How to Take Care of Hydrangeas
image by Pingu1963: Flickr.com
Hydrangea is a genus of flowering shrubs native to North America, South America and Asia. Most species grow to about 3 meters in height, and produce flowers that come in one of two styles--mophead and icecap. Mophead flowers resemble pom-poms, while icecaps are flat and round. Hydrangeas can be either evergreen or deciduous, and require only minimal care to cultivate in temperate regions.
Plant hydrangeas in a location that receives direct sunlight in the morning, and shade in the afternoon. Spread a balanced fertilizer over the soil prior to planting to increase nutrients. Water thoroughly to dissolve the fertilizer into the soil.
Water hydrangeas twice a week early in the morning to allow the sun to evaporate any excess moisture. Soak the soil surrounding the plants thoroughly to make up for the large amounts of moisture released by their leaves.
Feed hydrangeas using a balanced 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer in the months of March, May and July. This will provide them with plenty of nutrients and encourage the growth of flowers. Apply following the manufacturer's directions for proper dosage.
Spread 1 to 2 inches of organic mulch around hydrangeas to conserve moisture, reduce the growth of weeds and add additional nutrients to the soil. Use shredded cedar, as it will also reduce the number of pests that plague hydrangeas.
Prune hydrangeas in late July, after the flowers have begun to bloom. Use pruning shears to cut off any dead or dying branches to allow the plants to focus on new growth. Remove any dead flowers to prevent seeding and increase the production of more flowers.