Magnificent Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are a plant that I have related to since I was young.  The main reason being my memory of them as a row on the front part of our childhood home acting as a border between the street and the house. My second memory is the Hydrangea meagre existence, but that is probably due to the Hydrangea never getting any love or attention that would help them prosper. Under proper care and condition, a Hydrangea can last for up to 50 years!

My mindset about the Hydrangea as a plant has been up-and-down. Once classifying them as an old, outdated plant, probably impacted by my childhood experience of that meagre Hydrangea existence, to my current thoughts of having more Hydrangeas in the garden.

My blue mophead Hydrangea from last year in bloom. One of many Hydrangeas.
The flowering display of the Hydrangea from last year.

New impetus on Hydrangeas

My new impetus on the Hydrangea has mainly been to the grandeur of the one and only Hydrangea in my garden.  The mophead Hydrangea last summer put on a magnificent flowering display and had grown to over six feet or nearly 2 metres in height. How thoughts can be changed due to a great flowering show.

That magnificent flowering display changed everything.  My friend asked me to help improve the garden, so being Hydrangea-reinvigorated one of my first purchases was, of course, a Hydrangea. I also need to remind readers at this stage I am still only an L-Plate (learner) gardener, who is writing about my experiences in the garden.

Mophead Hydrangea

I just love the big mophead Hydrangea, it just flaunts an old-fashioned charm. Hydrangeas are easy to grow and will grow just about anywhere and are very tolerant plants but do need care and attention and a suitable place in the garden with morning sunshine and afternoon shade. The Hydrangea plant needs to be cut back during winter and dead blooms removed. When cutting it back, decide where best to cut back and make sure that you are not cutting off any new buds that may develop.

It is best to plant Hydrangea during spring; soil moisture levels need to be monitored during summer and watered regularly. Hydrangeas grow best in well-drained soil. If you see the leaves wilting that is a sign that they are lacking water

The mophead hydrangeas will bloom from early summer and will last months of flowering.

Hydrangeas are changeable plant too. The hue of the bloom can be changed by changing the soil pH balance. However, this is dependent on where the Hydrangea has been planted and the food that it has been given. The higher the pH in the soil, the more chance the Hydrangea flower will be pink. The lower the pH level in the earth, the higher the chance the flower will be blue, and it is easier to turn blue flowers pink than the pink to blue. White Hydrangeas will not change colour.

Being a learner gardener; I am going to try and experiment with colour changes and propagating the Hydrangea, but that is likely to be a job for next spring. This year, the Hydrangea is now well on the way with its flower production.

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.

Alfred Austin

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  1. I used to call hydrangeas the power post flower as I remember them always growing around the old wooden power poles.

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