In the Garden Blog
Cincinnati's Garden Blog
Are you wondering, How to Care for your Hydrangea?
Natorp’s hydrangea growers provide their expert advice from growing over thirty different types of hydrangeas in Cincinnati soils.
Most will do best in morning sun and afternoon shade, or filtered sun, especially for flowering. Some will perform in full sun.
Plant your hydrangeas using the same soil from the hole, but lightly amending with compost, pine soil conditioner, etc. Be sure to mulch over the root system of the hydrangeas to keep those roots cool, help preserve good soil moisture, and add organic matter back to the soil
They prefer good even moisture with well-drained and loamy soils. IMPORTANT: Make sure not to overwater.
Besides adding soil pH adjusters and adding aluminum if needed, a mid to late spring feeding with an all-purpose fertilizer works for most hydrangeas, or by adding a slow-release fertilizer in the spring such as Osmocote. A light fall feeding after leaves fall is okay as well. Do not overfeed.
Transplant your plant during the dormant season. New plantings can be done anytime during the growing season.
What effects your hydrangeas color?
The colors of the hydrangea flowers will range in intensity due to many reasons: variety, weather conditions, plant’s health, etc. For those macrophylla / Serrata hydrangeas that flower pink or blue, pink flowers are in alkaline soils and blue in acidic soils. Sprinkling lime around the plant seasonally will increase alkalinity (upper 6 and into 7pH), and reduce the availability of aluminum which causes blue flowers. Adding aluminum sulfate, soil sulfur, cottonseed meal, coffee grounds, Hollytone, etc., throughout the season will help to lower the pH to low 6. Adding aluminum sulfate helps lower pH and adds aluminum, but be careful using it. Water well in advance of adding aluminum sulfate, and use it sparingly and over multiple applications, not just once.
What to do if your hydrangea is wilting
During hot days, newly planted and established hydrangeas will sometimes wilt. If it wilts during the heat of the day but recovers by late evening or in the morning, it means it can’t take up enough water to replenish what is lost during the day. It typically stops as the season progresses. Be sure the soil has good even moisture, but do not overwater.
How do you prune hydrangeas?