Hydrangeas are one of the delights of the summer garden. I like to think of them as the Queen of the garden because they seem to reign over other summer shrubs with their blooms. With an array of bloom types, heights and colors, from the traditional Mophead, Lacecaps, Oakleaf to the Ever blooming series, you an count on an outstanding statement for mid to late summer splash of color.
Most hydrangeas tolerate medium/bright shade and some cultivars can withstand full sun. Therefore it is important to know what cultivar you purchase, what zone you are in and what your growing conditions are. Averaging in height from 2/3 feet to 6/10 feet, knowing what type you need for that special spot is very important.
Hydrangea’s are best planted in early summer or fall. If you are not sure of the bloom color/size/plant habit, plant it where pruning will not be a necessity. If you are transplanting an existing hydrangea, this should be done when it is dormant. Watering deeply rather than often, usually ensures that the roots are getting the moisture that they need. Also, well draining soil is a necessity to ensure the health and well being of your hydrangea. If you notice that the leaves wilt mid day and/or get brown along the edges, this usually means that it is getting too much sun.
Soil neutrality or acidity can affect the color of your hydrangea. Turning a pink hydrangea to a shade of blue can be done by adding aluminum to the soil. In order to change a blue hydrangea to pink you would do the reverse and subtract the aluminum from the soil. Sometimes this is harder than one would think and some hydrangeas will not change color no matter what you do. Purchasing hydrangeas in bloom definitely allows you to know what color and size your typical bloom will be.
Sometimes the large leaf hydrangea is susceptible to powdery mildew. As with most plants, this happens when there is high humidity and improper growing conditions (like too much shade). If grown in too damp conditions, fungal spots might prove to be a problem on the leaves and will eventually cause certain death tot he plant, unless it is relocated. Oakleaf hydrangeas are very sensitive to soil conditions that are too damp and will surely die if not moved to soil that drains better. Mites can also become an issue if hydrangeas are not adequately watered during the dry times of the summer months. As with most plants, paying attention to small issues and addressing them quickly, will result in a happy shrub and a happy hydrangea owner. Hydrangea…………….You Can Grow That!by