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Hydrangea family. Homeland East Asia, South America, Japan. In nature, about 70-75 species are widespread, among them mainly shrubs, less often trees and vines.
In the culture of Hydrangea (Hydrangea) large-leaved Hydrangea macrophylla - originally from China and Japan. It is a deciduous shrub with opposite whole leaves, ovoid or broad-oval, with a serrate edge, pointed at the end. Flowers in large umbrellas or shields at the ends of the shoots. The caps of the inflorescences are pink, white, blue, blue, red and even dark purple, depending on the acidity of the soil. On one bush of hydrangea, up to 6 flower caps bloom, reaching 20-30 cm in diameter, each, in a greenhouse, 3-4 inflorescences in room conditions. Blooms from spring to autumn and winter, depending on the growing method.
Hydrangea - home care
Temperature: natural in summer, better in the fresh air, optimum temperature during the growing season 22-24 ° C. In winter, until February-March, they are kept in a cool room at a temperature of about 12 ° C, not lower than 8 ° C, greatly reducing watering.
Lighting: bright, diffused light with some direct sun in the morning or evening. Hydrangea grows well on eastern windows, and on windows with south or southwest orientation, shading may be needed from 12 to 16 hours. There is a misconception that hydrangea is shade-tolerant, yes, at home it will grow on northern windows, but as an ornamental leafy plant.
In the summer, you can take hydrangeas out into the garden, on the balcony, gradually accustoming you to direct sunlight, and then, when the plants get used to them, the pots are dug into the ground and left until autumn.
Watering: abundant from spring to autumn. Hydrangeas love to be watered when the top layer of the earth dries up in pots, they do not tolerate the complete drying of an earthen coma. In the fall, with cold snaps and the onset of cloudy days, watering is gradually reduced. In winter, when kept cool, water is rarely watered, when the soil in pots is almost completely dry, but does not dry out to dust. Large-leaved hydrangea prefers watering with soft water (boiled or filtered).
Top dressing: carried out with complex liquid fertilizers for decorative flowering plants (Fertika-lux, Pocon or Agricola for flowering plants, any fertilizer for azaleas). They feed from February-March to August, every 2-3 weeks. After pruning, they do not feed until new shoots appear.
Air humidity: leaves are periodically sprayed. Hydrangeas prefer medium air humidity, about 50-60%. In winter, it is rather dry at home, therefore, with the beginning of the heating season, it is better to put the pots of hydrangeas on wide trays with water or wet expanded clay. Outside the heating season, it does not need spraying. But washing the leaves under the shower from dust is good.
Transplant: transplanted annually after flowering into fresh soil. The pH of the soil should be about 5.5, slightly acidic, especially for hydrangeas with blue and lilac inflorescences, neutral acidity is acceptable, pH is about 6.5-7 for hydrangeas with pink inflorescences. The soil is a mixture of 1 part peat land, 1 part light turf, 1 part coniferous, 1/2 part sand and 1/4 pine bark. Coniferous soil can be replaced with coconut substrate, but then be sure to add pine bark. From purchased soil mixtures, soils are suitable for azaleas and rhododendrons, as well as for conifers. Hydrangeas do not like heavy clay soils; they grow worse on garden soil from a garden bed, if deoxidizing and loosening components (sand, bark) are not added to it.
Reproduction: propagated by cuttings, which are taken from non-flowering young basal shoots. Cuttings with two or three pairs of leaves take root in the sand after 15-20 days. Rooted cuttings are planted in pots with a diameter of 8 cm with soil consisting of peat, leafy earth and sand. When the young plants grow up, roots will appear from the drainage holes, they are either transferred into large pots or planted in the garden. In February - March, hydrangeas are cut off, leaving a couple of leaves on it to form new shoots, on which inflorescences will form next year.