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Hydrangea General Care

The Hydrangea is a shrub known for its thick, bulbous flower clusters in a variety of blues, purples, pink, and even whites. These plants are known for being extremely easy to grow, sometimes growing to heights of 15 feet in a single summer. Hydrangeas blook in the spring and can last up until the early fall. Even though the flowers and leaves look delicate, this shrub is much hardier than they look, and do not require much special care.
Most hydrangeas bud in early summer, keeping those buds so they can bloom the next spring. In certain hot climates, the hydrangea shrub may quit blooming during the height of the summer but continue blooming once the weather cools down.

Planting
The best time to plant Hydrangeas is in the fall, up until late spring. This allows the plant to have ample time for its root system to grow before the plants must begin producing flowers. You should plant Hydrangeas in the early morning or late afternoon, which will be easier on the plant (less heat damage).
One of the most popular places to plant Hydrangea shrubs is in beds near walls or fences, facing the morning sun. They do not appreciate afternoon heat but should not be planted underneath trees due to nutrient and water levels in those areas. As a general rule, make sure your hydrangea gets an average of 6 hours of sunlight each day.

Best Soil
The best soil for hydrangeas is soil that is rich in organic material, with good drainage. Hydrangeas do not like being waterlogged, as it can cause root rot, killing the shrub in a matter of weeks. Heavy soil can be mixed with plenty of compost before planting to improve the quality.
Organic mulch can be added underneath the shrub to keep the soil moist and cool, and once it breaks down, more nutrients will be added, and the texture will keep the soil light and well-draining.
The need for fertilizer can be assessed by using a soil test.

How to Plant
The hole you dig for your hydrangea should be as deep as the root ball and 2 feet wider. Make sure that the plant sits consistent with the soil around it in the hole. Slight mounding can help with water drainage.

Water
You should water your shrubs well until they are established, then water deeply 3 times a week (in the mornings) to encourage root growth. Keeping water off the leaves and flowers will help to keep them healthy as water can amplify the rate that sunshine will burn the plant.

Pruning
If your Hydrangea has plenty of space to grow, you should not have to prune it. The only thing you should worry about is simply removing dead pieces of wood whenever you notice them.

Pests
For the most part, you can combat pests by simply choosing hydrangeas that are more pest-resistant. Leaf spots, bight, wilting, and mildew have a chance of appearing on all hydrangeas. Pests can include aphids, leaf tiers, and red spider mites. However, properly caring for your plant will usually keep pests away, as pests are attracted to plants under stress.