One of the most decorative and long-flowering shrubs, which for some reason is not widespread in our gardens, is the tree hydrangea.
In almost every front garden, lilacs, mock-mushrooms, various rose hips (park roses) bloom. But in a rare garden there are hydrangeas.
For most people, hydrangea is associated with a luxurious potted plant, pink and blue hats of which, in recent times, adorned almost all festive events in our country. This is a large-leaved or garden hydrangea, which, when trying to grow in open ground, usually dies in the first or second winter, and only very experienced gardeners can get abundant flowering from it, spending a lot of effort and choosing the most winter-hardy forms.
Another thing is tree hydrangea. The flowering of this species in the conditions of the Leningrad region, depending on the weather, begins in mid-late July and continues until the end of September. There are few plants in our gardens that would delight the gardener with such a long flowering. Moreover, these are not individual flowers, namely, a profusely blooming, from 1.2 to 2 meters high, bush with huge (depending on the variety and care) - from 15 cm to 25 cm in diameter - white inflorescences. The fact is that rather large flowers (1.5-2 cm) are sterile, therefore, they do not set seeds and do not wither for a long time.
The tree hydrangea bush on the lawn is a stunning sight. And growing in partial shade, against the background of coniferous or dark-leaved shrubs, creates a "long-playing" light spot.
Hydrangea tree-like in its life cycle to some extent resembles an ordinary raspberry. Of course, she does not "run", but every year from the base of the bush gives growth. These shoots do not bloom in the first year, the unripe tops (depending on the severity of winter) freeze by 20-40 cm. But in the second year, strong shoots with magnificent inflorescences at the ends develop from the preserved buds. The higher the buds are located on the shoot, the larger the inflorescence and the earlier it will bloom.
In order to have guaranteed flowering every year, it makes sense to cover the base of the bush for the winter. It can be simple hilling to a height of 30-40 cm with peat, humus or just earth on frozen soil. You can bend the shoots and cover them with a dry sheet or sawdust, but in this case, you need a waterproof cover on top (but not on the sides! - for ventilation) made of old film, roofing material, iron sheet.
In the spring, as the soil thaws, the shelter is removed, mechanically damaged and frozen parts of the shoots are removed, fed with any nitrogen-containing fertilizer.
Hydrangea is very responsive to soil mulching with humus. If all these conditions are met, then flowering is guaranteed. Well, if in the first half of summer 2-3 additional fertilizing with organic fertilizers is made (infusion of mullein, bird droppings, fermented herbs), then the flowering will be luxurious.
Like all hydrangeas, the tree hydrangea prefers rich, slightly acidic soils, but this species feels great on neutral soils and even tolerates slightly alkaline ones, although it feels oppressed on them. And, of course, watering is a necessary event.
Tree hydrangea can be propagated by dividing the bush and grafting.
In our gardens, in addition to the usual (wild) form, which, in addition to decorative sterile, also has fertile small flowers, there is the Sterilis form, in the flat inflorescence of which all flowers are sterile.
In recent years, the Anabel form has appeared with hemispherical inflorescences up to 30 cm in diameter.
It seems to me that this grateful and long-flowering plant should take its rightful place in our gardens.
V. Khrabrov, gardener
Treelike hydrangea is often grown in summer cottages. This is explained by its unpretentiousness and decorativeness. It grows quickly, tolerates winters well enough, blooms all summer with large hemispherical shields, which change color from white to light green. Treelike hydrangea tolerates our alkaline soils better than other species, but still prefers slightly acidic ones, demanding on their fertility and moisture.
Treelike hydrangea grows well in sheltered from the wind, well-lit or semi-shady places.
Hydrangea grows quickly, but by winter not all shoots have time to become woody, so they can freeze slightly. But this does not affect flowering, since the tree hydrangea is pruned every spring, leaving 6-10 buds on each shoot. Old, weak and growing shoots inside the crown are cut into a ring.
Even if the hydrangea tree is cut to the base, it will still bloom, since its inflorescences are formed on the shoots of the current year. The shorter the pruning, the larger the inflorescences. True, there will be fewer of them than with a longer cut.
A planting pit for hydrangea is prepared quite impressive sizes: width 50-70, depth 40-50 cm.It is filled with a mixture of leafy earth, humus, peat and sand (2: 2: 1: 1), filled with superphosphate and potassium sulfate (2- 3 tablespoons).
Plant the hydrangea so that the root collar is at the level of the soil. Sprinkle the roots with the remaining soil mixture and watered immediately. As soon as the water is absorbed, it is advisable to mulch the trunk circle with peat. Do not regret buying peat for hydrangea!
Treelike hydrangea care
In the hot season of our summer, hydrangea suffers, so do not forget to water it. Hydrangea is a moisture-loving culture, it is not for nothing that its name in translation from Greek means "a vessel with water." Water the hydrangea preferably with soft water. The water from the artesian well is unlikely to be pleasant to her.
In order for the hydrangea to bloom well every year, it must be fed. In the spring, she is given a complex fertilizer with microelements: 2 tablespoons per bucket of water. The second time the hydrangea is fed during the budding period: 2 tablespoons of superphosphate, a tablespoon of potassium sulfate in a bucket of water. Once a month, the plant can be fed with organic infusions (mullein, green grass). The last time the hydrangea is fed is at the end of summer. You can use special fertilizers for hydrangeas.
The soil under the bushes, which begin to suffer from chlorosis, is powdered with colloidal sulfur.
Hydrangea tree reproduction
Hydrangea is propagated by layering and cuttings. In order to obtain layering, in the spring, bend the branch away from the bush and sprinkle it with a nutritious soil mixture. Only the tip of the shoot remains sprinkled. The cuttings are constantly watered, and in the fall they are separated from the mother plant and planted in a permanent place.
In June-July, cuttings with 1-2 internodes are cut from a bush. The lower leaves on them are removed, and the upper ones are cut in half. Cuttings are planted in a mixture of peat and sand (2: 1) and covered with plastic wrap. Cuttings treated with root, zircon will root faster.
Treelike hydrangea varieties
Treelike hydrangea has several forms. Let's briefly describe the most decorative ones.
GRANDIFLORA is a two-meter shrub with large (up to 20 cm in diameter) creamy. white inflorescences.
STERILIS - sterile flowers of this form form dense hemispherical heavy inflorescences, which gradually change color from greenish-white to pure white.
ANNABEL is a shrub up to one and a half meters high with a spreading crown. White flowers are collected in large (up to 25 cm in diameter) inflorescences.
The tree hydrangea (Hydrangéa arboréscens) belongs to the Hydrangea family. North America is considered the birthplace of the plant. Natural habitat - rocky mountains and river banks of Indiana, New York, Oklahoma. It is found in its natural habitat in China and India. The hydrangea was brought to Europe in the early 19th century by the German naturalist Philip Franz von Siebold. The cultivated shrub can now be seen in any country in the world.
Experts use another botanical name for the plant - hydrangea, which is translated from Greek as "a vessel with water". And this is no coincidence, since the shrub is quite hygrophilous. In Japan, the culture is called "yearning for water", in Eastern countries - "fashionista": because of the change in shades of colors (white, greenish, pink). In the language of flowers, hydrangea means "remember me." She was awarded such qualities as sincerity, hope, modesty.
In height, the deciduous shrub reaches an average of 1.5 meters, in nature - up to 3 meters. Slender tubular shoots are slightly pubescent. Bulky, ovoid leaves have a rich green color, which lasts until cold weather. In some species, shoots acquire a reddish tint by August. The length of the leaf blades is about 20 cm. Leaves on thin, long petioles are located on the branches opposite each other (opposite).
Hydrangea blooms profusely and luxuriantly from June to October. Large caps of inflorescences, reaching a diameter of 15-30 cm, consist of many flowers, which are smaller in the center than at the edges. The maximum diameter of one bud is 3 cm. Depending on the variety, the color of the petals may be different. Densely spaced inflorescences often cover the bush completely, as if a cloud had landed. By the end of October, the seeds ripen on the plant.
Treelike hydrangea is quite cold-resistant. It grows quickly: shoots grow thirty centimeters per season.
Many legends and beliefs are associated with the plant. One of them says that on Buddha's birthday a flower rain fell from the sky, and then a wonderful nectar called "amycha" poured down. Suddenly, a flowering shrub "audisai" appeared - this is how the Japanese call hydrangea.
Another Japanese legend says that the guilty emperor gave his beloved family a bouquet of hydrangeas to make amends. Since then, the flower has symbolized the sincerity of feelings. Although in some countries, a donated hydrangea means love suffering and loneliness.
If we talk about signs, then an ornamental shrub growing on a garden plot will keep the owner from doing bad things, help to overcome bad habits: alcohol, smoking will give peace of mind and well-being.
If you are planting several plants at once in a row (or in a square, oval), then maintain a distance between seedlings of 1-1.5 meters
You can add organic matter, granular superphosphate, urea or potassium sulfate to the planting hole. In this case, within 2 years after planting, the hydrangea is not fed.
The hardest part is deciding how to prune a hydrangea for the winter when it comes to the large-leaved representative of this plant. The decision in this case will depend not only on the type of bush, but also on its variety, age and even the climate in which it grows.
It is believed that the large-leaved hydrangea blooms on last year's shoots. This is not entirely true, because inflorescences are formed on the shoots of this year, which grew from buds on last year's branches. The closer the young shoot is to the top of the branch, the more chances it will bloom. Therefore, pruning must be carried out especially carefully, trying not to drown out the bush, and not to deprive it of the opportunity to bloom.
You need to be very careful to shorten branches and even cut off inflorescences, trying not to hurt the upper pairs of buds
The most important thing when pruning before winter is to preserve the shoots that have formed in the spring and have not yet bloomed. But old, lignified and already faded branches can be safely removed. Remember that large-leaved hydrangea is a typical shrub, and branches over 4-5 years old are simply not needed. Also remove broken or diseased branches, thin growth, excess zero shoots.
In modern breeding, varieties of large-leaved hydrangea have appeared, which in mild climates bloom on both old and young shoots. it Endless Summer, Freepon, Green Shadows, Hopcorn, Schloss Wackerbarth, Hanabi Rose and others. The bushes of these varieties carry out only sanitary and thinning pruning.
Regardless of whether you decide to prune your hydrangea in the fall or leave these chores until spring, be sure to remove any dried buds. It is ideal to do this as soon as the flowers wilt, even in November it will not be too late.
1. Prepare a seat measuring 50x50x50 cm.
2. Add sand and good quality compost. We plant the plant, trying not to deepen the root collar.
Hydrangea is good in single (specimen) plantings, but more effective in homogeneous groups. Flowering hedges are made from it.
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