|Scientific Name : Hydrangea macrophylla
|Family : Hydrangeaceae
|Colour : Blue, Dark Purple, white, Green, Pink
|Common names : French hydrangea, Big leaf, Snowball and Japanese Hydrangea
|Flowering Period : Summer
Hydrangea is a shrub with large, medium to dark green, luxuriant foliage with round ball shaped cluster of flowers. These shrubs are easy to grow and flowers well in areas with mild winters. A native of Japan and Korea, the shrub has many varieties and hybrids. One of the remarkable characteristics is that the same plant can produce both pink and blue flowers depending on the ph factor or the aluminum content of the soil-blue in acidic soil and pink in alkaline soil. The blooms stay long as cut flowers.Planting
The shrub can be propagated using cuttings which easily grows roots or through dividing from old established plants. It can also be propagated by layering. Remove one inch wide ring of outer bark from the middle section of a stem of a hydrangea plant. Bend and insert this section of the stem in the soil. Let the upper tip of the stem 6-12 inches remain uncovered with soil. Roots will start growing from the part of the stem under the soil and the plant will be ready to be replanted within 6 months.
Hydrangea's can be replanted on the ground in a mass or even in a large container in a mixture of composted organic leaf matter and soil, 8-10 inches thick. The top of the root should be in level with the surface of the soil and should be watered thoroughly. It grows well in rich moist but well drained soil. Partial shade to light sun gives the best results. The plants gets established 4-8 weeks after transplanting. After that several light application of a complete fertilizer is good during its growing months.
Prune the stems and flowers heads and as soon as they begin to fade for splendid foliage, but avoid pruning after August when the flower buds begin to form. Pruning in late summer can reduce flowering in the next season.