Caring for Hydrangeas
I have beautiful hydrangeas with very large white blooms. I am always stuggling though as to how to keep them standing up. They fall at the first set of flowers because they are so large and heavy. I stake up the plants but this seems to stunt their growth and the flowers get very crowded and die off to early. I don't know what to do to remedy this situation. I love these plants but get very frustrated with the way they look about halfway through the summer. I have also pruned them to the ground, thinking this would strengthen the stems. Still no luck.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Are they in a very shady spot? A tad more light could help with this if you can. Perhaps by thinning the branches of the surrounding trees.
You can also try a blooming cage for it. It is a little bit like staking but allows the plant to spread out while growing. I use them on my peonies. You can make one out of concrete reinforcement wire (not mesh - it looks a bit like chain link fencing but sturdier) or some places sell them (though they will be under different names). If you make one, you bend the wire into a table shape that is about 12-18 inches high and as wide as your plant grows. Set it over the plant while it is dormant. The plant will grow through the cage and the foliage hides it and it supports the blossom laden stems enough so they stay up but without crowding them like staking does.