Hydrangea Unique (Unique) is a large ornamental shrub, frost-resistant and moisture-loving, bred in Belgium in the middle of the last century. The variety is demanding on the composition of the soil and sufficient sunlight.
Unique is a picturesque accent in any garden
Description of hydrangea Unic
Sprawling deciduous shrub of panicle hydrangea Unique volumetric. Strong, tough, densely leafy shoots, spreading up to 2.5-2.8 m in height and width, growing vertically, forming a rounded or asymmetrical bush silhouette. The Yunik variety is fast-growing, it rises up to 20 cm per year. The stems only sometimes droop under the weight of the largest 30-centimeter hydrangea inflorescences. The bark is brownish-reddish, pubescent on young shoots. On old trunks, naked, slightly exfoliating.
The superficial root system in favorable conditions branches wider than the crown, up to 3 m in diameter. This fact is taken into account when choosing a place for the Unique hydrangea - spacious and without plants with creeping roots.
Shoots covered with rough, dense leaves with serrated edges, located opposite, sometimes collected in 3 in whorls. The length of the ovate leaf blade is 9-14 cm, the width is 5-8 cm. The green color changes little in autumn.
Large inflorescences of panicle hydrangea Unique, wide-pyramidal, with a rounded apex, are formed on many shoots of the current year, 20 cm wide at the base and up to 25-30 cm high. according to the duration of flowering. They bloom pale greenish, then become milky white. In the phase of flowering, they turn slightly pink or acquire a reddish tint.
The color of Unicorn hydrangea petals is influenced by:
- flowering period;
- lighting - in an area constantly exposed to the sun, the blush on the inflorescences appears faster, and when shaded, the petals turn slightly green;
- soil composition - on soils with an acidic reaction, the color becomes more intense.
The flowering of the Unik variety lasts from the third decade of July to the beginning of October.
Important! The inflorescences and bush of the panicle hydrangea variety Unique are the largest among the species.
Flowering is accompanied by a pleasant and strong aroma.
Hydrangea Unique in landscape design
Landscape designers successfully use the Unicorn hydrangea, a picturesque, hardy and gas-resistant plant for urban landscaping. The culture is planted in parks and gardens, green areas of enterprises, in large containers in front of presentable buildings. The picturesque bush will become a real decoration of any landscape gardening ensemble:
- a spectacular soloist on a lawn or a voluminous flower bed;
- an element of woody and shrub compositions in combination with lilac, mock orange, spirea or plant varieties with burgundy foliage - holly maples, plums, beech;
- Tall, densely leafy Unicorn hydrangea bushes form beautiful hedges.
Unique is an excellent ingredient for a long range tall mixborder
Advice! Hydrangea Unique with snow-white inflorescences is combined with other varieties of paniculate type.
Winter hardiness of hydrangea Unic
- the plant can withstand subzero temperatures up to 30 ° С with protection from the north side;
- in open areas up to - 25 ° С;
- in a cozy corner, without gusts of wind, up to - 34 ° С.
Adult bushes endure severe winters without shelter, occasionally freeze, young seedlings are sheltered for the first few years.
Warning! To increase the endurance of hydrangea paniculata in winter, flower growers follow advice on watering, feeding and preparing for the cold season.
Planting and caring for Unicorn hydrangea
The correct choice of location, taking into account the composition of the soil and sufficient moisture, will provide the Unicorn hydrangea with abundant flowering. It is also important to comply with the conditions for care and prepare the plant for winter.
Selection and preparation of the landing site
The Unic is placed in shaded areas in the afternoons, protected from strong wind gusts. Planting in direct sunlight, especially in the south, leads to rapid flower fading. The soil under the hydrangea should be:
- rich in humus;
- with an acidic or slightly acidic reaction;
- well-drained, without stagnant water, but damp, not arid.
Needles, soil from under pines and spruces are added to calcareous soils.
On acidic soils, the color is more intense
Unik shrubs develop better from 2-3-year-old seedlings, bloom in the summer. A sprout from a container is guaranteed to take root, and if a plant with open roots, planting is carried out no later than 4-6 hours after purchase. The hydrangea is inspected so that there is no damage and signs of illness, the soil in the containers is clean and moist. It is best to plant a crop in the spring, in the south in the fall. A necessary requirement is the distance to trees at least 3-4 m.
Planting pits are prepared in 7-15 days, 60x80 cm in size, 40-50 cm deep, or slightly larger in volume than the container:
- a layer of broken brick or gravel drainage is placed on the bottom;
- the substrate is prepared from equal parts of garden soil, humus, peat, sand;
- to enrich the substrate, add 2-3 tablespoons of urea and potassium sulfate, 3-4 tablespoons of superphosphate in the spring;
- in the fall, nitrogen fertilizers are not used.
After removing from the container, the tips of the roots are freed from the soil and straightened. The root ball is slightly agitated. Having installed the seedling on the substrate, the roots are spread and covered with fertile soil. The root neck of the panicle hydrangea is not buried. After compacting the soil, watered and mulched with compost or needles.
Watering and feeding
Saplings of the Unik variety are watered 1-2 times a week with 10-15 liters of water. Such watering accompanies the process of plant survival for 30-45 days. Adult hydrangea bushes are irrigated 5-7 times during the warm season. In drought, sprinkling of the crown is recommended.
After watering, if there is no mulch under the bushes, the soil is loosened no deeper than 5 cm. To disinfect the soil, the trunk circle is spilled with a weak pink solution of potassium permanganate 2-3 times over the summer.
The culture is fed in early spring and during the budding period with humus, nitrogen preparations for growth. At the end of June, beginning of July and in August - potassium-phosphorus.
Pruning Hydrangea Unicorn
In autumn, the inflorescences are cut or left on the shoots, no more than one third. If the Unicik buds are preserved in winter for decorative purposes, it is taken into account that such a plant will give meager flowering for the next season. The shrub is pruned in early spring:
- remove damaged branches;
- the shoots are shortened by two-thirds, to the first healthy, well-developed bud, located on the outside of the bush;
- for good tillering, the trunks are cut to a third of the height of the shoot;
- thickening branches are completely cut off.
After 7-10 years of development, hydrangeas are rejuvenated by shortening all shoots to a stump.
Inflorescences with reddish petals remain on the shoots for the whole winter if they are not cut
Preparing for winter
Young plants of the Unique variety are covered for the winter. After water-charging irrigation, up to 30-40 liters of water, the trunk circle is mulched with humus, compost, and needles. You can put a frame, which is covered with dense agrofiber. In a harsh climate, the frame is filled with sawdust, dry leaves or needles, and mats made of straw or reeds are placed on top. As an option for shelter, shoots are bent to the soil, laying on cardboard or dry wood, covered with spruce branches or lutrasil on top. In the south, the plants are only huddled, the seedlings are covered with agrofibre.
Reproduction of hydrangea Unique
The culture is propagated by cuttings, layering and dividing the bush. In the middle lane, cuttings are cut in the first half of June:
- choose a branch with 6 nodes;
- leaves are cut from the lower two buds;
- the remaining leaves are cut in half;
- put the cutting in a loose and wet sandy substrate under the greenhouse;
- rooting occurs in 30-40 days.
For layering, the extreme lateral shoots are instilled, attaching to the ground with staples. The division of the bush is possible on light soils, where the hydrangea sprouts a lot of root growth. The resulting seedlings are placed in a permanent place after a year.
Diseases and pests
The variety is susceptible to many fungal diseases, as well as attacks by small insects or ticks. Preventively, plants are treated with fungicides and insecticides in the spring. In case of illness, the bushes are sprayed with compounds 2-3 times, especially if there is any source of infection nearby.
Hydrangea Unique is a rather unpretentious crop, although it needs regular watering and planting on slightly acidic soil. The plant is suitable for the middle climatic zone and will serve as a highly decorative element in any garden.
Reviews of panicle hydrangea Unique
Vera Rogozina, 43, Klin
A very beautiful bush of the Unique variety! Planted 5 years ago together with other varieties of panicle hydrangea for decorative hedges between two zones of the garden. During this time, the bushes have grown, but the place is spacious, they do not interfere with each other. In the conditions of the Moscow region, the petals do not fade in the sun.
Svetlana Martynova, 47 years old, Oryol
When choosing a place for planting the Unique variety, you need to know that hydrangea does not grow on alkaline soils. Also, it is impossible to add ash or lime to the substrate or near-stem circle. I know from experience that superficial roots spread beyond the bush, and it needs a spacious area.
Rita Prudnikova, 29 years old, Leningrad region
The weather of the region is suitable for hydrangeas, it does not suffer from frost. Indeed, the bush has a wide span. We do not have to plant annual or perennial flowers, which must be weeded and loosened regularly. Unique is beautiful as a tapeworm.