Hydrangeas are gorgeous shrubs that add color in the summer to any landscape. Proper care is needed to assure the continued beauty of the Hydrangeas each year. Beginning in April, Hydrangeas should be fed 3 times a year with Fertilome Azalea/Evergreen Food, and each application of Fertilome Azalea/Evergreen Food should be given 6 weeks apart.  This will control any unwanted insect pests that may harm the Hydrangea and keep the plant’s foliage a rich, deep color. This will also ensure that the stems are strong and healthy and will allow for the proper formation of flowers.

Hydrangeas love lots of water and an additional feeding with a liquid based fertilizer such as Fertilome Blooming and Rooting Soluble Plant Food once a month, beginning in May, will add more lush blooms with vibrant color.

The blossoms of some Hydrangeas, particularly those of the species Macrophylla, are known to change color from pink to blue depending on the pH balance of the soil. It is fairly simple to change the color of blossoms of these species of Hydrangea with the introduction of various additives to the soil. To change the blossoms of hydrangeas from blue to pink, for example, add lime to the soil. To change pink flowers back to blue, apply aluminum sulfate to the soil instead.

Hydrangeas should never be pruned until springtime, after the new leaf buds have begun to green up. This will show you how far the plant has died back over the winter. The dead portions of branches can easily be identified by their lack of green leaf buds, and these dead branches should promptly be removed. Hardier varieties of Hydrangea, such as P.G., Annabelle and Limelight seldom show any signs of winter damage, but corrective pruning is still needed for these varieties in the spring to help them keep the desired shape.

Certain varieties of plants will only grow in specific climates, (called zones), so always be sure to check the zone hardiness for your area when selecting new Hydrangeas or any other plant. The Northern Indiana/South West Lower Michigan area lies in zone 5, and has a climate that can support plants listed as being hardy in zones 1 through 5. Some varieties of Hydrangea that grow well in the Northern Indiana/South West Lower Michigan area are: Annabelle Hydrengea, Endless Summer ‘Bloomstruck’ Hydrangea, Endless Summer Hydrengea, Hydrengea Forever & Ever Peppermint, Hydrengea Forever & Ever Red, Limelight Hydrengea and P.G. Hydrengea.

For more information on zone hardiness, see our USDA Plant Hardiness Map.

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