Hydrangeas are not only stunning outdoor plants; they can also bring instant garden ambiance to your indoor spaces. With their round clusters of vibrant flowers, these plants know how to show off their spectacular beauty. In this guide, we will explore the best practices for hydrangea care indoors and how to keep them healthy and thriving.
Hydrangea Varieties That Thrive Indoors
There are numerous hydrangea species, but the most suitable one for indoor cultivation is the Hydrangea macrophylla, commonly known as the mophead hydrangea. This particular variety offers a wide array of options, with hundreds of cultivars available.
Imagine having a potted Hydrangea ‘Endless Summer’ on your dining table, with its abundance of pale-blue blooms adding a touch of elegance. If you prefer other colors, you can choose from the violet-blue ‘Nikko Blue,’ the deep-blue ‘All Summer Beauty,’ or the snowy white ‘Libelle.’ New cultivars even introduce bi-colored blooms and more vibrant shades than ever before.
Hydrangea Care Tips for Indoor Plants
To keep your indoor hydrangea healthy, it is essential to provide the right conditions and care. Here are some crucial tips to help you succeed:
Soil Moisture is Key
Hydrangeas thrive in moist soil, and dryness can be detrimental to their well-being. If you notice yellow leaves or leaf drop, it may be a sign of dry soil. During the blooming season, it is a good idea to check the soil daily and water the plant accordingly. Remember, hydrangeas are thirsty plants.
Pruning for Fuller Growth
Mophead hydrangeas do not necessarily need pruning unless you want to control their size. To encourage fuller growth, consider cutting off about one-third of the oldest stems. This simple technique can give you a more compact and visually appealing plant. Pruning should be done after the blossoms fade.
Overwintering Your Plant
Hydrangea shrubs are perennials, and if you wish to keep your plant year after year, you need to pay attention to overwintering. After the flowering period is over, repot the plant and cut back the woody stems by half. During winter, water sparingly and keep the plant cool. As late winter approaches, gradually move it to warmer conditions to aid in blooming.
By meeting the necessary care requirements, you can ensure your hydrangea blooms beautifully year after year.
Keeping the Blue Hydrangeas Blue
Blue hydrangeas require acidic soil with a pH level of 5.5 or lower to retain their color. If the soil becomes alkaline (pH above 7), the flowers will change color and turn pink. Maintaining the blue color is possible by adding sulfur to the soil while the plant is in bloom. A pH level between 5.5 and 7 can result in purple or a mix of pink and blue flowers.
It is important to note that not all hydrangea cultivars are capable of changing their color, so it is best to purchase the color you desire rather than attempting to alter it through soil acidity. Experimentation may not always yield the desired results, as some varieties are naturally resistant to color change.
Preserving the Beauty of Mophead Hydrangeas
Dried hydrangeas can make beautiful additions to any floral arrangement, and preserving their beauty is relatively simple. To achieve the best results, allow the flower stems to dry on the plant itself. When the flowers take on a papery texture, with a stem length suitable for your desired arrangement, cut them off.
Remove all the leaves from the stems and find a dark, dry room where you can hang them upside down for drying. This method prevents the flowers from bending. It is essential to keep the flower stems separate during the drying process to prevent any flowers from getting squashed. When dried, mopheads display soft shades of blue, green, violet, or rose, creating a captivating visual experience.
Indoor Hydrangea Care Tips
To maximize the potential of your indoor hydrangea, here are a few additional care tips to keep in mind:
- Origin: Japan
- Height: 2 ft (60 cm) indoors
- Light: Provide at least 4 hours of bright, indirect light every day.
- Water: Keep the soil evenly moist, avoiding saturation. Water frequently due to the compact root system. Lime-free water is preferable, as lime can make the soil alkaline. During the resting period in winter, water sparingly.
- Humidity: Average room humidity (around 40-45% relative humidity). If your indoor air is dry, consider increasing the humidity using appropriate methods.
- Temperature: Keep your hydrangea plant as cool as possible, preferably below 60°F/16°C, to extend the flowering time.
- Soil: Use peat-based acidic soil for blue varieties and alkaline soil for pink ones.
- Fertilizer: Feed every two weeks in spring and summer using a balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) diluted by half. Alternatively, use a slow-release fertilizer once in spring and again in summer. Avoid excessive fertilization, as it may damage the leaves.
- Propagation: Take 4-inch (10 cm) stem tip cuttings in spring or early summer and root them in moist potting mix.
Hydrangeas are a wonderful addition to any indoor space. By following these tips, you can enjoy their magnificent blooms and create a vibrant atmosphere in your home. Visit Ames Farm Center for a wide selection of hydrangea varieties and start your indoor garden today.