Large-leaved hydrangeas are shrubs of amazing beauty, the cultivation of which many gardeners dream of. But often dreams remain dreams, since you need to make a lot of efforts to grow this charm on your site. In order for perennials to admire abundant flowering every year, it is necessary to provide comfortable conditions for wintering. If the hydrangea grows in a container, then during the cold weather it can be sent to the cellar.
Basement preparation and drying
Before lowering hydrangeas into the basement, you need to prepare it:
- treat the room from fungi and mold;
- wash and dry the shelves.
Airing alone is not enough to dry out the basement. The air will periodically cool down, and moisture will condense. Excess dampness can be removed by force using air dryers.
You can protect wooden elements and get rid of the fungus with the help of antiseptic impregnations, which are sold in any garden center. The most affordable and effective method is whitewashing with ordinary lime with the addition of copper sulfate. Before whitewashing, treat the walls of the room with boric acid in a ratio of 20 ml per 1 liter of water. This will help not only disinfect the surfaces, but also prevent further growth of mold and mildew.
Before whitewashing the basement, boards and wooden shelves must be taken outside, washed with laundry soap and dried in the sun.
Preparing hydrangea for storage
It is very important to prepare the container hydrangea for wintering before lowering it to the basement. A signal that it is time for hydrangeas to rest will be the natural drying of the leaves, often after the first frost. The temperature in the basement should not be higher than +5 degrees. If vegetables, fruits and preserves will be stored in the room, then a distant place should be taken for the hydrangea, but not next to the ventilation hole. Temperature changes can provoke freezing or, on the contrary, earlier awakening of the kidneys.
Preparing for rest includes the following activities:
- top dressing;
Hydrangea loves water very much, but in the fall the need for irrigation decreases significantly. However, before storing it, moisten the earth ball, but do not fill it. To prevent excess moisture from accumulating, make drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. In winter, water it as the topsoil dries.
In autumn, hydrangea needs phosphorus-potassium fertilizers. They help to accumulate strength for future flowering. The timing of fertilization depends on the variety – the earlier flowering begins, the earlier they begin to feed. The first feeding is done in September, before trimming the shrub, the second coincides with the fall of leaves, 2 weeks after the sanitary and formative haircut.
They start pruning after the shrub has completely dropped the foliage. They cut it minimally – cut off the flower caps, remove the weak and growing shoots inside the bush.
Subject to all the rules, the hydrangea in the basement will sleep until March, after which it can be taken out. It is optimal if the awakening process occurs gradually – an increase in temperature, watering, light regime. It will be possible to take the hydrangea out into the open air already in April-May, but so that the bush does not suffer from return frosts, take the pots into the house at night.
As you can see, keeping a hydrangea in a basement in winter is quite simple, which means that you can store not only adult bushes, but also very young seedlings for storage. If you have long dreamed of updating your collection of hydrangeas and are looking for a new variety, but you are stopped by the impending frost, then just keep the young plants in the basement until spring.
Article author: Oksana Artemenko