How do I care for my Hydrangea?
First, it’s important to know that mophead hydrangeas do not have to be pruned back – ever – unless they are very old. Removing dead stems is the only pruning that must be done for the health of the plant, and these can be removed at any time. Dead blooms can also be removed at any time. Some clients love to keep their spent blooms on the plant through the winter for interest or trim them for winter arrangements!
Pruning should happen to accomplish the following: All dead stems should be removed from hydrangeas every year; After the plants are at least 5 years old, about 1/3 of the older (living) stems can be removed down to the ground each summer. This will revitalize the plant; In addition, if it becomes necessary to prune a plant to reduce its size, it may be cut back in June or July without harming the next year’s bloom. But it will return almost immediately to its’ former size. This is one reason why it’s best to plant a hydrangea where it does not have to be pruned.
For more information on pruning, check out our pruning blog series: Pruning 101: How, Pruning 101: Why and When
Fertilizer should be applied only in the Spring and early Summer, not during the fall. If applied during the fall, the fertilizer can trigger new growth as the plant goes into dormancy, which can be damaging. Hydrangeas need moist and well-draining soil to thrive. You can tell a hydrangea needs water when its leaves start to wilt. Big leaf and smooth varieties tend to need more water than others, but be sure to consider where your hydrangea is placed when deciding how much water it needs.
Did You Know You Can Change The Color of Your Hydrangea?
Changing the color of hydrangea is actually possible! It is much easier to change from pink to blue than it is to go from blue to pink. The color of the flower actually depends on the amount of aluminum found in the soil. Adding or subtracting the amount through fertilizers and other chemicals can help you achieve color change!