This spring, I posted photos on Instagram of freshly cut hydrangeas from my garden and received a lot of questions about how to care and grow them. I originally planted 12 Nico Blue hydrangeas nine years ago in the front garden bed. At the time the bed was about half the width as it is now and it didn’t have anything but a small palm that I removed when I widened the bed before planting. I purchased the hydrengeas at Target, back when Target had a garden center, and they had one bloom on a stem per plant with a couple of leaves and cost $2.99 per plant. At the time I planted these, my front yard was full sun that was a little too intense and the first few years the bushes did get burned but over time the front of my house has become more shaded as the trees around my house have grown in size and I now have more of desirable area for them and they do much better throughout the hot summer months. In the nine years since I’ve planted them they have grown from one blossom and 8″ high to hundreds of blooms to close to 6 feet tall! Here are my tips for growing hydrangeas ~
- Water every other day. Water the roots only, I don’t water the leaves or the blooms as that can set the plant get burnt by the sun. I flood the front bed with water and let the water seep into the roots of the plant. I think this might be why my plants have done so well and have grown so tall.
- When cutting blooms for vases, cut 12″-15″ below the bloom and clip above a leaf cluster and use clippers that are sturdy and made for woodier stems. Do not use scissors since that will not result in a clean cut. I clip as many blooms as I like, it doesn’t seem to effect the amount of blooms the next year.
- In the late fall, you’ll need to tend to and clean up the plants. Clip off all dead blooms and remove any leaves that may still be on the plant, leaving the bare canes long. Clean up the base of the plant by removing leaves and debris that may have collected at the root of the plant. With garden clippers remove canes that are old, dead or diseased. Don’t clip off all canes, only those that aren’t healthy anymore.
- After pruning and cleaning up the plants, fertilize with a fertilizer that is specific for hydrangeas and high in acidity. If the colors of the blooms aren’t the color that you desire, you can change that with the acidity of the soil.
That’s it! I keep it as simple as I can and it’s paid off with prolific blooms.