In the garden- Growing and caring for hydrangeas

August 9, 2017

Hydrangeas are a beautiful, classic flower, they have it all for me and always remind me of the ladies swimming caps in the 1960’s with the flowers on. {Remember them?)


They bring great colour, structure and flowers that last in the ground or in the vase and look great dried. You can get lots of different varieties such as climbing, lace cap (flatter, smaller flower heads) and mop head (large round flower heads).


{This years lace cap Hydrangeas}

They are one of my favourite summer plants but can be quite temperamental and need more attention than other summer perennials. They can grow in a variety of places in the garden but need a sunny or semi-shady spot in good, fertile soil that drains well. If you have a heavy clay soil you might find it harder to grow hydrangeas.  I have been growing them in my garden for 4 years now. 


The first hydrangea was a cutting from my Nan's garden given to me by my Mom. It is a lovely blue mop-head variety that gives wonderful huge blooms and adds a lot of character to our garden.


There are typically three colours of flower, white through to pink, darker crimson pinks and purples to blue. All colours depend on the ph level of the soil. The blue hydrangea needs a ph. level of 6.5 of lower to get a great blue colour and pink varieties need a soil that is neutral ph. 7.0 or higher for a pretty pink colour. Scientific or what?! 


{This years mop head Hydrangea- my Nan's and my favourite}

The age of your hydrangea also can affect the flower colour, some varieties make take 2 or 3 years to settle and find their shade. 




Here are my tips on caring for your hydrangeas:

Hydrangea not flowering?
This is a common problem with hydrangeas, especially the big leaf types (lace cap and mop head hydrangeas). If your plant is lush and green then that’s good news but it’s not what you want from a hydrangea. The good news is once you find out what the problem is there is a way to bring those big beautiful blooms back to flower.

What could be stopping my hydrangea from flowering?
Cold or frost damage- harsh winters, late frosts and snow are not the hydrangeas friends. They need protection during the cold winters which can prevent them from not flowering at all in the following summer.

Pruning at the wrong time- If you prune them or severely cut back to the wood part then they will not flower. Timing is everything and in my experience of growing hydrangeas the last few years I would not cut my plant after August at all. Leave well alone until the spring.

If you do prune in the autumn then this will result in having lots of green leaves but no flowers.

Shade and water- all types of Hydrangea’s love a bit of shade but too much will give you lots of green leaves but no flowers, they like a sunny spot ideally sun in the morning and cooler shadier spot in the afternoon when there is full sun. 

If your hydrangea bloomed once and you haven’t done anything different, if could be the lack of sunlight. Watering your plant too much or keeping it too dry will also cause lack of flowers. 


Let me know if you have any other questions?


Love Blunty x 

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