Seeing a large-leaved garden hydrangea only once, few what a florist can resist in order not to acquire such a seedling for his plot. But do not hurry - before you decide on such a crucial step, you need, as they say, “measure seven times.” The fact is that the care for this form of culture requires a special, more thorough than for other species.
This hydrangea is the dream of all Russian gardeners. No arguments that this plant, strictly speaking, not for our climate, do not work. As a rule, the plant is bought in the garden center or shop. They do not hesitate to plant, admire flowering, and in the fall cover the same way as roses. Then the bush turns green every year, but does not bloom. Errors here, as a rule, are two. Either the upper buds die at the ends of the shoots (they are the flowers, the plant will not bloom on the shoots of the current year), or the unlucky gardener himself prunes a bush in the spring - it is too unpresentable.
Winter hardiness of garden leafy hydrangea
No one thinks about the winter hardiness of the large-leaved hydrangea sold in our flower shops, as a rule, without the name of the variety. However, most of the commonly encountered hydrangeas in accordance with the USDA American classification, which many countries use, meet the requirements for growing conditions in the 6 zone, that is, they withstand temperatures from -17,8 to -23,6 ° C. Russia is located in the 4 zone, which corresponds to the temperature limits from -28,9 to -34,4 ° С. The 6 zone varieties must be carefully covered “to the very crown”, or, more correctly and easier, grown in containers that must be cleaned in a cool place for the winter, if there is one, of course.
But how to grow large-leaved hydrangea, if you hide it from frost there is no place, and the plant at your own risk and risk will have to be planted in the ground? And to figure out how cold a particular variety you are not able to? Then buy a copy with powerful trunks and a cap of inflorescences without any frills. A plant with flowers, worthy of decorating a garden in the modern style, the stems of which, moreover, support bamboo supports, is clearly not for your situation.
Familiarize yourself with the photo and description of varieties of large-leaved hydrangea and with the peculiarities of growing these plants.
The best remontant varieties of large-leaved hydrangeas for the Moscow region
The winter hardiness of the large-leaved hydrangea is in any case a relative concept for the Russian climate. Firstly, a lot depends on the microclimate of the site. Secondly, on the characteristics of this variety. And from a particular winter, which, as we know, is unpredictable ... Ice rains, long frosts without snow, a thick crust, under which even the old-timers of the garden thrown out.
However, now there are series, the most suitable for growing in the gardens of central Russia. Among them is a hack called remontant esort of large-leaved hydrangea.
They appeared in the 80s of the last century, when the American Michael Dyrr accidentally saw a hydrangea in one of the nurseries of Minnesota, which blossomed at a time when all the others had already faded. Michael registered a cultivar, which he then presented as “remontant” (continuously flowering, that is, capable of blooming on the shoots of the last year, and new ones that have just grown out).
This variety of large-leaved hydrangea is called 'Endless Summer'.
Now it is not only the name of the variety, but also a series combining several varieties of repair hydrangeas. On the basis of an even more winter-hard repairing variety of large-leaved hydrangea, 'Early Sensation', the Forever & Ever series was created.
The ancestor itself can now hide under the names 'Forever & Ever Hydrangea', 'Forever & Ever Pink / Blue'.
There is another series - Hovaria.
According to literary data it is considered cold-resistant. However, a clear description of the series and its varieties, apparently, does not exist even in foreign sources. The question of plant repairing remains open. Some varieties are found in the lists of hydrangeas that bloom only on last year's shoots, others are positioned as “ever flowering”, that is, capable of blooming on the shoots of the current year.
A real gift to gardeners is the appearance of a series of winter-hardy hydrangeas You & Me. There are three varieties included in it:
'You & Me Romance', 'You & Me Expression', 'You & Me Together. "
In describing these large-leaved hydrangeas, the terry of their flowers and the ability to bloom on the shoots of the past and the current year are especially noted.
However, when buying a coveted gardener plant, one serious difficulty awaits - varieties, as a rule, have numerous commercial names.
For example, white terry 'You & Me Soso' can be sold as 'Double Star Coco', 'Coco Blanc', 'Triple Star Coco'.
To the extent that this is the same plant, sellers, as a rule, simply do not know. Will have to understand themselves.
If you do not want to delve into all of this, just choose a sapling on a label that says “remontant”, that is, reblooming, everyblooming, persistence, newwood. Most likely, these will be new and supernova varieties.
In fact, broadleaf hydrangeas, blooming even in the case of complete frost damage above the aerial part of the plant, have existed for a long time. For example, varieties:
They simply did not pay much attention to this. In principle, this option is also possible. You root the cuttings of a variety that blooms on old shoots. However, some young bushes begin to behave as remontants. Why - is unknown. But it is precisely this that explains the fact that, before the Second World War and in the fifties of the last century, “remontant” hydrangeas occasionally met in private gardens. Just gardeners of those years did not realize their values.
So how do remontant varieties of large-leaved hydrangea behave in Russia?
When in our country for the first time brought a grade of 'Endless Summer', everyone was sure that it was not necessary to cover her.
As a result, the hydrangeas froze over and only by the autumn they gave out hats of flowers on an indecently low bush. And in the second year, many of them froze at all. There is only one conclusion - uncovered broadleaf hydrangeas do not exist for our climate.
If you have a cellar, or another suitable place for storing hydrangeas in the winter, you should look for varieties recognized by world masterpieces and plant them in containers.
These are Japanese hydrangeas from The Masters Collection series. (shields of fertile flowers are surrounded by a wreath of sterile terry)
Lady Katsuko (flowers framed by a white border)
As well as the Dutch series Dutch Ladies with heavily dissected petal-like cloves.
There is another amazingly beautiful large-leaved hybrid hydrangea 'Big Smile' ('Sweet Chris' / 'Koria'), (H. macrophylla x H. serrata). Inflorescence - flat shield.
Look at the photo - in this large-leaved hydrangea, the central flowers are fertile, blue, regional flowers are large, sterile, white with a pink blush and blue center:
Refers to the 6 zone. Possible re-bloom.
'Endless Summer' (pink) / 'Endless Summer' (blue).
The first remontantnaya hydrangea, which gained world fame. Inflorescences with a diameter of 10-15 cm are decorated with a rounded, dense thick frost. The height and width of the 120-150 bush see
'Endless Summer Nwist-n-Shout'
Openwork middle of fruitful flowers surrounded by sterile flowers that can change color. On alkaline soil, they will be pink, on sour - blue. Shrub height and width from 90 to 120, see. In the fall, the leaves of this one of the best varieties of large-leaved hydrangea turn burgundy.
Traditional variety, blooming on the shoots of last year. The color of the inflorescences does not depend on the acidity of the soil. The bush is large, the inflorescences are large.
'Together' Remontant variety from the You & Me series. Bush compact, round. Terry flowers are collected in very dense inflorescences with a diameter of 20 cm.
'Mini Penny' (blue)
'Mini Penny' (pink)
The bush is wide and compact, growing slowly.
As shown in the photo, this variety of large-leaved hydrangea is perfectly suited for growing in a container:
Flowers change color depending on the acidity of the soil. Repair grade resistant to chlorosis.
'Fireworks (' Hanab ')
The inflorescences of this variety of large-leaved hydrangea, suitable for the Moscow region, are large, laced. Fertile flowers are pale pink or blue, depending on the acidity of the soil, sterile white terry stars. Thanks to gracefully arched shoots, the bush looks like a fountain. Height and width 90-100 cm. For container cultivation. Blossoms on last year's shoots.
'Magical Flame' ('Mme Emile Mouillere')
Abundantly blooming remontant hydrangea. The flowers are pink, fringed, with a blue or pink eye, pinking over time. In autumn, the leaves turn red and yellow. Shrub height up to 120 cm, width 80-100 cm. Can be grown in a container.
Care for large-leaved hydrangea in spring: fertilizing and pruning (with video)
When caring for large-leaved hydrangeas, plants must be fed several times during the season. In the spring, a complex fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and the necessary trace elements is mandatory to be applied to the near-stem circle. If you do not feed large-leaved hydrangea in the spring, you can hardly count on abundant flowering. It is convenient to use special mixtures of nutrients designed specifically for hydrangeas, they gently acidify the soil, creating favorable conditions for the life of the bush. Special fertilizers for hydrangeas of the companies “Pokon”, “Green Bool”, “ECOstyle” have proven themselves well. It is also possible to use fertilizers for rhododendrons and azaleas to feed large-leaved hydrangea. Hydrangeas respond well to fertilizing with herbal infusions. Under the adult bush poured two or three buckets of nutrient solution.
In the first half of summer, nitrogen and potassium should prevail in the dressings. In the second half of the summer, feeding with potassium and phosphorus is repeated 1-2 times, not including nitrogen in the mixture, in order to create optimal conditions for the plant to prepare for winter. In late August, all feeding should be stopped. It is strictly not recommended to bring ashes and lime under the bushes. Hydrangea does not tolerate drought, so the soil at the base of the bush should always be wet, but water stagnation is also harmful. It is recommended to mulch the soil in spring with peat, bark, pine needles, straw, grass.
In spring, with pruning of large-leaved hydrangea, it is not necessary to hurry, even if the branches at first glance look dead. Dry-looking buds can wake up even in late May - early June. Only then will it become clear which of the twigs are really inanimate. At this time, when pruning large-leaved hydrangea cut out all the dry and weak shoots. A hydrangea bush older than 5 years can be rejuvenated by cutting old shoots to the ground level of 1 / 3.
If you need to form a bush, be prepared to do this for two seasons. When caring for large-leaved hydrangea in the spring of the first year, the main growth is shortened to strong buds, and weak shoots are removed. In the fall, several strong growths are formed, and on the main shoots - a lot of side branches. Of these, cut off the weak and violate the symmetry of the bush.
Watch the video “Trimming large-leaved hydrangea” to better understand how to shape a shrub:
In the second year, inflorescences are formed on last year's increments. In the lower part of the bush grow new strong shoots. After flowering, pruned shoots need to be cut to strong buds and remove all weak shoots. This scheme is repeated in the following years.
Then you will learn how to cover large-leaved hydrangea for the winter to protect the plant from the cold.
How to grow large-leaved hydrangea and how to shelter it for the winter
Large-leaved hydrangea, so that it is well wintered, in the dry autumn plentifully watered. Before the first frosts, cut off all the inflorescences, and wrap the shrub with nonwoven fabric in several layers. It is important that the covering material does not touch the upper kidneys. After some time, clean the bush from the leaves. After freezing, they, despite the shelter, as a rule, are easily separated from the plant. Then the bush is again wrapped with lutrasil, agryl, spunbond, etc.
Thoroughly hydrangea is closed in October. Wait, when the soil froze - do not. For young plants, the best shelter soil. Branches bend to the ground and the ground or peat asleep (layer 2-3 cm). The main thing is that the top third or better the top half of each branch be well covered.
Shelter adult large-leaved hydrangeas can be different. For example, peat or sand is poured on the central part of the bush. The branches are laid out “in the sun”, holding wooden brackets to the ground, or tied in bunches, which are tied to metal hooks stuck into the ground. Under the branches it is better to put laptnik - so reliable.
The branches of old bushes are thick and can break when bent. If they need to be preserved, wooden bars are placed under the fold. To squeeze the branches, use boards or bricks. If any stem still broke, it does not matter, it means that it was time to cut it long ago, it is too old.
From above the branches are covered with earth, dry leaves, needles or spruce branches. In the spring after melting snow plants need to be opened gradually. At the beginning - the central part. Do not touch the bent branches yet. In mid-April - early May, they can be released, but covered with lutrasil, if it is thin - in several layers. And keep the branches wrapped up to the last frost, if you constantly do not live outside the city.
Some gardeners practice air-dry shelter to cover large-leaved hydrangeas for the winter, such as for roses (without shortening the shoots, of course). The grounds of the bushes are covered with dry earth, the shoots are bent, fixed in this position, covered with several layers of nonwoven fabric or lapnik. Then they build a strong frame over the weighed plant (to withstand a layer of snow) from thick wire, boxes or 4 supports and boards and put something waterproof on top, most often roofing felt. It is important that the shelter is opaque, otherwise in early spring the construction risks turning into a greenhouse.
Before the cold weather settles down, small gaps are left for ventilation. And in the first snowfall they throw the whole structure with snow. As you can see, an operation called “We harbor large-leaved hydrangea” can be done in different ways. Which is better - hard to say. Maybe the answer depends on the particular winter, and maybe these options are designed for areas with different soil, air humidity and other features of a particular place where grow hydrangeas. One thing is absolutely clear - the dry method is more laborious.
What determines the color of hydrangea and how to change it?
Sometimes varieties of broadleaf hydrangeas planted on the plot, unexpectedly for the owner to change color. Why is this happening, why does the color of the hydrangea depend? Did they feed them in the nurseries? Or in the store sellers "chemical"?
To begin with, let us leave alone varieties with white flowers - than they do not water, blue or pink, they will not. Only by the autumn many will get a light “blush”, however, regardless of your actions.
Red flowers are affected by temperature and light. In the heat, they become dark pink, in the shade, like in many other plants, they lighten.
Among the pink and blue hydrangeas, there are also invincible varieties. For example, the pink 'Princess Beatrix' will not turn blue under any circumstances, and the blue 'Marie-Claire' will turn pink.
However, there are varieties, for example, 'Forever Pink', 'Amethyst', 'Queen Elisabeth', able to change the blue color to pink and vice versa. This depends primarily on the presence of aluminum in the soil, and secondly on the level of acidity.
If the pink hydrangea began to turn blue, and you don’t like it at all, you can fix it. How to change the color of hydrangea in this case? You need to raise the pH to 6,0 - 6,2. The easiest way to do this is with dolomite flour. Just do not get carried away - otherwise the plant will suffer from chlorosis.
To prevent the plant from absorbing aluminum, use fertilizers with a high phosphorus content.
If you do not want to change the color of the garden hydrangea and wish to leave it blue, you can add dry aluminum sulphate (500 g per m2) to the soil, but not immediately, but in several steps (6-8 times). Fertilizers should be high in potassium and low in phosphorus. At the same time it is necessary to exclude the introduction of bone meal, of course, superphosphate. Another nuance: in order for aluminum to be available to the plant, the pH should be no higher than 5,2-5,5. When the pH is from 5,5 to 6,8, the inflorescence will turn purple.
To lower the pH, that is, to increase the acidity of the soil in several ways:
- water with acidified water at the rate of 10л on 1 м1. Use oxalic acid or citric acid: 1,5-2 tablespoons per 10l of water. You can also take 9% malic or acetic acid (for 10 and 100 g of vinegar).
- mix sulfur in soil: 70 g on 1 m2
- Add peat: 1,5 kg to 1 м2
- Compress the tree trunk circle of hydrangea with pine litter.
The most effective way is to use a new, purchased in the auto parts store, electrolyte for batteries. In fact, it is diluted sulfuric acid, so handle the electrolyte very carefully. If you have a pH equal to 6, then 1-2 ml of electrolyte with a density of 3 g / cm1,81 is diluted in 2 l of water. If the density is 1,81 g / cm2, then 1-0,5 ml will be needed on 0,7 l of water.