In the previous post I wrote about growing hydrangeas in pots and posted two pictures of hydrangeas grown by Martha of Alabama [The picture above was sent to me by another gardener]. This week I received an email from, Martha. She added a lot of interesting information that I wanted to share with you. In addition, her method for propagating hydrangeas is a bit unusual, and sounds like a lot of fun!
BTW, she said that the blue mophead had 64 blooms on it last year. I’ve never heard of a potted hydrangea blooming so profusely. That’s encouraging for people who want to grow hydrangeas in pots.
Here’s what she says:
My friends and I have had so much fun today with your web page and blog. I thought this additional information might help.”
“I went out and measured my pots.” [Referring to the two pictures in the previous post, Martha says that she] “planted the Annabelle hydrangea in a clay pot 17” in diameter x 14” high, and the blue mophead in a pot 18” in diameter x 14” high. They have never been out of those pots. Hydrangeas grown in pots like to be fairly rootbound.”
“Every year, with the soil dry, my husband and I turn the hydrangeas in their pots on their side, slide them out, and take the babies from around the edge. Then I trim about 2” off the roots [of the mother plant] if they are matted together and put new soil in the pot before returning the large hydrangea to the pot. The new babies (which are about 16” tall) are planted in pots about 12” in diameter. These babies should bloom the next year (one bloom – usually large).”
[In describing her unorthodox but obviously successful method of rooting cuttings, Martha says] “My rooting pot is 12″ in diameter and 24″ deep. I use root-tone. My cuttings are about 24″ long, and I put at least half of the cutting down into the soil (it roots at several nodes)…about 3 – 5 cuttings to a pot. The cuttings will grow this summer and bloom one bloom (usually large) on each cutting. Next summer you will have a beautiful new pot of blooms. I have so much fun with this…..BUT I am not an expert….just a 71 year old that still likes to play in the dirt.”
“Happy potting, M”
Martha also mentioned that her husband has installed a drip system from Home Depot to make the watering easier. I think this is one of the secrets to her success of growing hydrangeas in relatively small pots. The system comes on two times a day for 30 minutes.