Hydrangea Mulching: Why And How?

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Mulching is a tried and tested gardening practice that has many positive effects. Mulching is particularly recommended in hydrangea beds. You can find out why this is so and how exactly you do it here.

Mulching involves spreading a layer of organic, rot-free material on the ground in the flowerbed. The cover of the soil has a positive effect on the soil, the soil microorganisms, and thus also on the plants in many ways.

Mulching hydrangeas: benefits

The main advantage of hydrangea mulching lies in the function of the mulch material as a kind of protective layer for the soil. On the one hand, the covering of the ground acts as an insulation layer and prevents the ground from heating up too much in summer. Neither the hydrangea roots nor the soil microorganisms tolerate this particularly well. In winter, on the other hand, the mulch layer acts as a buffer and protects the sensitive roots from frost damage.

Another positive effect of soil cover by mulch is that the soil is protected from drying out. Since the sun does not hit the uncovered earth directly, the moisture is retained in the soil longer. This is a great benefit for the thirsty hydrangea. Apart from that, it is very practical if the bed surface is loose and permeable. Seed weeds cannot emerge so easily here. And if a weed seed does germinate in the mulched bed, it can simply be pulled out of the loose mulch layer.

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Furthermore, a layer of mulch prevents soil erosion, as the water is slowed down by the floor covering when it is poured or in heavy rain. As a result, the valuable soil is not so easily washed away. Ultimately, the quality and structure of the soil in mulched beds will also improve in the long term.

Hydrangea Mulching: Why & How?

This is because the organic material serves as food for the soil microorganisms from which they build humus. This ensures that the soil is nice and loose and has an improved function as a nutrient and water store. The decomposition of the biomass also releases nutrients over the long term, which in turn serve to nourish the hydrangeas and contribute to optimal plant development.

The right mulching material for hydrangeas

Numerous materials can be used as mulch. In addition to lawn cuttings, straw, wood chips, coniferous litter, or leaves, bark mulch is also very suitable. Like rhododendrons and blueberries, hydrangeas need an acidic soil pH value to develop well. Therefore, when choosing a suitable mulch material, you should ensure that it does not deteriorate the soil quality in terms of pH.

In the hydrangea bed, it is best to resort to an acidic material such as pine bark or coniferous litter. This will prevent the pH of the soil around the hydrangeas from rising to the alkaline range. Another advantage of pine bark is that the material is quite coarse and does not rot as quickly as, for example, lawn or hedge clippings.

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This way you have some of the mulch layers for longer and you don’t have to renew it as often. In addition, pine bark mulch, like our Gardender organic pine bark, can also enhance the visual appearance of the bed. The pure and natural pine bark comes in a coarse structure and convinces with its decorative color. Since the environment is important to us, our pine mulch is also sustainably produced in the EU.

Mulching hydrangeas with bark mulch: Here’s how

So-called compensatory fertilization with a nitrogen-based fertilizer must be carried out before spreading the mulch. This fertilizer is only used indirectly to nourish the plants because it nourishes the soil organisms that pounce on the mulch material to use it as food and also to build humus from it. If the compensatory fertilization is not carried out, the hydrangeas can develop a nitrogen deficiency, because the organisms have to obtain the vital nutrient from somewhere. The compensatory fertilization is carried out with a nitrogen-based fertilizer or with horn meal or horn semolina. The fertilizer is scattered on the ground and not incorporated. The mulch material can be layered directly on top.

Hydrangea Mulching: Why & How?

A hydrangea fertilizer with an emphasis on potassium and containing iron provides your hydrangeas optimally for rich and long-lasting flowering. But note the most important rule when fertilizing hydrangeas: July is the latest date for fertilizing hydrangea species.

When mulching hydrangeas with bark, a layer of at least 5 cm, better 7 to 10 cm, of the material is applied to the ground. The bark mulch is distributed evenly and evenly between the plants in the bed. The root neck of the hydrangea should, however, be kept free.

If you would like more information about the care, cutting, and watering of hydrangeas, we recommend our special article on hydrangea care.

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