For some years now, however, the garden hydrangea has been experiencing a brilliant renaissance, because with its large white, blue, pink or purple flowers it brings a romantic flair to the landscape. Since it also cuts a fine figure as a container plant, it often adorns terraces, balconies and house entrances. It does not make high demands in terms of its care, so that the ambitious hobby gardener, who observes the following tips and advice, will reap a lot of admiring glances for his magnificent garden hydrangea.
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When the combination of location and soil quality is right, the farmer’s hydrangea feels most at home. It prefers a place in the wind-protected penumbra; But it doesn’t take it particularly badly when the shadow predominates. In the blazing midday sun, it may have its problems, but only if it is not sufficiently watered. The ideal soil for a stately growing garden hydrangea is fresh, nutrient-rich and humus. Depending on the variety, the pH of the potting soil determines the color of the flowers. For example, a pH of 4 is required if the popular blue color is to be achieved. If the value is higher, purple, pink or red flowers usually appear. However, this does not apply to farmer hydrangeas with white flowers.
Garden hydrangeas are very thirsty plants. Therefore, water plays a major role in the proper care of these ornamental plants. Those who take the following care instructions to heart will be rewarded with decorative farmer’s hydrangeas:
- water abundantly;
- give water mornings and evenings in summer;
- Rainwater is better than tap water;
- Avoid the formation of waterlogging at all costs;
- regularly supply with nitrogen-containing complete fertilizer;
- do not use blue grain fertilizer;
- fertilizer containing phosphorus causes discoloration;
- Farm hydrangeas do not need pruning;
- Provided with winter protection in the first year after planting.
If the farmer’s hydrangea is cultivated in a bucket, liquid fertilizer is more suitable than solid fertilizer. Since some varieties are very fast-growing, repotting is necessary as soon as the previous planter is completely rooted.
Use a trick to color the hydrangeas blue
Clever hobby gardeners use a very special trick when they want to color their garden hydrangeas blue or want to intensify the blue coloration. If you don’t like pink flowers, the soil conditions change so that the flower color turns into a deep blue. This effect is achieved through the administration of aluminum fertilizers (potash alum). In this way, a pH value of 4.0 to 4.5 is achieved in the soil, so that the hydrangea can better absorb the aluminum, which leads to the blue color of the flowers. However, this trick does not work on white and red flowers. The best time to apply the aluminum fertilizer is in spring when the farm hydrangea sprouts. Anyone who has already planted a blue hydrangea variety can use this special fertilizer to maintain and intensify the color from the second year on.
Planting farm hydrangeas properly makes caring for them easier
As a rule, garden hydrangeas are bought in containers or pots and planted in the garden or in a planter. The best time to plant is in spring, when the ground can no longer freeze. Once the ideal location has been found, subsequent maintenance is already positively influenced by the needs-based planting process. Since the hydrangeas on the one hand need plenty of water, but on the other hand cannot tolerate waterlogging, soil preparation is of crucial importance:
- A planting hole is dug that is at least twice as large as the root ball.
- The bottom of the planting hole is loosened with the digging fork, whereby all stones and roots are removed.
- Now a 3 cm to 5 cm thick drainage layer is put into the hole, consisting of gravel, granules or crushed pottery shards. Ideally, a weed fleece is spread over it.
- The excavated garden soil is mixed with some compost, a few handfuls of horn shavings and some rhododendron fertilizer. A thin layer of this mixture is first placed over the drainage system.
- The farmer’s hydrangea is now carefully lifted out of the pot or container without damaging the roots. The root ball is put in a bucket of water until no more air bubbles rise after about 2 minutes. Only then does it come into the prepared planting hole. Since garden hydrangeas are shallow roots, it is important that the root ball is planted at ground level so that enough air can get to the roots.
- The potting soil is lightly trampled on, with a watering edge about 10 cm high being formed so that the water always runs towards the center. Finally, the young farmer’s hydrangea is properly watered so that it can grow well. Even if it is raining, watering must not be omitted, because the water has to get directly to the fresh root ball without excessively silting it up.
The planting in the tub is similar, although drainage must not be dispensed with here, because a water drainage hole can very quickly become clogged by the substrate. Experienced hobby gardeners make sure that the watering edge is sufficiently wide when planting tubs so that water and substrate do not spill over every time.
Cut farm hydrangeas
If the hobby gardener has taken the needs of the garden hydrangea into account, the first flowers will appear from the end of June and will persist well into September if the soil is sufficiently moist. A special feature of this plant genus is that the buds for the next season’s flowering form as early as late summer, when the temperature levels off at around 15 ° Celsius. Anyone who reaches for the secateurs now and prunes the farmer’s hydrangea is robbing it of the flowers for the coming year. Only dried out parts of the plant and the old inflorescences can be removed as well as any frozen shoots if the winter is particularly cold. This peculiarity of the garden hydrangea means that it is particularly susceptible to late frosts in spring. In this case it is necessary that the young shoots are protected, for example by burlap or foil. If the plant is getting old and starts to bald from below, a rejuvenating cut is advisable. The garden hydrangea is cut back except for two outwardly protruding eyes. In the following year the bloom fails; But the chances are good that in the second year after the rejuvenation cut a fresh, young flower will appear again from below.
Garden hydrangeas are not unconditionally hardy. As a container plant, you should therefore spend the cold season in a frost-free room at a temperature that is slightly above 0 ° Celsius. Although they shed their leaves completely, they still need a small dose of water every now and then during the winter so that the buds that have already been created do not dry out completely. It is important to remove the fallen leaves immediately so that no rot can form. Farm hydrangeas in the garden bed should be protected from excessive cold with a layer of leaves, especially in the first year. If you want to be on the safe side, protect them with burlap or wrap them with air-permeable fleece. They would suffocate under airtight film.
The most effective method of propagating the farmer’s hydrangea is using head cuttings. As the name suggests, these cuttings are cut off as shoot tips in June or July to a length of 10 cm to 15 cm including the leaves, but without buds. These cuttings are placed in a nutrient-poor substrate, where they form roots within a few weeks. If the existing leaves are cut in half, this promotes root formation, because the shoot requires less energy to supply the leaves. The substrate is kept slightly moist during the process and ideally covered with a film that is occasionally ventilated to prevent mold from forming. As soon as the cuttings have formed roots, they are transplanted one by one into a larger pot in September,
Popular varieties of the farmer’s hydrangea
- spherical flowers July to September
- Growth height up to 150 cm
- wonderful crimson
- fast growing
- withstands stronger winds
- pink-blue flowers
- Flowering period May to October
- Growth height up to 130 cm
- also blooms on this year’s shoot
- conditionally hardy
- red flower balls
- dense bushy growth
- Growth height up to 130 cm
- flowers June to September
- Flowers well suited for drying
- round, pink flower umbels
- small and compact growth
- Growth height up to 80 cm
- cold resistant
- very dense inflorescence
Endless Summer The Bride
- A dream in white
- successful new breed
- also forgives cutting errors
- Growth height up to 80 cm
- conditionally hardy
- deep blue flowers
- Flowering period June to September
- dense, compact growth
- Height of growth 100 cm to 130 cm
Breeders all over Germany are eager to conjure up new varieties of garden hydrangea that attract everyone’s attention with their intense colors.
Long-lasting cut flowers or decorative dried flowers
When the end of flowering approaches from the second half of August, the joy of these lush ornamental plants can be extended for weeks. This is done very simply by bringing them into the house as cut flowers. The timing of the cut is the decisive factor, because the garden hydrangea is only ripe for the vase when it has developed its full potential. The firmness of the flowers can be felt. If you put your hand into the flower balls in July, you will feel how soft and tender they are. This situation changes in the course of August. Anyone who then reaches into it feels a firmness that was not there before. Then the garden hydrangea is ready to be brought into the house. The stem should be cut at an angle so that it can absorb enough water. It doesn’t hurt either to split it up a bit too. In order for the abundance of flowers to last a long time, it is important to regularly renew the water in the vase. Farmhouse hydrangeas are also excellent as dried flowers. For this purpose, when they are still in full bloom, they are loosely tied together to form a bouquet. In this form, they are hung upside down in a dry, dark room until they are completely dry.
They have long since regained the attention of enthusiastic hobby gardeners because they were completely wrongly forgotten. Farmhouse hydrangeas enrich the garden, terrace and balcony with their lush flower balls in magical colors. If the location and soil quality are correct and if they receive enough water, their most important needs have already been met so that they can grow and prosper. The hobby gardener should, however, not use the secateurs to attack them, because they were already preparing the blossoms of the coming season in their shoots in the previous year. Most varieties of the farmer’s hydrangea are quite hardy; a little protection should be given to them anyway. If you bring them into your home as cut flowers at the right time, you can still enjoy their colorful flowers for many weeks,