‘Best time’ to plant hydrangeas for ‘overwhelmingly’ beautiful blooms

Alan Titchmarsh shows off his hydrangeas

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Hydrangeas are beautiful shrubby plants that are known for their lacy, pastel-coloured flowers. The gorgeous plants add a touch of colour – usually pale pink, blue, cream or blue – in shady corners of the garden.

Oregon-based landscape architect and garden designer Bethany Rydmark said hydrangeas “overwhelm the senses in the best possible way” when lots of the plants bloom together, according to Homes & Gardens.

There are a plethora of hydrangea varieties which can vary in size. Mopheads and lacecap cultivars are some of the most popular with some varieties changing colour depending on pH of the soil.

Hydrangeas with pink or blue flowers are more likely to be blue or tinged blue in more acidic soils while those in more alkaline conditions are likely to be pink.

Those that are red, white or green will remain the same colour regardless of your soil’s pH.

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Planting hydrangeas

Hydrangeas can be planted throughout the year, however, it’s best to plant them either in spring or autumn when the weather is less extreme.

The more shrubby hydrangeas can be planted in the ground at any point apart from when the weather is extremely cold or hot and when the soil is overly waterlogged after torrential rain.

Also, avoid planting hydrangeas in frozen ground or compost that is excessively dry after a period of drought.

However, gardening expert Anne Greenall disagreed, claiming spring, when frosts are over and the ground is warmer, is the “best time” to plant hydrangeas, according to Homes & Gardens.

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Anne, who also owns a UK national collection of hydrangeas, also claimed early autumn was a “good time” to plant the popular plants as the roots have a chance to become well-established.

Hydrangeas prefer evenly moist soil that’s fertile in a semi-shady position.

To improve your soil’s condition, you can dig in an organic soil improver like compost.

Potted hydrangeas need to be planted a little later – in April or May. Some of the best varieties for container gardening include Hydrangea macrophylla “Red Hot Violet” and “Altona”, according to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

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The container needs to have good drainage holes and be filled with a mixture John Innes No.3 and peat-free multipurpose compost.

Your potted hydrangea will need to be kept moist but it should never be overwatered to the point where it becomes waterlogged.

If you do overwater your hydrangea, it will begin to wilt and the leaves may turn yellow and fall off the plant.

You can plant your hydrangea in the ground after it’s been kept in a container. Again, it’s best to do this in either spring or autumn.

If you are planning on planting your container hydrangea in the ground in spring, wait until all the frosts are over – this is usually mid to late May.

Climbing hydrangeas should also be planted in spring or autumn but they can take a little longer to become fully established.

Once they are established, they can grow vigorously and can even cover and entire wall.

These plants are best-suited to east and north-facing walls and fences and produce beautiful white flowers in summer.

Climbing hydrangeas like most soil types but dislike chalky or waterlogged conditions. This plant will also grow well in the shade or sun.

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