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Hortensia is a beautiful garden flowers with fluffy multi-colored caps. They are represented by several species: according to the type of shrubs up to 3 m high, small trees and lianas, which can braid the tree up to 30 m in height. The hydrangea will be blossomed from spring to frost, delighting with its globular inflorescences. However, there are species that have less time.
Rules for planting hydrangeas
You can plant a hydrangea in the early spring or fall. In this case, the first option will be preferable. For hydrangeas it is necessary to choose the correct landing site. She prefers acidic soil with good moisturizing. As for the illumination, these flowers can feel comfortable in the sun and in the penumbra.
The entire planting process can be divided into several stages:
- It is necessary to excavate a pit 40 - 50 cm deep and 40 cm in diameter. If the bushes or processes of the hydrangea are small, it can be done a little less.
- Now we need to prepare a soil mixture consisting of fertile soil, humus and peat. It is desirable to add to it 50 g of mineral fertilizer. If possible, this mixture is left in the pit for 15 to 30 days. If the soil in the place of planting is rich and fertile, then the plant can be planted immediately into it without any preliminary preparation.
- The prepared seedling should be placed in the center of the planting pit so that its root neck is not deeply buried. Around the plant should be carefully covered with soil and tampered, so that the roots were well pressed and near them there was no emptiness.
- Planted bush should be watered abundantly. It is desirable to additionally sprinkle soil on top with sawdust, bark or peat.
After planting a hydrangea bush, it is better to cover it from sunlight for several days. This will allow the plant to start faster. Plant hydrangeas can be either alone or in groups. The distance between the bushes should be about 1 meter.
Basic rules for hydrangea care
Care for hydrangeas comes primarily to proper watering, timely fertilizing, pruning and loosening. If you do everything right, the bushes will be magnificent, and the inflorescences large and bright.
Hortensia is a water-loving plant that requires frequent watering. It should be abundant in 15 - 20 liters for each adult bush. In hot weather, you need to do this once a week. In a hot and dry summer, watering can be increased up to two times a week. To be guided while doing this is necessary on the condition of the soil, considering how quickly it absorbs moisture and dries.
For irrigation, it is best to use standing soft water at room temperature. Periodically, it needs to add a little bit of potassium permanganate, which will prevent the appearance of rot. Water hydrangeas should be in the morning or evening, when it is not too hot.
For good development and lush flowering hydrangeas need to be fed. For this, both organic and mineral fertilizers are suitable. It is especially important to use them during the period of intensive growth. You can buy ready-made fertilizers, which are rich in magnesium and iron. A good composition is fertilizing in the form of a solution of bird droppings with water in the ratio: 0 in combination with the mineral composition of 20 g of superphosphate, 10 g of saltpeter and 10 g of urea. Use as a fertilizer can and any slurry, only observe the measure, otherwise the buds will be too large, because of what fragile branches can break.
Fertilize the hydrangea is necessary not only during planting, but periodically as it grows. The first such fertilizing should be done at the end of May. In two weeks it should be repeated. You can fertilize the flowers throughout the summer, but in August it is desirable to stop feeding so that the shoots can be lignified by the winter.
Thanks to the mulching of the root cane, the hydrangeas roots will be protected from overheating and rapid growth of weeds. You must first make an organic mulch, consisting of wood chips or peat. It should be sprinkled evenly around the bush. This will help make the soil more acidic, which is what hydrangeas need. This mulch will gradually become part of the soil.
To bring mulch under bushes is best in the late spring, when the soil is well warmed up. It is also possible to mulch in late autumn, when negative temperatures occur. Periodically the bushes need to be loosened so that the soil is more moisture-permeable.
Pruning is done on plants that have reached the age of 3 - 4 years. This should be done in the early spring - before the sap flow and budding begin. If the procedure is performed too early, the cuttings will not be suitable for further rooting, and if too late, the plant may die. That's why it's important to trim when the kidneys just start swelling.
When pruning in adult plants, cut with a secateter of 3/4 the height of each shoot. At the same time, they should have 2 to 3 pairs of kidneys. Old bushes can be updated to the root. Everything will depend on the state of the bush or tree. Cut must and old or frozen shoots. During pruning, you can form a beautiful small tree with a certain shape. In the first year of hydrangea growth, its flowers should be removed, because this will contribute to a more abundant flowering next year.
Preparing hydrangeas for winter
Hortensia refers to heat-loving plants, so it should be kept in the winter season. Special protection is required for young shoots and insufficiently hardy varieties. If the bush is very young, you can simply fall asleep on top of the earth, fallen leaves or sawdust. Plants older should be bent to the ground and covered with roofing material or lutrasilom. That the wind does not blow it off, you need to press the covering material with bricks.
Adult bushes require more careful shelter. We must try not to break them. The bush should be tied up, and then covered with spunbond or lutrasil, after which a wire frame made of metal mesh or other improvised materials can be built around it. It should be at a distance of about 20-25 cm from the bush. Free space must be filled with dry foliage. Such a warmed frame will protect the hydrangea well even in severe frosts. It can be removed in the spring, when there is a stable plus temperature.
Reproduction of Hydrangeas
Hortensia is propagated in several ways:
- Cuttings. Reproduction in this way is best done in the middle of spring or early summer. One-year lateral shoots should be used as billets. They should be about 10-12 cm in length. Cuttings must be cut at right angles. From below they need to remove the leaves.To root the cuttings, you need to prepare the soil. For this, a light substrate consisting of fertile soil, peat and sand is used.In it, you need to plant cuttings, placing them at an angle. Each individual plant should be 5 cm apart. It takes about a month to root the shoots.
- By dividing the bush. You can breed both in spring and in autumn. For this, the plant must be excavated and divided into several parts in such a way that each individual bush has a bud of renewal. After that, the plant just landed in prepared places.
- Layers. For the reproduction of hydrangeas by layers, young shoots should be identified, which will not be more than a year. They should be bent to the ground and prikopat so that the top remains a small apex of 20 cm. The next year the shoot will take root and it can be separated from the main bush and planted in another place.
- Seeds. This is a rather troublesome process, so this method of reproduction is rarely used. Seeds need to be grown at home. To do this, they are put in pots and only lightly sprinkled with sand. They need to be watered and fertilized often as they grow.
Popular types of hydrangeas
Before planting a hydrangea, you need to decide on the appropriate species. Each of them has its own growing characteristics, which must be taken into account when planting and care. The most popular among gardeners are: Hortensia large-leaved, Hydrangea paniculate, Hydrangea petiolate, Hydrangea dendritic.
Will please the flowering in July-August. This hydrangea has a bright dense foliage. The shoots of the current year look herbaceous, because of what the plant has a low cold resistance. The flowers are umbrella shaped. They can have a different color depending on the variety, the intensity of which depends on the acidity of the soil. The more acid it is, the brighter the hydrangea will be. The height of the bush reaches up to 2 m.
Hydrangea paniculata Hydrangea paniculata
Blossoms from the middle of summer to the onset of cold weather. Inflorescences of this kind have a pyramidal shape. They can reach a length of up to 30 cm. The panicle hydrangea grows in the form of a shrub which can reach a height of 5 m or in the form of a small tree up to 10 m. This species is considered to be more frost-resistant and unpretentious.
Hortensia petiolaris (Hydrangea petiolaris)
It is a shrubby liana. It will require additional support, to which it will be attached by air suckers. In length it grows to 25 m. It is a suitable view for planting near arches and arbors. Inflorescences have a corymbose shape up to 25 cm in size.
It grows up to 3 meters in height. Flowers are predominantly white or cream colored. There are several varieties of this species, differing in different colors. In winter, the plant can freeze, so it must be carefully wrapped. In April, the bushes need to be severely cut. Flowers grow in the form of large fluffy inflorescences.
Hydrangea ground cover (Hydrangea heteromalla)
It is also called the hydrangea of Bretschneider. This species is considered frost-hardy and unpretentious. The bush reaches 2 - 3 m in height. Inflorescences here are corymbose. First they have a white color, and at the end of flowering they become pink. Blooms such a hydrangea in the middle of summer.