Thursday 12 September 2019

Hydrangea: Tougher Than I Thought

    Last Spring we were attracted to a small beautiful Hydrangea plant at a gardening center.  It sported intensely blue clusters of flowers.  We couldn’t resist, so we bought it and planted it beside our house.  It looked good all summer, but by the fall, it didn’t really look all that healthy.
    I had first noticed a blue flowered Hydrangea bush along my cousin’s driveway, down on Vancouver Island.  Since their climate is a whole lot milder than ours, I figured that the Hydrangea we had purchased, was probably not going to survive through our cold winters, but I was willing to exert a bit of effort just in case it might survive up here, so I dug it up, and replanted it in our garden.  I didn’t really have much hope for it.
    In the Spring, still in our garden, I noticed that it did have some leaf buds developing, which surprised me, so I dug it up and replanted it in our front yard.  It took a while to get going, the leaves finally developed and the plant slowly grew a bit throughout the summer.  I didn’t really hold out any hope that we we would get any flowers out of it, but as you can see by the photo, we did.
    It seems that the color of Hydrangea flowers depend on the acidity of the soil.  If the acidity is acidic the blooms are blue or purple, and if the soil is alkaline the flowers are pink or red.  Looks like we have acidic soil.  My investigations on the internet also said I should insulate the plant during the winter with straw or mulch to protect it from the cold.  I guess I was pretty lucky last winter, since I didn’t do that and it still survived our long, cold, winters.

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