How to choose a hydrangea and properly care for it


More and more Americans are planting hydrangeas in their gardens. A very interesting flower, the popularity of which is constantly growing.

About hydrangea

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.

Tree-like hydrangeas

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.


Hydrangeas panicles

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.

Pest control

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.

Read more: Nasturtiums: grow secrets and care in 2023.

Nasturtiums: grow secrets and care in 2023


Nasturtiums are one of the fastest and easiest to grow annuals. From mid-summer until the first autumn frosts, they bloom a huge number of bright flowers of a surprisingly wide range – not only orange, yellow and red, but also cream, salmon-pink, burgundy and crimson. Some have attractive marbled or variegated leaves. We tell you how to grow nasturtium and how to care for it.

For good growth, nasturtiums need sunlight for at least half a day. Free-draining soil is very important, nasturtiums bloom best in poor soils. Fertile soil leads to abundant growth of leaves to the detriment of flowers that are hidden under the leaves.

Nasturtium plants include both perennial and annual flowering species of the genus Tropaeolum, which has over 80 different plants.

These herbaceous flowers are native to South and Central America and are known for their rich, rich, precious flowers.

Features of nasturtium

Planted in the spring after the threat of frost has passed, they grow quickly and easily. In general, nasturtium flowers gravitate towards the warm part of the color spectrum. The rounded leaves look like miniature lotus leaves.

There are varieties of nasturtium for almost all gardening purposes: bushy plants for borders, curly plants for walls and containers, and others.

The leaves and flowers are edible and have a peppery taste, so this plant can often be found in gardens planted alongside broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, where it repels pests.


Growing from seeds

  1. Soaking the seeds in water overnight before planting can speed up germination, but nasturtium seeds germinate best when the soil is warm.
  2. Sow the seeds in the soil at a depth of about 3 cm and at a distance of 8 cm from each other.
  3. Thin to 30 cm apart in all directions.


In hot climates, choose a location shaded from the hot midday sun. Always check the specifics on the seed package. When it comes to soil, nasturtiums are not fussy and will thrive even in poor soil if they are watered regularly.

Seedling care

Direct seeding is sometimes risky because you can uproot the seedlings while weeding the bed. To avoid accidental weeding, mark the planting spot with a label. Due to the characteristic leaves, nasturtium seedlings are easy to spot.


Peculiarities of planting nasturtium in open ground

Seeds can be sown directly where it will bloom.

  • Dig up the soil and make sure it is free of weeds. Water the area before sowing – this will prevent the seeds from being washed away after sowing;
  • Sow the seeds 1.5cm deep, about 10cm apart – either press them in with your finger or use a bamboo cane to make a shallow hole;
  • Cover the seeds with soil;
  • After the emergence of seedlings (in about two weeks), thin them to a distance of about 30 cm from each other.
  • You can also simply scatter the seeds around the garden where you want them to appear – such as the edge of raised beds.

When to plant nasturtium in open ground

Sow seeds under cover from March and outdoors when the soil warms, from March to May – late sowing will ensure flowering before the first frost.


Features of planting nasturtium at home in a pot

You can also sow nasturtium seeds in pots – this is a good way to get earlier flowers and also a good option if you want to create a nice display in a container at the end of the season.

Simply sow one seed at a time in a 9cm pot in a greenhouse or on a sunny windowsill, harden it off and plant outside in late spring.

To reduce fertility and ensure good drainage, mix two-thirds peat-free multipurpose compost with one-third fine gravel or crushed stone.

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Nasturtiums are grown either from seed as annuals or purchased from nurseries where they can be found with other companion vegetables.

The seeds germinate quickly, and the plant begins to flower soon after. Once planted, nasturtiums usually take care of themselves, requiring as much water as you give the surrounding plants.

It is not usually necessary to remove the faded flowers, but it is always recommended to pick the ripe flowers for use in salads and to decorate summer desserts.

Bushes pressed to the ground nasturtiums will fill the gaps in flowering in a sunny perennial garden and are well suited for planting among annual lilies or roses.


Nasturtiums grow and flower best when planted in a sunny location with six to eight hours of direct sunlight each day.

Temperature and humidity

Some varieties of nasturtium are planted as perennial plants. However, in most climate zones, this plant is considered an annual and completes its life cycle in only one growing season.

The plant prefers daytime temperatures in the region of 20 degrees Celsius and can survive light frost, but not cold days of freezing. In addition, this plant prefers an average level of humidity (from 30 to 50 percent), but it is not very demanding.

However, nasturtiums can struggle in extremely dry or extremely wet conditions.


Nasturtiums usually prefer weekly watering, but when planted in a greenhouse or in a sunny vegetable patch, they can be watered more often. In such conditions, the need for water can be high on the part of the surrounding plants and quickly dry out the soil.

Nasturtiums can survive moderate drought, but blooms will likely decrease and foliage will begin to look limp.

Read more: Growing Peonies in 2023 – Planting, Care and Secrets.

Growing Peonies in 2023 – Planting, Care and Secrets


Peonies are one of the most famous and favorite perennials. This is not surprising, given their luxurious beauty and aroma. Peonies also thrive in almost every region.

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Because peonies live for decades, they should be treated as a permanent addition to your landscape, not unlike planting a tree. Correct planting will provide you with flowers for many years.

Peonies are perennial flowers that appear in the spring with large showy flowers that last for several weeks. Depending on the variety and your location, peonies begin blooming in early spring and continue into summer.

Description of the plant

There are three types of these flowers: the herbaceous Eurasian peonies, the Asian tree, or moutan, peonies, and the North American peonies. In most places, flowers bloom in April, May or June. Expect tree peonies to bloom first, followed by herbaceous varieties, and then sectionals. Plant all three species in the garden to enjoy blooms for up to seven weeks.



When you grow these flowers for the first time, it can take up to four years of patience before you see your first blooms, but their longevity and ease of care make them an extremely useful addition to your garden design.

Choosing a place

Try to plant peonies in full sun and in fertile soil that has been improved by digging in the garden. They will grow well in a variety of soils, including clay, as long as it is not waterlogged in the winter and dries out in the summer. They are completely hardy, so they do not need shelter for the winter.


Peonies are adaptable, but ideally they like well-drained, slightly acidic soil (pH 6.5-7.0). If you’re planting in heavy clay soil, adding compost or a soil mix designed for azaleas and rhododendrons will make it easier for your peony to settle in. Tree peonies like slightly more alkaline soil than standard herbaceous peonies, and they do not tolerate competition from other shrubs.

How to plant peonies

Peonies are easy to plant and only take a few minutes. They are planted in the same way as other herbaceous perennials, but it is important not to plant too deep, as this can reduce flowering. Plants sold in pots are best planted in late spring. Seeds with bare roots are best planted in late autumn.

Choosing a place to land

Try to plant peonies in full sun and in fertile soil that has been improved by digging in the garden.

  1. Space plants about 1m apart depending on their final height and spread;
  2. Dig a planting hole the same depth as the root ball;
  3. Move the soil with a shovel and carefully compact the plant, pressing with the heel of the shoe;
  4. Make sure that the future buds are covered with a layer of soil no more than 2.5 cm, since deep planting reduces flowering;
  5. Water the plants to settle the soil and continue to water regularly, especially in dry weather during the first summer;
  6. Mulch with well-rotted organic matter to preserve moisture.

Autumn planting

Plant peonies in autumn: in late September and October. If you need to transplant an adult plant, it is best to do it in the fall, especially when the plant has gone dormant. Peonies should be planted about six weeks before the ground freezes.

Planting in the spring

Although it is certainly possible to plant peonies in the spring, things are worse with spring peonies. Experts agree: they are usually about a year behind those planted in the fall.

Peony care

Peonies, one of the longest-lived garden plants, are sometimes passed down from generation to generation in families. It is important to get the initial planting right because peonies can be temperamental about being moved once they are established.


Water regularly during dry spells during the first year to help rooting, especially if planted in spring or summer. Rooted peonies have deep roots and do not need regular watering after the first year.

Watering peonies


Do not fertilize in the spring, otherwise you risk burning the new growth. Instead, give a well-balanced fertilizer in late winter and summer after the flowers have faded.

Read more: How to feed peonies in the spring, so that the bushes burst with large and fragrant flowers.


Peonies require a little pruning. Once your flower has finished blooming, cut back dead stems and branches. If the stem appears diseased, cut before the affected part. If two branches rub against each other, remove the least desirable branch. When pruning peonies, always cut directly above the first bud.

Peony transplant

There’s a myth that peonies can’t be moved, but if you get them out of the ground when they’re dormant in the fall, disturbing the root ball as little as possible, and plant them as soon as possible, they’ll be fine.

Read more: How to properly transplant Peonies, and how to care for them.

How to use soda correctly to achieve lush flowering of home flowers


Soda has proven itself as a useful supplement for plants in the garden.

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Benefits of soda for plants

Do not be afraid to use soda if you decide to establish proper care for flowers and garden crops.

Soda will come in handy if you want to solve the problem:

  1. seed disinfection.
  2. fight against pests and fungi.
  3. feeding.

Soda is used to destroy weeds, reduce soil acidity, and improve the taste of fruits.

Soda will not harm beneficial insects in the garden, nor will it affect the quality of the crop.

How to use baking soda for flowers

Tricky top dressing will make the plants jump into growth and bloom lushly right before your eyes.

Use the available means to prepare a nutrient solution from water, soda and flax seeds.


A recipe for watering solution

We put 1 teaspoon of soda and flax seeds in the container. Pour 1 liter of water and let it stand for 2 hours. Now you can beat the solution well in a blender, then strain it, bring the volume up to 3 liters and you can water it once every 30 days.

What gives the soda solution to the flowers

Indoor plants will definitely like top dressing. Fertilizer based on soda and flax will increase the number of flowers, prevent drying of leaves, and increase root growth.

Soda solution will help plants to survive the transplant, increases resistance, accelerates wound healing.

Pity the soda

Do not abuse soda as a fertilizer for plants. Please note that too much soda can negatively affect the growth and development of plants.

Read more: How to recognize the most dangerous diseases of seedlings – root rot and black leg.