Hydrangea Tree Care Awareness – This is a favorite shrub with many gardeners because of their vine-like shoots and their eye-catching blossoms.
Most hydrangeas originate from Asia and North America. Hydrangea macrophyllia are the big leaved and common along the Atlantic border states.
They have big, beautiful blossoms of blue, lavender and white. More common is the hydrangea paniculata or panicle hydrangea.
Then there’s the climbing hydrangea or Hydrangea anomola-petiolaris which is often seen on the northern sides of buildings and homes.
Hydrangeas blend nicely with rhododendrons, azaleas and the forsythia.
When you plant them near each other you can almost bet you’ll always have something in bloom. Depending on the variety they’ll bloom from summer to autumn.
Your blossom color is relevant to the Ph level in your soil. Acidic soil will bring you blue to violet flowers, while neutral to slightly alkaline will give you pink to white.
They can range in sizes from 5-10 inches in diameter.
Hydrangeas prefer light to medium shade although the big leaved can handle full sun provided they’re given enough water.
They like moist soil but will do well in most soil conditions. They do better with at least 1.5 inches a week and 2 during the heat of the summer.
Ease up on water early September to October as not to encourage fall growth. Give them one last good soaking before it freezes to supply shallow roots some moisture before the dryness that winter brings.
Hydrangeas really only require one feeding of fertilizer in the spring. A good compost or rich manure is really all that’s necessary but they’ll benefit from monthly feedings for up to three months.
I’d go May to July in the south and June to August in the north. Liquid seaweed extract is best or any organic fertilizer will do.
If you choose chemical fertilizer use a slow release. If you’re not sure how much to use it’s safer to use too little than too much. Pour around the drip line of the shrub; not near the base.
Pruning always brings best results after flowering has occurred. Big leaved hydrangeas get their flowers from buds of the previous growing season. Prune about a third of the weakest growth early in the spring.
This will ensure new growth and encourage flowering.