Why Hydrangea is the best choice among flowers?
Hydrangea belonging to the Hydrangeaceae family consists of around 19 Genera and about 260 species of woody ornamental trees, shrubs, vines, and herbs, native to tropical, subtropical, and north temperate regions which is indeed a numerous variety.
Let’s explore and learn all the facts and prerequisite of this beautiful mind-blowing species!
Hydrangea is a Latin word meaning ‘hydro’ =water and ‘angeion’ =barrel or pitcher for Hydrangea macrophylla.
Other names: French hydrangea, garden hydrangea, and Florist’s hydrangea. Hortensia is an old-fashioned common name for the same.
Native to Asia and the America. Highest varieties of hydrangeas are found in eastern Asia, notably Korea, China, and Japan.
It is a deciduous shrub growing to 2 m tall by 2.5 m broad in summer and autumn.
How to change color of Hydrangea?
You can change the color of hydrangea by changing the pH of soil. pH of the soil could be changed by adding or deducing lime content or acid contents from soil or by neutralizing the soil.
How to Grow (Growth Requirement or pre-requisites)?
– Take seeds with >12% moisture content and >95% physical purity.
– There are nearly 60-70 varieties of hydrangea categorized based on their colors and each of them represent their own symbols. For example:
1. Pink hydrangeas represent heartfelt emotion.
2. Blue hydrangea represent symbol of apology.
3. Similarly, white hydrangea symbolizes boasting.
4. purple hydrangea symbolizes a desire to deeply understand someone.
– For obtaining blue flowers, it should be cultivated in soil with a pH of 5.5 or lower (acidic soil). pH could be lowered by adding peat moss in the soil.
– For obtaining pink flowers, hydrangeas need neutral to alkaline soils of pH around 6.5 or higher.
– For purple blooms, the pH of the soil must be between pH 5.5 and 6.5.
Climate and environment:
– Partial shade is the ideal environmental condition for the growth of hydrangeas.
– But avoid cultivating beneath trees as nutrient competition between hydrangeas and trees will lead to nutrient deficiency for hydrangea.
– Few varieties of hydrangea will tolerate full sun as well.
– These plant species usually bloom in the Summer season.
Planting Depth (Planting Technique):
– Dig a hole around 2 to 3 times wider than the root ball to allow enough space for expansion of the roots.
– Then, after place the plant in that hole and fill the remaining portion with amended soil and sprinkle little water for ensuring moist soil.
– But remember to maintain the planting distance of at least 3 feet.
Care For Hydrangea (How to care?)
– Hydrangeas should never be pruned in fall else they won’t bloom in the next spring.
– Most of the hydrangeas with high leaf area index like Hydrangea macrophylla and Hydrangea quercifolia must be pruned as soon as they stop blooming
– Hydrangea arborescens and H. paniculata bloom on a new branch so it is not important to immediately prune them as soon as they stop blooming.
– Early spring is the best time for the pruning of hydrangeas.
– The buds, flowers, and leaves contains a compound known as glycoside amygdalin. The amygdalin compound can break hydrangea in several ways to produce cyanide if consumed so keep it away from your children.
– Hydrangeas prefer moist soil so, check the soil moisture status at least once a week.
– If the topsoil seems dry, water the plant only until it gets moist. Be careful on overwatering.
– Once hydrangeas are established, they survive well on rainfall.
Inter-culture and weed control:
– Hydrangeas are barely cultivated uplands where the weeding rate is high.
– The first weeding operation should be done in 20-25 days after sowing.
– The second weeding operation should be done within 20-25 days of transplanting.
– Apart from this blanket recommendation, it is best to perform weeding operations whenever the density of weed emergence in the field is impeding the efficient growth of Hydrangea.
Major diseases and Control:
1. Name: Bacterial Wilt
Symptoms: Hydrangea leaves at the initials show yellowing symptoms with a brownish margin which in later stages wither and die.
Control: Keep the plant in well-ventilated condition and adopt crop rotation.
2. Name: Bud Blight
Symptoms: Buds turn brown at the initials and show necrotic symptoms later. The terminal buds curve shows a crooked appearance.
Control: Plant in a well-spaced area. Spray the solution of potassium bicarbonate, 3 T. oil, and ½ tsp. castile soap and, a gallon of water to the infested area.
Major insects and nematodes control:
1. Name: Aphid
Symptoms: Leaf area index reduces, defoliation, stunting of seed growth.
Control: Apply contact sprays like neem oil, insecticidal sprays, horticultural oils.
2. Name: Beetle
Symptoms: Plant wilting, stunted appearance of plant parts observed.
Control: Apply contact sprays like neem oil and insecticidal sprays.
3. Name: Scale worm
Symptoms: Sap feeding by scale insects lead to wilting and yellowing of plant leaves, stunting or un-thrifty appearance of the plants, and eventually death of all or part of the plant when infestations are heavy.
Control: Biological control. For example: small parasitic wasps and lady-bird beetles control scale insects greatly.
Benefits of cultivation:
– Widely used for urinary tract problems.
– Helps in curing infections of the bladder, urethra, and prostate.
– Reduces enlarged prostate.
– Highly beneficial in kidney stones.
– It is also used for hay fever.
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