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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Q:What shade of blue will my Hydrangea be?
I have just looked at your blue Hydrangeas on the website, and I am curious to know, which picture shows the true likeness of colour for these plant? Thank you.Asked on 4/9/2010 by PATRICK BARRETT
A:Hello There, The flower colour of the Hydrangea flower will vary depending on the pH of your soil, so they are more blue in acidic soils and take on pink tones when planted in alkaline soils. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 4/12/2010 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 12/5/2009 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 12/8/2009 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 10/23/2009 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 10/26/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
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 10/26/2009 by ldavidson
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 6/15/2009 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 6/17/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
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