Cul­ti­va­tion and prun­ing tips

Country Life Every Week - - Athena -

● The cul­tural needs of hy­drangeas dif­fer from species to species. Most of them, in­clud­ing the macro­phyl­las, pre­fer a soil that never dries out and there­fore fare best in western ar­eas, where rain­fall is higher. Light shade is their pre­ferred po­si­tion, pro­vided that the sur­round­ing trees are not too greedy for wa­ter and nu­tri­ents. Hy­drangea as­pera and H. in­volu­crata tol­er­ate slightly drier soils

● The macro­phyl­las flower on last year’s wood and this gov­erns how they should be pruned. It is the ter­mi­nal buds that pro­duce next year’s flow­ers, so prun­ing should be lim­ited to tak­ing out old, weak or con­gested stems. As a rule, their colour will be blue in acid soil and pink in al­ka­line, but ‘hy­drangea col­orants’ are widely avail­able from gar­den cen­tres and may make them more mauve or even blue

● Prop­a­ga­tion is best from late-sum­mer cut­tings. The macro­phyl­las root very eas­ily, but other species are of­ten lay­ered

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