Hydrangea Macrophylla, or as many of us know them, Mophead Hydrangeas, are one of the most popular hydrangea on the market. Typically blooming in colors of blue or pink, they can grow between 3 to 6 feet in height.
Frost damage and late pruning can inhibit this hydrangea’s ability to flower. However, if your Macrophylla is part of the special “Everbloomers," late pruning will not affect the following year’s buds. Too much shade can also play a factor in flowering.
Hydrangeas in general are full sun to partial shade plants that thrive in well-watered soil with good drainage; often a sandy soil mixture suits their root system. Placing 2 to 3 inches of mulch around the base of the plant will assist in retaining heat and moisture around the root base.
Hydrangea Macrophylla never truly needs to be pruned. Aside from removing dead or damaged limbs, the plant can continue to grow healthily without pruning. However, if one needs to reduce the size of the plant, or would like to cut flowers for an arrangement, pruning can be done in late June or July without damaging the next season’s buds.
Spring is a good time to fertilize. Do not fertilize in late summer, as the plants need to prepare themselves for their inactive fall period. Using a slow release organic fertilizer will do well for this hydrangea.
During winter, you will need to take preventive measures against the frost. You can try tying the trimmed shoots together with a soft gardener’s twine then place a burlap sack over it. You can also build a cylinder cage around the plant with a fencing wire and fill the interior with leaves. Your aim is to insulate the hydrangea from the exterior moisture and eventual frost.
Hydrangea Macrophylla are a hardy and beautiful addition to your home and garden.