The Q&A Archives: planting

Question: When do you transplant 3-foot hydragias from original pots into garden? What type of soil and care should be given for the winter? Are all hydragias hardy for zone 6? One plant is all purple colored the other plant is purple, pink and blue colored. What is the name of these plants? Thank you!

Answer: It sounds as though you have Hydrangea macrophylla. These plants will develop blue, pink, or purple flowers depending upon the soil's pH. Pink turns purple and then blue in acidic soils; blue turns pink or purple in alkaline soils. Since you have several colors on a single plant, the soil's pH has been manipulated by the grower. If planted in the ground in your garden, all will turn a blue color because you have naturally acidic soils. The problem with big leaf hydrangeas in your gardening region is that they develop flowers on new shoots which develop on old wood. If your plants freeze down to ground level each winter there will be no old wood from which new flowering growth can emerge. New shoots will emerge from the crown of the plant each spring, but they won't flower. You might want to keep your plants in containers and grow them indoors.

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