When choosing flowers to decorate a garden or area in front of the house, you should pay attention to such a plant as the Royal Red hydrangea. This colorful shrub looks great both outdoors and in large pots set along paths or on an open veranda.
Description of hydrangea Royal Red
The large-leaved hydrangea can grow up to 1.5 m in height. Its leaves are oval, jagged edges and a rich green color. Dense foliage and lush inflorescences give the bush the shape of a ball.
Hydrangea can winter outdoors without shelter
The diameter of the Royal Red inflorescences themselves is about 15 cm. They consist of four-petal sterile flowers of bright red color. The color of hydrangea depends on the characteristics of the soil: on neutral ones, the color is lighter, even creamy, and on acidic ones it acquires a bluish tint.
Flowering begins in late July and lasts until early autumn.
Hydrangea large-leaved Royal Red in landscape design
The large-leaved hydrangea Royal Red Purple is a very popular plant for creating landscape compositions.
It can be planted alone to decorate paths or small open areas. Another option is to use it to create a hedge. The bushes are tall and do not bend to the ground.
It is very important for a plant to choose the right planting site.
It also looks great in combination with other plants. The flower beds, consisting of multi-colored hydrangeas of different varieties, look very beautiful.
In dry autumn, you need to water the plant abundantly.
Royal Red is successfully combined with conifers - juniper, thuja or blue spruce, or barberry bushes and perennial grasses.
It is very important to protect hydrangea from strong winds.
Such compositions are suitable for decorating areas near a fence or along paths.
Winter hardiness of hydrangea Royal Red
It is believed that large-leaved hydrangea has medium frost resistance and can easily survive the winter outdoors without the use of covering materials. The problem is that the flowering of the Royal Red variety occurs on last year's shoots (flower buds are laid by the fall). Accordingly, if you do not cover the plant, then only those shoots will bloom that will be covered with a layer of snow. Therefore, if gardeners want hydrangea to please them with lush flowering, it still has to be covered from the cold.
Planting and caring for hydrangea Royal Red
As with any garden plant, proper planting and proper care will result in a lush and beautiful hydrangea. The Royal Red variety is unpretentious in care, but it is still worth adhering to certain growing recommendations.
Selection and preparation of the landing site
The first thing to look out for is choosing the right landing site. The soil should be fertile, slightly acidic (optimum pH 5.5 to 6.0).
Advice! By adjusting the acidity of the soil, you can influence the color of the inflorescences - a decrease in acidity allows you to get pink and white flowers, and an increase in rich red and purple.
At the same time, it is important that water enters the soil well - its lack during the growth period can cause deformation.
Although hydrangeas love bright areas, planting them in direct sunlight is not worth it - they will quickly wither. A slightly shaded area works well.
Planting Royal Red hydrangea is as follows:
- In the selected area, prepare a hole about 50 cm wide and up to 40 cm long.The distance between individual bushes should be about 100 cm.
- If the soil is not too fertile, then 2 weeks before planting the appendix, a substrate from fertile soil, humus and peat is placed in the hole.
- The hydrangea shoot is placed in the center of the hole and sprinkled with soil tightly, tamping it around the plant.
- After planting, it is necessary to pour abundantly with water and sprinkle with peat or sawdust.
- In the first days after planting, you should additionally protect the young plant from the sun's rays, covering it if necessary.
Watering and feeding
For the normal growth and development of hydrangeas, proper care and, first of all, watering and fertilizing play an important role.
The Royal Red variety was bred in regions with high air humidity, therefore it is very hygrophilous and needs frequent watering. Each bush requires 1-2 buckets of water at a time. On hot summer days, hydrangea is irrigated once every 7 days, and during dry periods - twice a week. The water should be at room temperature. Watering is best in the morning or evening, when there is no heat.
For feeding, you can use both organic and mineral fertilizers. It is especially relevant during the growth period of the Royal Red hydrangea. For this, store complexes containing iron and magnesium, or manure diluted in water (1 in 10) are suitable. In the fall, it will be useful to add potassium-phosphorus fertilizers.
It is also necessary to use organic mulching, which protects the soil from overheating and weed growth. It is performed at the end of spring, filling the space around the hydrangea bush with an even layer of sawdust or peat.
Pruning hydrangea Royal Red
Due to the fact that the flowering of the Royal Red variety comes from the buds on last year's shoots, pruning is done very carefully. In the spring, cut off the dead ends to the first living bud, remove dried inflorescences and old leaves, as well as deformed or diseased branches. In order not to remove living buds, it is better to wait until early May, when they are clearly visible.
In May-June, you can cut dry branches of the plant
A more complete pruning is carried out after the hydrangea reaches the age of three. In early spring, the shoots are cut by на, leaving at least 2 pairs of buds. Also, damaged branches are removed and a bush of the desired shape is formed.
Preparing for winter
Hydrangea Royal Red, although it endures the winter in the open field, needs protection during frosts, otherwise uncovered shoots next summer are unlikely to please with blossoming inflorescences.
It is enough to sprinkle young bushes with foliage, needles or sawdust. Older specimens must be bent to the ground and covered with roofing material or special material, securing the edges with stones or bricks.
The number and quality of inflorescences depends not only on proper care, but also on the variety of hydrangea
Advice! The metal frame around the Royal Red at a distance of 25-30 cm, on which the covering material will be laid, will help to additionally protect the bush.
In the spring, don't rush to discover hydrangeas. It is better to wait until the end of the night frost and only then gradually remove the protective equipment. Young Royal Red plants can be freed from leaves and sawdust closer to May, and in case of return of frost, sprinkle again.
If you need to propagate the growing Royal Red hydrangea, the method of separation by herbaceous cuttings is often used.
The procedure begins in the second half of the summer. For this, cuttings 10-15 cm long with several pairs of leaves are selected. It is important that the shoots do not dry out, therefore, it is optimal to prune in the early morning when the plant is saturated with moisture. The shoots are placed in water and the lower pair of leaves is removed, and the upper one is shortened. After that, they are placed for a couple of hours in a solution with a growth stimulator (root, zircon, etc.).
Hydrangea propagates well by cuttings
Then the cuttings are transplanted into a mixture of peat and sand (2 to 1). With a successful transplant, within a month, the cuttings should take root and give new leaves. To do this, you need to constantly monitor that the soil is well moistened.
For autumn and winter, the hydrangea seedlings are sprinkled with fallen leaves, a small frame is placed over them and additionally protected with a covering material.
In the spring, when the shoots have taken root and are sufficiently strong, they are transplanted into open ground.
Another way is to propagate Royal Red hydrangea by layering. It is started in early spring. To do this, the ground around the plant is carefully loosened and grooves diverging from it with a depth of about 2 cm are dug out. Shoots from the lower part of the flower are laid there, fixed, sprinkled with soil and watered. By the end of summer, they should take root.
When the shoots reach a height of 15 cm, they are spudded, repeating every week until the embankment reaches a height of 25 cm.Then the seedlings of the Royal Red hydrangea are separated and added dropwise, and in the spring they are planted in the garden. The plant can be transplanted to a permanent place in a year.
In early spring, you can divide the bush. To do this, they dig it out, clean the roots and divide it into several parts. Then they are immediately planted in the ground, lightly pruning the roots and shoots of the hydrangea.
Diseases and pests
In general, the Royal Red variety is very resistant to various diseases and pest infestations. But still, in the absence of proper care, the risk of infection remains.
Hydrangea can be affected by the following diseases:
- White rot - the fungus attacks the roots, as a result of which the hydrangea begins to wither and quickly dies. You can notice it by the darkening, and then the whitening of the shoots. Fungicides - "Fitosporin", "Fundanazole" and others will help to cope with the infection.
- Gray rot - manifested by softening of the shoots and the appearance of a gray cannon on the surface. First of all, it is necessary to remove the damaged parts of the bush, and then treat with "Pure color" or "Fundazol".
- Septoria - detected by the appearance of dark spots on the leaves. Gradually, they die off and the Royal Red hydrangea dies. To save her, you need to remove the affected shoots and treat with copper sulfate.
- Powdery mildew - pale yellow spots appear on the leaves, and a gray bloom on the back. For treatment, use "Fitosporin", "Chistotsvet" or "Topaz".
- Rust - accompanied by a red bloom on the leaves and inflorescences of hydrangea. The reason may be too close planting of plants or an excess of nitrogen in the soil. For treatment, use drugs of copper or fungicides ("Topaz", "Falcon", etc.).
- Ring spot is a virus that causes the appearance of ring-shaped spots up to 2 cm in diameter, followed by the death of the plant. The disease is practically not amenable to treatment, so you need to carefully approach the choice of planting material.
In addition to various diseases, some pests are also dangerous for the Royal Red hydrangea:
- Leaf aphid - feeds on cell sap and multiplies very quickly, creating numerous colonies. The development of the flower slows down, and then gradual dying off begins. With a small amount of aphids, you can wash off with water, but if there is a lot of it, you should use insecticides.
- Gall nematode - appears with high soil moisture. It can be detected by the appearance of a gall on the stem. Hydrangea can be treated with Karbofos solution. If the drug does not help, all that remains is to pull out and burn the flower.
- Spider mite - a pest lives on the back of the leaves of the Royal Red. It can be seen by small yellow spots, which are becoming more and more. At the initial stage, treatment with ordinary soapy water can help. In a more difficult situation, you will have to resort to special drugs ("Lightning", "Tiofos", etc.).
- Slug - spawns in tightly planted areas. It feeds on hydrangea leaves. You can get rid of it with the help of "Molluscicide" granules, which are laid out on the surface of the soil.
Hydrangea Royal Red is a colorful lush flower that will adorn any site. It goes well with other plants and looks great both next to paths and fences, and in flower beds. It does not require special care and is resistant to various diseases and pests.