How to grow hydrangeas and then how to care for them once you’ve grown them. This is all covered in this post. Hydrangeas are a perfect addition to your yard to improve curb appeal they grow in a wide range of soils. Let’s look at how to grow and care for hydrangeas in your yard.
How to Grow Hydrangeas
We’ve all noticed them during summer. Big, puffball-looking blooms in bright blue or delicate pink nestled among large, green leaves. Those are known as Mophead hydrangeas and one of the loveliest, colorful shrubs used in gardens and home landscapes. In fact, hydrangeas will grow in almost any location since there are so many varieties available these days.
Hydrangeas generally grow best in soil located in morning sun with afternoon shade. The plants do not thrive well under trees or close to pavement. Some folks swear by manure, to keep hydrangeas popping with color.
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Grow Hydrangeas with Proper Soil
If you wish to change a blue hydrangea to pink, or a pink hydrangea to blue, then you must alter the soil. It is much easier to change the plant’s color if grown in a container. Altering the pH of soil in the ground can be tricky, but with some patience and preparation, beautiful colors can result.
To keep hydrangeas pink, you sweeten the soil by adding lime. For maintaining blue flowers, you acidify the soil with a sulfur product. The flower’s color is a reaction to soil acidity.
How To Test Your Soil
Your local garden center can show you how to use a pH soil tester. Scientists will tell you that acid is measured in pH numbers. pH stands for potential hydrogen. Any number above 7 is considered alkaline, and any number below 7 is labeled acid. According to gardening experts, most flowers do well in slightly acid soil with a pH between 6 and 7.
How To Correct Your Soil’s Balance
Let’s say your soil has been tested and it’s a bit too acidic. You would add lime by following the instructions included in the testing kit. But it’s a dusty project, so wear gloves and add it during a non-windy day. Gently rake the lime onto the top of the soil. Rain will gradually distribute the lime through the soil.
Turning Hydrangeas To Bright Blue
You will need to purchase an inexpensive bag of aluminum sulfate. Simply follow the directions on the package. Add the aluminum sulfate to the soil around the hydrangea plant. Just be sure to apply the product well in advance of the plant’s flowering season. Fall is actually the best time to add it.
Turning Hydrangeas To Pretty In Pink
You will add lime at a rate of 2 to 3 lbs. or 100 square feet (or 1 to 2 cups around a single plant). At first, the flowers might appear light pink in hue, since soil acidity takes a while to change. But as the season progresses or following a second lime treatment, the flowers will get pinker in color. The best schedule is to add half in the spring and then reapply in the fall.
Drying Hydrangeas For Interior Home Decoration
Hydrangeas look beautiful in a big bunch arranged in a vase. Wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy them all year round. Well, you can. Drying hydrangeas from your garden isn’t difficult. It’s all in the timing.
Although tempting, do not cut flowers when they are at their peak color. Leave the blooms on the shrub until late summer. At this time, petals begin to age and pick up interesting shades of purple and burgundy. Cut the blooms and remove the leaves.
You don’t have to dry hydrangeas upside down unless they are weak. Instead, place them in a vase with or without water and allow them to completely dry out. And to retain their luscious hue, use silica gel to dry fresh blooms.
How to Care For Hydrangeas
Once you’ve enjoyed growing your hydrangeas you’ll want to continue to enjoy them for seasons to come. Let’s look that the important caring tips for hydrangeas.
All plants love water, hydrangeas specifically enjoy deep watering at least once a week. If you live in an area that experiences dry summers, it’s important to give your plants a good deep watering at least once a week.
Growing strong and vibrant hydrangeas requires some fertilizer. A good all-purpose 12-4-8 or 10-10-10 composition will provide your hydrangeas all the fertilizer needs. It’s a good idea to fertilize 2-3 times a year. Once in the spring, once in the summer, and finally in the fall before the plant becomes dormant for the winter.
There are many types of hydrangeas so pruning them may differ slightly. The most common types of hydrangea are the Mopheads and Lacecaps. These are the ones with large globe-shaped flowers. For this variety, pruning takes place in late summer.
Hydrangeas grow flowers on last years stems. To make sure you’re hydrangea is producing flowers next year prevent cutting the stems to the ground.
Hydrangeas can be easily transplanted but this should be done during the fall or winter when the plant is dormant. Be sure to dig up the entire rootball and replant immediately.
Hopefully these tips I’ve shared today will allow you to fill your yard with some beautiful hydrangeas. They will improve curb appeal, honey bees love them, and they add real beauty to floral arrangements.