7 Tips on Growing a Hydrangea Bush will help you add a romantic touch to your summer garden. With their large, showy flowers in varied shapes and colors, you can boost your landscape design with these easy-to-grow shrubs.
What’s so wonderful about hydrangeas is that during the heat of summer and into fall, the bush will still give your garden a burst of color when most perennials have already started to fade.
They are easy to grow, requiring little care, and are long-lived shrubs. Hydrangeas are gorgeous with their showy blooms when planted as a shrub border along a driveway, under a tree if they get part shade, or the star player in a garden bed.
Hydrangeas are native to both the Far East and America. They were traditionally blue, pink, or white, but today’s new varieties bring red, purple, violet, and lime green colors.
Here are the 7 Tips on Growing a Hydrangea Bush
1. Choosing Your Plant
Hydrangeas are one of the most popular floral shrubs. There are over 75 varieties of hydrangeas. As a result of their popularity, there has been a lot of work in creating new varieties. They feature more intense colors, stronger stems, and longer bloom times.
The shape of the flowers have different names. The flowers that look like pom-poms are called “mophead hydrangeas,” and the flatter-shaped blooms are called “lacecaps.”
2. Location is Key
Hydrangeas are happiest with full sun in the morning and some shade in the afternoon. You want to avoid deep shade areas because it will lead to fewer flowers over the years.
These beautiful blooms look best when planted in mass, so select a location to plant several shrubs together.
3. Create the Perfect Soil
If you want picture-perfect blooms, be sure to plant your hydrangea bush in soil rich in organic matter and well-drained soil. If your soil is heavy clay or sandy, be sure to amend your soil with aged compost.
4. How to Plant Hydrangeas
Early spring and fall are the best time to plant your bushes. You’ll want to make sure the last frost has passed in spring. For fall, you want to be sure to plant before the first frost. Plant the bush in the early morning or late afternoon.
Look at your planting recommendations for spacing. They require 3 to 10 feet apart, depending on the type of plant. You want to ensure enough space for the flowers to reach full maturity.
You’ll want to dig a hole a little bit bigger than the depth of the root ball of the hydrangea bush. Dig double or triple the width of the plant to loosen the soil and allow the roots to grow easily.
Set the bush in the hole and make sure where the stem meets the soil is level. Fill the hole halfway with soil and water. Finish filling the hole and water again.
5. Add Fertilizer
Hydrangeas do best with a slow-release fertilizer fed early in their growing season. A fertilizer that has a 14-14-14 timed release formula works well. If you plant your flowers in the fall, avoid high doses of fertilizer because it will stimulate growth before winter.
6. Watering Hydrangeas
Be sure to water your hydrangea bush at the base of the shrub. Watering your flowers on the top of the bush can lead to burning or powdery mildew. They do better when you drench the soil less frequently than just a little bit of water more frequently. Pay attention to the dryness of the ground and water as needed for your climate.
After you plant your hydrangeas, you’ll want to add mulch to keep your bush moist and cool. Mulch will improve your soil texture and add nutrients.
Types of Hydrangea Plants
There are so many varieties of hydrangeas, narrowing down your preference will be hard.
Bigleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)
Know for their large, rounded flower clusters, bigleaf hydrangeas come in two main varieties, mopped, which has globe-shaped flower heads, and lacecap, which has flattened flower heads with a ring of larger flowers surrounding smaller ones. They thrive in partial shade and acidic soil.
Climbing Hydrangeas (Hydrangea petiolaris)
Climbing hydrangeas are vigorous, woody vines that can scale walls, fences, and arbors with ease, adding vertical interest to gardens. They feature large, lacecap-like flower clusters that bloom in early summer, attracting pollinators and providing a stunning display against their lush green foiliage.
The Climbing variety are prized for their ability to thrive in the shade, making them an excellent choice for shaded areas where other climbing plants may struggle.
Oakleaf Hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercifolia)
The Oakleaf variety is distinguished by its unique foliage which resembles the shape of oak leaves, which reflects its name. It produces elongated clusters of white flowers that gradually turn pink as they age, adding visual interest to gardens.
Known for its striking fall foliage, this flower bush provides year-round appeal with its textured bark and vibrant leaf colors.
Panicle Hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata)
Panicle hydrangeas feature elongated flower clusters that start out white and may turn pink or even reddish as they age.
They are the most sun-tolerant of all hydrangeas and are relatively low-maintenance, making them a popular choice for landscapes. These flower bushes also tend to bloom later in the summer, extending the flower season.
Smooth Hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens)
The Smooth hydrangeas produce large, round clusters of flowers that start out green and gradually turn white as they mature.
These flower bushes are hardy and can tolerate more sun than other types, but they still prefer some shade during the hottest parts of the day.
When cutting your flowers to make a bouquet for your home, bring the vase filled with water to the garden before cutting. Hydrangeas are thirsty flowers that need water right away. Harvest the flowers in the morning and cut the stems of the flower buds at an angle for the best results.
How do I change the color of my hydrangea plant?
The color of the blooms can be influenced by soil PH. For blue blooms, acidic soil with a pH between 5.2 and 5.5 is ideal. For pink blooms, more alkaline soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.2 is preferred. You can adjust soil pH by adding amendments like aluminum sulfate for blue or lime for pink.
Why are my hydrangea blooms turning brown?
The browning of the blooms can be caused by several factors, including insufficient watering, extreme temperatures, or fungal diseases like botrytis. Ensure your hydrangeas receive adequate water, are planted in well-draining soil, and maintain good air circulation around the plants to reduce the risk of disease.
When should I prune my hydrangeas?
The timing of pruning depends on the type of hydrangea. For varieties that bloom on old wood (like Bigleaf or Oakleaf), prune immediately after flowering in late spring or early summer. For those that bloom on new wood (like Panicle or Smooth), prune in late winter or early spring before new growth emerges.
How can I make my hydrangea bush bloom more?
Proper pruning, adequate sunlight, and appropriate fertilization can encourage more prolific blooming. Ensure your hydrangeas receive at least 4-6 hours of sunlight daily, prune them at the correct time, and fertilize with a balanced fertilizer in early spring.
We’re reached the end of 7 Best Tips on How to Grow a Hydrangea Bush. I hope you enjoyed it!
Let me know in the comments below if you grow these gorgeous flowers and what your favorite variety is.
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