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Hydrangeas Part II

Friday, June 12, 2020 - 6:00am

Dr. Gary Bachman:

Different types of hydrangeas are useful in almost any landscape. Now let's focus on successful hydrangea care today on Southern Gardening.

Announcer:

Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Dr. Gary Bachman:

Hydrangeas grow best when grown in well-drained, highly organic soils. Dig the planting hole twice as wide as the root ball. Mix good age compost with the soil from the hole and plant only as deep as it was in the container. The most current research is showing that planting the crown a little higher than the surrounding soil will improve the drainage. Most hydrangeas will perform best when planted in at least partial shade or filtered light from overhead trees. Consistent moisture is a must, but over-watering is to be avoided at all costs. Using a good slow release fertilizer with a 4-1-2 nutrient ratio is ideal. Apply one-half to one cup depending on the plant size and spread around the plants in March.

Many gardeners have heard that you can change a hydrangea flower color. This is true for the blue or pink varieties of hydrangea macrophylla. The color blue is the result of an acidic soil, having a pH below six. Beginning in late summer, apply an aluminum sulfate solution, one tablespoon per gallon of water every two weeks until frost. The color pink is a result of the soil having an alkaline pH above seven. Apply one tablespoon of hydrated lime to the soil under the plants in the fall. For long-term pH adjustments, you should have the soil tested. Let your county Mississippi State university Extension office.

If you would like more information about hydrangea, the MSU Extension Publication, Number 2574, Hydrangeas for Mississippi Gardens is available online at www.msucares.com. I'm horticulturist, Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.

Announcer:

Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

 

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