Hydrangea macrophylla, commonly known as bigleaf hydrangea, is a popular flowering plant that belongs to the family Hydrangeaceae. The plant is known for its large, colorful blooms that come in various shapes and sizes. If you are considering adding hydrangea macrophylla to your garden, this article will provide you with all the information you need to know about this beautiful plant, including its types, care, and growing tips.
Types of Hydrangea Macrophylla
Hydrangea macrophylla comes in various types, and each type has a different characteristic. The most popular types of hydrangea macrophylla are:
The Lacecap hydrangea is characterized by its flat flowerhead that consists of tiny flowers surrounded by larger, showy ones. The flower color can range from blue to pink, depending on the soil pH.
Mophead hydrangea is characterized by its large, spherical flowerhead that consists of many smaller flowers. The flower color can range from blue to pink, depending on the soil pH.
Mountain hydrangea is characterized by its smaller, cone-shaped flowerhead that consists of tightly packed flowers. The flower color can range from blue to pink, depending on the soil pH.
Characteristics of Hydrangea Macrophylla
Hydrangea macrophylla is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 6 feet tall and 6 feet wide. The plant produces large, oval-shaped leaves that are up to 8 inches long and 6 inches wide. The flowers are the most attractive part of the plant, and they can be as large as 12 inches in diameter. Hydrangea macrophylla blooms from early summer to late fall.
How to Grow Hydrangea Macrophylla
Hydrangea macrophylla is easy to grow and requires minimal care. The plant prefers well-drained, moist soil and partial shade. It can tolerate full sun in cooler climates but prefers shade in hotter areas. The plant can be propagated from stem cuttings, seeds, or layering.
How to Care for Hydrangea Macrophylla
Hydrangea macrophylla requires regular watering, especially during the hot summer months. The plant should be fertilized with a balanced fertilizer in the spring and summer. To maintain the flower color, the soil pH should be monitored and adjusted accordingly. The plant should be pruned in late winter or early spring to remove dead or damaged branches.
Read more: Why Your Hydrangea Plant Isn’t Blooming (And How to Fix It)
Common Problems with Hydrangea Macrophylla
The most common problems with hydrangea macrophylla are pests and diseases. The plant is susceptible to aphids, spider mites, and scale insects. It can also be affected by powdery mildew, leaf spot, and bacterial wilt. These problems can be prevented by maintaining good plant hygiene and using appropriate insecticides and fungicides.
Tips for Pruning Hydrangea Macrophylla
Hydrangea macrophylla should be pruned in late winter or early spring when the plant is dormant. The purpose of pruning is to remove dead or damaged branches, improve the plant’s shape, and encourage new growth.
When pruning, it is important to use clean, sharp pruning shears to prevent damage to the plant. Start by removing any dead or diseased branches, cutting them back to the healthy wood. Next, remove any crossing or rubbing branches, as they can cause damage to the plant.
To control the size of the plant, cut back some of the older stems to the ground level. This will stimulate the growth of new shoots from the base of the plant. It is also possible to shape the plant by removing the tips of the branches, but be careful not to remove too much as it can reduce the number of flowers.
Uses of Hydrangea Macrophylla
Hydrangea macrophylla is commonly used in landscaping, as a specimen plant or in mass plantings. The plant is also popular as a cut flower, due to its large, showy blooms. Hydrangea macrophylla is a great addition to a cottage garden or a mixed border, and it can also be grown in containers.
Hydrangea macrophylla is a beautiful and easy-to-grow plant that can add color and charm to any garden. With the right care and attention, this plant can produce stunning blooms year after year. By following the tips and guidelines outlined in this article, you can enjoy the beauty of hydrangea macrophylla in your own garden.