Living Creations - Mark
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maart 18, 2022

Rolf Verkleij

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"How to plant a panicle Hydrangea?" To answer that question, we went looking for someone who knows everything about garden maintenance and plant care. Step forward Rolf Verkleij! Rolf is a passionate and renowned gardener. And so handsome, he reminds us of a certain Coca-Cola advert. But to get back to the facts, Rolf runs Rolf Verkleij Tuinaanleg & Onderhoud, a versatile gardening company based in the south of the Netherlands. He’s the perfect person to answer all your questions about how to plant Hydrangeas.

Before we start Rolf, what’s best: Hydrangeas in pots or in the ground?
"In their natural habitat, Hydrangeas grow in the ground, of course. Their roots can develop freely that way. Once planted, the roots absorb moisture and find their way to nutrient-rich elements in the soil. But don’t worry if you prefer Hydrangeas in containers. Nowadays, we can mimic ideal conditions by giving potted plants the right fertilisers and plenty of water. Read more about how to plant a Hydrangea in a pot here."

What do I need to plant a Hydrangea?
"A good shovel, some water and perhaps a soil improver. Hydrangeas do best in nutrient-rich, permeable soil, so you could mix a soil improver into the earth. Soil improvers are substrates that improve soil structure and fertility. They stimulate root growth, making it easier for Hydrangeas to absorb the nutrients in the soil. Soil improvers can be purchased at your local garden centre, but they aren’t essential. Living Creations Hydrangeas also thrive without them. In any case, put your new Hydrangea in a bucket of water before you start so that it can have a good drink: well begun is half done."

Should I plant my Hydrangeas in the sun or shade?
"Hydrangeas prefer sun or partial shade. Your Hydrangea will flourish in these conditions and the flowers colour beautifully. You can put your Hydrangea in the shade but be aware that it will tend to grow towards the light. This leads to long branches instead of the compact growth and flowering most people prefer."

How many Hydrangeas per m2?
"That depends on the size of the plants. Small cultivars can be planted closer together than larger varieties. It’s not rocket science! Still not 100% sure? The Living Creations labels tell you how many of your particular Hydrangea you can plant per m2. If you keep to those instructions, you’ll have an abundant display of Hydrangeas in your garden. Lost the label? Message Living Creations via Instagram."

How deep should I plant them?
"The containers they come in are a useful indicator. Remove a Hydrangea from the pot and place the pot next to the desired spot. Dig a hole that is just a little wider and 2 to 5 cm deeper than the pot. That way, the roots won’t emerge above the ground and there will be enough loose soil all around the plant for the roots to stretch out and develop."

Any other tips?
"Loosen the soil around the hole before you plant your Hydrangea. Airy soil will help it to settle and stimulates root growth even more. And your plant will appreciate some extra water in case of prolonged or extreme drought."

What about maintenance?
"Once in the ground, Hydrangeas are low-maintenance plants. They are easy to care for and require little attention. Prune between November and April. One last tip: wait to prune until February or March to keep the decorative branches for as long as possible – and boost biodiversity."

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