Do you have a shady yard or balcony where nothing seems to want to grow?…
Perhaps one of the most identifiable summer flowers is hydrangeas. Their clusters of flowers will liven any bouquet and last several days even off the plant. However, to keep their blooms lasting all summer long, you can grow your own plant! Hydrangeas are fairly low maintenance and will continue coming back season after season.
When you are ready to put the plant in the ground (you can buy plants at most home improvement stores and nurseries), dig a hole that is about 2 feet wider and a similar depth to the root ball. You will want to cover over the roots so that there is a small mound at their base.
Hydrangeas prefer to be planted in the spring or fall while the temperature is still mild. If you are planting more than one, make sure to spread out your plants as they can grow as wide as 15 feet and as tall as 20 feet! Keep the sun in mind as these plants tend to prefer morning sun and afternoon shade. Often, you will see Hydrangeas planted along a fence or wall to protect them from the summer heat. Remember to plant your flowers in good soil with plenty of drainage. You do not want any disease in your plants before they grow, so make sure the water is not sitting still.
To keep your Hydrangeas blooming all summer, remember to regularly water them. If they are getting less than 1 inch of rain per week, you will need to remember to water them by hand. Again, good drainage for your plant is important as they can be prone to root rot if they are left in standing water. You may also need to fertilize your bushes one to two times per year. If a bloom begins to look past its peak, deadhead the bloom to help keep your bushes producing for longer each year.
Finally, stop feeding your Hydrangea in later summer so that it has time to prepare to sleep in the winter. Hydrangeas do not need pruning as they are big and airy and will look best if left alone.
Extra tip: if you would like to change the colors of your Hydrangeas, you can lower the soil pH by adding sulfur, peat moss, or aluminum sulfate to the soil. Not all varieties are able to be changed, but bigleaf (the most common) are able to be changed.