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Thursday, June 20, 2019
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Shrubs

Hydrangeas are a very easy care shrub, especially for us here on the west coast, but good cultivation will bring out their best.

First of all, like most shrubs, they should be planted in fertile (organically rich), well drained soil, but with the additional caution that you must be able to water them easily! Hydrangeas need hydrating!! This is particularly true in sunny sites and in the first while after planting. Never forget that it takes a while for roots to get out into the surrounding soil, so as far as the new plant is concerned, it is still in a pot, and so should be watered thoroughly AT LEAST once a week.

After the plant is established, it will still need watering in times of drought, and will be one of the first plants in your garden to droop by way of letting you know things are getting dry.

Hydrangea Group

Macrophylla hydrangeas (mobcap/mophead & lacecap) produce their blooms from buds formed the summer before (old wood). Therefore, pruning in autumn or too early in spring can inhibit, even prevent, flowers. When the last frosts are over, the old flower heads should be cut back to the first pair of healthy buds below them. Any dead, or spindly branches should be removed at the base, and where there are untidy crossover branches choose the healthiest of these and remove the other. It should be noted that some of the newer cultivars have been bred to bloom on both old & new wood: but the advice of pruning for strength still applies.

Paniculata, on the other hand, blooms on new wood formed in the growing season and is also hardier than macrophylla. It can therefore be pruned in late winter to early spring as needed. An extremely vigorous plant, the shrub form is going to produce much larger flowers if restricted to 7 to 11 vigorous primary shoots. If grown as a standard, the plant will need rigorous pruning to keep it in good shape, but the same general guide of fewer, stronger shoots applies.

For both types, a good mulch in the spring and fall will help keep weeds down and preserve soil moisture. Feeding once a year with a slow release all purpose fertilizer will promote vigorous growth which will in turn provide for more abundant flowers.
Change Hydrangea Flower Colour

How to Change The Colour of Your Hydrangea

 

Most blue or pink Hydrangea macrophylla varieties can change their flower colour based on soil acidity and the presence of aluminum in the soil. If the soil is acidic (a pH of less than 7), the plant is able to absorb aluminum from the soil and turn the flowers more blue. Common soil acidifiers include sulfur, peat moss and various fertilizer products like Rhodo and Azalea fertilizers. The colour transformation happens slowly of the course of 1-2 seasons. If you want your flowers to be more pink, sweeten your soil, that is - make it less acidic - more alkaline, with lime, bonemeal and other similar products. A pH higher than 7 reduces the plants ability to absorb aluminum and turns the flowers more pink. Again this change happens over several seasons.


Friday, May 20, 2016
Posted By: Suvan Breen in Shrubs

 

Oh the fabulous hydrangea! Of all the flowering shrubs this one has always been a show stopper but in 2016 this is not just your grandmas pink or blue hydrangea anymore.

Blue Hydrangea Flowers

I am not sure what I am more excited about, the ever blooming varieties that just go all summer or the new multi coloured flowers that change colour over their bloom time, Hydrangeas are blowing me away right now.

There are so many new varieties and colours that will make you stop in your tracks, come on into the nursery to see what we have for you.

As you may have guessed from their name, Hydrangeas love water, plant in a moist but well drained space, spring is a great time for planting, water the roots deep down to help them to establish in the garden. Once again I highly recommend soaker hoses if you do not have irrigation, this is a great way to reduce your water bill and still deep water your plants.

 

Having said that there are certain things to know about the Hydrangeas we love. Here are the top Hydrangea questions I have had over the years.

Hydrangea Types

Are There Different Types of Hydrangeas?

Yes, there are several types of Hydrangeas with flower colours ranging from white to shades of pink to blue. The classic variety is called Hydrangea macrophylla and can have either the big Mophead type flower or a flattened lacecap-like bloom. Lace cap varieties are great for attracting butterflies, hummingbirds and bees. The Mountain Hydrangea, or Hydrangea serrata typically has a white lacecap-like flower. Pannicle Hydrangeas, or Hydrangea paniculata has large white to creamy white flowers in conical shapes. Hydrangea arborescens or Smooth Hydrangeas typically have large white blooms. Finally, the Oakleaf Hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia has attractive white flowers but also offers stunning fall foliage colour.

Endless Summer Hydrangeas

What Is An Endless Summer Hydrangea?

Most Hydrangeas bloom on old wood. In recent years, plant breeders have introduced new varieties that bloom on both new and old wood. They are often called “ReBloomers”. The end result is a plant the produces more flowers and blooms for longer through the season. It also makes them less vulnerable to late winter, flower bud damaging frosts. Endless Summer was the first of the group but new ones like Twist and Shout, Let's Dance Moonlight and Blushing Bride are also available. More information is available on the Endless Summer Hydrangea Website

Should I Fertilize My Hydrangea?

In most cases, yes. For established plants, feed your plant a fertilizer with a high middle number in early spring just as new growth begins. This will create larger and bigger flowers. For new plants, apply a Bonemeal into the planting hole or use a liquid transplant fertilizer when you water.

Changing Hydrangea Flower Colour

How Do I Change The Colour of My Hydrangea?

Hydrangeas react to the availability of aluminum in your soil. If you want pink flowers, add lime to your soil once a year, the lime blocks the plant from absorbing aluminum. Looking for blue flowers? Add Aluminum Sulphate in water and water the soil around your Hydrangea. Be patient, this process will take 2-3 seasons to achieve the colour switch. White flowering types do not change colour.

Where Can I Plant My Hydrangea?

Most Hydrangeas want morning sun and afternoon shade, with the exception of Peegees which benefit from full sun. Late afternoon sun is too strong for many Hydrangeas and can burn both the leaves and flowers. Full shade may result in a lack of blooms, make sure your hydrangea gets at least 4 hours of morning light to grow strong. A location with part sun to part shade is ideal.

Pink Hydrangea Blooms

Why Is My Hydrangea Not Blooming?

Back away from the pruners! The most common reason for no blooms is over pruning or pruning at the wrong time of year. Some Hydrangeas bloom on new growth and some bloom on old growth, if your Hydrangea is not blooming, you may have pruned the flower buds. Hydrangeas really do not require a great deal of pruning but if you are pruning there are guidelines depending on the variety you choose. Deadhead your Hydrangea to encourage repeat blooming.

Another common cause of poor blooms is an early spring cold snap. As many varieties bloom on old wood, a late frost can damage the flower buds.

Your Hydrangea will also produce more and better blooms with a yearly application of fertilizer with a higher middle number

Hydrangea Cityline Rio

How Do I Prune My Hydrangea?

The correct method to prune Hydrangeas depends on which type you have.

ReBlooming Varieties

The Hydrangeas require very little pruning and will keep you in blooms all season long. You should only prune to remove dead wood.

Hydrangeas That Bloom On Old Wood

These shrubs should only be pruned to remove dead wood or to manage size. As they bloom on old wood, a severe pruning can remove next years flower buds. If you must prune, do so after flowering. Hydrangeas that bloom on old wood include:

  • Big Leaf Hydrangea - Hydrangea macrophylla
  • Mountain Hydrangea - Hydrangea serrata
  • Oakleaf Hydrangea - Hydrangea quercifolia

Hydrangeas That Bloom On New Wood

For these varieties, prune in late winter or early spring. Varieties blooming on new wood include:

  • Pannicle Hydrangea- Hydrangea paniculata
  • Smooth Hydrangea - Hydrangea arboresens

If you have any other questions about hydrangeas, please feel free to drop by Arts Nursery and ask! We'd be happy to help!


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Art's Nursery is a 10+ acre retail and wholesale garden centre located in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We've been in business at this same location since 1973 and we're proud to serve you today!

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