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In beds and tubs, the farmer's hydrangea sets picturesque accents with lush flower balls. To ensure that the summer flowering shrub retains its vitality over many years, important questions about its cultivation come into focus. Well-founded answers clear up all the ambiguities surrounding the garden hydrangea.

The flower color of the peasant hydrangea varies with the pH of the soil

Table of Contents

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  1. Plant peasant hydrangea correctly
  2. care tips
  3. Which location is suitable?
  4. The right planting distance
  5. What soil does the plant need?
  6. What is the best planting time?
  7. When is flowering time?
  8. Prune peasant hydrangea correctly
  9. Water peasant hydrangea
  10. Fertilize farmer's hydrangea properly
  11. Diseases
  12. pests
  13. hibernate
  14. Propagating peasant hydrangea
  15. How do I plant correctly?
  16. Peasant hydrangea in a pot
  17. Peasant hydrangea does not bloom
  18. Yellow leaves
  19. How do I turn a pink peasant hydrangea blue?
  20. Cut off faded flowers or not?
  21. The most beautiful varieties
  22. Plant peasant hydrangea correctly

    Professional soil preparation sets the course for the best growth and rich flowering. Loosen the soil at the chosen location, remove roots and stones. Dig a pit twice the volume of the root ball and fill it with fresh moor bed or rhododendron soil. Planting proceeds as follows:

    • Soak the still potted root ball in water until no more air bubbles rise
    • Stuff, place in the middle of the pit and water

    Finally, spread out a 2-inch layer of mulch, such as leaf compost, coniferous compost, or bark mulch.
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    care tips

    In the care of farmer's hydrangeas, a high demand for water and nutrients dominates, in connection with an acidic, as far as possible lime-free acid and base content of the soil. The maintenance program in a nutshell:

    • Water once or twice a day with soft water
    • Fertilize organically or mineral-organically from March to September
    • In winter, pile up with leaves, needle brushwood or straw
    • Water less and don't fertilize
    • Cut wilted flowerheads in spring, thin out deadwood and 5-year-old branches
    • Buds protect with fleece from delayed ground frosts

    Farmhouse hydrangeas in tubs move to a frost-free winter quarters with temperatures around 5 degrees Celsius, like an unheated stairwell.
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    Which location is suitable?

    The ideal location for a farmer's hydrangea is semi-shady, humid and sheltered from the wind. Under the canopy of deciduous trees, the ornamental tree reaches its optimum. Where a plentiful water supply is guaranteed, the garden hydrangea tolerates a sunny location.
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    The right planting distance

    The rule of thumb is: The planting distance corresponds to half the growth width. The majestic 'Alpenglühen' variety grows up to 120 cm in width, so a planting distance of 60 cm is the right choice. Plant the slimmer 'Mathilde Gütges' with a growth width of 100 cm at a distance of 50 cm.

    What soil does the plant need?

    Only plant a farmer's hydrangea in nutrient-rich, humus-rich and loose soil with a light moisture content. An acidic pH value of 5 to 6 is of essential importance, for blue varieties from 3.5 to 4. We therefore recommend using special rhododendron or ericaceous soil for pot cultivation.

    What is the best planting time?

    The time window for planting a farmer's hydrangea opens in May, when the ice saints have said goodbye. Until then, late ground frosts could damage the ornamental tree.

    When is flowering time?

    The flowering period of the classic varieties extends from July to October. Modern breeds have the potential to thrive on old and young wood. Therefore, in mild weather, these garden hydrangeas delight us with their blooms from May onwards, which lasts until September/October.
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    Prune peasant hydrangea correctly

    Exercise restraint when pruning a peasant hydrangea. The older the flowering shrub, the less it tolerates extensive pruning. How to do it right:

    • Cut off faded flowers in early spring
    • Make the cut just above the first strong bud
    • Cut branches that are more than 5 years old and deadwood close to the ground

    The innovative variety 'Endless Summer' occupies a special position. Since this garden hydrangea flowers on both last year's and this year's wood, it doesn't mind a more extensive pruning. Nevertheless, the flower beauties should not be cut more than absolutely necessary.
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    Water peasant hydrangea

    The botanical name Hydrangea already indicates the high water requirement of a farmer's hydrangea. Water daily, even if it has rained. On hot summer days, it is best to water in the early morning and late evening. Avoid sprinkling the plant, instead give the water directly to the roots without causing waterlogging. The softer the water, the more beneficial for the health and richness of color of a garden hydrangea.

    Fertilize farmer's hydrangea properly

    In the period from March to September, the nutrient requirements of a farmer's hydrangea are at a high level. You can ensure a balanced supply of nutrients with the help of the following organic or mineral-organic fertilizers:

    • Provide leaf or needle compost every 14 days, supplemented with horn shavings (€32.93) and coffee grounds
    • Alternatively apply organic hydrangea fertilizer Azet von Neudorff or Compo every 4 weeks
    • Apply mineral-organic long-term fertilizer from Substral, Compo or Beckmann in March and July as granules or liquid

    In addition, the specialist trade offers organic-mineral fertilizers with blue makers, which ensure a long-lasting blue color of the flowers.
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    A peasant hydrangea weakened by improper care is prone to powdery mildew. If a mealy-white patina covers the magnificent hydrangea foliage during the summer, this is where the fungal spores have settled. In the early stages of infestation, the classic milk-water solution in a ratio of 1:9 is effective. In any case, cut off infected foliage and dispose of it in the household waste.


    The farmer's hydrangea occasionally gets into trouble with the following pests:

    • Aphids: Destroy with 30 grams of pure curd soap dissolved in 1 liter of water with a dash of spirit
    • Spider mites: fight with a biological insecticide based on rapeseed oil

    An infestation with spider mites occurs in particular in the context of a too warm hibernation. If you keep the peasant hydrangea cooler at 4-6 degrees, it will be too uncomfortable for the pests.


    Only at an advanced age has the farmer's hydrangea acquired a robust winter hardiness. Until then, the flowering shrubs receive the following winter protection every year:

    • Cover the root area with leaf soil, straw and needle brushwood
    • In rough locations, additionally wrap the shoots with jute or reed mats
    • Wrap buckets in bubble wrap and place on wood in front of the south wall
    • Put a felt bag over the branches (no foil)

    The threat to young buds from late frosts remains throughout the lifespan of a farmer's hydrangea, so increased attention and caution is required until mid-May.
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    Propagating peasant hydrangea

    The vegetative propagation of a farmer's hydrangea scores with a single-variety offspring and uncomplicated handling. The following two methods are available:

    • Cut cuttings in July, plant in lean soil and keep constantly moist until rooting
    • Pull the planter down, score the middle section, bury it and allow it to root until next year

    The propagation of cuttings is faster if you place the pot under a transparent hood and air it briefly every day. In order to gently get the tender root system of a sinker out of the ground, simply sink a flower pot into the ground next to the mother plant, fill it with peat sand and fix the shoot part in it.
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    How do I plant correctly?

    A well-chosen date for the relocation of a farmer's hydrangea is a mild day in April, so that the wood can take root again until the next winter. 2-3 weeks beforehand, cut out the root ball all around with a spade, whereby the radius corresponds to the growth height of the garden hydrangea. Water the plant profusely and repeatedly until the day of transplanting. Follow these steps:

    • Loosen the root ball and lift it out of the ground
    • Do not plant deeper than before in the new location
    • Water generously and mulch with leaf compost

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    Peasant hydrangea in a pot

    No other type of hydrangea is as perfect for pot culture as the farmer's hydrangea. Use bog or rhododendron soil as a substrate and lay a drainage layer underneath to protect against waterlogging. Keep the flowering shrub constantly moist in a semi-shady place. From March to September fertilize every 14 days with an extra liquid fertilizer for hydrangeas.

    In good time before the first frost, carry the potted hydrangea to a dark winter quarter with temperatures around 5 degrees. Since the garden hydrangea has shed its leaves, it receives less irrigation water and no fertilizer. When the first buds sprout, place the plant in partial shade and a little warmer.

    Peasant hydrangea does not bloom

    If a farmer's hydrangea misses flowering, late ground frosts are usually responsible for the deficiency. Therefore protect the frost-sensitive buds with jute or garden fleece until the danger after the ice saints and the sheep cold is over. In addition, a garden hydrangea will not bloom if you cut it back in autumn.
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    Yellow leaves

    A peasant hydrangea with yellow leaves is suffering from leaf chlorosis. The cause of the damage is the use of calcareous irrigation water or unsuitable fertilizers. In principle, water with collected rainwater and administer organic, acidic leaf compost or special hydrangea fertilizer from specialist shops.

    How do I turn a pink peasant hydrangea blue?

    The secret of a color change from pink to blue is based less on magic and more on the pH of the soil of 4.0 to 4.5. In order to generate this value, it is not necessary to reach into the chemistry kit. This is how the color transformation succeeds in no time at all:

    • Ask for potassium aluminum sulfate - alum for short - in the pharmacy
    • In addition to normal fertilizing, give 20-80 grams of alum to the peasant hydrangea from March to July
    • Repeat the administration of alum until the desired blue coloration occurs

    In the bucket, the coloring from pink to blue succeeds more quickly, due to the narrowly limited substrate volume. You can force the effect if you dissolve alum in boiling water and add a dash of vinegar. Contact of the preparation with the flowers and leaves must be avoided at all costs. Incidentally, this trick does not work for white-flowered garden hydrangeas.

    Cut off faded flowers or not?

    Creative hobby gardeners leave the withered flower balls on a farmer's hydrangea throughout the winter. Covered with glittering frost and snow, the paper balls banish the melancholy of winter from the otherwise empty garden. In February/March, cut off the withered flowers to make room for the next generation.
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    The most beautiful varieties

    • Hamburg: the variety impresses with large, pink flower balls and reddish-tinged foliage
    • Holibel: fantastically beautiful farmer's hydrangea with white porcelain flowers and robust winter hardiness
    • Bela: a classic for the country garden with huge, light blue flowers, stable and very vigorous
    • Hot Red: the proven garden hydrangea with bright red flowers from June to September
    • The Bride: white flowering new breed from the innovative line Endless Summer

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