Do you love flowers? Learn how to care for a hydrangea and grow your own beautiful blooms all season long! Check out these 5 things you should know!
One of my favorite and most sought-after flowers is the Hydrangea. Some people think that hydrangeas are a finicky plant that needs lots of care, but that isn't true. Hydrangeas are easier to grow and enjoy than you think. Here are 5 Things you should know about how to care for a hydrangea. See why you should plant one today!
How to Care for a Hydrangea
Where to Plant
Depending on the variety of Hydrangea you need to make sure it is appropriate for your growing zone. Not sure which zone you live in? You can find out here.
Once you know your zone find the perfect spot around your home. Keep in mind hydrangeas prefer full sun in the morning, with some afternoon shade; however, many will grow and bloom in partial shade. This is especially true for the Bigleaf hydrangeas. They also need room to grow. You will need to space multiple hydrangeas about 3 to 10 feet apart.
Typically you plant hydrangeas in spring or fall. You want to dip a hole as deep as the root ball but twice as wide. They love rich moist soil, so add compost if necessary. Don't forget hydrangeas love water, so water them well to get them started.
What to Feed a Hydrangea
Don't become too worried about what to feed a hydrangea. Specially formulated hydrangea fertilizer is available but isn’t really necessary. A good all-purpose 12-4-8 to 10-10-10 composition will provide all the fertilizing hydrangeas need. Feed them in March before they start to gather their blooms. Remember don't feed around the trunk. Feed the hydrangeas around where the leaves would drip if it rained.
How to Prune a Hydrangea
Pruning a hydrangea is simple. You will want to deadhead or cut old blooms off once they die. When a hydrangea gets old and woody, it can produce smaller blooms. Regular removal of a few of the oldest canes at the soil line can keep the shrub vigorous, producing large and abundant flowers. The same method can keep a shrub from getting too tall by targeting the tallest canes for removal. In late winter or early spring, these shrubs can be cut all the way back to the ground. This will help them survive the winter and come back with bigger and better blooms the next Summer.
How Fast Do Hydrangeas Grow
Hydrangeas have been known to grow more than 2 feet a year! These will quickly fill a space. This is why you need to plant them with enough room to spread. Also, it may cause you to reconsider where you are planting your hydrangeas. Do a little research on your specific variety of hydrangea to see how big it will potentially grow.
Changing the Color of Your Hydrangeas
Hydrangeas are a unique flower because you can control the color of your blooms. Hydrangeas change color (except for the white ones) based on the pH level of their soil. The more alkaline the soil, the pinker the flowers. To make pink hydrangeas turn blue (or to keep your blue ones from turning pink), increase the acidity of the soil. A quick way to do that is to add some old coffee grounds to the soil. This will increase your acidity causing your blooms to turn bluer. Do you save your old coffee grounds? You should. There are a ton of uses for old coffee grounds.
Hopefully, all of these tips help you in planting and growing the perfect hydrangea for your yard. Learning how to care for a hydrangea is one of the first steps to a beautiful flower garden!