Unlike most garden plants, hydrangea does not require a lot of trouble from the gardener. And with proper care, it will delight the eyes of others with incredibly lush flowering. Today we will tell you about the most interesting varieties of tree hydrangea, the rules for caring for this amazing plant.
Hydrangea is a member of the Hydrangea family. Her homeland is the eastern part of North America. This plant is found in natural conditions, for example, on rocky and wooded mountains, along mountain streams from Oklahoma to Georgia, in Indiana, Missouri, New York. The hydrangea tree is common in China and India. This is a delightful ornamental shrub, the height of which can reach two meters! It is very popular around the world due to its unpretentiousness, bright and colorful bouquet.
Features of hydrangea
Let's take a closer look at the tree hydrangea. The description of her, as well as the photographs, are amazing. Rounded shrub form thinshoots covered with light fluff. Hydrangea leaves are about 20 centimeters long and bright green in color. The underside of the leaves usually has a slight bluish tint. The inflorescences are quite large - their diameter can be about 15 cm. These inflorescences form flowers, the width of which is about two centimeters. Hydrangea tree-like blooms (you can see it in the photo) luxuriantly and for a long time - from mid-July to October. At the end of the flowering period, the seeds ripen.
Speaking about the benefits of this shrub, gardeners note its good winter hardiness. Even after severe frosts, the shoots continue to grow. The advantages include a high percentage of rooting cuttings. This plant develops well on soils with a slightly acidic reaction, but it also tolerates the presence of lime in the soil.
Most popular varieties
Based on this species, various varieties have been created that can be purchased in special nurseries in our country. Consider the varieties of tree hydrangea in more detail.
- Hydrangea Annabelle was loved by gardeners for its huge snow-white inflorescences, the diameter of which is about 25 centimeters. The shrub grows incredibly fast, its height can reach 1.5 m. In plant reviews, gardeners usually note that the variety is unpretentious, but it blooms profusely all summer.
- Grandiflora variety is characterized by long and lush flowering, spectacular appearance. By the way, hydrangea inflorescences of this variety during the flowering period repeatedly change color.So, only blooming flowers have a pale green hue, then become snow-white. When the flowering period comes to an end, the hydrangea acquires a light creamy hue. The shrub grows up to two meters, and it often grows up to three meters wide!
- Pink Annabelle. This variety of tree hydrangea (pictured below) was created on the basis of the Annabelle variety. This is the first plant of this species, the inflorescences of which have a pleasant pink color. This variety also has one more feature - if after the first flowering the bush is pruned, after 5-6 weeks it will bloom again!
- Another variety, which was based on the tree hydrangea Annabelle, is called Strong Annabelle. Unlike the inflorescences of the "relative", the inflorescences of this hydrangea will not fall down in the rain or from the wind. The branches of this shrub are strong and strong, flowering begins in June and ends in September.
- Among the new varieties of Hydrangea arborescens and White House. The size of the white inflorescences of this shrub reaches 25 cm. The plant is characterized by a sprawling domed crown. The height of this hydrangea is usually 1.5 meters.
Tree hydrangea: planting and care. Shrub site selection
The first thing to do before planting this spectacular plant is to decide on a place. If you live in an area with a warm climate, it is best to prepare a spot in partial shade. Of course, hydrangeas can grow in sunny areas, but it is important to understand that she will need regular plentifulwatering. Hydrangeas planted in the middle lane and to the north prefer areas with openwork shade or good lighting.
Date of planting
Gardeners living in the southern part of Russia can plant tree hydrangeas both in spring (immediately after the soil thaws, but before bud break) and in autumn. They will take root equally well and endure the winter without any problems. But in the northern regions of our country, it is recommended to plant a plant only in the spring.
Features of planting hydrangeas
The size of the pit depends on the size of the clod of earth, which is located on the roots of the seedling. Usually it varies from 30 to 40 centimeters. This type of hydrangea is very demanding on the presence of moisture and various nutrients in the soil. Therefore, a mixture of soddy soil, compost, river sand and humus should be added to the planting pit.
An important step in preparing a plant for planting is to inspect the roots. Too long, dried and broken should be removed. It is best if the roots are approximately the same length. Tangled roots must be untangled and straightened. In order for the seedlings to take root for sure, it is recommended to soak the tree hydrangea in a heteroauxin solution for a period of two hours to a day before planting.
During planting, the root neck should be placed at ground level. In no case should it be covered with earth. Immediately after planting, the shoots should be watered abundantly and topped up with soil. Gardeners note that a slight drying of the roots of this plant can complicaterooting, the bush develops more slowly. It is also important to protect young bushes from the sun and drafts.
Rules of care: watering
Like other species of this plant, the arboreal hydrangea needs regular watering. You need to do this at least once a week. An adult plant will need at least 15-20 liters of water. Water less often only in case of rain.
Experienced gardeners advise four top dressings in one season. The plant will need the first when the shoots begin their active growth. Fertilizers containing potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen should be applied. You can add trace elements to this composition. The second application of nutrients should be carried out during the formation of buds. Suitable potassium and superphosphate. The same fertilizer must be applied two more times during the summer.
Loosening and mulching
Another extremely important stage of care is soil mulching. It is necessary to carry out this procedure after the shoots begin to grow. You need to take peat, sawdust or wood chips. Height should not be less than 5 centimeters. In this case, it is necessary to ensure that the mulch layer does not touch the shoot and trunks. During one season, it is necessary to loosen the soil around the hydrangea 2-3 times.
What else do hydrangeas need? Care for her must necessarily include pruning. It can be divided into several types:
Let's consider all types in more detail.
Formative pruning should be done in early spring. It is necessary in order for the bushes to be kept in good condition. The thing is that this plant blooms on the shoots of the new year. That is, over time, they thicken very much, lose their attractiveness. This significantly reduces the quality of flowering. Thanks to the formative pruning, the shoots become stronger and stronger. The inflorescences are also growing. With this type of pruning, strong shoots must be shortened by no more than five buds, weak shoots by 3 buds. Immediately after pruning, a fertilizer containing potassium and nitrogen should be applied.
Sanitary pruning is usually carried out already in the second year after planting. It is necessary to prune broken, dry branches and shoots that are poorly developed. Last year's branches should also be shortened.
In order to rejuvenate the bushes, gardeners recommend sanitary pruning. During this procedure, all branches are cut at a level of half a meter from the surface of the earth. Please note: after sanitary pruning, the plant will begin to bloom only after a year. Do not prune bushes younger than four years old.
If the plant needed a transplant, it should be done in early spring, as soon as the snow melts. However, in the southern regions, this can be done in the spring. Here are the main rules for transplanting hydrangeas:
- Before proceeding with the procedure of transplanting a bush, it is necessary to cut it. Shoots should be shortened by a third of the length.
- The plant should be transplanted together withlarge earthy clod, being careful not to damage the roots. If during the digging of the hydrangea the earthen root was damaged or the root system was damaged, gardeners recommend radical pruning. Otherwise, the plant is unlikely to take root.
- The first two months after transplanting a hydrangea to a new place, it should be shaded. It is important to water the plant regularly.
One more step that should not be forgotten is top dressing. It should be carried out no earlier than a month after transplantation, when shoot growth resumes.
Preparing plants for winter
In their reviews of tree hydrangea, gardeners note its excellent winter hardiness. Among its advantages is the rapid growth of shoots even after severe cold weather. It is these qualities that make it possible to grow shrubs in almost any climatic zone. However, in the middle lane and northern regions, it is recommended to make a shelter for hydrangeas: a wooden stake should be stuck into the ground next to the bush, to which the shoots should be tied. Next, you need to cover the hydrangea with spruce branches fastened together. Instead of spruce branches, you can use special covering materials.
The easiest way to propagate tree hydrangeas is to propagate by cuttings. The percentage of rooting reaches 100% when the green cuttings are treated with a solution of indolylbutyric acid. You can harvest cuttings twice a year: the first time in early June, the second time in July. It is necessary to cut the cuttings with three pairsleaves. The sections must be treated with a growth stimulator, and then the cuttings should be placed on a shady bed. The soil should be moist and loose. The rooting process usually takes about 20-30 days. Throughout this time, you need to water the plant and cover with cut plastic bottles.
Another option is to propagate by layering. In the spring, you need to bend the shoot to the ground, after digging a shallow and long hole. Then you need to fill it with a 2-centimeter layer of earth. The end of the escape must be bent up. During the season, it is necessary to sprinkle the earth several times and periodically moisten. A year later, the rooted shoot must be separated from the bush with a pruner and planted in a shady area. Such a plant will bloom in the fourth year.
Pests and diseases
Tree hydrangea is usually affected by only two pests - spider mites and green leaf aphids. To combat them, it is recommended to use chemicals sold in specialized stores. However, it is much easier to prevent the appearance of pests than to treat a plant. For example, you can treat hydrangeas with a solution consisting of a bucket of warm water, 300 grams of dandelion roots (they must be finely chopped). It is necessary to infuse the solution for about three hours. They need to process the plant both before the leaves appear on it, and after flowering. Among the diseases, a fungal disease called powdery mildew can be distinguished. Both chemicals and folk remedies will help to cope with it. One of the most effective is the use of manure. Thirdbuckets of manure must be filled with cold water and left for 3-4 days. It is important to periodically mix such a composition. After 3-4 days, the solution must be filtered, diluted with water (the optimal combination is 1:10). In the evening, you need to spray the hydrangea.