Advice

Hydrangea: what seeds look like, photos, how to grow from seedlings


Hydrangea rightfully belongs to one of the favorite perennials of flower growers. A distinctive feature of this plant is that it can be propagated without loss of quality not only by the vegetative method, but also by the seed method. Growing a hydrangea from seed is not difficult at all, and many gardeners do it successfully.

Is it possible to grow a hydrangea from seeds

In order to successfully grow hydrangea from seeds, you need to know some of the features of this plant. Not all of its flowers form fruit, some varieties have only large, beautiful, sterile inflorescences that do not create seeds.

Hydrangea bushes look very decorative

Most varieties also have fertile flowers, at the end of the flowering of which the seeds ripen. They are quite small, located in the center of the inflorescences. It is at the end of their flowering that seed is collected, which is later used for planting.

What hydrangea seeds look like

In the fall, in place of fertile hydrangea flowers, capsules ripen, inside which there are seeds. They are medium-sized, usually dark brown, brown or black, oblong, with a bumpy surface. In appearance, the seeds vaguely resemble a cross between small watermelon seeds and raisins.

Hydrangea seeds can be harvested by yourself

The seeds are light, rather hard to the touch.

How to collect hydrangea seeds

Seed material is harvested in the pre-winter period, after the flowers are completely wilted. Collecting seed boxes is carried out in dry weather. At the same time, light-colored seeds found in the process must immediately be discarded as unripe. And also specimens with mechanical damage, signs of rot, mold are not suitable for storage. Seeds selected after rejection are dried and stored before sowing in paper bags or in clean linen bags, in dark, well-ventilated rooms at a temperature of + 10-15 ° C.

When to plant hydrangea seeds for seedlings

Hydrangea seeds can be sown directly in open ground, but more often flower growers use the seedling method. It allows you to get good strong shoots at home, and then, after the seedlings reach the age of 2 years, transplant the plants to a permanent place. Planting seeds for seedlings is usually carried out in late February or early March. Sowing hydrangea with paniculate seeds can be carried out in the fall, immediately after collection. However, this is impractical, since it will necessitate additional care of the seedlings over the course of several winter months.

How to plant hydrangea seeds at home

Hydrangea seeds can be harvested on their own if the plant is already being grown, taken from friends, or purchased at a specialized store. In this case, it is imperative to clarify the parameters of the variety, compare the existing growing conditions with the recommended ones. Before planting the seeds, you need to carefully examine them again and, if any deficiencies are found, cull them.

Preparation of planting tanks and soil

For planting seeds and growing seedlings, any wide shallow containers, containers, pots, plastic cups, standard seedling cassettes are suitable. They are filled with special soil for or homemade soil mixture, which includes leaf earth, peat and sand, mixed in a ratio of 4: 2: 1. Before use, the substrate must be disinfected by calcining it in the oven or steaming it in a water bath.

Disinfection of the soil is the key to the health of seedlings

And also, for prevention, it is possible to pre-treat the nutrient soil with a solution of potassium permanganate diluted to pink.

Seed preparation

There are 2 ways to prepare hydrangea seeds before planting seedlings:

  1. Planting with dry seeds. With this method, the planting material is disinfected with a solution of potassium permanganate for several hours. Then the seeds are immersed in Epin's solution (root formation stimulator) for 12-15 hours. After that, they are ready to plant.
  2. Planting with germinated seeds. For germination, the selected hydrangea seeds are placed between 2 wet cotton pads, layers of gauze, or simply soaked in warm water in a saucer. It is necessary to constantly monitor that the seeds are in a humid environment. After the appearance of small white roots, the seeds are planted in the soil.

Hydrangea seeds can be germinated on damp gauze or cotton pad

Important! If mucus appears on the walls of the seeds or gauze when soaking, then immediately rinse everything thoroughly with running water and soak again.

Rules for planting hydrangeas from seeds

After preparing the containers, soil substrate and planting material, they proceed directly to the planting procedure. Seeds are laid out on the soil surface, observing an interval between them of at least 1 cm, and slightly sunk. Then they are sprinkled on top with a thin layer of sand and sprayed with water from a spray bottle.

It is convenient to moisten the container with seedlings with water from a spray bottle

The container is covered with glass or foil.

When the hydrangea seeds germinate

Hydrangea rises rather slowly and unevenly. It takes at least 2 weeks for seeds to germinate, but often the process can take a month or even a month and a half. All this time, it is necessary to open the shelter daily for ventilation, as well as to control soil moisture. It cannot be allowed to dry out, however, excessive watering is unacceptable.

As a mini-greenhouse, you can use a cake or cookie sheet

Important! With the appearance of the first shoots, the covering film or glass must be completely removed from the container with seedlings.

How to germinate hydrangea from seed

Further care for young seedlings will consist in creating comfortable conditions for them to grow over the next 2 years. During this time, the plants dive into larger containers several times so as not to restrain the growth of the root system. It is also necessary to maintain certain microclimate parameters when growing them.

Optimal conditions for growing hydrangeas from seeds

Young hydrangeas are sensitive to various changes in external conditions. They do not tolerate sharp fluctuations in temperature, low and high humidity, and direct sunlight is also unacceptable for them. For proper cultivation, the microclimate parameters should be as follows:

  1. Lighting. Hortense loves light, but it should be soft, diffused. Stay of seedlings in direct sunlight is unacceptable. If containers with hydrangea seedlings are installed on the windowsill on the south side of the house, then they must be moved into the depth of the room. When growing seedlings on a windowsill on the north side, the plants will need additional lighting.
  2. Temperature conditions. The optimal temperature is in the room within + 15-20 ° С. Sharp fluctuations are unacceptable. For this reason, when growing, hydrangea seedlings must be protected from drafts, especially in winter.
  3. Air humidity. The optimal value for this parameter is 70%. In a room with artificial heating, especially in winter, the air is usually very dry. In such conditions, it is recommended to maintain the specified humidity parameters by periodically spraying the seedlings with clean warm water from a spray bottle. In addition, a saucer of water can be placed next to the young seedlings.

Watering and feeding

It is necessary to monitor the condition of the topsoil daily. Do not allow it to dry out. Water the seedlings of hydrangea with soft settled water at room temperature, the optimal time for this procedure is morning. Do not use tap water or artesian water for irrigation when growing hydrangeas. As a rule, it contains a lot of dissolved calcium and magnesium salts. Once in the soil, they reduce its acidity, which is unacceptable for this plant. It is best to use rainwater for irrigation.

Use warm rainwater for irrigation

Important! After watering, be sure to let the water drain out of the pot, and then drain the water from the pan.

For feeding the seedlings, specialized flower fertilizers are used for growing hydrangeas and rhododendrons. Such formulations contain a full range of substances necessary for the development of young seedlings. These fertilizers can be bought in specialized flower shops and are sold under the brand names Green Wood, Pokon, Fertika and others. They are used in accordance with the instructions, for example, Fertika-Lux is used for feeding when growing seedlings once every 2 weeks.

Picking

During the time when the hydrangea seedlings grow at home, the plants dive several times. For the first time, a pick from a group container into individual pots or cells of a seedling cassette is performed after the plant has two cotyledon leaves. Seedlings dive again at the end of May, by which time the plants reach a height of 8-10 cm. If the hydrangea grows strongly, in the fall it can be transferred into larger pots. By the time of planting in open ground, the height of the plant reaches 30-35 cm, and the capacity for it must be proportionate.

The seedling container must be proportionate

Important! The capacity for growing hydrangea seedlings should be wide, since the roots of this plant grow strongly in breadth.

Topping

Many growers choose not to prune hydrangeas until they are 4 years old. However, until this time, you can also engage in the formation of a young plant. At this time, it is recommended to pinch the apical shoots. This operation stimulates lateral branching and increases the splendor of the hydrangea bush.

When to plant hydrangea outdoors

The first 2 years after planting the seeds, the hydrangea is grown as a potted plant. After that, young seedlings are planted in open ground. This is done in the spring, after the soil has warmed up well. A place for planting hydrangeas must be selected in advance. The site should be well lit, but direct sunlight is bad for the flowers, they fade and become faded. The lighting should be diffused, so the east or west side of the house is the best place for hydrangeas.

The soil for planting and growing young seedlings should be loose, well fertilized and moderately moist. A prerequisite is that the soil should be slightly acidic. You can raise this indicator by adding high peat or citric acid to the soil. Fertilizers such as ammonium sulfate or potassium sulfate increase acidity. Topsoil taken from a coniferous forest is well suited for growing hydrangeas and is usually mixed with coniferous litter.

Important! In the old days, to increase the acidity of the soil, gardeners buried things made of iron in the place where hydrangeas were grown.

A hydrangea is planted along with a clod of earth

Planting young hydrangea seedlings is usually straightforward. Planting holes are arranged in a row, maintaining an interval between them from 1 to 1.5 m. Their depth and diameter depend on the size of the container in which the seedlings grow, the hole should be at least twice as large. For backfill, a soil mixture is prepared from an equal amount of humus, sod land and peat. The seedlings are carefully removed from the container, placed in the center of the planting pit and filled up without deepening the root collar. Then the planted plant is watered with about 10 liters of water and the top layer is mulched with the bark of coniferous trees.

Important! For the first time, the seedlings need to be protected from direct sunlight by installing a screen made of fabric or other material.

What year does hydrangea from seeds bloom?

If everything is done correctly, the site and the soil are suitable for hydrangeas, then young bushes grown from seeds bloom for 3 years after planting. The buds may appear earlier, but they must be cut off for the first 2 years. If this is not done, then the plant will lose a lot of energy, which is better directed to the development of the root part and the growth of shoots.

A video about growing hydrangeas from seeds can be viewed at the link:

Conclusion

It takes quite a lot of time and labor to grow a hydrangea from seeds. Nevertheless, this method is quite real, and this can be done both at home and in the open field. Despite this, most growers use vegetative methods, since they can propagate hydrangeas with them much faster than seeds.


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