Colours of HydrangeaHydrangea flowers are actually small, the colours that we see are btacts that surround each flower, some of which fade to different colours. White to pink, to dark red. Blue hydrangea can turn pink, depending on the acidity level of the soil. If you want to keep your hydrangea blue, add potash alum and peat to the soil, and feed sparingly.
Planting HydrangeaHydrangeas are shrubs which are easy to grow and thrives both in the garden and when potted up. Do ensure sufficient water, especially if in a sunny spot. Drench the plant’s root ball in a bucket of lukewarm water for a while prior to planting to make sure it’s nice and moist and plant at 75-100 cm intervals. Each plant should be planted in a large hole and the top of the root ball should come to just below soil level. Fill the hole (or pot) with mixed potting compost and fertiliser. Heel well in (press firmly down). Water immediately. Of course a climber needs a wall, fencing or pergola and some support. A mulch of well-rotted manure and fertiliser pellets every winter and early spring will be appreciated. Use garden fleece or bubble wrap to protect your hydrangea from late frosts so the new buds are not affected.
Pruning HydrangeaBefore you begin pruning, you need to check whether your hydrangea flowers on new wood or old.
- If your hydrangea flowers on old wood, it’s best not to prune it because these plants form their buds in autumn for the following year. If you cut them back, you won’t get any flowers next year. In spring, just snip off all the overblown flowers plus a little bit of the stem. If you need to keep the plant compact or want to rejuvenate it, cut back half of all branches at the start of April. Then the following year, cut back the other half. This will allow your hydrangea to flower every year.
- Hydrangeas that flower on new wood can be cut back in early spring – right back to a few buds above ground level. You could keep some older branches at about 30 cm. Or, cut back 1/3 of all old branches entirely. This hydrangea will flower the same year. Be a bit wary with younger plants to give them a chance of carrying the heavy flower heads.
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