House Plant Index
Hydrangea macrophylla var. hortensia
||March, April, May
|Potting or re-potting time
|Position in garden during summer
The forcing hydrangea has clean; healthy looking leaves which are broad and boldly toothed. Huge, globular clusters of sterile flowers cover the plant for several months. Shades of blue and pink are the usual colors found in horticultural varieties, and occasionally a white form appears. Two recommended varieties are carrulea, with flowers of deep blue; and veitchi, with flowers of rich rose pink. The blue color is not stable. It is dependent upon an acid soil. Blue hydrangeas planted in an alkaline mixture will soon revert to pink. Powdered alum may be scratched into the soil twice a year which will maintain the acidity so essential to rich blue flowers.
In the house, hydrangeas need a sunny location and daily watering. Just prior to, and during, the formation of. buds give the plants a tumbler of manure water once a week. When the last flowers have been cut away, prune the plant back to several pairs of leaves, re-pot if necessary, and plunge in the garden. Water frequently during the summer and in August resume the weekly application of liquid manure. In September, place the plant in a dark cellar, as cool a one as possible, and withhold water. Leaves will drop and the plant appears very forlorn indeed. It is perfectly all right, however, as it is taken-a a needed rest. The siesta may be terminated in January, and the hydrangea returned to the light and son in a window in preparation for Easter flowers. A later flowering period may be scheduled by leaving the plant in the cellar until February or March, but early flowers are usually most welcome.
Propagation is by stem cuttings from new growth. They root in a propagating box in four to six weeks.