Botanical name: Hydrangea macrophylla
Bigleaf Hydrangea also called Mophead Hydrangea, French Hydrangea, Hortensia, Lacecap Hydrangea among other common names is spectacular houseplant whose blooms can be white, blue, red, pink, light purple or dark purple where the color is affected by the soil PH. However, only the pink varieties can be blued. A PH below 7 (acidic soil) will produce a flower color closer to blue while a PH above 7 (alkaline soil) will produce flowers that are more pink. Bigleaf Hydrangea is a perennial shrub growing to 7 ft tall by 8 ft broad which bears large globular heads of flowers about 6-8 in. across. The term macrophylla refers to the large oval saw-edged leaves about 4-6 in. long.The plant is native to the seaside habitats as well as mountains in Japan, from Honshu southwards.
Bigleaf Hydrangea Plant grows best under bright light away from direct sunlight. Learn more on how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants.
Water Bigleaf Hydrangea Plant thoroughly during the hot season and maintain the soil moist at all times. Reduce watering during the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist. Avoid waterlogging as it can lead to root-rot. Avoid wetting the blooms to prevent rotting. Learn more on how to water houseplants.
Bigleaf Hydrangea Plant grows best in cool temperature with a maximum of 160C. The cool temperature prolongs the flowering period. Find out more on temperature for houseplants.
Average room humidity is ideal for Bigleaf Hydrangea Plant though it benefits from high humidity. Employ these techniques to raise humidity for the plant.
Feed Bigleaf Hydrangea Plant with a water-soluble fertilizer every 2-3 weeks during the growing season. Withhold feeding during the growth season as growth is minimal. Learn more on how to feed houseplants.
Prune Bigleaf Hydrangea Plant by removing dead blooms and leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy. The blooms can also be cut and preserved in a vase as dry flowers. Repot and cutback the stems to half their height after flowering is over to encourage new growth and prevent the plant from becoming too large. Place the plant in a cool place and reduce watering and continue feeding. Learn more on how to prune houseplants.
Repot Bigleaf Hydrangea Plants during the growing season when flowering is over. To keep the plant small, cutback the stems to half their height, continue to water and feed. Use a pot one size larger than the previous one. Ensure the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to prevent waterlogging which can lead to root-rot.
Bigleaf Hydrangea Plant can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem cuttings. Take stem cuttings of about 4-6 in. Ensure each cutting has at least 2 nodes. Dip the lower cut end in a rooting hormone to hasten rooting. Insert the cutting in moist free-draining soil. Cover the set up with clear polythene to create a greenhouse effect in order to promote rooting. Place the set up in a warm brightly lit spot. Allow the plants to be well established before transplanting.
Underwatering Bigleaf Hydrangea Plant is the cause of yellowing leaves and leaf drop. Water Bigleaf Hydrangea Plant thoroughly during the hot season and maintain the soil moist at all times. Reduce watering during the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist.
Too little light and overfeeding with a nitrogen fertilizer are the causes of no blooms in Bigleaf Hydrangea Plant. Place the plant in a brightly lit spot away from direct sunlight. Reduce feeding to encourage flowering.
Common pests in Bigleaf Hydrangea Plant are Spider Mite and Aphids in hot and dry conditions. Raise air humidity to discourage pest infestation. Isolate the affected plants to prevent spread to the other houseplants.
All parts of Bigleaf Hydrangea Plant are toxic to both humans and pets. If ingested it can cause nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. The plant produces a sap which can cause dermatitis in sensitive skin. Keep the plant out of the reach of children and pets and always wear gloves when handling.