Hydrangeas are lovely as single, flowering plants. They also work well planted in mass -- as shrubs or flowering trees. They can be used as a border or as a hedge. With over 100 different species, in addition to many subspecies and cultivars, it is very difficult to give specific planting and growing instructions. Hydrangeas come in a wide variety of sizes, cold hardiness and flower types. The plant most reminiscent of what grew in our grandparent's yards is the "Pee Gee Hydrangea." The flowers on this much-loved hydrangea are between six and eight inches long and make for a graceful shaped tree or shrubs. This article will not only teach you about planting hydrangeas, it will also help you learn how to grow and care for your beautiful plants.
Here are some gardening tips for how to plant hydrangeas outdoors:
- If you are new to the world of growing hydrangeas, you can easily check out the appearance of different species online. This will familiarize you with the different kinds and varieties so when you purchase you will know what you're looking for. One of the most important tips when purchasing hydrangeas, is to buy plants that are in bloom. This will guarantee that you know exactly what you are getting and that you will be happy with it. If you buy one that is not in bloom, make sure it has a picture of the flower attached to it. Otherwise, ask an employee to show you a picture.
- The best time of year to plant hydrangeas is in the autumn. However, if you have purchased them from your local home and garden center,feel free to plant at any time of the year. Take caution though, when planted in the hottest part of the summer and the very early spring they may not thrive.
- When choosing a location for your plant, you should choose one that gets the morning sun and afternoon shade. Avoid planting near or under large trees.
- Hydrangeas love water. They prefer to be planted in soil that is very rich. To keep the soil moist, add organic matter to it.
- You should dig your planting hole to twice the diameter of the root ball. You should dig the hole so that once planted, it will be at the same level in the ground as it was in its container.
- Before you place your hydrangea into its hole, you should loosen the soil around the outside of the root ball. This will help the roots to spread more easily once it is planted.
- Place your hydrangea into its hole. Backfill the hole with soil and pack it down with your foot. To rid the soil of air pockets you should water it well.
- Add a layer of mulch to your newly planted hydrangea. This will help the soil to conserve moisture.
- Fertilize in the spring, around May. Choose a slow-releasing fertilizer. If your hydrangea looks ill or distressed, do not fertilize it.
- Spring is also the time when you should cut back old growth. Be careful that you do not cut off any new shoots when pruning hydrangeas.
- You should also prune very late in the summer after the hydrangea has finished blooming. If your hydrangea starts to have too many flower clusters, you can thin the plant down.