Hydrangea bushes are perennial bushes with large heads of flower blooms that flourish throughout the summer. With over 1,200 varieties of hydrangeas, they come in several colors including pink, white, purple and blue lilac. From spring to fall, hydrangeas have pretty foliage and grow from 3 to 10 feet tall. The hydrangea loses its leaves in the fall.
Hydrangea bushes are not difficult to grow, and can be placed in partial shade or full sun. If you live in hot areas like the Southwest or South, place them in a shadier area so they don't wilt or get burned. Plant in rich loamy soil in a place that drains well, like a slanted hill. They need a lot of moisture to grow. Add rich compost when you plant the hydrangea, and mulch the hydrangea bush yearly. This helps replenish moisture, minerals and nutrients. Irrigating the hydrangea will help it stay lush with large flowers.
You can change the color of your hydrangea blooms. Their color depends on the nutrients and condition of the soil the bush is planted in. The pH level of the soil changes the plant's chemical balance, managing the intake of the micro-nutrients. If the hydrangea is planted in soil with high acidic levels rich in aluminum, the blooms will be more blue. Soils with less aluminum produce white blooms, while neutral soil produces purple. Alkaline soil produces pink flowers. If you want to change the color, all you have to do is add some minerals. If you want the soil to be less acidic, add lime minerals. For more acidity, add aluminum sulfate.
Half-way through summer the hydrangea bush will begin to bloom. When it starts blooming, remove the first smaller buds to encourage more flower growth. For bigger and more lush blooms, prune out some of the thinner branches and blooms. The best time to prune the hydrangea is in late winter to early spring.