
  • Put the pot at a spot where the plant is not exposed to direct sunlight so the soil can remain damp.
  • A root system will develop in two to four weeks.
Hydrangea Propagating by stem cutting

Hydrangea Propagating by stem cutting

 

Common Problems with Hydrangea

 

Pest Problems

Common Hydrangea plant pests like aphids, spider mites, Japanese beetle, four-lined plant bug, and black vine weevil can affect the plants.

Rose chafer pests can adversely affect the plant by eating the leaves in a way that only skeletonized leaves are left behind.

Less harsh insecticidal soaps or chemical insecticides can kill most insects, but they impart adverse effects on the flowering of the plant.

So the best way is to pick these pests into pails of soap water.

 

Drooping Problems

The leaves of Hydrangea can droop during the hot and dry season and during bloom time due to a shortage of water. So make sure you water them timely.

The plant curls its leaves during hot weather and appears wilted due to the built-in protection mechanism to protect itself during the hot season.

 

Yellowing of Leaves

When the plants are underwater, overwatered, or overfertilized, the leaves change their color to yellow.

The roots need to be dried if the plant is overwatered, and you have to saturate the roots if it is due to underwatering or overfertilization of the plant.

Hydrangea are underwater, overwatered, or overfertilized, the leaves change their color to yellow

Hydrangea are underwater, overwatered, or overfertilized, the leaves change their color to yellow

 

Problem in Blooming

Pruning during the wrong time or unexpected spring or winter cold snaps can interfere with the blooming of the Hydrangea plants.

As a result, they may not bloom every season.

In order to prevent this, you need to know the pruning time of the specie of the plant you are willing to grow.

Hydrangea Pruning during the wrong time can interfere with the blooming of the plants

Hydrangea Pruning during the wrong time can interfere with the blooming of the plants

 

Tips for Growing Hydrangea Problem-free

Provide ample amount of water three times a week in order to enhance the growth of roots.

They prefer to grow in well-drained, organically rich fertile soil.

Provide them with a humid and moist environment to help them grow properly.

Hydrangeas prefer four to six hours of morning sunlight.

It is suggested to make sure that they are not placed in the direct afternoon sun.

And prune the plants according to the pruning time of the specie of plant which you are willing to grow.

Prune the Hydrangea according to the pruning time of the specie of plant

Prune the Hydrangea according to the pruning time of the specie of plant

 

Frequently Asked Question About Hydrangeas

 

Can I change the color of my plant?

The pH of the soil may be adjusted to alter the plant`s color.

You can amend the soil with hydrated lime to decrease the acidity of the soil and change the color from blue to a pink flower.

And you can add aluminum sulfate to the soil to increase the pH and turn the pink flowers blue.

 

How to cut hydrangeas?

If there is plenty of space for these plants to grow, they don’t need pruning, but pruning is essential for some types,

and the process depends on the variety of the plant you are growing.

 

How do I prevent Hydrangeas from wilting?

Provide adequate heat to the plants and do not place them in direct sunlight.

You can mulch the plant to help them retain the moisture.


 

Conclusion On How To Grow and Care For Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are beautiful ornamental plants. Blue, maroon, pink, red, green, and white are some of the hues that they come in.

They are water-loving plants that require consistent watering throughout the growth season.

The soil is supposed to be damp but should not be soggy. Their optimal growing temperature is 60 to 71 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 22 degrees Celsius).

You can place Hydrangeas for four to six hours in the morning sun. They prefer morning sun and partial shade in the later hours of the day.

Common problems of Hydrangeas include pest problems, problems in blooming, drooping issues, yellowing leaves, etc.

They are low-maintenance and easy-growing plants.

Author Bio

Daniel Iseli

Taking care of houseplants and gardening are my greatest passions. I am transforming my apartment into an urban jungle and am growing veggies in my indoor and outdoor garden year-round.

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