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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

HOW TO TRANSPLANT A HYDRANGEA



"Summer...The time for beautiful Hydrangea flowers to open their soft colorful petals and dance in the warm breeze until the cool days of autumn take their precious gift along hiding them away for the next summer."  D. Shenkle

My love for Hydrangeas began several years ago when I happened across them in a local garden center. I purchased a lovely blue one and promptly planted it in my backyard only to find that it didn't grow any additional blooms. In fact, it wasn't looking too good at all. It was then that I realized that Hydrangea really aren't happy with so much hot summer sunlight shining on them all day long.

I dug up my precious plant transplanting it to the north side of my house where it is practically shady all day long. Much to my surprise the Hydrangea loved the spot and grew profusely exhibiting an abundance of  over 50 large beautiful flower heads in an array of colors from green, lavender, blue, white and pink. I was thrilled!

However, after a few years I realized that it was getting so large that it became necessary to divide it and replant it, which left several new transplant divisions that needed new homes somewhere in my yard.  So I did my fair share of research to learn just how to divide and transplant with success.

Once I felt confident in my dividing and transplanting abilities,  I decided to remove some of my tall Hosta's that were growing next to my large Hydrangea so that I could put two additional  Hydrangea division plants in their place.  Using the directions that I found during my research, I dug up my large plant, divided it and planted two of the additional  divisions next to the larger main plant.  Soon the  new division transplants were showing signs of green leaf growth.

So for those of you who have a very large Hydrangea that you would like to divide into more plants I have included instructions on how to properly divide and transplant a Hydrangea:

The time to divide your Hydrangea is in the spring when your plant is just putting on leaves at the bottom of the plant as shown below:
 

Starting about 12-18 inches outward from the base of the plant dig out the complete root of the Hydrangea. Once out of the ground you will be able to identify new individual plants that should easily come apart from the main plant. Mine fell apart into six separate plants. You may not have as many, but be sure to have roots on each new plant start.

Soak the roots of your plant divisions in a bucket of lukewarm water while you are digging the hole where you are going to plant them.  In a shady location, dig holes two to three times the size of the root circumference of your division plant, as shown below:

Fill the hole with water as shown below.  Then let the water completely soak into the soil. Repeat this process one more time.


Place your Hydrangea division into the hole, then cover with soil level with the area just covering the root to the top where it attaches to the plants branches, packing the dirt lightly around the plant, as shown:




Water thoroughly once more.


If your new division transplants do not have any leaves growing yet, be very patient because it may take awhile for the roots to get settled in their new home and start putting on new leaves. Remember to keep them well watered during the growing season.

***DO NOT prune off  the old branches  until your plant is showing signs of forming blooms or you probably won't have any blooms.  It is also important to  always prune your Hydrangea in the early summer once the plant is showing signs of blooms forming, but not before. The old foliage from the previous year determines your blooms for the following year. I had to also learn this the hard way. The foliage looks dead but it is not. You may also treat your new plants to special fertilizer that is especially formulated for Hydrangea and may be purchased at  your local garden center.

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