Plant of the month September – Hydrangea

Hydrangeas are very popular garden shrubs with delicate heads of flowers in shades of pink, white or blue and pretty autumn colour and leaf shape. Mophead and lace-cap hydrangeas are valued for their ability to change colour in different soils.

​Hydrangeas were originally native plants of southern and eastern Asia (China, Japan, Korea, the Himalayas, and Indonesia) and the Americas.

Hydrangeas are quite versatile as they can be grown as large specimen shrubs but can also work well in container planting displays.​

Hydrangea flowers can be dried and used as long lasting decoration in floristry.​

At Morris's we stock a lovely range of hydrangeas​.

Planting tips​

  • Most hydrangeas thrive in rich, porous, somewhat moist soils. Add compost to enrich poor soil.
  • They prefer full sun in the morning, with some afternoon shade; however, many will grow and bloom in partial shade.
  • Plant in Autumn or Spring.
  • Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and 2 to 3 times as wide.
  • Set the plant in the hole and fill it half full with soil. Water. After water is drained, fill the rest of the hole with soil.
  • Water thoroughly and dont' allow newly planted hydrangeas to dry out.
  • Space multiple hydrangeas about 3 to 10 feet apart.

Flower colour

It all depends on the soil. Those with blue or pink flowers tend to be blue in acid soil conditions (high available aluminium levels), mauve in acid to neutral soil conditions, and pink in alkaline conditions. To get the best flower colour, choose cultivars that give the best colours for the pH in question.

White flowers, and also green-flowered cultivars, remain white or green regardless of soil pH.

Keeping your blue hydrangea blue​ might prove difficult in open ground where it can be more difficult to control soil conditions. Planting in a container using ericaceous compost should help retain the blue colour.

Pruning​

​Shrubs like hydrangeas flower from mid to late summer on the previous year's growth. Mophead and lacecap hydrangeas will bloom satisfactorily with little attention, but regular pruning encourages new, vigorous growth that can produce a better display. Likewise, other species, including the climbing hydrangea, will benefit from a trim.

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