Bigleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea Macrophylla) – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Tree Types Glossary

What is Bigleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea Macrophylla)?

Bigleaf Hydrangea, scientifically known as Hydrangea macrophylla, is a popular flowering shrub native to Japan and China. It belongs to the Hydrangeaceae family and is known for its large, showy blooms that come in a variety of colors, including pink, blue, purple, and white. Bigleaf Hydrangea is a deciduous shrub that typically grows to a height of 3-6 feet and has a spread of 4-6 feet. It is widely cultivated for its ornamental value and is commonly used in gardens, landscapes, and floral arrangements.

What are the different varieties of Bigleaf Hydrangea?

There are several different varieties of Bigleaf Hydrangea, each with its own unique characteristics and bloom colors. Some popular varieties include:
1. ‘Nikko Blue’ – Known for its large, rounded clusters of blue flowers.
2. ‘Endless Summer’ – A reblooming variety that produces flowers on both old and new wood, extending the blooming season.
3. ‘Pink Beauty’ – Features large, pink blooms that add a pop of color to the garden.
4. ‘Twist-n-Shout’ – A lacecap variety with pink or blue flowers surrounded by smaller, star-shaped blooms.
5. ‘Forever Pink’ – A compact variety with pink flowers that change to a deeper shade as they age.

How to care for Bigleaf Hydrangea?

Bigleaf Hydrangea is relatively easy to care for, but it does require some specific conditions to thrive. Here are some tips for caring for Bigleaf Hydrangea:
– Plant in well-draining, fertile soil with a pH of 5.5-6.5.
– Provide partial shade to protect the plant from hot afternoon sun.
– Water regularly, especially during hot, dry periods.
– Mulch around the base of the plant to retain moisture and suppress weeds.
– Prune in late winter or early spring to remove dead or damaged wood and shape the plant.
– Fertilize in spring with a balanced fertilizer to promote healthy growth and abundant blooms.

What are the common pests and diseases affecting Bigleaf Hydrangea?

Bigleaf Hydrangea is susceptible to a few common pests and diseases that can affect its health and appearance. Some of the most common include:
– Powdery mildew – A fungal disease that appears as a white, powdery coating on the leaves.
– Aphids – Small insects that feed on the sap of the plant, causing yellowing and distortion of the leaves.
– Spider mites – Tiny pests that suck the juices from the leaves, causing stippling and webbing.
– Root rot – A fungal disease that affects the roots of the plant, leading to wilting and decline.

How to propagate Bigleaf Hydrangea?

Bigleaf Hydrangea can be propagated through several methods, including:
– Softwood cuttings – Take 4-6 inch cuttings from the new growth in early summer and root them in a moist, well-draining potting mix.
– Layering – Bend a low branch to the ground, wound the stem, and cover with soil to encourage rooting.
– Division – Divide established plants in early spring or fall, making sure each division has roots and shoots.
– Seed – Collect seeds from mature blooms and sow them in a seed-starting mix, keeping them moist until they germinate.

What are some landscaping ideas using Bigleaf Hydrangea?

Bigleaf Hydrangea is a versatile plant that can be used in a variety of landscaping settings to add color and texture. Some ideas for using Bigleaf Hydrangea in the landscape include:
– Planting in mixed borders with other shrubs and perennials for a cottage garden look.
– Creating a focal point with a mass planting of Bigleaf Hydrangea in a large bed or along a walkway.
– Using as a hedge or screen to provide privacy and block unsightly views.
– Incorporating into a woodland garden with other shade-loving plants like ferns and hostas.
– Growing in containers on a patio or deck to add a pop of color and interest.