Features white hydrangea
White hydrangea is a variety of the classic hydrangea, a very common ornamental plant. The color of the flowers can vary depending on the acidity of the soil, which is why pink, blue, white or lavender hydrangeas are found.
Soils with pH 4.5-5 favor the birth of blue, purple or white tones while soil with pH 6-6.5 produces red or pink flowers. But the white hue is not determined only by the acidity of the soil. It is in fact the species to which it belongs that establishes the white color of the gems.
The hydrangea panicula, or white hydrangea, is the only species of hydrangea that has this particular color. Unlike other hydrangeas, in fact, it comes in the form of a sapling that can even reach five meters in height. During the flowering period, or in the summer, the sapling opens its buds filling up with fragrant white flowers.
A curiosity is that hydrangea is generally not given to your loved one, because the bright colors of its flowers mean the desire to run away. On the other hand, the candid color of white hydrangea protects from unpleasant interpretations.
White hydrangea - white hydrangea for the garden">White hydrangea cultivation
White hydrangea is an easy to grow plant. Being a rather large specimen, it would be preferable to grow it in the garden to be able to give it all the space necessary for its development.
If you still want to grow it in pots, you can do a drastic pruning in summer to reduce its size. In fact, this particular variety of hydrangea is not affected by significant pruning, on the contrary it produces more sparse but larger flowers.
The pH of the soil in which it is grown must be acidic, a condition that is obtained by adding organic manure a couple of times a year. White hydrangea can be exposed to the sun but it also grows in shady areas, only slowing its development.
As for the climate, it is a plant that resists even the harsh temperatures so it can be grown all over Italy. Watering must be abundant and constant, especially in summer, and only when the soil is completely dry because the plant does not tolerate stagnation. To prevent this problem it is good to add draining sand to the soil or clay at the bottom of the pot.
White hydrangea is a very popular ornamental plant thanks to its resistance and its great ornamental value. The hydrangea inflorescences are striking for their size and for the great variety of colors. Used for flower beds, borders or as an isolated plant, it enriches balconies or gardens with beautiful and abundant flowers.
White hydrangea in short
Plant type: Ornamental
Origin: China, Japan, North and South America
Foliage: Semi-persistent, transient
Use: In pot (on balconies and terraces), or in the ground (in the garden)
Height at maturity: From 1 m to 10 m
Growth rate: Normal
Diseases and parasites: Powdery mildew, gray mold, cochineal, red spider, slugs
Care and pruning white hydrangea
To keep a white hydrangea blooming and healthy, you need to take some small steps regarding its care. In general, white hydrangea is not a plant with great needs, but it needs pruning at least once a year and replacement of soil in the case of potting it. Pruning is mainly done in the summer, when the plant is at its maximum flowering to reduce its size and to eliminate dry parts or old leaves. In case of planting in the garden, just fertilize the specimen in autumn, with mature fertilizer to regulate the acidity of the soil. If, on the other hand, it is potted, the soil must be changed twice a year, in autumn and spring, always keeping the fertilizer mature and adding a compost based on pine bark. The natural decomposition of the compost will help the soil stay fresh and acidic. White hydrangea is not a disease prone plant but pest attacks can occur. The most common is the cochineal, a small whitish insect, which nestles under the leaves. Just treat the plant with the specific product to eliminate parasites.
The cultivation of white hydrangea
Exposure: Not direct sun, partial shade
Ground: Sandy, soil for acidophiles
Cleaning / pruning: Elimination of dead or old branches
Water need: High
Soil moisture: Average
Fertilization: Ripe manure in autumn
Multiplication: Cutting, layering
Variety white hydrangea
The white hydrangea, a variety of the classic hydrangea, in turn has subspecies that differ in size and shape of the flowers. The Kyushu hydrangea is a specimen that reaches a maximum of two meters in height, therefore smaller than the white hydrangea, and has an oval leaf with a shiny and serrated appearance. The flowers are initially green, but then turn to creamy white when the vegetative cycle is complete at the end of June. Grandiflora, on the other hand, reaches a maximum of three meters in height, has dark serrated leaves at the edges, and its flowers are panicle-shaped. They initially have a pure white color which then changes to antique pink at the end of flowering. L'Unique is a specimen that goes from three to four meters in height, has a small, elliptical and rough leaf that blooms in late summer. The peculiarity is that in this plant the white flowers alternate with the light pink ones as the season progresses. Finally, Praecox, originally from Japan and so called because it is the earliest, blooms in late spring and generates pure white flowers with elliptical and sharp leaves.
The white hydrangea plant can be planted in April or autumn. If you plant it in the garden, dig a hole that is at least 50 cm wide and deep. If you intend to build a hedge or a large bush, place each plant at least 80 cm away from each other.
Before planting, immerse the pot with the plant in a bucket of water so that it soaks with water, but let it drain before planting the plant. The soil should be light and slightly acidic, so purchase specific soil for acidophilic plants. If the soil in the garden is calcareous, opt for the planter. After planting, water abundantly.
Hydrangea flower coloring: how to change it
We have already said that the hue of hydrangea flowers depends on the soil: a higher acidity makes the flowers take on a blue or blue color, while an alkaline soil will give rise to flowers with more or less intense pink tones. Consequently, it is possible that you have bought a hydrangea with a certain color and, after transplanting it in a pot or in your garden, the color has changed due to the nature of the soil or the water used for watering. If, for example, the tap water is too hard (calcareous), the soil becomes progressively alkaline and, consequently, the hydrangeas take on a pink color.
If you want to keep blue hydrangeas, you need to keep the acidity level of the soil below 6.5.
• use rainwater and avoid tap water if it is very hard;
• use products that increase the acidity of the soil (for example iron chelates);
• use iron filings or put small pieces of iron in the ground;
• add a little vinegar to the water from the waterings;
• add coffee grounds to the soil.
Exposure and climate
White hydrangea does not like direct sun during the summer season, so place it in a partially protected place, such as near a wall. As for the climate, it is a plant that resists even the harsh temperatures so it can be grown in all Italian regions, but suffers from frosts.
The calendar of white hydrangea
Planting: March-April, September-November
Flowering: June September
Pruning: March-April, November
Watering must be abundant and constant, especially in summer, but it must only take place when the soil is completely dry because the plant does not tolerate stagnation. To prevent this problem it is good to add draining sand to the soil or clay at the bottom of the pot.
The easiest way to multiply white hydrangea is the cutting. Take the cuttings in August, when the plant is in bloom, or in September. Select a branch of the year, but that has not flowered, and cut a cutting of about 20 cm. Eliminate the end too tender, and in the lower part cut two leaves below. Leave the leaves only in the upper end of the cutting. Place the cutting in a pot with soil and sand, and leave a space of at least 10 cm between one cutting and the other. Put the pot in the shade, keeping the soil moist. The pots with the cuttings should be protected from freezing in the winter period, so place them in a sheltered place or on a veranda. The following spring you can proceed with planting in the ground or in pots.
Hydrangea can also be multiplied by layering. The lower branches are buried and the soil is kept constantly humid in order to make the roots sprout in the buried part of the branch. Once the roots have formed, the new plant can be detached from the mother plant.
White Hydrangea: Tips
Hydrangea is an extremely toxic plant, so keep children and animals away in case of pruning.