Hydrangeas are old fashioned beautiful garden showpiece flowers that come in over a 100 varieties. In the spring the bush produces an abundance of large globe flowers that last into summer. Blossom color will range from blue to pink depending upon the type of soil the bush grows within. Soil that contains a heavy amount of aluminum sulfate makes the soil acidic and will render blue blossoms. Soil lacking aluminum renders the soil alkaline which makes the flowers pink. Expert cultivators of the flower can manipulate the soil to render whatever color blossoms they desire. The white hydrangea stays white no matter what soil the bush resides within. Blossoms make wonderful cut flowers or easily dried for arrangements.
Plant hydrangeas in partial shade. Choose a location that offers morning sun and afternoon shade.
Supplement the soil by adding two parts peat moss, one part cow manure and one part basic garden soil. Work the organic matter throughout the soil by hand. Keep the hydrangea moist but not wet.
Apply a 3- to 4-inch mulch layer around hydrangeas to help water retention and prevent weeds. Use peat moss, bark chips, pine needles or sawdust for mulch.
Fertilize in June with a well balanced slow release all purpose fertilizer such as an 8-8-8 mix. Apply a 1/2 cup to a small plant that is less then 12 inches and 1 to 2 cups for a larger plant. Sprinkle fertilizer 2 inches from the base of the shrub and lightly fan out toward the plant's drip line.
Prune the hydrangea in the spring by removing all old wood and dead flower heads using hand-held bypass pruning shears or loppers. Never remove new growth.