Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hydrangea Season

This time of year it's hydrangea season in the South.  They are in full bloom all over and stealing the show from most other performers.  They come in various shades of blue, pink, and white, all of which have lush, tropical-looking foliage. 

This is the old fashioned type.  It came with my house, so I'm not sure about the variety.  I'm fairly certain that it's the common Nikko Blue.  This one is blue since I added aluminum sulfate to the soil to make it more acid.

This pink one is the same variety as the above, but the soil is not as acid, so it turns out pinik.

This last is just a picture of the whole plant before the blooms really started going.  One thing to watch out for in hydrangeas is wilting if they don't get enough moisture.  This is especially more of a problem if the plant is in too sunny of a spot.  Drought is not a condition they tolerate well.  They really do prefer at least partial shade.  Hydrangeas are a really good plant to put in areas where roses won't grow.  They are bushy, green, and lush shrubs for shady areas.  They bloom longer than most azaleas.  The only "problem" is that they lose all their leaves in the winter. 

Remember, the time to prune hydrangeas is after they finish blooming.  Pruning in winter will cause cutting off of the flower buds for the next season.  I learned this the hard way and lost a whole year of bloom one time. 

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