HELPFUL TIPS ON GROWING HYDRANGEA
Hydrangeas have a beautiful classical elegance and charm that is very representative of Martha's Vineyard. They are easy to cultivate, tolerate almost any soil, and produce abundant blooms throughout the summer and fall. Hydrangea color ranges from shades of blue, pink, lavender to white. They are very versatile and can be planted in group plantings to shrub borders to containers. At Vineyard Gardens we carry loads of Hydrangeas! We sell them in 5 gal, 10 gal and 20 gallon pots.
- Plant in spring or fall.
- Plant in full sun in the morning, with some afternoon shade. Bigleaf hydrangeas will grow and bloom in partial shade.
- Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and 2 to 3 times as wide.
- Set the plant in the hole and fill it half full with soil. Water. After water is drained, fill the rest of the hole with soil.
- Water thoroughly.
- Space multiple hydrangeas about 3 to 10 feet apart.
- For the first two years after planting and during any drought, be sure hydrangeas get plenty of water. Leaves will wilt if the soil is too dry.
- If your soil is light or sandy, it’s best to fertilize hydrangea once a year in late winter or spring. Otherwise if your soil is rich you do not need to fertilize, too much fertilizer encourages leafy growth at the expense of blooms.
- Bigleaf and Oakleaf Hydrangea are pruned AFTER the flowers fade in the summer.
- Mopheads: It’s best not to deadhead (remove faded blooms). Leave them over the winter and cut them back in early spring (to the first healthy pair of buds).
- Lacecaps: Deadhead, cut down to the second pair of leaves below the flower head.
- Flower buds form in the late summer and flower the following season. Avoid pruning after August 1.
- Only cut away dead wood in the fall or very early spring.
- To prune, cut one or two of the oldest stems down to the base to encourage branching and fullness.
- If the plant is old, neglected, or damaged, prune all the stems down to the base. You’ll lose the flowers for the upcoming season, but also rejuvenate the plant for future years.
- Panicle and Smooth hydrangeas are pruned BEFORE flower buds are formed. These varieties blossom on the current season’s stems.
- Prune in the late winter when the plant is dormant. This means that if the buds are killed during the winter, the plant will produce new buds in the spring which will produce blooms.
- In general, prune only dead branches, and do not prune to “shape” the bush.