Living Creations - Mark
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maart 18, 2022

Rolf Verkleij

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"What’s the best way to plant a Hydrangea (paniculata) in a container?" 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.

Rolf Verkleij Tuinaanleg & Onderhoud

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. 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. Be sure to choose a large container as it’s important that your Hydrangea has enough room. Read more about how to plant a Hydrangea in the ground here."

What’s the main secret to your success?
"I always put new Hydrangeas in a bucket of water before I start so that they can have a good drink: well begun is half done."

Which containers are best?
"The plastic Living Creations pot your Hydrangea comes in is a useful tool here. The container should be a little wider than the pot. That will ensure enough loose soil fits around the sides so that the roots can grow and develop. Make sure the new container is 2 to 5 cm higher than the plastic pot as the roots should not emerge above the soil."

What do I need to plant a Hydrangea in a pot?
"A suitable, spacious container and some good-quality, fertile potting soil. Plus a trowel if you don’t want to get your hands dirty. You could mix the potting soil with a soil improver – a substrate to improve soil structure and fertility. That way your plant will get plenty of nutrients. And you could create a water buffer at the bottom of the container or use an watering system to improve irrigation. But don’t worry, the soil improver and water buffer are both optional: Living Creations Hydrangeas do very well without them."

A water buffer? What’s that?
"A water buffer ensures the Hydrangea can store water during heavy rain. It can then use these reserves during a dry period. Enough moisture is important for potted Hydrangeas, especially in extreme drought. You can create one by putting a layer of hydro grains at the bottom of the container."

Should I put my potted Hydrangea in the sun or shade?
"Hydrangeas prefer a sunny or semi-shady spot. Your Hydrangea will flourish in these conditions and the flowers will colour beautifully. Hydrangeas can be placed in the shade but be aware that they will tend to grow towards the light. This leads to long branches instead of the compact growth and flowering most people prefer."

What about maintenance?
"The roots of your Hydrangea will grow, so it’s important to repot the plant every so often. Other than that, Hydrangeas are low maintenance once planted. They are easy to care of 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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