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Hydrangeas trees are woody deciduous flowering plants. Hydrangea trees are called standard simply because they do not normally grow as tree forms but they have to be trained in order for them to grow as trees. This makes hydrangeas versatile plants as they can be grown as shrubs and as trees also. There are over 100 species and subspecies of hydrangeas trees. Therefore, it is difficult to generalize hydrangeas tree types because their size and flowers differ. Hydrangeas trees bloom into beautiful flowers from the middle to the latter part of summer. In mid-summer, the hydrangea tree tops look like there are filled with snow because of the pure whiteness of the flowers. However, during the latter part of summer the white hydrangea tree plant flowers change from white to vibrant bluish-pink and later on to purplish-pink. These ornamental flowers make a beautiful sight in summer with their vibrant colorful blooming flowers on hydrangeas tree top.
How to grow hydrangea
In order to grow these deciduous flowering plants as trees, first thing first you have to choose the right type of hydrangeas. Not all types can be grown into trees. When you have done so the next step is to train and prune them so that they grow as trees. In order to maintain their form and to keep them growing as trees a great deal of hydrangea tree care and maintenance is required.
- Choosing the right type of hydrangeas
If you want to grow hydrangeas as trees you have to choose the right species. Hydrangea paniculata is the only kind of hydrangea that can you grow into a hydrangeas trees. The Grandiflora also called the PeeGee hydrangeas is one of the most commonly and popularly grown hydrangea tree. When buying a hydrangea you have the option of buying either a shrub then you prune it by yourself into a tree form or one that is pruned already.
Choosing the right hydrangeas simplifies the whole training process of hydrangeas into tree forms. Young hydrangeas with strong, upright form are much easier to train and they can easily conform but it takes a while for them to grow to certain height. With proper care they can grow to a height that ranges from 10-25 feet. The process of training hydrangeas to become trees involves you tying the strongest stem to a stake and pinching 1-inch from the tip. This promotes the hydrangea to grow more branches. When training you have to remove everything below the upper one-fourth of the tree. The only thing that you leave is 3-4 equally spaced shoots. In order for this training to work out you have to re-do the process every spring time before the plants have new growth.
When growing hydrangeas, pruning is the most significant part. To give hydrangeas a tree form you have keep the trunk bare. The only way you can keep it bare is by pruning it. The way you prune, the time and the rate at which you prune has a significant impact on the plants. Pruning makes hydrangeas look like a small tree. Therefore, lack of pruning will cause the hydrangea to remain as a shrub and not grow as a tree. The perfect time to prune is spring before they start grow new leaves. Pruning them in spring helps them to grow well. To properly prune hydrangeas you start at the base by removing the old shoots. Then you proceed to the branches to remove old twiggy growth. You have to prune the branches in such a way that after pruning they will be looking like an umbrella. When cutting the branches, it is important that you don’t necessarily cut all the branches but you keep at least 5-6 branches at most. On those branches, you have to keep 2-3 nodes on each branch. These nodes are the ones that will later on grow into side shoots which will in turn in summer will form flowers. Please note that cutting the branches too short kills the plants.
Hydrangeas trees care
- Soil– hydrangeas trees thrive in soil that is moist, highly fertile and well drained. However, they can tolerate all soil types as long as the soil in well drained. When it comes to soil pH levels it also does well in both alkaline and acidic soil. If the soil is not well drained, you can easily correct that by adding organic material to the soil. How to plant a hydrangea when planting a hydrangea tree you have to space each plant at least 3-10 feet away. This will give them enough space to grow well to their full potential.
- Water– during its growing stage, it needs sufficient water for it to grow well. Hydrangeas trees require a lot of sunlight, this automatically means it also requires a lot of water to replace the one that would have been absorbed by the plants and the sun. Under watering will cause the leaves and blooms to dry up. Hydrangeas trees do well in moist soil, in order to maintain that moisture you have to water thoroughly and frequently.
- Sun light– an area that is bright and has adequate sunlight is most ideal to grow healthy hydrangea trees. They require direct warm sunlight in the morning and in the afternoon you should provide a shade. The strong intense afternoon heat damages the plants. On the other hand, shady and gloomy areas prevent the trees from growing to their full potential. The perfect spot is one that provide both more sunlight and a little bit of shade for hot summer afternoons.
- Fertilizer– the soil needs to be enriched. Fertilizer helps the soil to enhance its nutrients and maintain its richness. The ideal time to fertilize is early spring just after you have pruned the trees.
- Planting your hydrangeas in group of 3’s will help to make your garden look beautiful when they start blooming.
- The best time to plant hydrangea trees is during late fall and early summer
- You should not plant hydrangea trees close to other trees as that would prevent the roots from growing to their full potential. In turn , this will cause the plants not to grow well