Bigleaf (Blue) Hydrangea - 'Hydrangea macrophylla'An extremely popular flowering shrub, Bigleaf Hydrangeas are numerous across the south and nearly everyone is familiar with their enormous and colorful blooms. Arriving in various shades of white, pink, and blue, Bigleaf Hydrangea flowers are borne in late spring to early summer on top of the rounded canopy of rich foliage. With their coarse green foliage, these flowering shrubs are excellent foundation plants and their wonderful flowers can act as accents in a flower garden. Bigleaf Hydrangeas also do quite well in containers for use on decks and patios where proper shade exists. An all around excellent plant, Bigleaf Hydrangea is relatively disease and insect resistant and wonderfully variable in bloom color by modification of soil pH conditions!
||Too many to list!|
||Bigleaf Hydrangea, Blue Hydrangea, French Hydrangea, Lacecap Hydrangea, Mophead Hydrangea, Penny Mac, Hortensia|
||Deciduous Flowering Shrub|
||Hydrangeaceae (Also included in Saxifragaceae by some authorities)|
||Partial to Full Shade|
||Leaves are opposite, simple, obovate to elliptic or broad-ovate, 4 to 8 inches long, two-thirds as wide, short-acuminate, borad cuneate at base, coarsely serrate with triangular obtusish teeth, lustrous medium above, rather fleshy texture and greasy to the touch, and glabrous or slightly puberulous beneath.|
||3 to 6 feet but can grow to 10 feet; spread would be equal to or greater than the height.|
||Zone 6 to 9. For an idea of your plant zone please visit the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.|
||Rounded, suckering shrub of many erect, usually unbranched, thick stems.|
||Very difficult to adequately describe the typical species flower because of the numerous selections; the sterile, outer flowers are pink or bluish, entire or toothed, up to 2 inches or more in diameter, the fertile flowers are usually blue or pink; both are borne in large, broad, flat-topped, much branched, cymose corymbs; July through August.|
|Diseases & Insects:
||Bacterial wilt, bud blight, leaf spot, powdery mildew, rust, aphids, leaf tier, rose chafer, oyster shell scale, two-spotted mite, nematodes; none of these are particular serious.|
||Probably a good plant for the shrub border in southern areas; not adequately winter hardy in the northern states where it is often killed back to the ground during winter; this plant and the numerous cultivars are widely planted in the east and south; makes a good flower display, good choice for coastal areas.|
||Transplant as a container plant into moist, well-drained soil which has been amended with peat moss, leaf mold and the like. The flower color on some cultivars is strongly affected by the pH of the soil in which they are growing. The ray flowers are often most affected. The color changes depend on the concentration of aluminum ions in the soil. This depends in turn on the acidity of the soil, being highest on very acid soils and lowest where the soil is alkaline. The color range depends on the cultivar, but the bluest shades are always produced on the most acidic soils. A pH range of 5.0 to 5.5 is listed as satisfactory for inducing blue coloration while pH of 6.0 to 6.5 and probably slightly higher is best for pink coloration.|
||Water regularly after initial planting. Pruning is an art with the Hydrangea species and one must know the requirements of each type; this species flowers from buds formed on previous season's growth and any pruning should be done right after flowering.|
||Fertilization depends on the coloration desired. General fertilization requirements suggest ample dosage of phospherous and potassium for strong root systems and ample hardiness.
||Dig a hole three times the diameter of the root system, with a depth no deeper than the original soil line on trunk. Break up the soil to the finest consistency possible. Place plant in hole and fill, compacting the fill dirt. Water the plant heavily to seal soil around the roots and remove air pockets. Water well, and remember to water regularly until they have started to grow.