More and more Americans are planting hydrangeas in their gardens. A very interesting flower, the popularity of which is constantly growing.
There is an opinion that hydrangea is a very capricious plant that requires careful care. Is it really so and how to choose a type of hydrangea, based on the characteristics of your country plot.
Hydrangea is now gaining popularity, and there are many varieties of it in nature: tree-like, paniculate, big leaf, oak-leaved. For our climate, the most winter-hardy and do not require shelter are tree-shaped and panicle hydrangea.
Today, many new varieties of hydrangeas have been bred – pink, red, with terry flowers – from tall bushes to those whose height does not exceed one meter. Therefore, even if you do not have a large area, you can decorate it with hydrangea bushes, which can be planted both in autumn (September-October) and in spring.
The most common types of hydrangeas are tree-like, paniculate and big leaf.
A planting pit for these species should be prepared with a depth and width of 40*40 cm. The soil in the pit should consist of three parts – acidic, neutral and compost in equal proportions. If your area has heavy clay soils, then put a layer of drainage on the bottom – it can be expanded clay, small stone or broken brick. That’s when you can plant hydrangea.
Previously, tree hydrangea inflorescences were only white, now varieties with pink and red inflorescences have been bred. Tree-like hydrangeas are not very demanding on the composition of the soil cover, the main thing is that it should be loose and well-moistened, with a pH of 5-5. It is desirable to plant them in partial shade. Tree hydrangea does not need shelter for the winter.
Tree-like hydrangeas bloom a little earlier than panicles – already in June, you can see huge caps of flowers on them. Therefore, by planting several varieties in the garden, you will be able to admire the flowering from June to October.
Pruning of this species is carried out either in late autumn, before the onset of frost, or in early spring, before the swelling of the kidneys. Usually, all the shoots are cut, leaving 30 cm above the soil level. You need to cut out all the thin, broken branches that thicken the bush. After the start of vegetation, you can remove a few green shoots, thereby giving strength to those that remain.
There is a great variety of panicled hydrangeas – they differ in growth, the shape of inflorescences, and can change color when the temperature changes. The earliest varieties of panicle hydrangea begin to bloom from the end of June. At first, the inflorescences are white, but when the temperature drops, they acquire pink and red shades.
The panicled hydrangea, as well as the tree-like hydrangea, does not require shelter for the winter, large inflorescences delight from the end of June to late autumn. Such hydrangea likes slightly acidic soil with a pH of 5-6.
Panicle hydrangea blooms on the shoots of the current year, so it needs annual pruning. It is better to buy seedlings in small pots and start the formation of the future bush from the first year of life, cutting off 1-2 buds. With such pruning during the season, even a small seedling is able to grow strong shoots that will become the basis of the future bush. If the hydrangea grew thick enough shoots in one season, then next year they can be cut to three buds.
Starting from the third year, you can cut last year’s growth by three kidneys. In this way, get flowering two weeks earlier and a large number of inflorescences.
Big leaf hydrangeas
Big leaf hydrangeas are distinguished by large inflorescences, which can have pink, blue, blue or lilac shades. Bushes are “colored” by acidification of the soil.
If the soil has a pH of 3.5-4, big leaf hydrangeas will be blue and blue, and if the pH is 6, the inflorescences will be pink and red. Large-leaved hydrangeas bloom, depending on the variety, from the beginning of June until frost.
However, such a shrub will need shelter for the winter, so an option is to plant a small bush in a pot and store it in an unheated room at a temperature of 0 ..+5 °C. The size of the pot can be changed. If the bush in the pot grows too large, you can take it out and cut off the lower part, add acidic soil and return it to the pot. This can be done every year, changing the bottom layer of the earth.
If big leaf hydrangea is grown in open ground, it is not necessary to cut it.
It is better to start feeding hydrangeas from the end of April. To acidify the soil around the bush, sprinkle a tablespoon of colloidal sulfur and mix it with the soil. At the same time, it is important not to damage the surface roots of the hydrangea.
Try to use specialized fertilizers for long-acting hydrangeas, this will reduce the time during further care. A good time for fertilizing is the beginning of May. When applying fertilizers, be sure to read the instructions.
To give an opportunity for the growth of shoots, at the same time – the beginning of May – water the bushes with a solution of ammonium sulfate. Dilute the solution according to the instructions.
It is often quite hot in the summer. Such weather favors the development of the spider mite, which feeds on the juicy leaves of young plants. In order to protect hydrangea, preventive treatments should be used, which are mandatory, especially for young plantings.
Ascaricides can be used once every two weeks for processing – chemical or biological preparations of contact action to combat mites of agricultural crops. Try not to use one product all the time – the plant may become addicted, and the drug will stop working.
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