Today we have to talk about the hydrangea , a genus that encompasses no more and no less than 100 species of plants . They are native (as almost always) from Asia and also from America, and are present in many homes around the world. So if your home is not one of them, it is time to change the game, find, plant and grow some type of hydrangea. We will try to make it easy for you.
An important reason to grow hydrangeas? Well, one could be that its flowering begins in spring and ends in autumn. There are many months that we will be able to enjoy splendid flowers in our garden or flowerpot, if we grow them inside our house.
1. CLIMATOLOGY IN HYDRANGEA CULTIVATION
It is a species that usually grows in warm climates with mild winters . In Spain you will have the opportunity to plant them throughout the coastal area, but in the interior, where the winters are colder, you should cultivate it as a houseplant, that is, in pots. Take a look at the types of pots that exist to choose the most suitable for hydrangea.
As for the range of temperatures , as we have said, it does not tolerate those that are negative. Although it needs cold temperatures to start the flowering season, it does not support more or less intense frosts. Once the flowering begins (as we have said, from spring to autumn), we will need quite pleasant temperatures, above 15 ºC.
In terms of light , there is no problem with it receiving lighting during the day and there is no need to have any special consideration, except avoiding exposing it to the sun’s rays in the hours of greatest radiation.
2. SOIL CHARACTERISTICS
In terms of soil or substrate, the hydrangea is a fairly demanding species. Above all there is something that we do have to take into account, and that is the pH. It needs an acid substrate , with good moisture retention capacity, but above all we insist on the issue of pH, which must be between 5.5 and 6.5 . To get to these values there are some tricks that we will comment on in the subscriber.
We must be careful with excess alkalinity in the soil, since we can find iron chlorosis problems in hydrangea.
The pH determines the color of the flowers in the hydrangea, and you can even play with it. If you have a very acidic substrate, around 4.5 or 5, the chances are that more blue flowers will come out than pink. Instead, with an acidic pH of 5.5 to 6.5, the hydrangea flowers are most likely pink. Interesting right?
3 IRRIGATION AND FERTILIZER
As if the high nutrient content that hydrangea needs were not enough, you also have to take care that the humidity level is adequate, and that translates into constantly maintaining moisture in the soil. A problem that can arise when we go overboard with irrigation is root suffocation , so we will be aware of the drainage capacity of our soil.
Speaking of the fertilizer, apart from the fact that you need a constant contribution of organic matter to complete all nutritional requirements of the hydrangea (which are not few), you should also correct with compost or manure amendments if the pH of your soil is alkaline. Depending on the substrate used, it will have a greater or lesser degree of acidity.
If you decide to use mineral fertilizers, the NPK fertilizers sold in many stores (not necessarily specialized) are sufficient. You can also use fertilizers that correct alkalinity such as ammonium sulfate, potassium sulfate or ammonium nitrate.
The most functional and efficient way to get new species is from 10 cm long cuttings. We arrange this cutting in an also acidic substrate (a good peat with good humidity). Temperature is important here since to produce roots you will need warmth, around a constant 20 ºC, so it is a good idea to keep them in a pot inside your house.
5. PESTS AND DISEASES
The plants with the greatest presence are usually the ones that are most affected by pests and diseases. It is not a studied statement but it seems true. Hydrangea tends to attract aphids, spiders (especially red spider mites) and mealybugs, and among fungi we can also have problems with powdery mildew, Botrytis and the occasional nematode.
In our article on ecological insecticides you can find the answer to many problems caused by pests. And as for diseases we do not forget about them, we also have an article on ecological fungicides .
Well, with this we already have a good base to start with the cultivation of hydrangea, right? Any suggestion, question or in other words, anything you want to tell us, you can do it through the forum. All the best!