Hydrangea

This post, “Hydrangea” was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

As a child, I always was fond of my mother’s hydrangeas.  She had the big mophead type from cuttings that my  grandmother had made for her.  Even on hot summer days, the big, green leaves always felt cool, and the large clusters of pink flowers reminded me of bridesmaids’ bouquets.

 

Today, in my garden, I have not only pink mopheads but also white.  I also have pink, blue, and white lacecaps hydrangeas, as well as an oakleaf. 

 

 

This afternoon, I saw where one mophead is starting to show color.  Mophead hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) is the most popular.  Except for the white ones, a hydrangea can be blue or pink depending on the ph of the soil.  Some of mine are showing up a light purple as I try to move their color from pink to blue.  My hubby likes the blue ones, and I like the pink ones, so I try and have some of each.  If you are interested in how to change the colors of hydrangeas here is great info.

 

I have easily propagated hydrangeas.  In the summer, after they have bloomed, I usually trim them back.  I use the trimmings to make more plants.  I take about a five inch cutting (cutting just below a leaf node) and remove all but the top two big leaves.  After dipping the end in rooting hormone, I place it in potting soil and place in the shade.  Now some people place these in plastic bags and keep moist, but I think that may get too hot in the plastic bag down here in our hot summers.  So, I just water well and make sure they stay moist.  Last time I did this, I used the mist setting on the hose nozzle and misted the cuttings about twice a day.  In about three weeks or so, the cuttings should be rooted.  I keep the cuttings in pots and protected in the winter, and then just plant them in the ground.

 

Another way to propagate hydrangeas is to lay a branch on the ground and cover it with soil.  If kept watered, it will root in place.  When it is about one year old, it can be removed from the mother plant and placed elsewhere.  I have had this done when a workman stepped on one, and the branch just started rooting on its own.  I just added some soil on top, Mother Nature took over, and soon I had a two foot plant for free.

 

Hydrangeas do best with morning sun and afternoon shade.  They need moist, well-drained soil.  I usually have to water mine often esp. in the summer because of our hot climate.  In the south, the more sun they receive the more water they will need.

 

When my lacecaps start blooming, I’ll post about them, too.

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6 Comments

  1. May 5, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    They are pretty. I had a very old white one in front of the victorian we had in New England.

    They have a big problem on CapeCod with hydrangeas. They are so popular as dried flowers in the fall back home they go for $25 a flower. This makes them a high theft item. Gardeners along Cape Cod wake to find they blossoms have been raided in the night.

  2. Jan said,

    May 6, 2008 at 4:25 am

    How awful, Linda. I can’t believe people would do that. I think I would be tempted to grow a thorny vine through the plants. It is such a shame when you do not get to enjoy your garden plants.
    The white hydrangea is my personal favorite.

  3. Nancy Bond said,

    May 6, 2008 at 7:26 am

    Hydrangeas have such enchanting blooms — they almost look like delicate rice paper. And the colors are outstanding. Someday, when I have more room, they’ll be on my Must Have list. 🙂

  4. Phillip said,

    May 6, 2008 at 10:46 am

    I have quite a few hydranges – close to 100 I’d guess – and every year I say that I’m going to try and root some. Thank you for the tips on how to do it. I think I’ll try it this year. I did do the ground rooting method one year and it was successful. The limbs though are not always limber enough to do it.

  5. Brenda Kula said,

    May 6, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    I knew about tugging a branch of the plant into the dirt and letting it root. But I did not know about just clipping and using hormone. They are such lovely, feminine flowers. Thanks!
    Brenda

  6. Jan said,

    May 6, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    Nancy, hydrangeas grow well in containers if you don’t have space in your garden. Just a thought.

    Phillip, I am planting more hydrangeas this year. So far I have put in ten, all that I rooted. I have a lot left that I still want to plant. I don’t think I have enough room to have as many as you.

    Brenda, I hope you get the chance to try rooting some cuttings. It is so easy.


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