Alan Titchmarsh shows off his hydrangeas
If there is one plant that is quintessential to a garden, it is hydrangeas. These shrubs practically explode with beautiful flowers throughout late summer and early autumn.
However, when one hydrangea begins to fail, it can be extremely frustrating. Losing a hydrangea in the garden can cause a huge hole in foundation plantings or perennial gardens.
Before gardeners stress too much about what could negatively impact their hydrangea, remember that it most likely has to do with its growing conditions.
This makes it easy to “revive” the shrub by adjusting how you care for hydrangeas. Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Bryan Clayton, gardening expert and CEO at GreenPal, has shared what should be done.
The expert explained that in order to bring these flowers “back to life” gardeners first need to understand what they need.
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1. Give your hydrangeas water
To give hydrangeas the best possible chance of thriving, the gardening expert claimed that it’s “all about the H20”, in other words, water.
Watering is vital for hydrangeas as they require a perfect balance of sun and the correct amount of water. In general, hydrangeas require one inch of water per week.
This could change depending on the soil type and the species that are being grown.
Bryan said: “These divas love to be drenched. If you see them wilting, hit them up with a good soak either early morning or late afternoon to dodge that midday heat. Trust me, I’ve seen them perk right up with just a little hydration love.”
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2. Don’t forget the mulch
The expert argued that mulch “isn’t just eye candy for your garden”, but actually it’s “like that spa day we all crave” as it locks in the moisture, making sure the hydrangeas “stay hydrated for longer”.
Bryan explains: “A good two to three-inch layer should do the trick, but steer clear of the stem to avoid any rot.” This is known as “volcano” mulching.
Mulching around hydrangeas will also encourage deep roots to develop, and add to winter hardiness.
Decorative mulch is helpful, but gardeners typically recommend straw, marsh hay, or fallen leaves.
3. Fertilise, but don’t go overboard
Fertilising hydrangeas is where a lot of gardeners “trip up”, according to the expert. He said: “You think more is better, but it’s a delicate balance.”
If gardeners over-fertilise their hydrangeas, they risk burning the root system, which can lead to all sorts of problems. This includes a limitation of blooms.
Bryan advised: “Go for a slow-release, balanced fertiliser and follow those package directions like they’re a treasure map. Trust me on this one. Your hydrangeas should go from drab to fab in no time.”
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