The true spread of hydrangeas in Europe there was the introduction of the Asian varieties that quickly took the place of the American ones until then known. The hydrangea paniculata arrived in England in the mid-nineteenth century. Then followed the grandiflora and then numerous other species. However, many of these were generally referred to as macrophylla because it was difficult to distinguish one from the other. Only recently in Europe and especially in Italy, did species and species of American or Japanese origin become known and valued.
Family and gender
Fam, Hydrangeaceae gen Hydrangea
|Type of plant||Shrubs or climbers|
|Exposure||Half shade, shadow|
|colors||White, pink, red, blue|
|Height||Shrubs: 0.50 m- 2 m. climbing plants: even 15 meters|
|Propagation||Talea, offshoot, seed|
The name Hydrangea refers to the seminal capsules of these plants. They are in fact similar to bowls in which rainwater is collected. The true spread of hydrangeas in Europe there was the introduction of the Asian varieties that quickly took the place of the American ones until then known. The hydrangea paniculata arrived in England in the mid-nineteenth century. Then followed the grandiflora and then numerous other species. However, many of these were generally referred to as macrophylla because it was difficult to distinguish one from the other.
Only recently in Europe, and especially in Italy, did species and species of American or Japanese origin become known and valued.
Hydrangea cultivation is not particularly difficult and this explains their spread. They are generally very resistant plants and hardly perish even if they live in unsuitable land or even in a too sunny position. However, if we want to have some beautiful hydrangeas we need to scrupulously follow some tricks.
Hydrangeas want at least neutral soil, but the ideal would be acid.
We must carefully evaluate which variety to insert: if our substrate is neutral or alkaline it will be totally useless to choose splendid varieties in the blue. It will be better to focus on cultivars with a beautiful pink or red or focus on white.
Changing the pH of the soil is a difficult task and given the abundant irrigation that these plants require it will be very difficult to keep it. The advice is to want blue hydrangeas only if our soil allows it. At that point we can really intervene with blues based on aluminum salts to enhance it even more. Otherwise it is better not to get stuck on the change of color ... it will probably lead us only to have unspecified shades or at most a not very cheerful violet. A solution (just for those who want to get blue at all costs) can be to place the plants in large underground concrete vessels filled with acid substrate. For a number of years we will be able to enjoy the coveted blue. However, if the water we use for irrigation is calcareous it will be difficult to maintain this result over time.
To have really beautiful hydrangeas it is necessary to irrigate frequently, especially in the summer season and if you live in the central-southern part of the peninsula. Starting from June the ideal would be, in the absence of rain, to water every single plant daily with at least 7-8 liters of water. However, abundant irrigation is not a remedy for too sunny exposure. Unfortunately in that case the flowers will dry however prematurely and the leaves will risk numerous burns.
To have hydrangee with many flowers it is good to spread a good slow release fertilizer for acidophilic plants already in March. If the soil is neutral or alkaline it is necessary, from the end of the winter, to start spreading products based on iron sulphate on the ground (or mix it with the irrigation water). The results however are not always certain. In the case of signs of leaf chlorosis it is better to intervene as soon as possible with products based on chelated iron in which the iron is assimilable even in very alkaline soils.
Chlorosis can irreparably damage the growth and flowering of plants.
The ideal exposure for hydrangeas is the partial shade. The ideal in almost all of Italy is a sunny position in the morning and shaded in the afternoon. In mountainous areas an exposure in full sun can be fine while, in the Center-South, it is generally better to place them in luminous shadow.
Pruning of hydrangeas is a very important operation and must be performed with some care so as not to compromise flowering.
Generally it is done in spring, after the end of the frosts.
A very common habit is to cut all the branches at the base.
The ideal (on the most widespread species, in particular the macrophylla) is instead to totally eliminate only the oldest branches (which already have several branches) and the crooked or not very vigorous branches.
We must keep the branches that the plant produced the previous year and check them off. Some go so far as to cut them to the second, third pair of gems from the ground.
Older plants benefit from the elimination of about 1/3 of the fronds. This stimulates the production of new vegetation and makes the bush more airy avoiding cryptogamic problems.
Most likely when you first saw a hydrangea you thought, "however, what a beautiful flower! I would like to cultivate it in the garden!", Without thinking about the meaning that this flower has and assumes in different cultures.
Its enormous beauty and the color of its flowers so full and clear could not pass unnoticed and be overlooked by the symbolism ... and so here is some information on the meaning of hydrangeas for those who want to deepen this topic.
Many of you will surely not know that the hydrangea, despite its splendid flowers, is not really a flower to give to those who know the meaning of flowers. The flower of hydrangea in fact it symbolizes the intention to leave, to want to get out of a situation of impasse, and if given to someone it can convey the message of wanting to leave a relationship, a situation or a relationship. To multiply the hydrangea you can proceed mainly in the two classic modes, ie for gamica reproduction via seed or for agamic reproduction with cuttings. To make a cutting of hydrangeas it will be necessary to take from the plant a portion of branch of 10-15 cm containing at least a couple of buds.
For the hydrangea cutting it is advisable to choose a branch that has not bloomed because it will have more chance of taking root. Then cut the branch and place it in an acid-loving soil in a cool and well-shaded wet area of the garden. In the first period the soil should be kept humid avoiding however excessive water stagnation.
Slowly the cutting of hydrangea it will emit roots and give life to a new plant that will then become a real hydrangea. The most suitable months to do such are those months in which the climatic conditions are more stable or the spring and the autumn. It is generally better to prefer autumn because it is less prone to sudden changes and climatic changes than spring.
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