Discover the art of nurturing enchanting Hydrangeas for a heartwarming display

“Hydrangeas prefer partial sun. Ideally, they should receive morning sunlight and be shielded from afternoon heat to protect them from the hot midday sun. This is especially true for large-leaved hydrangeas (H. macrophylla), which are prone to wilting. Some varieties are more tolerant of full sun. Space hydrangeas anywhere from 3 to 10 feet apart, depending on the type. Always place plants based on their expected size at maturity! Fall is the best time for planting hydrangeas; ensure proper watering afterward. Cooler temperatures during fall establish a healthier root system before the intense cold of winter, making these times ideal for planting. Plant them early in the morning or late afternoon, as the cooler air helps reduce heat stress from direct sunlight.

To avoid stressing hydrangeas, carefully remove the plant from its container, gently loosen any bound roots, and trim off any dead or rotting parts without damaging healthy roots. Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and about two to three times as wide. The base of the plant (where the stem meets the soil) should be level with the top of the planting hole. Set the plant in the hole and backfill it carefully with soil. Water generously. Afterward, mulch the surface to retain moisture.

Keep an eye on the weather. After the water has absorbed, fill the rest of the hole with soil. Water thoroughly once more. Periodically check soil moisture levels and water as needed. Pink hydrangeas, in particular, require more frequent watering.”

“Hydrangeas can easily grow from cuttings. They root easily, and the process provides a good lesson in propagation. Here’s how:

On a well-established hydrangea, find a branch that is newly grown and has not bloomed. New growth will look lighter than old growth, and the stem will not be as stiff. From the tip of the branch, move 4 to 5 inches down and make a horizontal cut. Make sure there are at least 3 to 4 pairs of leaves on your cutting. Remove the lowest pair of leaves from the cutting, trimming them flush with the stem. Roots grow more easily from these leaf nodes, so if you can afford to remove more than one pair of leaves, do so. Make sure to have at least 2 pairs of leaves at the tip end of the cutting. If the remaining leaves are quite large, cut them in half and remove the tip half. This prevents the leaves from getting too big that they will put over the cutting later (to keep the humidity up). (Optional) Dust the entire pot loosely with rooting hormone and a plant fungicide powder (both available at a local hardware or garden store). This will encourage root formation and prevent rotting.

Prepare a small pot and fill it with moistened potting mix. Place the cutting in the soil, lowering it to the first pair of remaining leaves. Water lightly to remove any air gaps around the cutting’s leaves, otherwise, the leaves may rot. (Chopsticks or similar can be used to prop up the bag and keep it away from the leaves.) Place the pot in a warm area protected from direct sunlight and wind. Check your cutting every few days to make sure it isn’t rotting and only water again when the top layer of soil is dry. With luck, the cutting should root in a few weeks! (Check by gently pulling on the cutting; if you feel resistance, roots have formed.)”

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