Plant and care for farm hydrangeas

Plant and care for farm hydrangeas

Plant farm hydrangeas properly

Proper soil preparation sets the course for the best growth and abundant flowering. Loosen the soil deeply at the chosen location, remove roots and stones. Dig a pit with twice the volume of the root ball and fill it with fresh bog or rhododendron soil. This is how the planting continues:

  • Soak the still potted root ball in water until no more air bubbles rise
  • Stuff, place in the center of the pit and water

also read

  • Farm hydrangea blooms all summer
  • Only if it is absolutely necessary: ​​transplant farm hydrangea
  • Farm hydrangea does not bloom - why is it?

Finally, spread a 5 centimeter high layer of mulch, such as leaf soil, coniferous compost or bark mulch.

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Care tips

In the care of farmer's hydrangeas, a high demand for water and nutrients dominates, in connection with an acidic, lime-free acid and base content of the soil. The care program in short:

  • Water once or twice a day with soft water
  • From March to September fertilize organically or mineral-organic
  • In winter, pile up with leaves, coniferous branches or straw
  • Reduced watering and do not fertilize
  • Cut withered flower heads in spring, thinning out dead wood and 5-year-old branches
  • With fleece, buds protect against delayed ground frost

Farm hydrangeas in the bucket move to frost-free winter quarters with temperatures of around 5 degrees Celsius, like an unheated stairwell.

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Which location is suitable?

The ideal location for a farm hydrangea is partially shaded, humid and sheltered from the wind. The ornamental wood reaches its optimum under the canopy of deciduous trees. The garden hydrangea will tolerate a sunny location where there is a sufficient supply of water.

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The correct planting distance

As a rule of thumb: The planting distance corresponds to half the growth width. The majestic variety 'Alpenglow' grows up to 120 cm in width, so that a planting distance of 60 cm is the right choice. The slimmer 'Mathilde Gütges' with a growth width of 100 cm is placed at a distance of 50 cm.

What soil does the plant need?

Plant a farmer's hydrangea only in nutrient-rich, humus-rich and loose soil with a slight moisture content. An acidic pH value of 5 to 6 is of essential importance, for blue varieties from 3.5 to 4. We therefore recommend the use of special rhododendron or bog soil for growing in pots.

What is the best time to plant?

The time window for planting a farm hydrangea opens in May, when the ice saints have said goodbye. Until then, belated ground frosts could damage the ornamental wood.

When is the flowering time?

The flowering period of the classic varieties extends from July to October. Modern breeds have the potential to bloom on old and young wood. This is why these garden hydrangeas delight us with their blossoming blooms from May onwards in mild weather, which lasts until September / October.

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Cut the farm hydrangea correctly

Use caution when pruning a farm hydrangea. The older the flowering shrub, the less it tolerates extensive pruning. How to do it right:

  • Cut off the withered flowers in early spring
  • Start the cut just above the first strong bud
  • Cut branches that are more than 5 years old and the dead wood close to the ground

The innovative breeding 'Endless Summer' occupies a special position. Since this garden hydrangea blooms on both last year's and this year's wood, it does not mind a more extensive pruning. Regardless of this, the flower beauties should not be cut more than absolutely necessary.

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Water the farm hydrangea

The botanical name Hydrangea already indicates the high water requirement of a farm hydrangea. Water daily, even if it has rained. On hot summer days, it is best to water in the early morning and late evening. Avoid sprinkling the plant, instead give the water directly to the roots without causing waterlogging. The softer the water, the more beneficial for the health and color of a garden hydrangea.

Fertilize farm hydrangeas properly

From March to September the nutritional requirements of a farmer's hydrangea are at a high level. You can ensure a balanced supply of nutrients with the help of the following organic or mineral-organic fertilizers:

  • Supply with deciduous or coniferous compost every 14 days, supplemented with horn shavings (€ 6.39 at Amazon *) and coffee grounds
  • Alternatively, apply organic hydrangea fertilizer Acet von Neudorff or Compo every 4 weeks
  • Apply mineral-organic long-term fertilizers from Substral, Compo or Beckmann in March and July as granules or liquid

In addition, the specialist trade offers organic-mineral fertilizers with Blaumacher, which ensure a long-lasting blue flower color.

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Farmer hydrangea weakened from improper care is prone to powdery mildew. If a floury-white patina covers the magnificent hydrangea leaves during the summer, this is where the fungal spores have settled. In the early stages of infection, the classic milk-water solution works in a ratio of 1: 9. Be sure to cut off infected leaves and dispose of them with household waste.


The farm hydrangea gets into the clinch every now and then with the following pests:

  • Aphids: destroy with 30 grams of pure curd soap, dissolved in 1 liter of water with a dash of alcohol
  • Spider mites: fight with a biological insecticide based on rapeseed oil

An infestation with spider mites occurs in particular when the winter is too warm. If you place the farmer's hydrangea cooler at 4-6 degrees, the pests get too uncomfortable.


The farmer's hydrangea has only acquired a robust winter hardiness at an advanced age. Until then, the flowering plant receives the following winter protection every year:

  • Cover the root area with leaf soil, straw and coniferous twigs
  • In rough locations, additionally cover the shoots with jute or reed mats
  • Wrap the bucket in bubble wrap and place it on wood in front of the south wall
  • Put a felt sack over the branches (no foil)

The threat to the young buds from late frosts remains throughout the life of a farm hydrangea, so increased attention and caution is required until mid-May.

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Propagate farm hydrangeas

The vegetative propagation of a farmer's hydrangea scores with single-variety breeding and uncomplicated handling. You can do either of the following:

  • Cut cuttings in July, plant in poor soil and keep constantly moist until rooting
  • Pull the sinker to the ground, score the central area, dig in and let it take root until the next year

The propagation of the cuttings is faster if you place the pot under a transparent hood and ventilate it briefly every day. In order to gently remove the delicate root system of a sinker from the ground, simply sink a flower pot into the ground next to the mother plant, fill it with peat sand and fix the shoot part in it.

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How do I transplant properly?

A well-chosen date for relocating a farmer's hydrangea is a mild day in April so that the wood can take root again by next winter. 2-3 weeks beforehand, cut off the root ball all around with the spade, whereby the radius corresponds to the height of the garden hydrangea. Water the plant copiously and repeatedly until the day of transplanting. Follow these steps:

  • Loosen the root ball and lift it out of the ground
  • Do not plant any deeper in the new place than before
  • Water abundantly and mulch with leaf compost

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Farm hydrangea in a pot

No other type of hydrangea is as perfectly suited for pot cultivation as the farmer's hydrangea. Use bog bed soil or rhododendron soil as a substrate and create a drainage made of potsherds underneath to protect against waterlogging. Keep the flowering plant constantly moist in the partially shaded place. From March to September fertilize every 14 days with an extra liquid fertilizer for hydrangeas.

In good time before the first frost, bring the potted hydrangea to a dark winter area with temperatures around 5 degrees. Since the garden hydrangea has shed its leaves, it receives less irrigation water and no fertilizer. If the first buds sprout, place the plant in partial shade and a little warmer.

Farm hydrangea does not bloom

If a farm hydrangea fails to bloom, belated frosts are usually responsible for the deficiency. Protect the frost-sensitive buds with jute or garden fleece until the danger after the ice saints and the sheep's cold is over. In addition, a garden hydrangea will not bloom if you have already pruned it in autumn.

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Yellow leaves

A farm hydrangea with yellow leaves is suffering from leaf chlorosis. The cause of the damage is the use of calcareous irrigation water or unsuitable fertilizers. In principle, pour collected rainwater and apply organic, acidic leaf compost or special hydrangea fertilizers from specialist shops.

How do I dye a pink farmhouse hydrangea blue?

The secret of a color change from pink to blue is less based on magic than on the pH of the soil from 4.0 to 4.5. In order to generate this value, it is not necessary to reach into the chemistry kit. This is how the color change succeeds in next to no time:

  • Ask about potassium aluminum sulfate - alum for short - at the pharmacy
  • In addition to the normal fertilization from March to July, give the farmer hydrangea 20-80 grams of alum
  • Repeat the addition of alum until the desired blue color appears

In the tub, the coloration from pink to blue is quicker due to the limited volume of the substrate. If you dissolve alum in boiling water and add a splash of vinegar, you have a forcing effect on the effect. Avoid contact of the preparation with the flowers and leaves. Incidentally, this trick does not work with white-flowered garden hydrangeas.

Cut off what has faded or not?

Creative hobby gardeners leave the wilted flower balls on a farm hydrangea through the winter. Covered with glittering frost and snow, the paper balls drive the melancholy of winter out of the otherwise empty garden. In February / March you cut off the withered flowers to make room for the next generation.

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The most beautiful varieties

  • Hamburg: the variety captivates with large, pink-colored flower balls and reddish-tinged leaves
  • Holibel: fantastically beautiful farmer's hydrangea with white porcelain flowers and robust winter hardiness
  • Bela: a classic for the rural garden with huge flowers in light blue, stable and very vigorous
  • Hot Red: the popular garden hydrangea with bright red flowers from June to September
  • The Bride: white flowering new breed from the innovative Endless Summer line