A spectacular shrub that does not require special care, blooms from mid-summer to late autumn, and after your simple manipulations can radically change its color - a great option to decorate a chic garden or monotonous country houses.
Hortensia - a flower that is firmly associated with the classic English village from an old postcard. Single-storey stone houses with low ceilings and small attic. And obligatory hydrangea bushes on both sides of the front door. In our latitudes, this wonderful plant also got accustomed and managed to catch the taste of flower growers. But, despite the fact that the hydrangea has long been a frequenter of our flower gardens, many have questions about growing it. We will try to answer the most frequent of them in our material.
1. Where to plant hydrangea?
The controversial hydrangea categorically does not accept stagnant moisture, but at the same time loves moderately moist soil and soft sun. Therefore, it is better for her to find a place where she can sunbathe in the morning and evening, and in the area of noon she will rest in partial shade.
Do not forget that the branches of this plant during the period of flowering become quite heavy, and therefore often bow down to the ground. If you want to frame garden paths with hydrangea bushes, then you should retreat from them at least a meter. Otherwise, in the future, you will have to say goodbye to beautiful flowering branches or to set up supports, which does not always look aesthetically pleasing.
Planted plants better in spring, away from large trees. To do this, you can use cuttings, a slice of which is desirable to process the root stimulator. In addition, hydrangea reproduces beautifully by dividing the bush. Growing hydrangeas from seeds is a long and laborious process.
2. What to add to the landing hole?
For planting a seedling of a tree hydrangea, it is necessary to dig a hole 0.5 × 0.5 × 0.5 m in size. Of course, the diameter and depth can vary, since depend on the size of the root system of the seedling and soil characteristics. If the land in your garden is not ideal for hydrangeas, and sand, humus or additional fertilizers will be required, the pit will have to be made deeper and wider. For young (1-2-year-old) seedlings, a well 30 × 30 × 30 cm is quite suitable.
Hydrangea prefers soils with an acidity of 4.5-5 pH. If the soil in your garden is not sour enough, you need to add a litter of coniferous forest, rotted softwood sawdust or riding (brown) peat to the planting hole. And if the land on the plot is heavy and barren, fill each pit with a special nutrient mixture:
- 2 pieces of leafy ground
- 2 pieces of humus
- 1 part of river sand
- 1 part of peat
When planting hydrangeas in the soil in any case can not make lime or ash.
After planting the soil around the seedling should be mulched 5-7 cm layer of peat, sawdust or crushed bark. This will protect the plant from dehydration, and also further acidifies the soil.
3. How to water the hydrangea?
The second name of the hydrangea is Hydrangea. And in Japan, it is sometimes romanticly called "yearning for water." It is not surprising that this beautiful flower loves watering so much. Stability - the main principle in the care of hydrangeas, so you should not water it too plentifully, but rarely. It is better to pour about one and a half buckets of water under the root once a week. This is usually sufficient to maintain normal soil moisture.
4. What and when to feed the hydrangea?
If a nutritious soil mixture was used when planting hydrangeas, the plant will not need additional feeding for the first few years. If the land is not fertile enough, then the hydrangea "signals" to you about it with the help of small inflorescences.
For fertilizing plants, it is possible to use preparations made industrially (Agricola, Aqua, Criston). At the same time, it is quite simple to prepare the fertilizer yourself. To do this, in 15 liters of water should be dissolved 10 g of urea, 15 g of superphosphate and 15 g of potassium sulfate. The first feeding is recommended in early spring. The second is after the appearance of buds (20 g of superphosphate and 20 g of potassium sulfate per 15 liters of water).
During the summer (once every 3-4 weeks), hydrangea can be watered with extract of the mullein. You will find the recipe in our publication Korovyak - an indispensable fertilizer for the garden
5. How to deal with diseases and pests of hydrangea?
Sometimes powdery mildew appears on the leaves of the hydrangea. You can fight it with Bordeaux fluid. About the features of the preparation and use of this popular fungicide, you can read in our article Bordeaux fluid - how to properly prepare and apply. To combat aphids and other sucking pests, you can use drugs such as Fitoverm or Aktellik. In general, hydrangea quite successfully resists diseases and pests on their own.
6. How to trim the hydrangea?
Without pruning, hydrangeas quickly begin to look untidy. Therefore, it is desirable to form a bush since 2-3 years. This should be done in September or spring before the start of sap flow. In addition, each type of hydrangea has its own characteristics of pruning.
Have tree hydrangea remove to the ground all weak and twisted shoots, as well as three-year branches. Young growths are greatly shortened, leaving only a few buds. The weaker the shoot, the shorter it is cut.
Have panicle hydrangea in the spring, shoots growing inside the crown are removed, and young growths are shortened by 1-3 buds.
Some experienced gardeners form a shtambovy tree based on the strongest shoot of paniculate hydrangea. It is driven out to 70-100 cm, removing all side shoots, and then form a spherical crown.
Have large-leaved hydrangea in September, shoots are shortened a little, which prevent the plant from covering, and in the spring they carry out sanitary pruning, cutting out all frozen, broken and thickening shoots.
- Spring pruning hydrangeaWhat you need to know about spring pruning of hydrangea tree and paniculata?
7. How to cover the hydrangeas for the winter?
Trees and paniculate hydrangeas usually tolerate the winter well, so it is enough just to protect their roots with mulch. Larger hydrangea is more thermophilic. Therefore, immediately after the leaves fall off, the branches gently bend down to the ground, putting a lapnik under them. From above also cover up with spruce branches or dry leaves. Above the bush it is better to additionally install a rigid frame covered with polyethylene, while leaving a ventilation hole. In the spring, the protective layer is removed gradually so as not to expose the plant to additional stress as a result of temperature fluctuations.
If your site has been chosen by slugs, then before sheltering the ground around the hydrangea, you should sprinkle with mulch from pine needles or process it with special preparations (Sludge, Meta, Thunder, Bros). Otherwise, in spring the young shoots of the plant may be damaged.
8. How to change the color of hydrangea?
Not only chameleons can change color depending on the circumstances. Some plants also have this amazing ability.
If the land under a large-leaved hydrangea with pink flowers is acidified using red (top) peat, aluminum-potassium or ammonium alum, citric acid or other similar substance, its flowers will become blue. Plants need aluminum to form the blue pigment. Usually it is sufficient in most areas, but aluminum becomes available for the plant only as a result of a chemical reaction under the influence of an acidic environment. Thus, hydrangea can be not only a decoration of your garden, but also an indicator of the level of soil acidity.
If you add acidifiers to the soil on only one side of the plant, then one hydrangea bush will give you at the same time pink, blue and slightly lilac flowers. With a white hydrangea, such a trick, alas, will not pass, it will remain white under any circumstances. This method will not work with a bush growing near paths, alpine hills or limestone walls, because they strongly alkalize the soil.
No matter how much you want to experiment, do not strive to get the desired color too quickly. Excessive amounts of aluminum alum introduced into the soil can destroy the roots of the plant. Therefore, as a true artist, paint your garden gradually.
Hortensia is a beautiful, abundantly flowering plant that in just one season can turn into a spectacular shrub. And about plants that also prefer acidic soils and therefore can settle near the hydrangea, read our previous publications.
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