The Q&A Archives: Hydrangeas

Question: I'm new at the gardening thing, so I need some advice. I bought two Mathilda Gutges hydrangeas yesterday, & now I need to know what I to do to plant it in the ground. Do I need to do something special to the ground before putting it in? I live in central Illinois. Thanks

Answer: This is a bigleaf hydrangea variety. It will absolutely require a site that is protected from winter winds. It will do best in morning-only sun or very bright dappled shade all day long. The soil should be evenly moist yet well drained, meaning damp like a wrung out sponge and not saturated/sopping wet and not dried out. The soil should be humusy and organic, with an acidic pH for the best blue color. You may need to work in organic matter such as compost, old rotted leaves, or milled spagnum peat moss prior to planting. Also be sure to maintain a layer of organic mulch year round, it should be applied in a flat layer about three inches deep over the root area. Good luck with your hydrangeas!

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