Today I’d like to talk about hydrangeas, especially the mop-headed ones, which, if you are lucky can be saved to form part of an everlasting bouquet to brighten your winter.
This particular hydrangea does best grown in partial, or even dense shade, making a lovely splash of colour under trees. The blue flowered hydrangeas can become a mauve-pink by the addition of lime to the soil, but naturally are blue when grown in our acid soils.
Recently I saw a large plant which had blue, pink and dark mauve blooms on the same plant, and no one to tell me how this was accomplished.
I got down on my knees to make sure it wasn’t several hydrangeas planted together, but it was a single.
This particalar hydrangea needs regular watering, but reasonably good drainage, since they don’t like to sit in water.
Leave the dying flower heads on over the winter as extra protection, taking them off in spring when new growth starts, pruning back to the top-most leaf buds, or further down if you are trying to shorten the shrub. Remove stalks which have flowered, leaving at least five or six stems to grow on to maturity. Fertilize in spring.
If we are threatened with a harsh winter, hill your plant up or mulch with compost.
For those of you who want to dry and keep a few blooms for a semi-permanent bouquet — I wish you good luck.