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Growing hydrangeas

The hydrangea is an easy-to-grow, trouble-free plant that's big on impact.

hydrangeaIt's no wonder that hydrangeas are the top summer shrub in France. They appeal to the stylish French because they need very little attention to maintain their beautiful appearance.

Kiwis have come to appreciate hydrangeas enormously in recent years too, for much the same reasons. You can plant them, preferably in dappled shade, do little to them, apart from applying a bit of water during dry weather times, and sit back and admire their beauty. A comfy outdoor seat or a hammock among the hydrangeas creates a great place to retreat to on a balmy summer evening.

hydrangeaThe flowers of hydrangeas, of which there are great numbers if you plant a group, can be picked for indoor decoration too and they last superbly in water.

Liddle Wonder's range of hydrangeas is right up with the play in terms of new varieties (such as the New Zealand raised 'Trophy', which is a stunning white) as well as older varieties which have stood the test of time, such as 'Geoffrey Chadbund' and the charming lacecap variety 'Blue Wave'.

hydrangeaThe lacecaps have flat, lacy flower heads and are considered to have a more subtle beauty than the bigger flowered "moptop" kinds. But as with many things of a gardening nature, beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

Big drifts of hydrangeas are a great way of having an easy-care garden display that looks good all summer long.

Be sure to plant them in good soil, with fertiliser and compost, to get them off to a good start. In some soils (those that are alkaline) the blue flowered varieties may tend towards pink shades, while in others (those that are acid) the pinks and reds may take on blue tones.

Growing Hydrangea hydrangea

  • They're a vigorous, lush, easy-to-grow, trouble-free plant.

  • Grow in well-worked fertile soil.

  • They'll handle a little sun, but flowers last longest and develop best colour in shade; flower life is shortened in sunny conditions.

  • Feed with a general garden fertiliser late in autumn.
    hydrangeas
  • Flower colour is influenced by soil conditions. Blues are intensified by acid conditions, while alkaline soils favour pink and red shades.

  • Enhance pink shades by applying lime, encourage blue shades by applying ammonium sulphate or aluminium sulphate or an acid fertilser.

  • Prune to half size late in autumn, cutting to just above a pair of nodes, promoting flower next season and maintaining shape and vigour.

Liddle Wonder

Reproduced with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous website of  TVNZ News

The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH
 
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Last updated: September 9, 2004