Last updated on August 1st, 2019
There are many popular hydrangeas but one of the most popular is the mophead hydrangea. This is the one almost all gardeners and florists are acquainted with best and if you purchase flowers from a florist it is likely a mop head variety. In this post, we going to look into how to care for these beautiful plants.
How to look after mophead hydrangeas
The mop heads are one of the most popular garden shrubs because of the unique shape of their flowers. You might also know them as French hydrangeas, bigleaf hydrangeas, or pom pom hydrangeas.
Growing them is quite simple. These deciduous hydrangeas come with large heads of blossoms. They are easy to take care of, they bloom regularly, and they draw the eye which is why most gardeners love them.
Referred to also as a big leaf hydrangea, not only are the flower blossoms large and boisterous but so too are the leaves which are big in their shape and size. Some can be as large as dinner plates. The leaves are bright green in color with a rounded shape which helps to give the shrub and overall rounded shape.
The mophead hydrangeas can grow incredibly tall and incredibly wide. They grow very fast as well so if you space them appropriately you can use them to cultivate hedges quickly.
There are two types of mophead hydrangeas:
- The first produce small flowers in large rounded clusters which are typically the size of a head of cabbage.
- The second is called lace caps and they have blooms that look like flat discs circled with larger, more showy flowers.
Changing the color of the flower
If you are going to grow mophead hydrangeas, one of the most exciting secrets is that by caring for the soil composition you can change the color of the flowers. If you grow your mophead hydrangeas in acidic soil it will produce blue flowers. If you grow it in highly alkaline soil it will produce pink flowers.
Where to plant in your garden
These shrubs thrive on very little maintenance as long as you plant them in the appropriate area, to begin with. They are best planted in full sun in the morning with afternoon shade in the evening particularly if you live in a very hot region.
Soil and Water
The soil in which they are planted needs to be moist, with lots of elbow room for growth and expansion. Make sure that the soil is well-drained in as well. It might behove you to include regular irrigation so that the soil always maintains the proper level of moisture. If it dries out the roots will become damaged but if it gets too wet the shrub gets damaged as well. This is really the only area where it’s slightly finicky. As the root system develops the amount of water it requires increases. Most of the time you will only have to add extra water during a dry spell, particularly in the summer if you live in an area where it’s very hot for more than a few days at a time.
If you grow them in areas with reduced shade and higher exposure to sunlight you will have to increase your watering proportionally. Once the summer is over the amount that you irrigate will reduce.
Pruning and deadheading
In terms of pruning the hydrangeas do not require pruning. You can do it for aesthetic purposes especially if you want to get rid of dead branches and you can certainly deadhead the shrub to get rid of blooms once they have reached their peak however the plant will do just fine if you never come at it with a pair of shears. If you opt to prune the mop head hydrangea make sure that you do it right after it has finished flowering so that you don’t disturb any of the new growth.