Hydrangea serrata 'Bluebird'
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: moist, well-drained, moderately fertile, humus-rich soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: June to September
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Flattened heads of beautiful, blue-mauve flowers last from June to September and in autumn, the pointed, mid-green leaves, turn dusky red. On alkaline soils the flowers may become pink. This compact, deciduous hydrangea is perfect for small gardens in sun or partial shade.
Hydrangeas give their best blue flowers on acidic soils with a pH 5.5. When grown on neutral soil, (with a pH of 7), the flowers will predominantly be pink, although you may also get blue or mauve blooms. If you want to make sure that your Hydrangea has blue-toned flowers, you will need to make sure your pH does not creep above 6.5. To lower the pH on a neutral soil, you can treat it annually with aluminium salts. It's much harder however to alter the pH of limey (alkaline) soil, so it's much easier to grow white or pink hydrangeas instead.
- 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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