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Video: Large-leaved, Petiolate And Variegated Hydrangea
Read the previous part. ← Panicle hydrangea: varieties and features
Growing hydrangeas in the Northwest of Russia, part 3
The large-leaved hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) is often referred to as the “garden hydrangea” (Hydrangea hortensis).
At home in China, Japan, Sakhalin, it is a tall shrub reaching up to 4 m, and in culture it usually does not exceed 1-2 m.
Most modern varieties, adapted for growing in containers, have a height of 0.4-0.6 m. Large-leaved hydrangea has dense bright green foliage, last year's shoots are lignified, this year's shoots are green, herbaceous, lignified only next year. This leads to poor cold resistance of large-leaved hydrangeas.
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Most varieties of large-leaved hydrangeas bloom on the shoots of the second year. Their flower buds are laid in the fall, and mainly in the upper part of the shoot, so it is so important to keep the shoots to their full length in winter and not to shorten them when cutting the bush. Her inflorescences are very diverse both in shape and in color. Usually, there are two original varieties of large-leaved hydrangea: "Japanese" - with umbellate, viburnum-shaped inflorescences and "changeable" (mutabilis) - with hemispherical inflorescences. Pink hydrangeas are unstable in color. On normal soil, they are pink, but turn blue on acidic soil in the presence of aluminum and iron ions in it. On the basis of these varieties, numerous varieties of garden hydrangea (large-leaved) were bred.
The garden form of large-leaved hydrangea "changeable" gave rise to varieties with larger lush spherical inflorescences, and the "Japanese" form - with more graceful viburnum. The color of the flowers of varietal large-leaved hydrangeas is very diverse: from pure white to dark red, blue, purple. There are often pink and blue varieties that retain a tendency to change color on different soils. To maintain the blue color, the soil is acidified, the plants are watered with solutions of potassium alum or iron sulfate. Color cannot be changed in white varieties.
There are thousands of varieties of large-leaved hydrangea in the world, but most of them are potted, suitable for growing in a room, winter gardens. You can put them in the garden in the summer, or even plant them, taking them out of the container, but this can be done only after the frost is over.
Many soil varieties have also been bred abroad, but for us most of them are too thermophilic. Many of them, with good cover, can overwinter in our conditions, but often do not bloom. A feature of the flowering of all old and many new varieties is that flower buds are laid on them in the fall. With our short summer, flower buds may not have time to form, and with too cold and unstable winter they can die, in spring they are often damaged during frosts. Therefore, many gardeners, having suffered with such hydrangeas for several years, completely abandon them and deprive themselves of unusually beautiful plants. The choice of a variety of large-leaved hydrangea in our conditions must be approached very carefully.
There are several old garden forms of large-leaved hydrangea, which have been grown for a long time in the North-West, plant flower buds well, despite the short summer, and winter well with a fairly simple shelter.
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For more than 40 years in our garden in the northern suburb of St. Petersburg, three varieties (garden forms) of large-leaved hydrangea have been successfully growing and blooming every year: Changeable, Large-flowered raspberry, Large-flowered white (the names of varieties are amateur, unofficial, the correct name of these varieties cannot be determined). In recent years, new foreign, sufficiently cold-resistant varieties that can bloom in our climate have begun to enter our market. In addition to relative winter hardiness (in our conditions, they still need to be covered), their feature is flowering not only on the shoots of the previous, but also the current year.
In warmer climates, such hydrangeas bloom in the first half of summer on last year's shoots (from buds laid in the fall), and then in the second half on young shoots. These varieties are often called remontant (RE). The first such variety to bloom on this year's shoots was Endless Summer. It was obtained by natural mutation, and was found in one of the nurseries in America. After a very cold winter, one of the hydrangeas did not freeze and bloomed on young shoots.
On the basis of this plant, a relatively cold-resistant, profusely flowering remontant variety Endless Summer was obtained, and then other similar varieties: Blashing Bride, Bailmer and others, combined into the Endless Summer series. Other series of similar varieties have appeared, for example, Forever & Ever with varieties: Early Sensation, Red Sensation, White Ball, Pepermint. In the You & me series there are varieties with double flowers: Romance, Expression and others.
There are many positive reviews about such varieties, but when purchasing them for the conditions of the Northwest, you need to keep in mind the following. It is usually not possible to get two blooms in one summer in our climate. Our hydrangeas bloom in the second half of summer even on last year's shoots, and they do not have time to bloom on young shoots. If the shoots of the second year died in winter, you can get flowering on young shoots, but it will be later and less abundant. In any case, it is better for us to cover all large-leaved hydrangeas for the winter and get flowering on old shoots or later on new shoots in case of the death of last year's shoots. The optimal shelter for different varieties can be selected empirically, depending on the growing conditions. It takes time to adapt new varieties to our climate, to choose the best ones, to choose the right agricultural technology.
The serrated hydrangea (Hydrangea cerata) is close to large-leaved in appearance, growth characteristics and agricultural technology. Its viburnum-shaped inflorescences, like most large-leaved ones, change shades of pink-blue gamut depending on the soil. They are usually two-colored: blue, fertile flowers are surrounded by pink sterile flowers. There is the Blue bird variety, which is completely blue, but its tendency to change color persists. There is disagreement about the hardiness of this hydrangea. Most likely, it is at the level of more winter-hardy forms of large-leaved hydrangea.
Unlike other species, the petiole hydrangea (Hydrangea petiolaris), or as it is often called the climbing hydrangea, is a perennial vine. It grows wild in the coastal regions of South Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands, Japan, China, where it can reach 25 meters in length. In our gardens, it is much less. The petiolate hydrangea is easily attached to the support with the help of aerial roots, without support it can creep along the ground, but in this case it does not bloom. The leaves are wide with a cordate base on long petioles. Inflorescences are loose umbrellas up to 15-25 cm in diameter, white-green, pinkish or lilac, slightly fragrant.
The petiole hydrangea is quite frost-hardy, but in frosty years it can freeze slightly. Adult plants recover well, and young plants for several years should be removed from the support for the winter in order to winter under the snow. The petiolate hydrangea is still not widespread in Russia, but it is an original and noteworthy species that requires the refinement of agricultural technology, taking into account local conditions.
Hydrangea variegated or variegated
The name of this hydrangea (Hydrangea heteromalla) is due to the fact that the upper and lower sides of the leaf are different: the lower side is lighter, has pubescence, but this is also characteristic of many other types of hydrangea. In the literature, there is also the name "ground cover", as it is called due to the fact that in the Far East it grows in the underbrush, covering the ground. But her shoots are strong, do not bend, the plant can reach 2-3 m, and this name is not entirely successful.
The most common variety, the Bretschneideri hydrangea, is considered in some publications as a separate species, and in others as a synonym for the name "motley", some authors consider it a variety of variegated hydrangea. This hydrangea has strong, quickly woody shoots, elongated leaves. Its viburnum inflorescences are formed at the ends of the shoots of the current year, at first they are white, then darkening. The middle of the inflorescence is usually more convex, after flowering the inflorescence dries up and can persist for a long time on a bush or in a dry bouquet. The plant is very unpretentious, shade-tolerant, winter-hardy. Unfortunately, it is rarely found in our gardens.
In addition to these species, other species, which are even less common in our gardens, have been introduced into the culture. Oak-leaved hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia), prickly (Hydrangea aspera), Sargent hydrangea (Hydrangea sargentiana) are decorative, but not hardy species.
Tatyana Popova, gardener
+7 (904) 631-55-57, +7 (812) 272-87-66