Grandma’s Tips for Growing Hydrangeas in your Garden – Hydrangeas have always been an amazing flower to me. I don’t really remember knowing the name of any other flower during my youth except maybe roses.
I remember sitting on the lawn furniture in my Grandma’s back yard and seeing the blue, pink and purple flowers all on the same bush, some even on the same stem. The blooms were always as big as my head. I was perplexed. How did my Grandma make those flowers do that? Then one afternoon she sat down beside me on the porch swing and began explaining the hydrangea to me.
As Grandma explained it, the soil has the greatest effect on the blooms. A soil that contains a large amount of lime causes the blooms to be pink. If the soil has more acid in it then the blooms are blue. She also explained how to water the plants. Her plants seemed to always be thirsty so she watered every day unless it rained. I remember how she would take the leftovers from lunch and dinner and place it around the bottom on the plants. I know now that is composting. We do that a little different now. We have our compost piles or areas that we leave to age for a while before using them. Grandma just worked the food right into the soil around the plants.
As I grew older and began planting my own gardens, I knew that hydrangeas would be a big part of that garden. I took some plants from my Grandma’s garden to start my own and followed her suggestions.
I took the plants and planted them about 3 feet apart in a heavily composted soil that I had ready to plant. I installed a drip watering system so the plants would get plenty of water because they would get about 6 hours of morning sun per day. I checked the drainage of the soil and made sure it was adequate. After planting the hydrangeas I added lime to the soil in one of my beds so I would have blue blooms there. I added aluminum sulfate to another bed so I would have pink blooms. In another bed I went crazy and added both. My blooms in that bed are purple. I then added a good mulch to help prevent the soil from drying out too quickly.
My hydrangea garden is now several years old. I go out everyday and sit on my garden bench or my porch swing and admire the head size blooms of the vibrantly colored hydrangeas. It takes me back to my younger years and makes me thankful for a Grandma who taught me to love gardening and the simpler things in life.