Distinctive features of the plant, the cultivation of hydrangeas, rules for reproduction, diseases and pests of the flower, interesting facts, types. Hydrangea (Hydrangea) belongs to the genus of flowering plants included in the small family Hydrangeaceae. This collection of flowers is also one of the order of the Cornales, which are widespread throughout Asia and North America, and such plants can also be found in southeastern European lands. The family Hortenisiaceae (according to the modern taxonometric system) contains up to 17 genera and about 260 varieties. Basically, the Hydrangea plant is found mostly in South and East Asia, as well as on the lands of both Americas, it is especially loved by flower growers in China and Japan, but some varieties are also grown in Russia itself, namely in the Far East.
All plants that belong to the family of the same name are shrubs or small-sized trees with highly decorative inflorescences consisting of fairly large sterile flowers (consisting of sepals and petals). These flowers are distinguished by the presence of four colored sepals that resemble petals, as well as very small fertile flowers (with stamens and carpels).
This beautiful flower got its name thanks to the name of the sister of Prince Carl Heinrich of Nassau Siegen, the heir to the Holy Roman Empire, she was called Hortense. However, later, when systematizing the botany of Europe, they decided to give the plant a Latin name, which reflects the shape of the seed pods with which it bears fruit, in outlines they very much resembled a jug to scientists, and also due to the fact that the flower is quite hygrophilous, then when two ancient Greek words were combined “Water” and “vessel”, the term Hydrangea was formed - that is, “vessel with water”. In the lands of Japan, it is customary to call this flower "Ajisai", meaning "flower - purple sun". So, hydrangea has a shrub form of growth, its height often varies within 1-3 meters. However, there are some varieties that grow in the form of small trees, as well as liana-like plants, which, using the trunks of other nearby trees, can climb up to 30 meters as a support. Also, in some species, the foliage falls off, but there are also evergreen varieties, but in temperate climates it is the deciduous varieties that are very common.
The flowering process for hydrangea stretches from spring to November. Flowers are the special pride of this plant. At the ends of the stems, from the buds, beautiful spherical inflorescences are collected, which have the shape of a brush or panicle. The flowers, as already mentioned, in the inflorescence are fertile, small in size, and often they are located in the middle of the inflorescence, as well as larger sterile (not bearing fruits). They just constitute the frame of the inflorescence along the edge. But there are species in which the buds of those and other flowers are of the same size, which adds beauty to the inflorescences.
The color of the petals of the flowers is very diverse, the following colors can be found: blue, reddish, with pink tints or lilac.
After flowering, the fruit ripens in the form of a box, which very much resembles a jug. It is often divided into 2–5 compartments, which are filled with small seeds.
Hydrangea growing tips, care
- Lighting. For hydrangeas, it is necessary to select a place in partial shade, since direct sunlight can burn the leaves of the plant. If you cultivate a bush indoors, then it is better to put the pot on the windowsills of windows facing west and east, if you place a flowerpot with a "purple sun" on the window of a northern location, then due to a lack of illumination, the branches are ugly stretched out, and the flowering is not so abundant. In this case, you will have to arrange additional lighting for the flower. When the hydrangea pot is installed on the south window, light curtains are hung or gauze curtains are made to create light shading.
- Temperature. Hydrangea is grown at 18-22 degrees Celsius, with the arrival of winter they are lowered to 8-12 degrees, but not lower than 5 degrees.
- Watering. From spring to late autumn, moisture should be abundant as soon as the substrate dries up from above, and in winter, watering is reduced, moistened only so that the soil does not completely dry out. Watering again increases when new leaves appear. For blue varieties, soft (rain) water is needed, and hard water can be used with varieties of other shades.
- Air humidity when growing, hydrangeas must be high, therefore, constant regular spraying is carried out.
- Fertilizers for the "violet sun" they use complex ones. During the period of increased growth, the frequency is weekly. For old bushes, organic and mineral preparations are used in liquid form. If the flowers are blue, then you will need to use top dressing for heather crops, otherwise - liquid mineral fertilizer for indoor plants.
- Transplantation and selection of a substrate. It is required to change the pot and the soil in it for the hydrangea annually. After the plant has faded, you need to remove the wilted flowers and shorten the shoots to the middle, transplant into a new soil. If the color of the petals of the hydrangea is white, pink or red, then it is recommended to take the soil with low acidity (pH 3, 5–4, 5), and varieties with blue inflorescences grow well in a substrate with high acidity (pH 3, 5–4, 5), this can be the soil for azaleas.
Mix the substrate on their own, taking sod soil, leafy soil, peat soil and river sand, maintaining the proportions of 2: 1: 1: 0, 5. It is not recommended to use humus, as this can provoke chlorosis.
Breeding rules and planting hydrangeas
Most often, the "purple sun flower" is propagated by cuttings. If the culture is indoor, then either an adult specimen or an apical stalk is taken for cutting. As soon as spring comes, you will need to take a young shoot from the bottom of the bush, which has leaf plates at least 4-6 cm long and should have 2-3 internodes. The planting is carried out in such a way that the distance between the cuttings is within 4–5 cm. The pot is selected deep, filled with sand and the cutting is buried there by 1, 5–2 cm. Then the seedlings are covered with a glass vessel or a plastic bag. Do not forget to regularly ventilate and moisturize the sand.
After 10-15 days (after rooting has passed), you can transplant in separate pots, while the tops are trimmed to stimulate bushiness. The plant will bloom the next year in May-June. Such one-year-old bushes will have only 1-3 inflorescences.
During growth, the root cavity and small shoots formed on the sides must be cut off, leaving only 3-4 pieces of the strongest root stems in order to get flowers next year.
There are methods of reproduction by sowing seeds, but dividing the mother bush, planting layers or grafting is rarely used.
Pests and diseases in the cultivation of hydrangea
Of the pests that annoy hydrangeas, the following types can be distinguished:
- Spider mite, due to which the foliage turns yellow and a marble pattern appears on the surface, drying out and discharge. For the fight, treatment with thiophos is used (at the rate of 5–7 grams of the drug is dissolved in a 10 liter bucket of water).
- When the plant is driven indoors, green leaf aphids are affected. It will be necessary to spray at least 2 times with anabasine sulfate solution (for a solution of 15–20 grams, the substance is diluted in 10 liters of water).
Diseases also occur, including:
- Downy mildew, in which oily, over time yellowing spots are formed on the leaves, becoming dark and enlarged. A similar bloom is also visible on the underside, and it can cover young stems. Treatment with a copper-soap preparation is carried out for cure (15 grams of copper sulfate and 10 grams of green soap are diluted in a 10-liter bucket of water).
- Chlorosis is manifested by the blanching of the color of the hydrangea foliage and only in the area of / u200b / u200bthe veins do they remain dark green. Occurs due to the soil in which the plant grows with a high content of lime. It is required to water at least 2-3 times with a preparation of potassium nitrate or a solution of baked vitriol, which is prepared by diluting 40 g in 10 liters of water. substances.
When the light level is very high it will result in light spots on the foliage. In case of insufficient moisture, the tips of the leaves become dry, and when nutrients are not enough, this will lead to poor development and lack of flowering.
Interesting facts about hydrangea
Hydrangea was first brought to European territory from Japan in 1820, and starting from the beginning of the 20th century, they began to engage in its selection. Many varieties with sufficient frost resistance were bred from a variety that did not possess such properties - large-leaved hydrangea or as it is called "garden" (Hydrangea macrophylla, Hydrangea hortensis). And only after that, the plant stopped growing in the form of only a room culture. By 1960, up to 100 varietal species of the "purple sun" had been bred.
Hydrangea has a beneficial effect on a person, normalizing his water-salt metabolism, all this becomes possible thanks to the plant's love for water.
For a long time, folk healers knew about the beneficial properties of a "water vessel". Its root was used in inflammatory diseases affecting the urinary organs. The root extract has a mild diuretic and wound healing properties, which have a cleansing effect on the human body, while removing harmful substances and reducing swelling.
The following diseases can be distinguished, in which it is recommended to use funds that include this plant:
- chronic pyelonephritis;
- stones in the kidneys;
- with chronic cystitis;
- general joint disease;
- inflammation of the female genital area, if they are in a chronic condition;
- swelling and obesity.
Attention!!! When caring for a hydrangea, you need to remember that all of its parts are considered poisonous, since they contain cyanogenic glycosides. Naturally, they should not get into food, but although poisoning is rare, it is worth preventing the possibility of contact with the plant for young children and pets. In contact with leaves, dermatitis may occur.
Description of hydrangea species
- Hydrangea tree (Hydrangea arborescens) mainly in natural conditions grows in the eastern lands of North America. Its outlines are shrubby and the height of the species can reach 1-3 meters. Annual shoots are crowned at the ends of the inflorescence. At the very beginning, the buds are cast in a greenish color scheme, and after that their color changes to white or cream. The flowering process stretches from July to the end of summer days. In November, it is better to cut off the faded inflorescences. The leaf plates are dark green in color. A variety of Hydrangea arborescens "Annabelle" - the petals are painted in a snow-white tone, and the size of the inflorescences is much larger. The Sterilis variety also has whitish inflorescences and is distinguished by abundant flowering.
- Hydrangea bretschneideri grows in Chinese territories. The leaf plates are large, oval in shape, their color is dark green. Inflorescences have wide corymbose forms. Flowering begins in mid-summer. As soon as they appear, the petals of the buds have a white color, but by the end of July days they become pink, and at the end of summer days, rich crimson tones prevail in color. If the variety is cultivated on the lands of the European part of Russia, it is required to carry out a shelter for the winter.
- Large-leaved hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla). This species is a native of the lands of southern Japan and is also called "garden". Shoots of this year are herbaceous and buds grow on their tops, giving rise to inflorescences. The leaf plates have a bright green color, rather large in size. The inflorescences are lilac flowers that bloom at the end of summer. The shape of the inflorescences is mainly in the form of an umbrella or wedge-shaped; among flower growers it is customary to call it "Japanese" or "hemispherical". Interestingly, the color of the petals of flowers directly depends on the acidity of the soil in which the hydrangea is planted. This variety does not have frost resistance and in the conditions of Russia, in its European part, requires shelter. You can only leave uncovered varieties - Hydrangea macrophylla "Blue Wave", as well as "Endless Summer", which has a blue hue, if it grows in acidic soil, when it is planted in neutral soil, then the petals of the buds are painted in a lilac tone. The latter variety can be grown as a room crop due to its compact size. The "Renta Steinger" variety grows with blue flowers, but the variety forms can also have double-shaped buds, for example, the "Romance" species and also "Expression".
- Hydrangea paniculata (Hydrangea paniculata). The natural habitat is the lands of East China, Korea, as well as Japan and Sakhalin. The height of this variety reaches parameters of 1.5 meters. The branches woody quickly. In mid-July, green buds are formed, and by the end of the month their color becomes whitish, the flowering process stretches from August and throughout all the autumn months. The color of the flowers in the inflorescence smoothly changes from whitish to crimson or purple with a purple undertone. The inflorescences take on a pyramidal shape. In the spring, pruning is carried out for crown molding and for sanitary purposes. The most famous varieties are: Hydrangea paniculata "Kyushu", "Pinky Winki" and "Grandiflora".
- Oak-leaved hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia). This variety has a fairly high attractiveness. However, it has absolutely no winter hardiness and for the winter period it is necessary to provide for high-quality insulation. The plant owes its decorative effect not only to abundant flowering, but also to leafy plates, which are distinguished by very beautiful outlines. The height of this hydrangea variety can reach two meters. The length of the inflorescences varies from 10 cm to 30 cm. The flowers in it from the beginning have a whitish color of petals, but over time they acquire purple tones, and the buds bloom in June-July.
- Ground cover hydrangea (Hydrangea heteromalla) often found under the synonym for Hydrangea variegated. Possesses good frost resistance. The plant height can reach 2-3 meters. It is often cultivated as a standard form. Leaf plates in length can measure 20 cm, their color is dark emerald. The surface is smooth, but woolly, with pubescence on the underside. Inflorescences are loose outlines, with corymbose contours. The petals in the flowers are white at first, but by the end of the flowering process, they will turn pink. This variety blooms at the end of the first summer month or early July.
More about the features of planting hydrangeas, care and pruning in the following story: