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Hydrangea masterclass: best expert content

    Hydrangea masterclass: best expert content

    Hydrangea paniculata ‘Great Star’ attracts pollinators with highly fragrant flowers
    Image: Hydrangea paniculata ‘Great Star’ from T&M

    There’s so much more to hydrangeas than meets the eye. And to help you grow show-stopping specimens, we’ve pulled together this selection of practical hydrangea-growing tips from our favorite bloggers, Instagrammers and YouTubers.

    Whether you’re looking for scent, shade-tolerance, climbing plants, container varieties or magnificent colour-changing blooms, this diverse genus of garden shrubs has something for everyone. Browse our award-winning hydrangea shrubs Now for inspiration.

    Award-winning hydrangeas like ‘Miss Saori’ are real show-stoppers

    White and pink hydrangea in a white pot

    Hydrangea ‘Miss Saori’ has unique double flowers with two-tone petals
    Image: Hydrangea ‘Miss Saori’ from T&M

    Taking center stage in Michael Perry’s shortlist of top hydrangeas is Chelsea favourite, ‘Miss Saori’. With such gorgeous, two-toned, rose-like double flowers, it’s no surprise that it won ‘Plant of the Year’ in 2014. Writing for the Thompson & Morgan blog, Michael’s shortlist of heavenly hydrangeas is a perfect place to look for variety inspiration. Expect chocolate-coloured leaves, low spreading habits and plenty of flower power!

    Alkaline soil makes hydrangea flowers pink

    pink circular hydrangea

    Hydrangea ‘Princess Diana’ is a mophead type
    Image: Hydrangea ‘Princess Diana’ from T&M

    Hydrangea macrophylla flowers can undergo a fantastic color change! It’s not magic, explains Sue Sanderson at the Thompson & Morgan blog, but a response to the pH of the soil. The flowers of both mophead and lacecap hydrangeas oscillate between pink and blue, so it’s important to test your soil if you’re keen to have one particular colour. Find out how to change your soil’s pH in Sue’s helpful hydrangea growing article.

    Acid soil produces blue hydrangea flowers

    Blue hydrangea with petals and bud

    Blue hydrangeas are especially eye-catching
    Picture: @talesfromagarden

    I just love the color range,” says Instagrammer Hannah at @talesfromagarden. Starting out with one large shrub, she now has a varied collection of nine special hydrangeas in every shade of pink, white and blue. “Blue is my favorite,” she admits, but she needs to grow these in containers of ericaceous soil or raised beds because her alkaline garden turns the flowers pink. Check out her Insta post from her to see the full range of incredible colors she’s managed to grow.

    Use hydrangeas to brighten up a dark spot

    White hydrangea with large blooms

    Hydrangea ‘Incrediball’ thrives in partial shade
    Image: Shutterstock

    The heads of this hydrangea ‘Incrediball’ are “as big as footballs”, enthuses Peter over at @peteplants. Lighting up an area of ​​tricky dry shade under a cherry tree in his flower-filled Scottish garden, his shade-tolerant hydrangea is clearly happy and healthy. His top tip of him? Make sure you water regularly for the best results.

    The climbing hydrangea petiolaris thrives on a north-facing wall

    Dry flowers of hydrangea

    The dry flowers of the climbing hydrangea are also lovely in winter
    Picture: @dawns_gardening

    Have you got a tricky north-facing wall? Transform it with a climbing Hydrangea petiolaris. It’s one of the few plants that thrive in full shade, says Dawn over at @dawns_gardening. Beautiful in the summer months, she also loves her climbing hydrangea in the winter when the blooms become delicately skeletal. See inspirational images of her de ella hydrangeas over de ella at her de ella flower-filled Insta page.

    Leave spent hydrangea blooms on the plant in winter to protect buds from frost

    Different colored pink hydrangeas

    Hydrangea flowers begin to fade in autumn
    Picture: @chebbscooper

    Over at @chebbscooper, Instagrammer Cheryl sometimes cuts and dries a few hydrangea flower heads in autumn. However, this year she says, “the plants are going to keep their mops for a bit of frost protection,” because she’s leaving the spent flowers in place over winter to protect emerging flower buds. Keep up with her de ella’s gorgeous Yorkshire garden and homegrown bouquets at her de ella’s inspirational Insta page de ella.

    Different hydrangea varieties are pruned at different times

    Group of white hydrangeas

    Prune Hydrangea paniculata plants in spring
    Picture: The Sunday Gardener

    Hydrangeas require only minimal pruning,” says Carol Bartlett at The Sunday Gardener. But in order to work out how and when to cut them back, “you need to decide which type of hydrangea you have,” she explains. Some varieties grow on new wood and some on old, so make sure you check before getting the secateurs out! Read Carol’s full article for practical hydrangea pruning tips.

    Always prune your hydrangea macrophylla in spring

    Pruning dried hydrangea heads

    Prune hydrangea macrophylla varieties in spring when buds appear
    Picture: Paul T’s World

    Don’t be tempted to prune your hydrangea macrophylla in autumn, says Paul over at his YouTube channel Paul T’s World. Wait until spring, when you can focus on cleanly removing dead branches and deadheading down to two healthy buds. Learn exactly how to do it by watching Paul’s helpful video and, if you take your time, he says the process is actually quite therapeutic!

    New hydrangea varieties thrive in containers

    White hydrangea in container

    Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride’ has a unique flowing habit and pure white flowers
    Image: Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride’ from T&M

    If you’re looking for the best floriferous, eye-catching hydrangea for a small garden, try Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride’, suggests John at pyracantha. This Chelsea ‘Plant of the Year’ is perfect for growing in a container. A top tip from John – choose a tall pot to accommodate its deep roots and to enjoy the full cascading effect from the gorgeous froth of white flowers.

    Water potted hydrangeas regularly

    Man potting up hydrangeas in containers

    Dan makes sure his potted hydrangea has plenty of nutrient rich soil to keep it happy
    Picture: Home Gardens

    All hydrangeas love water, so it’s especially important to keep an eye on soil hydration when you’re growing in pots, says Dan at YouTube channel Home Gardens. To keep his newly repotted hydrangea moist, but not waterlogged, Dan makes a special soil mix that includes nutritious vegetable-growing compost, normal garden soil, multi-purpose compost and drainage stones. Dan’s quick tip for pinker flowers? Add alkaline wood ash to your potting mix!

    Move potted hydrangeas to a sheltered spot in winter

    Potted hydrangea in winter

    Getting ready to move potted hydrangeas to a greenhouse for the winter
    Image: Shutterstock

    Ray at YouTube channel Gardening for Beginners takes special care to keep his container hydrangeas away from frost over winter. “Compost freezes a lot easier in containers so it’s best to protect the roots,” he says. This means moving his plants into the garage, after adding a layer of fresh mulch to the soil surface. He’s chuffed to bits with his new free hydrangea. Definitely one worth saving!

    Transplant mature hydrangeas to a new location while dormant

    Man sitting in front of dormant hydrangea

    Mark’s lacecap hydrangea will look terrific in its position in the garden
    Picture: Mark’s Garden UK

    Have you inherited a garden with a mature hydrangea? If it’s taking up too much space or blocking a view, don’t hesitate to move it to a new position, says YouTuber Mark at Mark’s Garden UK. Simply wait for the plant to become dormant in winter, give it a really severe prune, then dig it up. With careful management your stately shrub will bloom again in its brand new spot.

    Try propagating hydrangeas using cuttings

    Propagating hydrangea in rooting hormone

    Use rooting hormone when potting up your hydrangea cuttings
    Picture: DIY Home and Gardening

    Got a pile of healthy stems left over from a spring prune? Try to propagate some brand new hydrangea plants from the cuttings, like YouTuber Ian from DIY Home and Gardening. There’s no guarantee of success, but it’s a fun way to try to get a few free plants from your favorite varieties. Watch Ian’s video to see if his hydrangea ‘Annabelle’ cutting takes root!

    After even more hydrangea wisdom? You’ll find a wealth of practice hydrangea-growing information and advice at our dedicated hub page. Stay up to date with all of our newest and most exciting products by following us on instagram or Twitter.

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