A native of southern and eastern Asia and America. Hydrangea symbolizes heartfelt emotions. It was first discovered in Japan and comes from the Greek word ‘hydor ’meaning water and ‘angos’meaning jar or vessel. It is cup shaped and needs plenty of water. It is also called as hortensia.
They mostly grow in warm, moist places. They are perennial shrubs which produce beautiful, flowers. They grow upto 1 feet tall but as climbing vines they can reach 100feet tall. They are long lasting and are planted in spring or fall.
- Hydrangea plants are easy to care for.
- If planted in summer they require more water to establish root system.
- Most varieties thrive in full sun to partial shade as long as they get rich,moist and porous soil.
- Blooms and stems must be protected from wind and afternoon sun.
- Incorporate a lot of organic matter and a-slow-release-fertilizer for a good start.
- Water once a week or more if weather becomes hot.
- Hydrangeas require a lot of water and absorb the water quickly.
- Soil should be moist and well drained,for this watering should be done twice a day.
- Watering is better with a drip system or a soaker hose than a overhead sprinkler.
- Once established the hydrangea plant can thrive well in a rainfall and even in droughty weather.
- Water potted indoor hydrangeas need moist soil but should not be soggy as that will lead to root rotting.
- Hydrangeas need well drained soil.
- They survive in rich,porous and moist soil.
- The soil should contain 5% organic matter and compost material known as humus,they grow well with a higher level of compost material.
- Heavy clayey soils kills Hydrangeas.
- Organic materials like home grown compost,bagged compost and composted manure are good choices for their growth.
- Adjusting soil pH can shift flower colour.
- They need good sun but in the afternoon they require partial shade to flourish.
- Don’t keep them in the scorching sun.
- They bloom from early spring to late autumn.
- They grow in flowerheads(Corymbs and Pannicles)
- They flower for more than one season.
- Good pruning helps them bloom.
- They are the largest shrub species,reaching an average height and width of 15 and 12 feet respectively.
- It can reach upto 25ft height too.
- Once a year slow release chemical fertilizer is sufficient for growth of hydrangea.
- A natural fertilizer containing sulphur,compost and peat moss also works well for hydrangeas.
- They should not be heavily fertilized or they will be burnt.
- They should be lightly dressed with fast release fertilizer in March,May and July.
- Put it around the drip line of the branches and not the base.
- Powdery Mildewy,Leaf Spots,Rust and Botrytis Blight are diseases which affect hydrangeas.
- The root and rhizome of the plant are used as medicine.
- It is used in urinary tract infections.
- It is also used for hay fever.
Dr PREETI TALWAR