Preparing hydrangea for summer flowering: a step-by-step action plan

Increasingly, in the gardens of lovers you can find hydrangeas that conquer any most demanding heart with their lush beauty, long flowering and fairly simple care. Paniculata and tree-like hydrangea winter well in the open field, they can tolerate a significant drop in temperature without compromising health. Large-leaved hydrangeas require shelter for the winter, they are heat-loving plants. In some areas with a harsh climate, it is recommended to grow this crop in containers, bringing it to a greenhouse or other warm room for the winter. 

Hydrangeas are wonderful ornamental shrubs that delight with long-term lush flowering, but in order to stimulate high decorativeness, it will be necessary to carry out a set of necessary measures in the spring to stimulate the growth and flowering of spectacular beauties. It is especially important to check the acidity of the soil, because when alkalized, plants can get sick with chlorosis, they are deficient in iron. Let’s talk about everything in order. 

Spring: hydrangea care, where to start

Spring has come, the sun has warmed, it’s time to start working in the garden. If your hydrangeas have been covered for the winter, start to gradually remove the warming layers, otherwise the plants may rot and scorch. It is impossible to name a clear date for the release of the shrub from winter “clothes”, because the climate in different areas is very different. The period of removal of winter shelter can stretch in different climatic regions from March to May. 

Important! You can not remove the shelter abruptly, at a time, the plants need to be smoothly prepared for the temperature transition. 

Do not worry that the shrub after wintering looks lifeless and deplorable, take measures to “wake up” the sleeping bushes and do this before feeding the hydrangeas in the spring.

The algorithm for caring for hydrangeas in early spring: 

  • After the snow melts and the soil begins to warm up, it is necessary to arrange ventilation of the shelter, allowing air flows to freely penetrate under the cover layers. 

  • Gradually remove the warming layers, we are guided by weather conditions. If short-term frosts are expected, the work should be postponed. 

  • Check the soil moisture under the shelter, in snowless or little snowy winters, the plant may not have enough moisture, so spend the first watering, potassium permanganate is added to warm water. For 1 young hydrangea bush, 1 bucket for watering is required, 2 buckets are poured under adult shrubs. In the future, the irrigation regime is maintained, it is carried out approximately once a week, if it does not rain. 

  • Remove a layer of old mulch, lay a bedding of pine bark, conifer needles or acid peat on top of the soil — this will help maintain the acidity of the soil under the plants at the right level, and will prevent the rapid evaporation of moisture. 

After the establishment of warm weather, the shrub is fully opened, but gradually. It’s time for comprehensive plant care to ensure rapid growth and lush flowering. 

Fertilizers: how to feed hydrangeas in spring in April and May

Top dressing is one of the agricultural practices that allows you to wake plants from a dormant state and stimulate rapid growth and abundant flowering. 

Nitrogen is responsible for rapid vegetation, this chemical element helps plants to dress in a beautiful emerald dress of large leaves. Potassium strengthens the plant, and phosphorus is responsible for abundant flowering. 

How to properly feed hydrangeas: in just a season, three root feedings of plants are carried out, trace elements can be applied on the leaves, if necessary, several times during the summer, alternating them with watering with nutrient compounds at the root. 

In early spring, after the bushes are freed from insulation, humus can be spread under the plants to improve soil fertility. You can shed the bushes once with a solution of bird droppings or manure. 

Important! Young plants do not fertilize within 3 years after planting, but on condition that a starter fertilizer of prolonged action was laid in the pit. 

The first time the manipulation of the introduction of nutrients under hydrangeas is carried out at the stage of the appearance of the first leaves from the buds. For 10 liters of water take the following compositions: 

  • Urea — 15 g or ammonium nitrate — 30 g. 

  • Potassium salt — 15 g. 

  • Superphosphate — 30 g. 

In addition to the main elements, the plant needs iron, especially when the balance of soil acidity is disturbed. With a lack of iron, hydrangea leaves begin to turn yellow, showing signs of starvation, chlorosis begins. It is necessary to constantly monitor the acidity of the soil, taking measures to maintain the balance necessary for the successful growth of hydrangeas. Iron chelate will help get rid of chlorosis. 

Magnesium is also very important in the nutrition of hydrangeas, the lack of this trace element affects the color intensity of flowers, the size of the inflorescences and the duration of the flowering period. Magnesium is added during the budding period of hydrangeas. 

Important! Do not use wood ash to feed the hydrangea, which greatly reduces the acidity of the soil. 

If desired, ready-made formulations can be used to care for hydrangeas. The following fertilizers have proven themselves well: 

  • Fertilizer Organic Mix for hydrangeas — gently affects plants up to 3 months after application, is not washed out of the soil during irrigation, allows you to maintain soil acidity at the required level. 

  • Fertika Kristalon for hydrangeas and azaleas — in a set of 5 ampoules, each of which is diluted in 5 liters of water. 

  • Agricola Aqua for hydrangeas — the product is packaged in 250 g, the package is enough for 25 liters of water. 

  • Good power for azaleas, camellias, rhododendrons is an excellent tool for feeding plants and maintaining soil acidity, one bottle is diluted in 100 liters of water. 

  • Green Boom for hydrangeas — applied as a root dressing 1 time in 2-3 weeks. 

For those who like to experiment with changing the color of hydrangeas, we can recommend an excellent tool — a fertilizer for changing the color of hydrangeas, which is applied under the root every 10-14 days. 

pruning

Almost all types of hydrangeas need pruning, but it is important to perform this operation correctly, without delaying the deadlines. If you cut the shrub after the start of sap flow, the plants will simply sap. 

Hydrangea arborescens blooms on the shoots of the current year, as well as paniculate. Pruning of these species is carried out after the snow melts, leaving from 3 to 5 buds on the shoots of the hydrangea tree. In paniculate hydrangea, the shoots are cut off, leaving up to 2-4 buds. 

Weak pruning stimulates the formation of more inflorescences, but their size is significantly reduced. 

Important! In the spring, sanitary pruning of hydrangea bushes is carried out to healthy tissue in case the shoots are broken or rotten. 

Large-leaved hydrangea blooms on the shoots of last year, so cardinal pruning of the shoots will lead to a lack of flowering. In this species, only dried and rotten shoots are cut out in the spring. 

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