Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Four Tips in Growing Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas or Hortensias are loved for their delicate clusters of papery flowers. I tried to grow potted Hydrangeas from seeds before but my attempts on this were no success. When I visited the Cactus Valley in Cameron Highlands, I saw lots of pretty pink and blue hydrangea shrubs in the garden. I was so inspired to have them in my garden too. 

The color of young hydrangeas' petals is green.

Hydrangeas' color transformation.

A beautiful look of hydrangea.

The garden shops offered potted hydrangeas plants at relatively cheap price (already with big flowers on the plant!). After some discussions with the shop keepers, my husband finally bought one pot for me at RM10. He kind of interviewed the shop keepers on how to best take care of hydrangeas at home. I grasped probably 20% of their conversations as they spoke in Mandarin all the way. The only Chinese words mentioned repeatedly that I could understand during the conversations were 花 (huā = flower), 水 (shuǐ = water) and 种 (zhòng = to plant/cultivate). My Mandarin vocabulary on gardening stuff is very poor so once we left the shop, I interviewed my husband back and asked him to explain everything the shop keeper said to him, in English.

A close-up look of Hydrangea's paper-like petals.

Hydrangeas usually come in two colors: Pink and Blue/Purple.

Based on our conversations with the garden shopkeepers, here are some things to remember in growing Hydrangeas at home:
  • Water Hydrangeas twice a day, if possible. Unlike Cameron Highlands whose climate profile is cool, Hydrangeas grown in sunny and hot place like Seremban need more water. 
  • Hydrangeas thrive in full sunlights so if we have extra time to take care of this plants, best thing to do is to put the plants under the sunlight every morning and keep them back at a sheltered place in the evening. Hydrangeas flowers' colors range from blue to lavender to mauve to a vivid deep pink/blue.
    The color of the flowers' petals conforms the sunlight the plants receive. Less sunlight means lighter pink/blue color, more sunlight means darker or deeper pink/blue/purple flowers.
  • Hydrangeas flowers last up to 3-4 months in their tree. Regular deadhead encourages repeat blooms on the plant. Once the flower is dried up, we can cut the stem where the flowers dry so the plant can grow a new branch and start blooming again. 
  • Regularly put some fertilizers in the soil surrounds the plant. Don't put fertilizers directly to the roots or stem. 

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