Garden hydrangeas: location, care and wintering


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Farmer Hydrangea - Garden Hydrangea - Hydrangea macrophylla

The right location for hydrangeas is already half the battle. The plants like it partially shaded and protected. In no case should they be exposed to direct sunlight. Of course this is especially true for the particularly pronounced midday sun. It is ideal to plant garden hydrangeas below and in the immediate vicinity of taller woody plants. They donate shadows and protect the delicate flowers of the hydrangea from the wind. It is also possible a location in the immediate vicinity of a house wall, if not just on the sunny side. Once again: Like all plants, garden hydrangeas need light. With too much sun, however, they burn very quickly. Therefore, you should definitely pay attention to enough shade.

ground

At least as important as the location for the growth of hydrangeas are the soil conditions. The soil should be loose and very rich in humus or nutrients. If he is also slightly acidic, the plant will later feel comfortable with no ifs and buts. In principle, however, it also copes with alkaline soils, although a pH of 7.5 must not be exceeded. Too high a pH value can cause so-called chlorosis in all hydrangea species, which in turn means that the leaves turn yellow and die off. If there is any doubt about the pH value of the soil, it is best to measure with a test strip that is available from specialist retailers. It is also important that the soil contains no or very little loam. A good drainage of water must be guaranteed.

implant

The planting of the garden hydrangea in the open air basically begins even before the spade is attached. It is advisable to water the plant well in advance. Then proceed as follows:
  • dig out a planting hole with the spade that is at least twice as large as the root ball
  • mix the excavated soil with compost and loosen the soil thoroughly in the planting hole
  • Place a layer of gravel on the bottom of the planting hole to prevent waterlogging later, and then add some excavation to this layer
  • then place the plant in the planting hole so that the root ball ends up flush with the soil surface if possible
  • then fill the rest of the excavation into the hollow and press well
Tip: Immediately after planting the hydrangea should be poured thoroughly. It may also make sense to create a so-called pouring margin around the plant. This helps to ensure that the water actually reaches its roots and does not run away into nowhere.

maintenance

As already mentioned, the farmer or garden hydrangea is relatively undemanding and very easy to maintain. The most important thing is to water them regularly. Hydrangeas like to have a very big water requirement. At the same time waterlogging must be avoided at all costs, as this would lead to the decay of the roots. Ideal is always slightly damp soil around the plant. In no case should the soil dry out.
In addition to water, hydrangea also needs regular fertilizer during the summer months. The best solution is organic liquid fertilizer, which is added directly to the irrigation water. Fertilization should take place in summer until the growth phase is over. This is usually the case in late August. The garden hydrangea does not necessarily have to be cut or cut back. It is quite sufficient to remove dead shoots in spring.

pot cultivation

Farmer Hydrangea - Garden Hydrangea - Hydrangea macrophylla

If you do not own a garden or you do not have the right location for the farmer's hydrangea in your own garden, you can cultivate it in a planter. Important: The bucket must be big enough. The double size of the root ball should be it already. In addition, a drainage layer of expanded clay or potsherds should be created. Suitable substrate is commercially available potting soil, which can be enriched with some humus. Otherwise, the care instructions for outdoor cultivation apply.
Tip: Hydrangeas in the tub should be placed on the terrace or the balcony in the penumbra during the summer months.

overwinter

Basically, the garden hydrangea is hardy. It can therefore remain in the ground even with ice and snow. However, it is recommended to protect them with at least some leaves or a plant fleece from excessive frost. This is especially true for young plants in the first year after application. Farm hydrangeas in the tub are placed in a cool and dry room during the winter in the autumn, where they remain until May of the following year. The hydrangea must be watered regularly. However, one should consider that the plant naturally has a much lower water requirement in winter than in summer. Of course, the soil must not dry out during this phase.

Diseases and pests

All hydrangea species are extremely robust and resistant. Against diseases and a pest infestation, they prove to be largely immune. Nevertheless, both are of course not completely excluded. May occur:
  • powdery mildew
  • chlorosis
  • Scale insects
  • spider mites
In case of infestation with powdery mildew, only treatment with a special pesticide will help. In the case of chlorosis, the soil must be checked and, if necessary, a reduction in the pH with peat should be ensured. Scale lice and spider mites are very rare in farm hydrangeas. If it does, treatment with a specific pesticide is recommended.

proliferation

Farmer Hydrangea - Garden Hydrangea - Hydrangea macrophylla

Garden hydrangeas are extremely easy to multiply. Propagation happens via so-called head cuttings. Simply cut with a pair of sharp pruning shears or a sharp knife up to a maximum of 15 centimeters long shoot tips. The best time for this is June or July. The shoot tips may have leaves, but no buds. When propagating, proceed as follows:
  • Reduce the number of sheets by half
  • then simply insert the cutting into nutrient-poor substrate in a planter
  • put a transparent plastic bag over it to create a greenhouse atmosphere
  • then bring the whole thing to a bright location
  • always keep the soil evenly moist
Under normal circumstances, the cuttings will form roots after just a few weeks. Once this is done, the transplant takes place in a larger planter.

blueness

Blue is a very popular color in garden hydrangeas. By nature, however, there are no blue flowers in this plant. Its blue color rather has to do with the composition of the soil. It is therefore only caused in the garden. This works only with varieties that usually form pink flowers. For white and red flowers, however, every effort is in vain. To obtain blue flowers, the soil must be impervious to acid and contain aluminum.
Ideal is a pH of 4.0 to 4.5. If the existing soil does not reach these values, you can put special rhododendron earth into the planting hole, which moves exactly in the required acidic spectrum. Aluminum, in turn, must be externally supplied to the soil. Either you use a blue dye or Kalialaunaun. Both are available at the pharmacy. It is also important that the plant is then only watered with rainwater. It takes a while until the blue color starts. Mostly it is fully developed in the second year. The wait is worth it, however.

Video Board: Endless Summer hydrangea Winter Protection.

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