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Large-leaved hydrangea is a shrub that has won the hearts of many gardeners. It is magnificent in every sense and the fashion for planting it in our gardens has become firmly established. But this plant is initially not hardy and this fact must be taken into account before purchasing and planting large-leaved hydrangea in your garden.
Large-leaved hydrangea looks just great, large caps of inflorescences with unique shades, luxurious leaves cannot leave any gardener indifferent. But only after planting a bush of this luxurious plant in the garden, many gardeners discover all the «pitfalls». This is the most difficult hydrangea to grow, it requires systemic care and attention, the most careful selection of growing conditions, and it is rather capricious.
Large-leaved hydrangea , or garden hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) is a highly decorative and fast-growing species of hydrangeas native to Japan and China, reaching a height of up to 3 m at home. Our maximum height is from 0.8 to 2 m. This species has upright shoots, ovoid, large, bright green leaves. Inflorescences with a diameter of 10 to 30 cm, consisting of lilac, blue and pink flowers, individual flowers in the inflorescence reach 3.5 cm in diameter.
The flowering of large-leaved hydrangea begins in July. Its inflorescences retain their decorative effect until the next spring: they dry out, but still remain very attractive.
The main difficulty in growing large-leaved hydrangeas is associated with the need to preserve last year’s shoots. The main task of the gardener during the long and harsh winter is to keep the shoots not only from freezing, but also from dampening.
When choosing a large-leaved hydrangea, be sure to check whether the variety has been tested in your area or if it is grown in a climate similar to yours.
Remontant hydrangeas bloom not only on last year’s branches, they also form fresh buds that shoot with inflorescences already in the year of formation. This allows you to achieve stable flowering, even if the bush froze a little during wintering. Almost all remontant varieties bloom later than usual, however, they have much more chances to successfully survive the cold. But even such winter-hardy bushes should definitely be covered for the winter and protected from late spring frosts.
Large-leaved hydrangeas should only be bought in containers or pots, as seedlings with an open root system do not take root well. Therefore, injuries received by the root system when planting in the ground will not allow the plant to fully adapt and build up a good root system, sufficient to withstand the winter even with shelter, so experimenting is not worth it.
The right choice of variety is a key factor in the success of growing large-leaved hydrangeas in the garden. The large-leaved hydrangea has more winter-hardy and there are less hardy varieties that can only winter indoors. The average frost resistance of this type of hydrangea is up to -18 ° C, but thanks to the work of breeders, new more modern varieties of large-leaved hydrangea have been developed, which can withstand lower temperatures down to -31 ° C. Nevertheless, the need for winter shelter for such varieties still remains relevant.
When planning to purchase and start growing this most beautiful plant in your garden, you need to soberly weigh and evaluate your capabilities and desire for care, which consists in the need for a thorough and correct winter shelter, take into account the ability to quickly respond to spring temperature changes and the possibility of return frosts.
Friends, share your experience, tips and observations on growing large-leaved hydrangeas. Advise those who are just planning to plant this plant in their garden, proven varieties, recommend the ones you like and the most frost-resistant.
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