Hydrangea macrophylla, also known as French hydrangea, is an ornamental shrub prized for its large, colorful flowers. Hydrangea macrophylla blossoms form in large clusters in colors of pink or blue, depending on the acidity of the soil. The plant is commonly used as a border shrub because of its compact growth habit, but is easily integrated into any garden location. The hydrangea macrophylla plant is easy to grow and adds a burst of color to any landscape.
Plant hydrangea macrophylla in a location that receives bright morning sun and partial afternoon shade when temperatures peak. Choose a location with fertile, well-drained soil. Space hydrangea macrophylla plants 3 to 4 feet apart to allow room for growth.
Spread a 3-inch layer of chopped leaves over the soil surrounding hydrangea macrophylla to suppress weeds and increase moisture retention. Allow 2 to 3 inches between the mulch and the base of the hydrangea to allow adequate air circulation.
Water hydrangea macrophylla plants once every five days during the first two months of growth to help the roots become established. Reduce the frequency of watering to once every week thereafter to keep the soil consistently moist.
Feed hydrangea macrophylla once per month during spring, summer and fall. Use a balanced 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer according to the directions on the package for proper application and dosage. Water both before and after fertilizing to prevent root burn.
Prune your hydrangea macrophylla plant in late fall as soon as flowering has ended. Use pruning shears to remove any excessively long, dead or damaged branches to help the plant conserve nutrients and increase aesthetic appeal.