Ornamental trees and shrubs of Bretschneider hydrangea are in great demand among gardeners due to their good resistance to drought and wintering. In addition, they are very effective and beautiful during the flowering period, which continues throughout the summer season. You will have to work hard on caring for the plant only the first time in order to create favorable conditions for it. In the future, the Bretschneider hydrangea needs to be well watered and the soil under it should be loosened.
The variety blooms with "umbrellas", which makes it stand out from other species
Description of Bretschneider hydrangea
The Bretschneider hydrangea (hydrangea bretschneideri) is a perennial plant up to 3 m tall. The crown is round, the foliage is elongated, pointed, about 12 cm in size. The plant has a strong trunk with dense foliage. The flowers are initially white, arranged in the form of umbrellas about 15 cm. Towards autumn they acquire a purple color, from which the second name of the species "Purple Queen" originated.
Throughout the summer season, it actively blooms, despite possible drought. The plant is sun-loving, although it requires good watering and little shade. It is stable for winter, you just need to carry out a slight pruning.
Hydrangea Bretschneider in landscape design
Bretschneider's ground cover hydrangea, aka the Purple Queen, is an excellent choice of gardeners in the field of landscape design. The plant looks great alone. It is also grown in combination with other deciduous shrubs, including evergreen and ornamental. The harmony of this variety in combination with conifers is noted.
Bretschneider's groundcover hydrangea is grown as a hedge
Winter hardiness of Bretschneider hydrangea
This hydrangea variety is distinguished by its resistance to drought and frost. Growing in the middle lane in a temperate climate, the plant is not insulated for the winter.
Attention! During cold winters, the grower may notice that parts of Bretschneider's hydrangea are frozen over. But do not remove them, because in the spring it will come to life quite quickly.
Planting and caring for Bretschneider's hydrangea
Seeds of Bretschneider's groundcover hydrangea are planted in open ground in mid or late spring, when the frost has passed and will not return. But the soil is prepared in advance, since the autumn period. Peat and sand are added to the ground. Before planting, you need to thoroughly clear the ground of weeds, then the seeds are slightly deepened into the soil and sprinkled on top with a thin layer of sifted sand.
Seedlings germinate slowly, in addition, the plant must be constantly loosened, weeded, replanted if necessary, and fertilized the soil.
The first winter seasons the plant is wrapped in non-woven material and spruce branches (spruce branches)
Selection and preparation of the landing site
Hydrangea of this variety is planted in a sunny area, but strong gusts of wind and drafts should be excluded. A groundcover hydrangea can be placed against a fence or next to a large tree. Besides the fact that the plants will look harmonious, the hydrangea is protected from the winds. The plant prefers a lot of sunlight, so care should be taken when planting it under trees.
Attention! Bretschneider's hydrangea loves acidified soil, but cannot stand the presence of lime in it.
It is customary to plant a groundcover hydrangea in the spring, when frost is no longer expected. But the soil is prepared in the fall, loosening it, mixing it with sour peat, compost and other organic fertilizing.
Planting holes for hydrangeas are prepared about half a meter deep. If the gardener decides to do without fertilizer, the planting holes are dug deeper. First of all, additional roots will climb above the ground, and secondly, in the depths the soil is richer in minerals than the upper layers. Therefore, it is recommended to use additional peat and top dressing.
Having placed the hydrangea in the hole, its roots are well straightened, sprinkled and tamped so that they come into contact with the ground, otherwise a void is formed, which can turn into drying out.
If branches and roots are damaged during planting, they are carefully cut off. After the end of the planting procedure, the plant is watered abundantly so that the earth is saturated with moisture for at least half a meter. In summer, mulching is done so that the soil does not overheat and useful minerals do not evaporate.
Watering and feeding
Hydrangea is actively watered, especially in the season when there is not enough rainfall. Despite the fact that the Bretschneider variety perfectly tolerates the sun, at the same time, like other varieties, it needs good stable watering.
Gardeners fertilize the soil at their own discretion. You can use humus, additional acidified peat, and also mix in a little mineral fertilizers. Among other things, a separate type of feeding is distinguished for hydrangeas, rich in iron and magnesium.
The first feeding is carried out in May or June, repeated procedures are done every two weeks before the trunk becomes stiff.
By the end of summer, complementary foods are reduced to nothing
Pruning is performed in early spring, before the start of the so-called sap flow, that is, shortly before the plant wakes up from wintering. If the gardener missed this moment, then the pruning is postponed until the period when the petals begin to bloom.
Pruning allows you to shape the shrub as well as control the number of flower umbrellas. If necessary, prune young shoots, they can be used for cutting hydrangeas.
By the wintering period, faded buds, weak and dried up branches are cut off. Sometimes gardeners can cut off most of the plant so that it can fully renew itself in the spring.
Preparing for winter
Bretschneider's hydrangea tolerates winter stoically, so many gardeners prefer not to bother preparing the plant for frost. The best option for caring for the shrub is to insulate the soil, i.e. mulch. In the case of this type of plant, preference is given to organic mulch, for example, autumn fallen leaves, sawdust, bark. The bottom line is that they will not only create greenhouse conditions for the roots, but by spring they will ennoble the earth and increase its useful properties.
As for the crown of the ground cover hydrangea, it will not be superfluous to wrap it with kraft paper for the period of cold weather or other covering material. When warm days come, around April, all these auxiliary materials are removed. This is done in the evening so that the first warm rays of the sun do not harm the awakening plant.
The plant is propagated by all known methods. The best option is grafting. Cuttings are rooted during the flowering period of hydrangeas, which are cut from annual shoots. The cuttings are placed in water, but to speed up the process, you can use a light moisture-absorbing substrate of peat and sand in a ratio of 2 to 1. You can also mix sphagnum moss there.
After the roots have cut through, the cuttings are planted in the substrate at a distance of about 5 cm from each other. At a temperature of about 20 ° C, after a month, the hydrangea takes root.
You can use the method of dividing a bush, when a bush is dug up in spring or autumn, it is divided into 2-3 parts and planted.
Cuttings are the most common breeding method.
Seed propagation is the longest and most troublesome. The seeds are quite small, so they are initially placed in boxes with slightly acidic soil. It is made from leafy earth, humus, peat and coarse sand, taken in proportions of 2: 2: 1: 1, respectively.
The seeds are not buried, but rather scattered over the soil, sprinkled with sand on top. Then they are sprayed from a spray bottle, the first shoots promise to appear in a month. By autumn, they reach a height of about 40 cm. The first wintering should be provided with good greenhouse conditions.
Diseases and pests
In addition to the above benefits of hydrangea, it is also resistant to disease. Of course, it is not complete without aphids and spider mites, but they are quite easy to remove. In especially wet seasons, hydrangea can pick up the fungal disease "powdery mildew". It is not good when the soil from which the plant grows contains lime, under its influence the hydrangea brightens.
An excess of humus in the soil is also dangerous for the development of hydrangea chlorosis.
Ornamental trees and shrubs of Bretschneider hydrangea are an excellent choice for both beginners in floriculture and for master gardeners. In addition to the fact that the plant gradually changes its colors, it does not require unnecessary care procedures, except for the first few seasons.
Reviews of Bretschneider hydrangea
Ornamental trees and shrubs of Bretschneider hydrangea are famous all over the world.
Tatyana Andreeva, 37 years old, Novosibirsk
For many years now I have been planting various varieties of hydrangeas for myself, including the choice fell on the Bretschneider variety. I love this plant, quite unpretentious, despite the cold winters. By the way, I don't cover them with anything for the winter, and now - everything is blooming and smelling. And what beautiful, I just am not overjoyed!
Natalia Brusnichkina, 47 years old, Ural
I was so afraid that such beauty would not take root in me. I rummaged through dozens of forums, calmed me down, gave many examples where they write that even the Ural frosts of hydrangeas do not care. Then they gave me a few saplings. What to do, I had to sow at peril and risk. The first winter wrapped everyone up. In the spring I cut a little. The first kidneys removed stones from the shoulders. And the first flowers caused abundant tears of joy! One season I fed well enough so that the stiffness would pass faster. In general, I have the most beautiful garden in the area, to which "what is snow for me, what is heat for me!" and pouring rain straight into joy.