How to care for hydrangeas
Hydrangeas are a much-loved classic that produce big, beautiful blooms and are relatively easy to care for.
They add long-lasting colour to any garden and look great cut and can be popped in a vase to brighten up your kitchen table.
Hydrangeas thrive in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Ensure the soil is moist but not waterlogged. They prefer partial shade, especially during high temperatures. Maintaining a consistent watering schedule is vital, aiming for 1-2 inches of water per week. Mulch around the base of the plant in spring to help retain moisture and control weeds.
Magic colour changing blooms!
Hydrangea flowers can change colour based on the acidity of the soil. Soil with a lower pH (more acidic) create blue flowers and soil with a higher pH (less acidic) create purple and pink flowers. You can use a soil pH test to check the acidity of your soil.
If you want to increase the acidity of your soil for blue blooms you can add Sulphate of Ammonia and mulch with pine needles or oak leaves. Water with rainwater which is more acidic to keep blue blooms. For pink blooms add garden lime which increases the pH levels.
Hydrangeas thrive in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Ensure the soil is moist but not waterlogged. They prefer partial shade, especially during hot afternoon hours. Maintaining a consistent watering schedule is vital, aiming for 1-2 inches of water per week. Mulch around the base of the plant in spring to help retain moisture and control weeds.
You can fertilise in spring before they and once again in early summer but hydrangeas don’t necessarily need regular feeding as it can encourage leafier growth rather than blooms.
Lacecap and mophead hydrangeas produce flowers on old wood so don’t prune back too hard in spring or you’ll likely get fewer flowers come summer.
Hydrangeas are sensitive to extreme temperatures, particularly frost. In colder regions, consider providing winter protection by covering the plants with burlap or straw. On the other hand, in scorching summer heat, ensure adequate shade and water to prevent wilting and stress.
Pests and problems
Keep a close eye out for common pests like aphids, spider mites, and slugs. Regularly check the leaves and stems for signs of infestation and take appropriate measures, such as using insecticidal soap or introducing beneficial insects. Hydrangeas can also be susceptible to diseases like powdery mildew or leaf spot. Good airflow, proper spacing, and avoiding overhead watering can help prevent these issues.