Helpful Tips for Healthy Hydrangeas
Hydrangea varieties differ in their preference for light conditions – from sun to partial shade – making the plant a perfect blooming addition to any garden. Before choosing the right variety for the garden, identify the space and determine the light condition. Full sun is more than six hours of sunlight; partial sun is three to six hours of sunlight; and partial shade is three to six hours of sunlight with no direct afternoon sunlight. Next, green thumbs should determine how large the plant can grow in that space, as hydrangea varieties differ in size. Once these factors are determined, visit the local garden experts at Pike Nurseries for help in selecting the perfect hydrangea assortment!
Success is in the Soil
Although these shrubs with old fashioned charm can tolerate most soils, they tend to favor rich, porous soils. If the planting site has lighter or sandier soil, feed the hydrangeas fertilizer once a year during spring or winter to encourage a strong root system and healthier foliage.
Finding the right soil is important for more than just a healthy hydrangea – it can also change the color of the flowers! The pH balance in the soil will determine the color that hydrangeas produce. For a bright blue, choose an acidic soil that has a pH balance of less than 5.5 or add sulfur and peat moss to the soil. If a garden needs a dash of color, passionate pinks can be found in soils with a pH greater than 5.5 or achieve this color by adding ground limestone around the plant. The pros recommend waiting at least two years after planting to allow the hydrangea to recover from transplant shock. Remember to be patient with these popular shrubs – color correction can take weeks!
The key to a happy and healthy hydrangea is to water just the right amount. Thoroughly soak the soil at time of planting and always water the soil directly rather than watering the leaves. The prized plants prefer their soil to be moist, but not too wet or it will cause the roots to drown or rot. To better conserve water and make sure the hydrangea is getting the right amount of water, water in the morning before 10 a.m. to prevent rapid evaporation.
Green thumbs seeking more hands-on tips are encouraged to visit select Pike Nurseries store locations May 2, 3, and 5 for a FREE All About Hydrangeas class to learn about the different numerous varieties of hydrangeas as well as how to best care for and prune this classic shrub.
The professionals at Pike Nurseries have all the expert advice for planting gorgeous hydrangeas! For more information and care tips, please visit your local Pike Nurseries location or visit pikenursery.com/hydrangeas.