Smooth hydrangea care – Your guide to wild hydrangeas
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Image from Wikimedia.org – Capain-Tucker
Growing wild hydrangeas
Smooth hydrangeas are sometimes referred to as wild hydrangeas because of their giant white blooms. Smooth hydrangeas are well-regarded for the large, white flowers produced on the shrub. When the shrub first blooms you will notice that it takes on a light green hue. As the flower begins to mature it transitions from that light green colour into a creamy or bright white colour. There are distinct varieties that you can find such as the Invincibelle spirit which produces pink flowers which naturally turn brown as they age. In almost all cases though you will get white flowers. Wild hydrangeas differ from the more common mophead hydrangeas in so far as you cannot change the colour of the flowers by changing the soil. The leaves you get are typically shaped like hearts and they take on a very dark green colour.
Smooth hydrangea care
When you are growing wild hydrangeas be aware of the fact that they prefer acidic soil but not too acidic. The mild point of the spectrum is best. It is also recommended that you make sure the soil is nutrient-rich. You can always add compost to your soil and fertilizer once a year if you would like to keep it happy and healthy.
The plants need to be in an area that is well-drained. The reason for this is to prevent root rot. The one thing about which hydrangeas are slightly finicky is water. They need to be watered regularly such that the soil is always moist, but the soil can ever dry out nor can it retain water so much so that the roots rot.
The wild hydrangea does not do well over the summer months without rain so in the middle of summer, you need to make sure that you increase the rate with which you water your plant to keep it growing at its best.
In terms of sunlight, the shrub can handle full sun depending on which variety you choose but most of them prefer a bit of shade and relief from the hot burn of the afternoon sun. If you have planted your shrub in full sun, keep an eye out for any drooping of the leaves. If you notice that the leaves are hanging downward, increase the rate of watering.
Wild hydrangeas are not susceptible to serious insect or disease problems but they are susceptible to powdery mildew, mould, bacterial wilt, and leaf spots. You also want to keep your eyes peeled for aphids.
Pruning your wild hydrangeas
As is the case with all hydrangeas you can prune your wild hydrangeas back, close to the ground, at the end of winter. This helps to encourage better growth the following spring. If you don’t prune at the end of winter you can always do it at the beginning of Spring to achieve the same outcome. Be aware of the fact that these shrubs will produce blooms on new wood so always try and prune just before the new growth starts to avoid cutting off flower buds.
If at any time you notice sick or dead branches, you can prune them no matter the time of year.
If you choose not to prune in Winter it will promote better vigour in the stems. So if this is something you need to encourage one year for whatever reason, change the time of year you prune.
Smooth hydrangea varieties:
|Incrediball Blush||Very small petals, large bushy blooms in shades of light green and white|
|Incrediball Hydrangea||Very small petals that comprise a large bush type bloom with a light green shade|
|Invincibelle Limette||Pink flowers made of four or five petals, all blooming in a large Bush shape|
|Invincibelle Wee White Hydrangea||Clusters of tiny white flowers that take on a miniature ball form|
Image credits – Shutterstock