Hydrangea aspera 'Villosa Group'
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: moist, well-drained, moderately fertile, humus-rich soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: August to September
- Hardiness: fully hardy
At close range, the coarse, hairy, dark green leaves of this hydrangea belie its quiet beauty. In August, flattened heads of tightly packed, blue purple flowers are surrounded by mauve florets that seem to glow as the light fades. This deciduous shrub has a naturally rounded form and the flowers are long-lasting and attractive to bees and butterflies. It makes an elegant statement towards the back of a partly shady border, particularly when planted with other hydrangeas.
- Garden care: Hydrangeas do not like to dry out. In dry weather, soak the roots with a hose and the plant will usually recover. Remove faded flowerheads in spring after the danger of frosts, cutting back the flowered stems to a strong pair of buds. Take out misplaced or diseased shoots. Mulch young plants with a well-rotted manure or compost in spring. Once established, remove a quarter to a third of the shoots to the base of the plant.
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Q:Hydrangea villosa requirements
Dear Crocus, Having seen a Hydrangea villosa planted in combination with Miscanthus and Echinacea at Ightham Mote in Kent, I have been desperate to squeeze one into my garden...... but I am not sure it is suited, can you help? We have sandy soil with lots of soil improver added, and the location available is sunny. My neighbour's have blue hydrangeas (I definitely don't want blue ones, I like the mauve of the villosa) The eventual height seems quite large (4x4m) would annual pruning keep the size under control? Perhaps there is another mauve coloured hydrangea better suited to my site? Many thanks HannahAsked on 20/12/2009 by Hannah Walker
A:Hello Hannah, These shrubs can be quite variable in height and flower colour and will grow anywhere from 1 - 4m in height and spread. The sandy soil you have should not be a problem as long as you incorporate loads of composted organic matter and it does not get too dry. Sun or light shade is fine, but they will need more water in a sunny spot. Protection from cold winds is important. As for the flower colour, this will ultimately be determined by the pH of your soil as the flowers will be bluer in acidic soils. If this is a problem you could add a little lime to the make it more alkaline. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 21/12/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Specimen Ceanothus or another large bushy shrub....
Good afternoon, When I was first looking for a Ceanothus to replace the one we have in our front garden, I looked on your website, but you only had small ones. Our once lovely Ceanothus has been pruned out of all recognition again this year, as I planted it a bit too near our boundary when it was a baby. I know it may come back, but it is getting ridiculous as every time it grows back it has to be cut back again severely and then ooks a mess for most of the year. Have you got a nice, tall, bushy Ceanothus to replace it? I love my Ceanothus but perhaps if you don't have a big one, do you have another large, flowering shrub as an alternative? Hope you can help Regards MargaretAsked on 5/12/2009 by D DRAKETT
A:Hello Margaret, it is rare to find larger sized Ceanothus as they are usually quite short-lived and don't normally live longer than 6 - 8 years. We do have a selection of larger shrubs on our site like Hamamelis, Hydrangeas, Magnolias, Acer, Cornus, Cotinus, Philadelphus, Syringa and Viburnum, so you may find something of interest. They will be listed in this section. http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/ I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 8/12/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Hello there, I have a wonderful Hydrangea 'Tricolor' which has just finished flowering for this year. However it is now getting too big for its space and I would like to move it. I am wondering if this is possible and if so if now is the best time to do this or if it would be better to wait till the spring. Hope you can help as it is a lovely plant and I do not want to lose it but it is definitely beginning to look unhappy in its current place, although the aspect is appropriate. Thanking you in advance for your time with this. LizAsked on 23/10/2009 by ldavidson
A:Hello Liz, The best time to move established shrubs is in the autumn when the soil is still warm but the plant isn't in full active growth - so now is perfect. Begin by marking a circle around the shrub, as wide as the widest branch. Dig a trench along the line of this circle. Use a fork to loosen the soil around the root ball as you go to reduce its
size and weight so that it becomes manageable. When the root ball looks about the right size that you can still move it but there are still a lot of roots intact, begin to under cut the root ball with a sharp spade to sever the biggest woody roots. Roll up the root ball in sacking or plastic to protect the roots from damage and drying out. Move the shrub to a pre determined position. It is important to have the site ready so that you can transplant the shrub at once and it isn't left for hours (or worse!) drying out. Remove the sacking and plant the shrub in the new hole, at the depth at which it was previously planted. Firm well, water well and mulch with a good thick layer of well rotted farmyard manure. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 26/10/2009 by ldavidson
A:Dear Helen Thank you so much for your prompt and helpful reply to my
email about moving my Hydrangea. I will do as you say as I am very
keen for it to survive! Thanks again LizAnswered on 26/10/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Hydrangea not flowering
Hi I have a Hydrangea in my garden. For a few years it was in a pot but for some reason, it only ever seem to flower every other year. The autumn before last, I planted it in the border as it was getting too big to leave in a pot. It didn't flower last year so I was expecting it to bloom this year but it hasn't got a single flower. Around the beginning of the year I noticed the slugs had had a go at it as it was looking poorly. However, I sorted that problem and the foliage is looking really healthy but it still hasn't got a single flower. Any ideas about what could have gone wrong, please? Thanks SylviaAsked on 29/7/2009 by Sylvia Styles
A:Hello Sylvia, There are a number of reasons why plants don't flower, but the most likely cause of your problems are either a late frost killing off the buds, or it could be pruning at the wrong time of the year. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 30/7/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Rabbit proof shrubs
Dear Sirs We are planning to plant a 30mt long border with flowering shrubs and have assorted colours of Rhododendrons in mind. Our main concern is that the shrubs must be rabbit proof as the border is adjacent to woods and a large grassed area. Also, where possible we would like to have 'flowers' on the shrubs throughout the summer. Would you be able to provide a picking list of suitable shrubs? Thank you for your prompt attention AndyAsked on 15/6/2009 by Clark, Andy (buying)
A:Hello there, These are really troublesome pests, and there are no effective deterrents available (apart from getting a guard dog) which will be any help to you. They tend to prefer leaves and soft stems rather than flowers and woody stems, and they seem to prefer feeding in exposed positions and often nibble plants at the edge of borders. This habit can be used to the gardener's advantage by planting more valuable subjects in the centre of beds. In winter, when food is scarce, deciduous plants at the edge of beds will not interest rabbits, and will help protect winter flowers in the centre. Below is a list of flowering shrubs which they usually tend to leave alone. Buddleia davidii, Ceanothus Cistus Cotoneaster dammeri Deutzia Hebe Hypericum Hydrangea Mahonia aquifolium Potentilla fructicosa Rhododendron spp. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 17/6/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Hydrangeas come in many guises, but the blue and pink mopheads and lacecaps that flower in summer are generally forms of Hydrangea macrophylla, an Asian species that prefers lots of summer rainfall and drier winters. This can be tricky in drier gardens, bRead full article