Each time I share a snippet of my front yard via my Instagram stories I receive an influx of DM's asking how I care for my hydrangeas and whether I can provide any tips and tricks.
So here is what I have learnt from growing hydrangeas over the past couple of years...
The bigger the pot the better. Hydrangeas require room to grow and establish each year. If the pot is too restricting you may have trouble keeping your plant alive.
Potted hydrangeas require daily watering during the warmer months. This may seem excessive however I found if I missed a day or two the flowers would wilt and the leaves would start to turn brown.
Hydrangeas need sunlight and shade. Position the pots in an area which will get a little sunlight however during those hot hours of the day make sure they are protected by the shade. The sun will burn the leaves and the flowers will wilt if they become too hot.
IN THE GROND HYDRANGEAS
Plant your hydrangeas in an area which receives both sunlight and shade. Mine have been positioned to receive sunlight in the morning and shade in the afternoon.
Water during the warmer months at least 3 times a week. You may find that on hot days the flowers will wilt however if you give them a nice drink at the end of the day they will come back looking just as fresh as they looked earlier that morning.
During the colder months watering is really only required if you live in an area that doesn't get a whole lot of rain. As I live in Melbourne I hardly water mine during the winter as it rains enough here to keep them alive.
Please don't be alarmed when all the leaves fall off during those colder months. This is normal and occurs each year. Your garden will look sparse however trust me when I say the plant will flourish again and double the size/thickness as it was the last season.
Don't be afraid to dead head (cut off the old flowers) when they turn brown. This triggers the Hydrangeas to stop producing seeds and instead put their energy toward root and foliage development. When the weather turns cold and the leaves start to turn brown I also peel these off so as you are basically left with a steam growing out of the ground.
DISPLAYING HYDRANGEAS IN A VASE
Hydrangeas can be difficult to keep fresh once cut and placed in a vase. I would recommend changing the water in the vase each day and snipping the end of the steam every second day. Please also place the vase in a cool spot. The cooler the room the longer the hydrangeas will last in the vase.
Currently there is a trend to display dried hydrangeas. I still haven't mastered drying them out to keep their colour. Mine seem to turn brown on the edges which obviously isn't a good look and end up in the compost bin.
When I purchased my hydrangeas I was very specific of the colour I wanted. White usually doesn't change colour however if you purchase blue, pink or purple hydrangeas there is always a possibility they could change colour due to the PH levels in the soil.
For blue hydrangeas, the soil should be acidic and have a pH level between 4.5 and 5.5. To increase the acidity of the soil, add iron sulfate or a soil acidifier near the base of the plant.
If you want your hydrangeas to be pink, you'll need to raise the PH level.
Now I don't consider myself someone who is an expert gardener. I'm just someone who likes the odd potter on the weekends. These tips and tricks hopefully will work for most however I recommend speaking with your local nursery where the professionals can assist you if you are having problems with your hydrangeas.