Oh the fabulous hydrangea! Of all the flowering shrubs this one has always been a show stopper but in 2016 this is not just your grandmas pink or blue hydrangea anymore.
I am not sure what I am more excited about, the ever blooming varieties that just go all summer or the new multi coloured flowers that change colour over their bloom time, Hydrangeas are blowing me away right now.
There are so many new varieties and colours that will make you stop in your tracks, come on into the nursery to see what we have for you.
As you may have guessed from their name, Hydrangeas love water, plant in a moist but well drained space, spring is a great time for planting, water the roots deep down to help them to establish in the garden. Once again I highly recommend soaker hoses if you do not have irrigation, this is a great way to reduce your water bill and still deep water your plants.
Having said that there are certain things to know about the Hydrangeas we love. Here are the top Hydrangea questions I have had over the years.
Are There Different Types of Hydrangeas?
Yes, there are several types of Hydrangeas with flower colours ranging from white to shades of pink to blue. The classic variety is called Hydrangea macrophylla and can have either the big Mophead type flower or a flattened lacecap-like bloom. Lace cap varieties are great for attracting butterflies, hummingbirds and bees. The Mountain Hydrangea, or Hydrangea serrata typically has a white lacecap-like flower. Pannicle Hydrangeas, or Hydrangea paniculata has large white to creamy white flowers in conical shapes. Hydrangea arborescens or Smooth Hydrangeas typically have large white blooms. Finally, the Oakleaf Hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia has attractive white flowers but also offers stunning fall foliage colour.
What Is An Endless Summer Hydrangea?
Most Hydrangeas bloom on old wood. In recent years, plant breeders have introduced new varieties that bloom on both new and old wood. They are often called “ReBloomers”. The end result is a plant the produces more flowers and blooms for longer through the season. It also makes them less vulnerable to late winter, flower bud damaging frosts. Endless Summer was the first of the group but new ones like Twist and Shout, Let's Dance Moonlight and Blushing Bride are also available. More information is available on the Endless Summer Hydrangea Website
Should I Fertilize My Hydrangea?
In most cases, yes. For established plants, feed your plant a fertilizer with a high middle number in early spring just as new growth begins. This will create larger and bigger flowers. For new plants, apply a Bonemeal into the planting hole or use a liquid transplant fertilizer when you water.
How Do I Change The Colour of My Hydrangea?
Hydrangeas react to the availability of aluminum in your soil. If you want pink flowers, add lime to your soil once a year, the lime blocks the plant from absorbing aluminum. Looking for blue flowers? Add Aluminum Sulphate in water and water the soil around your Hydrangea. Be patient, this process will take 2-3 seasons to achieve the colour switch. White flowering types do not change colour.
Where Can I Plant My Hydrangea?
Most Hydrangeas want morning sun and afternoon shade, with the exception of Peegees which benefit from full sun. Late afternoon sun is too strong for many Hydrangeas and can burn both the leaves and flowers. Full shade may result in a lack of blooms, make sure your hydrangea gets at least 4 hours of morning light to grow strong. A location with part sun to part shade is ideal.
Why Is My Hydrangea Not Blooming?
Back away from the pruners! The most common reason for no blooms is over pruning or pruning at the wrong time of year. Some Hydrangeas bloom on new growth and some bloom on old growth, if your Hydrangea is not blooming, you may have pruned the flower buds. Hydrangeas really do not require a great deal of pruning but if you are pruning there are guidelines depending on the variety you choose. Deadhead your Hydrangea to encourage repeat blooming.
Another common cause of poor blooms is an early spring cold snap. As many varieties bloom on old wood, a late frost can damage the flower buds.
Your Hydrangea will also produce more and better blooms with a yearly application of fertilizer with a higher middle number
How Do I Prune My Hydrangea?
The correct method to prune Hydrangeas depends on which type you have.
The Hydrangeas require very little pruning and will keep you in blooms all season long. You should only prune to remove dead wood.
Hydrangeas That Bloom On Old Wood
These shrubs should only be pruned to remove dead wood or to manage size. As they bloom on old wood, a severe pruning can remove next years flower buds. If you must prune, do so after flowering. Hydrangeas that bloom on old wood include:
- Big Leaf Hydrangea - Hydrangea macrophylla
- Mountain Hydrangea - Hydrangea serrata
- Oakleaf Hydrangea - Hydrangea quercifolia
Hydrangeas That Bloom On New Wood
For these varieties, prune in late winter or early spring. Varieties blooming on new wood include:
- Pannicle Hydrangea- Hydrangea paniculata
- Smooth Hydrangea - Hydrangea arboresens
If you have any other questions about hydrangeas, please feel free to drop by Arts Nursery and ask! We'd be happy to help!