According to the botanical classification, hydrangea belongs to the family of the same name. Now these flowers bloom profusely in the gardens and sit majestically in pots on the windowsills, looking out of the windows. In Europe, hydrangea appeared more than six centuries ago. An exotic plant was brought at different times from North America and Asia to France and England. Like any curiosity, it cost a lot of money and replenished the collections of only wealthy people. In Europe, initially hydrangea was represented by only two colors: scarlet and white. Subsequently, thanks to the work of breeders, inflorescences of new colors appeared. Although hydrangea grows in large areas of North and South America, the Far East of Russia and Asia, the most widespread flower has been in China and Japan. AT
To the land of the rising sun, he was given the name adzai, which translates from kanji, as "purple sun flower". The most lush thickets of hydrangeas can be seen in the ancient Japanese city, one of the former capitals of the country - Kamakura. In addition to the statue of the Buddha and numerous Shinto temples, there is Meigetsu-in or Adzayay-dera, which translates as "Hortense Temple." The complex has existed since 1160 and throughout this time buildings carefully surrounded by bright blue clouds of hydrangea inflorescences of Princess variety. In early summer, the temple turns into a huge fragrant garden, which attracts tourists to itself. Now to get such magnificence for your home is easy. Let's learn about the vagaries of the hydrangea garden, the features of its cultivation and species classification.
Features of hydrangea
The exact age of hydrangea has not yet been established. Scientists sometimes give fantastic numbers of tens of millions of years. The reason for such statements they have: independent excavations on different continents have shown that the seeds of plants have been preserved in the thickness of the earth since the time of the Cenozoic era. The first botanist who introduced the general public to hydrangea was John Bartram. A self-taught enthusiast, he independently organized an expedition to Appalachia in 1732, where he discovered more than one new type of plant that was previously unknown to science. Among them was the hydrangea tree. It was her first brought to the Old World from the New. The European name "hydrangea" gave the plant a French botanist and naturalist Philibert Commerson. It came from the Latin "hortus", which translates as "garden". Subsequently, in a later classification, the hydrangea was renamed “hydrangea”, which in Greek means “vessel with water”. In the conventional wisdom, the new name of the flower was due to the special form of seed pods, which resembled small jugs. Although the official name has changed, and in the textbooks, the hydrangea has been called differently, the very name that the plant Commerson has called has been used in everyday life.
There is a legend that the botanist named an exotic flower after his beloved, because in those times, girls were often called Hortensia.
However, due to the large number of “challengers” who could stir up Commerson’s soul, the true inspirer by the name of Hortense among historical figures could not be calculated. The second birthplace of the flower is Japan. It was practically impossible to get rare species in this country and take them out in the Middle Ages. Since 1639, it has become closed to foreigners. Enthusiasts had to get out, inventing original ways of exporting plants. Botanist Karl Thunberg and doctor Philip von Siebolz discovered two more varieties for the rest of the world: large-leaved hydrangea and paniculate respectively. The latter even paid for his activities a couple of years spent in the Japanese dungeons. After that, the doctors sent out of the country without the right to return, but he still kept valuable sprouts and brought them to Holland. At the same time, another cultivar was introduced from China, which was named Hydrangea Joseph Banks in honor of the founder of Kew Gardens in England, where he was first planted.
Furor, produced by the novelty, already after a couple of years came to naught, and the flower was unjustly forgotten. True, oblivion did not last long (compared to the age of the plant), only a couple of decades, and today we can observe a new boom for a beautiful hydrangea that delights with the pomp of inflorescences and the variety of colors.
Immediately after appearing in the Old World, the first batch of flowers sold out in private collections and private greenhouses. Just a couple of sprouts were in Belgium. In this country, even in the Middle Ages, the city of Ghent flourished (both figuratively and literally). Subsequently, he received the unspoken status of "City of Flowers". For several centuries, several private farms grew the most unusual, exotic plants for Europe, which were subsequently sold. Business went uphill, as large greenhouses and winter gardens, with which the rich decorated their mansions, became fashionable. To this day, every five years, the Ghent Florals Festival of Flowers is held in Ghent. Growing hydrangea "on an industrial scale" here began at the beginning of the last century. The flower business was divided between several local families. Although mainly green house species grow in greenhouses, they have repeatedly received top awards at various contests and festivals.
Lush clusters of inflorescences, immersed in the green leaves, really worthy of the attention of gardeners. In addition to the luxurious appearance, the flower has an appeasable character and practically does not show whims. The only thing that the hydrangea literally cannot live without is abundant watering. The plant loves water, but it has a more complicated relationship with the sun: it will please flowers, growing even in the shady zone of the garden. High bushes can perform the role of hedge on the site. The variety of colors and even different shades of inflorescences on the same bush, allow you to bring new colors to the landscape palette and set the mood.
Types and varieties
The genus Hortensia unites several dozen species. There is no consensus among the nerds regarding their exact number. As usual, in the scientific community, disputes do not subside: some species they require to be merged into one, and others vice versa - divided on the basis of significant differences between plants. Hortensia grows not only in the form of shrubs, but also trees and even lianas. Consider the top ten species that have become the most popular among gardeners.
Large-leaved or garden hydrangea
Large-leaved or garden hydrangea is a shrub that can reach a height of up to 4 m. It has wide leaves with sharp tips that generously cover branches. Pink flowers are collected in inflorescences-panicle. In the cultivated varieties still found blue and white color. Unlike other species of the genus Hortensia, this plant loves the sun and can be planted in places with weak penumbra. It is this species, despite the "garden" name, is actively planted in pots and planted on window sills. Prefers medium to weakly acid soils. Depending on their acidity, it can change the color of the inflorescences. To maintain the plant, which was planted in alkaline soil, experts recommend watering it with a solution containing salts. It has low resistance to frost, which is why it grows in open ground only in the south of Russia. In other regions, it is grown in closed greenhouses and winter gardens. To increase the frost resistance of a plant is possible only with the help of proper care and abundant watering in the summer. Inflorescences will be formed on last year's shoots, therefore, to preserve them is the main task of the gardener. If, nevertheless, take a risk and plant a hydrangea in the open ground in the middle lane, then for the winter the bush will have to be safely covered. You can use the same materials as for delicate garden roses. It grows quickly, reproduces well by cutting.
Hydrangea paniculata - shrubs and trees that can grow to a height of up to 10 m. We already mentioned this species, originally from Asia. The natural range of paniculate hydrangea is China, Japan and the Russian Far East. Although the crown of ornamental trees is wide enough, their roots do not lie deep, only 0.5-1 m deep in the ground. Prefers loose forest soils.
Predominantly grows on the edges and glades. The inflorescences, unlike the garden hydrangea, have the shape of pyramids and can reach up to 25 cm in diameter. The leaves of the trees are elongated, densely cover the branches. White flowers bloom in late June and fade in late October. Interestingly, the fertile inflorescences, which are located in the middle of the bunch, fall off early, and the fruitless, framing "pyramid", partially pinkish over time and hold up to the first frost. Hortensia paniculata very quickly goes to growth, if climatic conditions contribute to this. Well propagated by cutting. If you plant a hydrangea with a seed, the first flowering can be observed only in the fourth year of growth.
The plant prefers acidic or neutral soil. Negatively reacts to impurities in the form of ash, chalk, lime. To grow a tree, twice over the summer, hydrangea removes buds on lateral shoots.
Hortensia Bretschneider or groundcover
Hortensia Bretshneider got its name in honor of the Russian botanist and geographer. Shrubs can have a crown with a diameter of up to 3 m and stretch to a height of 4 m, as well as large-leaved hydrangea. In the middle latitudes of Russia may freeze over. It blooms throughout the summer and early autumn. It has wide, very large (the largest in the genus) leaves of a slightly elongated shape with characteristic "notches" along the contour. The flowers are also large, gathered in typical for most types of brushes, but less lush than those of hydrangea for garden or paniculata. It has a superficial root system.
Inflorescences at the beginning of flowering white, then darken and become rich purple. The leaves, which originally had a milky green hue, subsequently darken and become dark brown by September. Prefers acidic or neutral soil. Like the rest of the species, likes abundant watering, but grows poorly in the shade. The plant must be fed compositions, rich in iron and magnesium. Pruning is carried out in the spring before sap flow. Weak shoots are removed to a well-developed node. If the moment with pruning was missed and the sap flow has already begun, then the weak and frozen shoots can be removed after the leaves are released. Looks great in mixborders and as a hedge. Lives well with perennials.
The hydrangea inflorescences of the Bretschneider well keep their shape after drying, therefore they are often used as components of dry bouquets or decorative compositions.
Hydrated or stalked hydrangea
Stemmy or climbing hydrangea is a unique woven look that does not have a trunk. If you compare the plant with other members of the genus, the flower is extremely unpretentious. All he needs is abundant watering and free space for wild growth. It has wide leaves and white inflorescences, gathered in lush brushes. Hortensia is stalky frost hardy, but young shoots are better covered for the first couple of years for the winter.
It is classified into several varieties: cordifolia, petiolaris, Miranda, winding vine. Prefers penumbra. Ideal for facades of houses, porches, porches, gazebos, pergolas and patios. With ease can replace grapes, hops, clematis or ivy. Planted in subacid soil. Often becomes a target for insect pests. It has a poorly developed, superficial root system. Requires systematic feeding (especially in the early years). Well propagated by grafting and with the help of branches. The cuttings are cut off in the middle of spring, and the branches are simply dropped in near the bush in the previously fed soil.
Hydrangea ashy or gray
The hydrangea ashen got its name because of the gray color of the leaves on the reverse side. It has large brush white inflorescences. Cultivars can be blue or pink. Homeland ash hydrangea is North America. In our country, the plant has not received wide popularity, although its flowering period takes almost three months (from July to September). Prefers slightly acidic and neutral soils. Does not tolerate lime impurities or too dense soil, wetlands. Loves abundant watering, partial shade.
Shrubs can reach a height of 2 m. They have a wide crown. They require regular pruning, without which they become neglected and neglected. During pruning form the strongest branches, which will become the "skeleton" of the bush. Subsequently, the shoots are pruned immediately after the buds swell, after which the plants are fed. Young bushes should be sheltered for the winter.
Tree hydrangea is widespread in the vast North America. Shrubs grow up to 3 m in height. The leaves are wide, and the inflorescences are gathered in lush white brushes. The plant is hardy and can survive a short dry period. Prefers well-moistened soil. The weak point of tree hydrangea is sensitivity to drafts.
In the garden, it is better for her to find a quiet place in the shade, surrounded by natural barriers that will not allow the wind to roam. The flowering period extends from mid-July to October. In a Russian climate can freeze. Every year at the end of spring, it is necessary to prune the shoots almost to the root. In the future, they can be used as cuttings. To enhance the health of hydrangeas, it is recommended to water it with a weak solution of potassium permanganate along the trunk.
The hydrangea is oak-leaved, ashen, comes from the southern regions of North America. The species is not resistant, therefore it is not grown in open areas in our latitudes, but it is ideal for a closed greenhouse. It has luxurious pyramidal clusters of inflorescences and large leaves with toothed lobes similar to grape. By autumn, the foliage becomes purple-purple.
The inflorescences were originally white, closer to the end of the flowering period, they turn pink. Prefers slightly acidic soil. Alkaline planting is allowed, but with the introduction of the correct acidic feeding. Does not tolerate even short dry periods. Requires regular, abundant watering. Prefers a penumbra with a light, diffused light. Doubolistic hydrangea must be fertilized twice a year: in early spring and immediately before flowering. In winter, bushes need to cover.
You can use lapnik. Shrubs with a height of more than 1 m must be tied to supports so that the snow cover with its weight does not break the twigs.
This species also comes from North America. It has a low resistance to frost, so it is not grown in open ground in central Russia. Shrub reaches 2 m in height. It has a magnificent brush of inflorescences, painted white. The leaves are large, with characteristic small notches and elongated tip. Cover branches unevenly. The flowering period is quite short (July-August). In comparison with other representatives of the species, the radiant hydrangea boasts the fastest growth rates.
In Russia, it takes root only in the southern regions. For the winter, it is necessary to cover not only the ground part of the plant, but also the tender root system. The process of growing hydrangea radiant from seeds is very laborious. The soil is prepared in the autumn. Young shoots will subsequently have to be regularly fed, sheltered from night frosts. Planting seedlings is much simpler: it is enough to promise them, water them with settled water and feed them generously. Loves penumbra and slightly acidic soil.
Hortensia serrate - lush shrub, reaching a height of 1.5 m. The leaves are small, spindly with a sharp tip. At the beginning of flowering have a rich, thick green tint. Inflorescences collected in loose brush. It can change color depending on the acidity of the soil. In weakly acidic soil, fertile core flowers have a deep blue tint, and barren along the edges are blue with a white border. Also found a beautiful lilac color. Before flowering, sterile flowers on the edges of the brush pink. The flowering period lasts from July to September. If the climate is not suitable for the plant or it has not received proper care, then this period is reduced to August. The most popular variety of serrata hydrangea is Blue Bird. Inflorescences of "Blue Birds" have an unusual blue-violet-purple color. Like most members of the genus, serrate hydrangea prefers slightly acidic soils, places with diffused light and abundant watering.
When grown in open ground in central Russia, the plant must be covered for the winter. In the southern regions, additional warming is not required, but subject to the absence of sudden temperature changes. In addition to grafting, serrated hydrangea reproduces well by fission. Куст полностью выкапывают из грунта и разделяют на две части с условием, что на каждой остаются почки возобновления.
Гортензия Саржента - роскошный, высокий кустарник родом из Китая. He was named after an outstanding American botanist who became the first director of the botanical garden at Harvard University. The shrub can reach a height of up to 4 m. It has stiff twigs covered with villi. The leaves are large, velvety slightly elongated. Flowers are collected in inflorescences in the form of flat umbrellas. The fertile have a rich lilac, and sterile at the edges - snow-white color. The species has a short flowering period from the beginning of July to the beginning of August.
In central Russia, fruit boxes do not have time to ripen. Independently growing a hydrangea from seeds is almost impossible, therefore, it is propagated vegetatively (cuttings and layering). For the winter shrubs carefully harbor. The ground part of the plant very often freezes, but with proper care it is quickly restored. Prefers acidic and slightly acidic soil. Requires abundant watering, like other types of hydrangea.
Features of growing and caring for hydrangea in open ground
As we mentioned earlier, this plant can not be attributed to the category of capricious. For example, if you compare it with the queen of flowers - a rose that reacts sharply to any climate change or in the schedule of care, then hydrangea is a gentle and unpretentious lady. Irregular watering is the only thing with which it will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Several varieties of hydrangea are able to withstand short-term drought, but this is rather an exception to the rule. As with any other garden flower, care for it must be carried out according to certain rules, which we will get to know next.
Site selection, soil preparation and planting a bush
Planted hydrangea is recommended in the spring. The soil can be prepared in the fall, loosening it well and adding fertilizer. Since all types of hydrangea (even trees) root system is superficial, that is, the processes do not penetrate deep into the soil, preferring to stretch to the side, there is enough pit 0.7 m deep. The place should be reliably protected from the wind. Direct sunlight will cause the shrub to dry, so it is better to choose a penumbra. Perhaps a tall tree with a wide crown is growing nearby. Diffused light that will penetrate the foliage is the best option for hydrangea.
The plant prefers loose, acidic or slightly acidic soil. In the excavated hole you need to fill peat and fertilizer. Its width should be twice the size of the root system of the seedling. It is removed from the pot, thoroughly shaken off and covered with soil mixed with compost. A clod of land with a seedling should slightly rise above the ground. The soil is rammed, watered and mulched.
Watering, feeding and mulching
Up to 50 liters of water are poured into adult bushes at a time. If the soil around the hydrangea is mulched, the volumes can be reduced. During the summer, the ground around the shrub needs to be loosened (up to 5 cm deep) at least three to four times. During the flowering period, the faded shoots should be removed in time. Top dressing of a bush is carried out twice a year: in the spring and after completion of the flowering period. For these purposes, buy special formulations that are balanced for hydrangea. It is better to mulch the ground with fir needles or chopped bark.
During the first four years (before the first flowering), hydrangea is generally not pruned. In the fifth year in early spring, immediately after the buds swell, the twigs are pruned by about a third. It is necessary to leave from three to six buds. For the hydrangea, the oak-leaved pruning cannot be done at all, as it blooms on last year's shoots.
What to do to change the color of the inflorescence
The color of hydrangea inflorescences can be changed personally. We have already mentioned this peculiarity of the flower: the plant reacts sharply to changes in the acidity of the soil, which is manifested in a change in the shades of the petals. To temporarily repaint in blue, it is enough to water the hydrangea with a weak solution of manganese. Inflorescences will return to white immediately after the cessation of watering. To get a blue tint, the bush is watered with a weak solution of alum or aluminum sulfate. The solution with a low concentration of blue vitriol will change color to purple.
In fact, the color is not changed by the petals themselves, but by their veins, that is, the shade does not work out uniform.
Preparing for the winter
The soil around the shrub need to spud and zamulchirovat. Then cut off the faded shoots and lower leaflets. Pruning the latter contributes to lignification of the trunk, that is, the formation of natural protection from frost. Panicle and groundcover hydrangea can not cover for the winter. These two species are considered the most frost-resistant. The rest will have to be further warmed. You can use lapnik or non-woven material. If the bush is high, then it is tied up to a support so that the branches do not break under the weight of snow. The procedure of covering is carried out in early October immediately after the first timid frosts. Very young shrubs just fall asleep with a mixture of soil and fallen leaves.
Fight against hydrangea diseases and pests
Hydrangea is quite resistant to diseases, but with improper care or inappropriate conditions may begin to languish. The two main hazards to the flower are chlorosis and fungal diseases (white, gray rot). The first disease develops with a lack of iron. If the shoots dry out, the leaves turn yellow and curl, and the inflorescences are deformed, then it's time to feed the bush with a solution containing iron. White rot and gray rot are fungal diseases that first affect the root system. The first sign of infection - a characteristic fluff on the trunk and twigs. Treat the disease with special fungicides. Damaged twigs are pruned.
Less commonly, hydrangea affects septoria. The first sign of the disease - the appearance of black spots on the leaves. In a running form, they strike and twigs. If time does not stop the development of the disease, then the plant, which has lost foliage, will die. Septoria cures drugs containing copper. Mealy dew also appears in spots on the foliage, but is light gray in color. If the bush is affected by this disease, it will not be able to survive the winter. Powdery mildew is treated with special fungicides.
There are four ways of breeding hydrangea:
- The division of the bush.
The last option is the most time consuming and is suitable only for professional gardeners who have “eaten a dog” in this craft. A beginner should pay attention to the first three ways. The division of the bush, about which we have already written above, is simple: the plant is carefully dug out and divided into two parts. On each part with roots must remain renewal buds. After that they are put in two different pits. Cutting is the most popular way of plant reproduction. From the adult bush pinch process. The best quality obtained cuttings from the side branches. The cut must be done under the knot or under the kidney. Cuttings are bundled, cutting off unnecessary leaves, leaving one or two leaves on each with buds.
Bottom beam treated with a growth promoter. They are planted in drained soil at an angle. Rooted cuttings usually per month at temperatures of 15-25 degrees. The cutting is carried out in the middle of summer. For the reproduction of otvodki, side branches of the parent bush bend down to the ground and pinned, prikopat in shallow holes. Previously on the twigs need to make cuts, which are inserted into the match. Such tissue damage will contribute to the accelerated formation of roots. Pinned shoots sprinkled with a mixture of peat and soil. They need to be watered regularly. After the formation of a complete root system, the plant can be separated from the mother and transplanted to another place.
What to plant next to the hydrangea - choose partners and partners
Hydrangeas are perfectly combined with lilac bushes. Large inflorescences of plants in harmony with each other, emphasizing the pomp and even a slight solemnity of design. Small flowers of spirea and chubushnik are another option for hydrangea brushes. Since all species are moisture-loving, bushes can be planted near the reservoir. In this zone they are combined with thickets of bergenia and astilbe. Another option for group planting is a combination with other shrubs in a hedge (boxwood, cotoneaster, juniper). You can experiment and plant a hydrangea next to the flowers of "royal blood": lilies or roses. For a wobbling species, clematis or ivy is suitable as a neighbor.
Hortensia in landscape design of the garden and suburban area
Hydrangea, thanks to its unpretentiousness, richness of forms and colors, has become popular in landscape design. And what other flower can you change the color yourself according to the mood or the palette of the site design? It is often found in mixborders, rock gardens, decorative compositions, and as a hedge. Hydrangea is suitable for both group and for single plantations. Universality, beauty, a long period of flowering, ease of care - these are the qualities for which landscape designers appreciate this flower.
Hydrangea and Styles
Hydrangea is universal. It can be integrated into any stylistic decision. You can ruin a plot with flowers only if they have an untidy, unkempt appearance. Hortensia is perfect for the Japanese ethnic style. In a minimalist design, she has always been a welcome guest. Lush inflorescences complement the diversity of the garden, decorated in country, modern, naturgardin, ethnic style. The last group of directions deserves special attention. Hortensia organically joins both in the chaotic, lush plantings of the Moorish style, and in the restrained, strict English composite ensembles.
Creating flower beds with hydrangea
Low, neatly trimmed hydrangea shrubs are suitable for tidy flowerbeds near the house and along the paths. High stands will become the center of a free composition, rabatka, mixborder or ribbon live fencing. Since the hydrangea is a perennial, a bed of continuous flowering should be protected with low coniferous plants, which will emphasize the colorfulness of the "core" of the composition. The place for the flower bed is cleaned of weeds, dug up and fertilized. To combine the components of the composition you need in shades and height. If the flowerbed is adjacent to a fence or other obstruction, that is, it is one-sided, then first tall plants are planted, gradually moving to those that are lower. If the flower garden is located in the center (for example, between garden paths), then tall flowers are placed in the center.
Hortensia - an amazing flower with a long history. Although we have long ceased to be considered exotic, the plant still conquers the hearts of gardeners with a combination of simplicity and sophistication. If you are just starting to work in the garden, you have little experience in the cultivation of green space, then unpretentious hydrangea will be a good option for the first experiment.