Planting Your Hydrangeas
Planting your Hydrangea in early spring is ideal. When you are planting a Hydrangea, remember that the blooms and stems must be protected from strong winds and the hot afternoon sun. Avoid planting in open areas where strong winds could break stems. Planting on the eastern side of a building ensures that, in the afternoon, when the sun is at its hottest, your plants are in the shade.
If the soil is too wet, the roots might rot, and the plant will die. MIX a lot of organic matter and an all-purpose slow-release fertilizer into the soil to give your hydrangea a strong start.
General Hydrangea Care
- If you plant them in the summer, they need a lot more water in the beginning to establish the root system.
- Most varieties thrive in full sun to part shade, as long as they are planted in moist, rich soil.
- Water deeply once a week, and maybe more, if the weather is particularly hot or dry.
- Hydrangea fertilization needs vary greatly, depending on your intended bloom color. Certain elements of the fertilizer affect the soil pH, which is a major determinant of bloom color in the pink/blue Hydrangea varieties.
Cut back the flowering shoots to the next bud, thus giving the branches a trim that removes the spent blooms without damaging the buds that will bloom next year. Do this right after flowering, but before midsummer.
On older shrubs that have lost flowering vigour, cut up to a third of entire stems at the base in late winter to improve flowering vigour. Ideally, you should cut the oldest stems, leaving younger mature stems that are loaded with buds for next year, but sometimes you have a lopsided or crowded Hydrangea that must be pruned to maintain a pleasing shape. The main purpose of cutting off entire stems is to do away with elderly or poorly flowering parts of the shrub, thus letting in more air and light AND encouraging the growth of healthy new branches .In mild climates that may experience warm spells in winter, be careful of the urge to get out in the garden and start pruning before late winter. If you prune too early, you could encourage dormant buds to break, leaving tender growth susceptible to frost damage.