A plant such as bush hydrangea is well suited for decorating areas near private houses, as well as for creating a special atmosphere in various public gardens and parks. This plant is presented in various forms, but not all gardening lovers know how to plant, care and reproduce hydrangeas. All these and other nuances of the content on the site of such a representative of the flora will be discussed in detail in this article.
Types and their description
Bush hydrangea is divided into 3 varieties, such as paniculate, treelike and large-leaved. Each of the varieties of shrubs has a number of unique characteristics.
Panicled hydrangea is a very popular plant for decoration. Its height is from 3 to 3.5 m, but there are also shrubs that do not exceed 1 m in height. The shoots of such hydrangeas grow directly, and can also have a branching structure. The shape of the leaves of the shrub is oval, and the color is dark green.
The flowers themselves are small in size, but they form very large inflorescences reaching a length of 30 cm and having an elongated shape resembling a cone.
The flowering period of such hydrangea begins in mid-June, and ends in late October. The plant has a lot of flowers, while their hue may change over time, becoming more vibrant and saturated. Popular varieties of panicle hydrangea include Silver Dollar, Vanille Fraise, Pink Daymond.
No less attractive is the tree-like variety of hydrangea. The size of the bush reaches 3 m, with an annual growth rate of 20 to 25 cm. The shoots grow directly, the leaves on them are dark green, oval in shape and have long petioles. This species is characterized by a long flowering period, which ends in late autumn. The hue of the flowers is usually cream or white, and the inflorescences themselves are rounded.
Important advantages of this perennial plant are its resistance to frost, as well as its general simplicity of maintenance. Among the varieties of hydrangea tree-like, the most popular are “White Anna”, “Annabel”, “Invincible Spirit”, “Grandflora”.
Another outdoor decoration is such perennial bushes as large leaf hydrangea. Shrubs of three meters in the wild grow in a garden about 2 m high, and even smaller varieties of large-leaved type reach only 80 cm. As the name implies, large leafy plates are a characteristic feature of such bushes with strong crowns. Also, the shrub refers to deciduous.
As for flowering, it is for this species that a very large variety of colors is characteristic. In many ways, the soil composition in which hydrangea grows affects the shade. If you want a more intense tone of inflorescences, you should make the soil more acidic, and bushes growing in a neutral soil environment will have flowers in pastel shades. The shape of the inflorescences is either hemispherical or umbrella. The flowers at the same time grow quite large.
The process of planting hydrangea for gardening is a very important procedure, which is carried out in two stages. At the first stage, it is necessary to prepare and grow bush seeds at home, and at the second - to plant young plants in the garden. It is important to clearly follow a specific algorithm in these processes.
- At the end of autumn or the beginning of winter, seeds must be placed in plastic containers, the depth of which is at least 15 cm. The earth mixture at the same time consists of the following components, taken in certain proportions: 2 parts of turf land, humus and leaf land, and also one piece of peat and sand.
- After the soil is moistened and leveled in capacity, it is necessary to sow seeds. They do not need to be sprinkled, but you should cover the container with glass or film, and then place them in a place where the temperature is about 20 degrees Celsius.
- For 4-5 weeks, until the seeds have sprouted, the container should be ventilated daily, and also sprayed as necessary.
- As soon as a pair of cotyledon leaves is formed, it is necessary to transplant into another container, where the seedlings should be located at a distance of 3 to 4 cm from each other. Next, do not forget to moisten the soil composition in time.
- At the end of May, plant the seedlings in small pots. After some time, you can take them out into the air during the day, without putting them under open sunlight. In the evening, take the pots back to the room.
Ideally, hydrangeas are planted after 3 years. This period helps the bushes to gain leaf mass and strengthen the root system (taking into account the timely application of fertilizers, as well as cutting the buds).
Before planting the bush, which is carried out in late spring, it is necessary to prepare a hole in which hydrangea will grow. Its diameter should exceed depth, since the root system has a surface structure. For medium-sized seedlings, the optimal pit parameter is a depth of 40 cm and a diameter of 60 cm.
The made pit must be well moistened, and a day later, after the water is absorbed, a third of the depression is filled with an earthen nutrient mixture, which includes humus, sand, garden soil and peat. In the event of stagnation of water, 10 cm of the drainage layer is placed at the bottom of the pit.
Granular superphosphate will be an excellent fertilizer. A handful of this substance must be added to each pit.
Young hydrangeas need to be installed in the center of the pit, straighten the roots, and then make the earthen mixture so that the entire pit is filled. However, the root neck of the plant should remain at ground level.
After planting, water the hydrangeas well, introducing at least 1 bucket of water into the soil of each bush.
Sometimes seeds are preferred to be planted directly in open ground. In this case, at the beginning or middle of May, it is necessary to sift them in a high bed warmed by the sun. To prevent dispersal by wind, the seeds are covered with a thin sand layer. Dive is carried out at the same time as in the container. In winter, young hydrangeas are carefully sheltered, in the second year fertilizers can be applied to the soil, and in the third, young bushes become a permanent decoration of the garden, located in certain areas of it.
Hydrangea quickly adapts to the open ground, grows well, but will regularly delight you with its beauty only if certain procedures for caring for such a plant are followed.
- Since it is considered moisture-loving, it is advisable to mulch the soil so that it does not dry out. Mulching is done on previously plowed soil around the trunk using peat, hay, and also crushed bark of fruit trees. The mulch layer should have a thickness of 8-9 cm.
- Watering is carried out as the soil dries. But in hot weather, you should water the plant 2 times a week - at least 10 liters of water for each bush. At the same time, water hardness indicators should be small. The ideal option is rainwater. However, during the rainy season, stop watering so that the water does not stagnate in the soil.
- Shade the bush, because it does not tolerate exposure to direct sunlight. This should be taken care of even at the stage of planting a plant in open ground.
- In order for hydrangea to please you with abundant flowering, it is necessary to fertilize the soil in a timely manner. During the growing season, fertilizer is applied 1-2 times a month. In this case, nitrogen components are added before the buds are formed, and when they bloom, you should pay attention to potassium and potassium-phosphorus compounds.
- In winter, it is important to warm hydrangea. For this, bush branches need to be bent to the ground, tied up and covered with spruce branches or leaves. The roofing layer or film becomes the top layer of the shelter. If you are afraid to break the plant, then build a frame around it, fill the voids with leaves, and then use a film layer. At the same time, do not forget to shake off the snow from the covered bush in time so that the branches do not break off under its weight.
- When hydrangea reaches the age of older than 3-4 years, it should be pruned regularly. This process is optimally carried out in the spring after the kidneys are slightly swollen. In tree hydrangea, long stems are cut, which are located at the level of 3-4 buds.
In panicled hydrangea, last year's stems need to be shortened by a third, and in the large-leaved species, only every 4 stalk is trimmed. In addition, the plant should be rid of dried or damaged branches.
Hydrangea can be propagated independently. A popular way to do this is to use cuttings. You can cut them in the process of spring pruning, and it is also permissible to take annual cuttings in the summer. Further, the process is as follows:
- in pre-prepared containers add a substrate of peat and sand, taken in equal amounts;
- each stalk needs to be treated with a stimulant to form a root system;
- after the cuttings are rooted in the substrate, dripping;
- watering is carried out as the soil dries;
- for two years, the root system of young plants will strengthen and leaf mass will grow, while in winter they should be in a warm room.
Diseases and Pests
Hydrangea is a very disease-resistant plant, but among possible ailments, for example, downy mildew and gray rot are found. It is better to carry out preventive treatment of plants, and these troubles will not bother you. However, pests should pay special attention, since they pose a great threat to hydrangea. These parasites include:
- spider mites;
With insects attacking during the flowering period, it is difficult to cope with the help of chemicals and poisons, because they harm the flowering process itself. It is better to attract birds to the garden that will naturally help reduce the number of its unwanted inhabitants.
I often use hydrangea in landscape design, decorating gardens and public places. As examples, the following options for the location of the bushes:
- bushes planted in a row along the garden path give the landscape extra accuracy and at the same time dilute green shades;
- hydrangeas can be at equal intervals from each other, the space of which is filled with smaller garden flowers and bushes;
- placing a bush hydrangea at the entrance to the house is ideal: it will not go unnoticed, will make a pleasant impression on the guests and create a good contrast with the general landscape.
See below for proper hydrangea care.