Hydrangea paniculata: Bushes bloom on new growth, and do not require pruning…all my fellow lazy gardeners welcome! All require full sun for the best and biggest blooms.
Hydrangea quercifolia: These blooom on stems that were grown the year prior, so don’t prune hard in winter or spring as you will lose the next year’s flowers! Prune minimally, and only immediately after flowers are spent.
Many people believe that can grow in full shade, however many perform best in full sun, and others prefer full morning sun with afternoon shade.
All seem to thrive in rich soil that has been amended with organic ingredients such as compost, leaves, or well composted manure. The soil should be amended prior to planting your hydrangea, and the area should be mulched upon completion to help keep the plant hydrated.
Hydrangeas do like soil that is consistently moist, however the soil should be well drained…these plants would not do well if left to sit in soggy conditions. During the hot, dry summer months, be sure to water your hydrangea to maintain a moist environment.
You’ll know if your hydrangea needs water if the leaves are droopy or wilt. Hydrangea plants generally make a full recovery upon receiving a good watering if they have become a bit on the dry side.
Unless your hydrangea is planted in a container, and this is not recommended for most varieties, fertilization is not required and could in fact produce excessive green growth, jeopardizing the flower production.
All bloom on either “old” wood or “new” wood, and some even bloom on both! (although this is rare)
Old wood is wood that was grown the previous season, and new wood is the current season’s growth. This is important to know as it will guide your pruning habits.
Hydrangeas that bloom on old wood should be pruned minimally immediately after it has bloomed. Shortly after the blooming period, the hydrangea bush will begin preparing for the following season’s blooms. If you wait too long to prune, for example pruning in fall or winter, you could lose the following season’s flowers.
Many people practice incorrect pruning practices on their and wonder why they do not get any flowers….this could be the reason!
Hydrangeas that bloom on new wood may not require much pruning with the exception of the tips, and others can be pruned heavily in winter to early spring.
Dead or diseased branches should be removed at any time.
With regards to the colored blooms, such as blue or pink, there may be a desire to alter the pH of the soil. A soil with a lower pH will produce a blue flower, while a higher pH will produce a pink flower.
It seems that whatever your soil condition is, you will probably want the opposite color. My soil easily produces pink blossoms, and of course I prefer the blue. I’ve heard of others that easily produce blue blossoms, and long for the pink.
Personally, I’m working on accepting the conditions that I have been blessed with to avoid the hassle of adjusting the soil’s pH balance. The pH balance does not seem to have an affect on the hydrangeas that produce white blooms.
Hydrangeas are generally quite winter hearty, and I personally have not provided them with any extra protection other than a healthy layer of mulch around the roots. The biggest problem with cold weather and frost comes with the possibility of a late frost in spring…a late frost can affect the current season’s blooms if the hydrangea blooms on old wood.
For more information on this landscaping bush, including pictures of full grown plants, please visit NC State University’s Cooperative Extension.
These bushes should be planted in spring or fall, ideally when they are NOT in bloom. This will give the plants more opportunity to establish themselves.
Smarty Plants will be selling 1 year old Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora’ and Hydrangea paniculata ‘Tardiva’ plants in early fall 2015! Once these bushes are ready for shipment, they will be listed on this site, along with pictures of their current size.
Eventually we will add Hydrangea macrophylla ‘All Summer Beauty’ and Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ and the Climbing Hydrangea to the mix as well!
Thank you for visiting and please come again soon for more information!
If you like what you see, please ‘like’ us on Facebook!