What I know about Hydrangeas.22:13:00
I am getting my little green thumb on today to bring you some simple tips on how I am mastering the art of growing hydrangeas.
What I know about Hydrangeas.
1. They prefer an easterly/southerly aspect to grow in with a little bit of morning sun.
2. They need lots and lots of water in summer and will wilt like buggery when its really hot. This sad wilting is the only sure way to tell you, to hurry the 'f' up and water them.
3. They can be grown simply from cuttings as I have successfully done. You just take or steal a cutting from a plant you have been eyeing off at any time while the plant looks healthy. Dip the end of the cutting in a special 'cutting' powder that will stimulate its growth. This can be purchased from any nursery or place with a garden centre such as Bunnings. You then just stick it in a pot in a shady position, keep the soil moist and watch her grow. By next growing season, you will have a healthy hydrangea ready to plant.
4. There are many different varieties that produce the most beautiful blooms. I have two types growing but couldn't for the life of me tell you their actual botanical names of course. Im not that good!
5. The pH levels of your soil where hydrangeas are grown will determine the colour of the flowers.
If the soil has a pH of 7 and above then your flowers will grow to be pink. If the soil has a pH less that 7, then the flowers will be more likely shades of blue. Yes, you can buy kits to actually test the pH of your soil but this I have never done before.
6. You can manipulate the soil around your hydrangeas to change their colour. Add lime for pink, Aluminium Sulphate for blue. I have yet to experiment with this concept either and am very intrigued. My hydrangeas are pink and I think I will enjoy them like this for a little while longer.
7. I only prune once a year in autumn after flowering is finished. Though a de-heading of spent blooms may give you another flurry before the end of the season if you are lucky. For pruning, simply cut the stem back to two juicy buds. If your plant is starting to get on the big side then you can also cut out at the base any really, really old, woody stems and thats it. The pros say that you should only prune the stems that have flowered. Apparently cutting stems with no flower heads can affect the next years flowering efforts. I am guilty of doing this to a few but as you can see it hasn't affected my plants very much.
Click here for a simple visual guide to pruning hydrangeas. Sorry to say but I haven't cracked the old 'how to' video just yet!
8. Like all plants when they are going through huge growth, they love a feed. We have just given ours a good dose of blood and bone, some composted pig manure, lime and an organic fertilizer from our local Mitre 10. Stinky, but very good for the plants remember!
...and then you will, I promise get rewarded with this.
I love hydraengeas. They are just delightful and they also make excellent cut flowers in a vase inside where you can continue to enjoy their beauty. Don't mind if I do!
The hydraenges pictured were all except for one, grown from simple cuttings from Cam's aunty's garden. Margot's garden is truly amazing and I will definitely have to give you a bit of a tour soon, especially while it is in a flurry of blooms of all descriptions.
Do head over to my Instagram over the coming weeks. I will be taking pictures of these babies as they deliver on their magnificent blooms.
Had any luck with hydrangeas?
Do you like them? Whats not to like, seriously?
Thanks for visiting today
p.s They also remind me so much of my Gran's backyard when I was a kid. Maybe thats why I like them so much too.