Happy Mother’s Day!
Kick Off the Spring Season With Love and Flower Power!
Mother’s Day is celebrated world-wide. Moms, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, step -mothers and aunts are honored for the love, attention and sacrifice they have provided us all our lives. It’s a time to pamper her with gifts, love and admiration. Often a thoughtful and beautiful gift to give your mother are flowers; especially flowers that will last for more than a couple of days! Mothers Day is one of the biggest days of the gardening season and what better way to kick off Mother’s Day and the spring season than a visit to Floral Acres Garden Centre!
This is the perfect time to buy her a gift card for the upcoming spring season or gift her a flowering plant such as an impressive HI Mountain Pink or Blue Hydrangea.
Floral Acres is once again proud to be growing HI Mountain Blue and Pink Hydrangeas ready for Mother’s Day 2021! Hydrangeas are loved the world over for their large, beautiful blooms. The blooms are used in wedding bouquets, flower arrangements and are readily dried.
Blue Hydrangeas symbolize gratitude and understanding. Pink expresses true feelings and sincere emotion.
HI Mountain Pink and Blue hydrangeas are termed ‘big-leaf’ hydrangeas and are native to Japan. They have wide, serrated, oval or heart-shaped leaves. Their growth habit is upright and rounded. The beautiful flower heads are large and globe shaped. If you look closely you will see the flower heads are actually a group of flowers on one stem.
The colorful flower ‘petals’ are actually sepals which are modified leaves. They are an indoor or summer outdoor plant in our 3b zone and will not winter over outside in Saskatoon. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule and If anyone has ever successfully wintered over this variety of hydrangea in Saskatoon, please let me know!
When you bring your Hydrangea home, place it in a bright room but not in full sun. Too much sun inside or out will produce browning of the blooms.
Attention to watering is very important. The Japanese call it ‘water drinker’ for good reason.
Keep your hydrangea moist but not soggy. Empty the drainage tray right away after watering. Do not repot at this time or let them dry out. Keep out of reach of children or pets as all plant parts are toxic.
The color of hydrangea blooms is a result of varying levels of soil acidity. For blue flowers, the soil pH should be below 5.5. Watering with tea water (tannic acid) helps to keep the blossoms blue. For a purple color the pH should be 5.5 - 6.5. For pink the pH should be 7 or a bit above. If the pH gets too high the leaves may suffer from iron chlorosis. Iron chlorosis presents as veins of the leaves remaining green while the rest of the leaf yellows. You can remedy this with a drench of iron chelate.
If you prefer, you can keep your hydrangea indoors for the spring and summer season. When the blooms fade cut them off and repot the plant into a larger pot and water immediately. There is no need to prune at this time, other than eventually removing the flower stems when they have faded. Cut them further down the flower stem to just above a leaf bud. Fertilize once a month until fall with an all-purpose 10-10-10 fertilizer. As hydrangeas do best with a period of dormancy, it is not recommended to keep them in the house which stays warm the whole year through.
Another alternative is to grow your hydrangea outdoors in a large pot for the summer. At the end of May, harden off the plant by putting it outside in part-shade during the day and in for the night for about a week. Night temperatures should be 10 degrees C or above.
Transplant your hydrangea into a larger pot ( 14-18 in. in diameter) with good drainage. Put your pot on wheels as it will be heavy with soil. Use a good quality soil mixed with some compost and peat moss. You can loosen up the root ball somewhat when repotting and water immediately after backfilling with new soil. Do not let the hydrangea dry out. It is also not necessary to prune at this time.
Big-leaf hydrangeas like a location that is sheltered from the wind and receives only the morning sun.
If you have new soil mixed with peat moss and compost you will not need to fertilize. Most good quality soils now contain a fertilizer component that feeds for three months or longer. Otherwise fertilize once in June with an all-purpose 10-10-10- or 12-4-8 slow -release or water- soluble fertilizer. The addition of aluminum sulphate will help acidify the soil and keep any blooms blue. Dolomitic lime will raise the pH and the blooms will be pink or a purple color.
I would not recommend bringing in your hydrangea for the winter unless you have a cold room or root cellar and want to experiment. The room temp should not go any lower than 1 degree C. Keep in mind you may be bringing in bugs. Let the hydrangea lose its leaves before placing in the cold room and give it a final light watering. There is no need to prune at this time.
Preparing Cut Hydrangea Blooms For Display.
Fill a vase with warm water. To get the most out of your cut hydrangea blooms prepare them for the vase by removing the green/brown outer layer of bark to approximately 1 inch up from the cut end of the stem. You will then see an inner white stem core. Do not cut this stem core. Immediately put the stem into the vase water. Change the water often.
Once you catch the hydrangea bug, you will want a few for your outdoor garden too! There are many outdoor hydrangea shrub varieties that are hardy for our area.
Check out the plant library on our website or better yet, visit our tree and shrub department for a first hand look at these beautiful shrubs!