Hydrangea is a genus of flowering plant that belongs to the Hydrangeaceae family. There are more than 100 species of this plant, which are native to eastern and southern Asia, as well as in south and north America. Similar to the case of other plants within the same family, it has distinct flowers. They grow in flowers and in the shape of stars, which typically has four to five petals. The color of the flowers will vary, most of which will be red, white, pink, blue, or purple.
Before planting hydrangea, you need to be aware of the different varieties that are available to guarantee success. For an indoor plant, one of the best is Hydrangea macrophylla. One of the unique characteristics of the latter is that the color of the flowers will depend on the pH level of the soil. The flowers are usually pink in alkaline soil and blue when it is acidic. They can also be different depending on the appearance of the flowers. In the case of mophead hydrangea, the flowers are round, looking like pompoms. In lacecap hydrangeas, on the other hand, flowers are slightly flat and round. Lastly, with panicle hydrangea, flowers are large and long, looking like pyramids or cones.
Planting and Growing Conditions
The best way to grow hydrangea indoors is through a healthy outdoor plant. You can prune from an existing hydrangea in the garden or you can purchase a seedling from your local nursery. Make sure that it is healthy, so that upon re-potting, you can yield the highest level of success.
Choosing the right pot is a critical step. As much as possible, choose those that are lightweight, which means that it will be easy for you to transfer it in different places depending on the light requirements of the plant. Ideally, the container should have a diameter of at least 18 inches. Smaller pots will cause the plant and soil to dry quickly, which will result to wilting. To add, there must also be holes at the bottom, which will allow water to drain. If it stays in the soil for a long time, it will be soggy and will encourage the growth of pathogens.
Next, pick the right soil to grow the plant. It should be rich with organic matter, which will supplement the nutrients that the plant needs for its survival. The usual garden soil will not be a good choice as it is too compact and will not encourage aeration. Fill the pot with soil halfway and plant the hydrangea. Cover the top with more soil, press firmly, and water. By now, you are ready to choose the ideal position of the plant based on its light requirements.
Speaking of position, place the pot in an area that receives plenty of light. Keep them away from direct sunlight as this is one thing that they cannot tolerate. In the case of most species, they will require up to four hours of bright light in a day.
Meanwhile, when it comes to temperature, 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit is the best. By keeping the temperature as cool as possible, the blooms will last longer. Be sure to keep it away from direct sources of heat, such as appliances and gas stove. The humidity, meanwhile, should be anywhere from average to high.
Lastly, for water, the plant will need a lot of water to survive. Nonetheless, under-watering is better than over-watering the plant. If the plant begins to wilt, this is an indication that it is thirsty and that it needs water.
Pests and Diseases
Without proper attention to care and maintenance, hydrangea can be prone to diseases and infestation, which will affect its overall health and vigor. Leaf spots, blight, and powdery mildew are some of the most common diseases that the plant can experience. For pests, meanwhile, aphids, spider mites, and Japanese beetles are common.
Care and Maintenance
To make sure that your hydrangea will grow and retain its best condition, the following are some of the most important things to keep in mind:
- Fertilizing is essential to make the soil nutrient-rich. A water-soluble, half-strength fertilizer is necessary during the blooming season of the plant. In the winter and fall, on the other hand, feeding them once in a month will be more than enough. On the other hand, if it seems that the plant is already sick avoid using fertilizers as this could only add stress to the plant.
- When the plant is already growing, do not forget to prune. This is important to control the size of the plant, especially considering that it is indoors. Also, prune when the flowers start to wilt or appear sickly, which will prevent the spread of infection to the healthy parts of the plant. See to it that the pruning shears are clean as it can be a carrier of pathogens that can harm the plant.
- Proper timing of harvest is important to make sure that the flowers will last longer. The best time to harvest is once the flowers start to develop a paper-like consistency. You can air dry the flower in an airy room, which will make it last longer.
Although not the easiest flowering plant to grow, hydrangea will make a perfect choice for indoor blooms. The thick and bright blooms in clusters will add a hint of color and beauty to any indoor space. With the right growing conditions, including light, soil, water, temperature, and humidity, it will not take long before all your efforts will pay off.