The Cardinal Red Hydrangea is a garden classic. It grows in a wide range of light conditions, from full sun to full shade, and it brings huge clusters of brilliant red flowers to the summer garden, when most other plants have finished flowering. Even its large, rich-green leaves, and pale pastel-green developing flower clusters are attractive enough to give this plant a welcome place in any garden. It grows into a full-sized shrub, 4 or even 5 feet tall, and as much as 5 or perhaps 6 feet across. Wherever you have shady areas, this plant steps in and brings beauty to those places.
Shade is inevitable in almost every garden, but there are plants that will grow well in it, and hydrangeas are at the top of that list. Along the north side of your home there are going to be areas that never receive sun, but are open to the sky, so they are well-lit. The Cardinal Red Hydrangea is the perfect plant to fill those places, and a line of them planted on that north side will be beautiful for months and months. In the shade of deciduous trees is another place where hydrangeas will grow well, and in dappled shade they bring strong foliage, rich colors, and beauty throughout the growing season. In cooler areas, this shrub will also grow well in full sun, but a good supply of water will probably be needed during the heat of summer. This plant can also be grown in large tubs or planters, and even moved around to show it off when in full bloom, before returning it to a less conspicuous part of the garden when it finally begins to fade.
The Cardinal Red Hydrangea forms full mounds of rich green, and the ends of almost every branch develop large, 8 inches across, domes of flowers, which are already attractive when they first appear in late spring, as tiny clusters of pastel-green. These slowly expand until by mid-summer they begin to show color, and soon open into spectacular domes of rich red. This color lasts for weeks and weeks, before slowly turning pale brown, but still looking attractive enough to cut and dry, to brighten your home through the dark weeks of winter.
Hydrangeas are interesting, because the precise flower color depends on the balance of acid and alkaline in your soil. Each variety responds a little differently, but the Cardinal Red Hydrangea turns a deep pinkish red in alkaline soils, which are common soils in many places. As the soil becomes neutral and then acidic, blue shades begin to enter the picture, and that red slides gradually into a rich and warm mauve. This hydrangea does not turn dingy purple-brown in acid soils, as some pink hydrangeas sadly do. Whatever your soil type, this hydrangea will be beautiful, so you do not have to follow complex recipes to keep it looking attractive. Whatever your soil type, you will see beautiful color. The edges of the petals of the flowers are fringed, and to really set things off, the center of each flower – and there are dozens in a single cluster – is a bright blue ‘eye’, that holds that sparkling color, whatever your soil.
Hydrangeas prefer to grow in rich, moist soil, so prepare your planting spot well with plenty of rich organic material. Mulch in spring with more, and keep up a good supply of water as your plants develop. Once well established, plants will be more self-reliant for water, and they will survive periods of ordinary drought. They will conveniently signal to you when they are thirsty – the leaves will begin to droop a little. That is the time to place a trickling hose pipe at the base of your plant, and let it run for a few hours until the ground is well-soaked.
The only annual attention your Cardinal Red Hydrangea will need is a pruning in late winter. Cut back the tall branches to the first pair of healthy buds, and remove any thin and weak branches completely. Sometimes, as the bush becomes more mature, you should remove a few of the oldest branches completely, to encourage new growth. When growth begins, your bush will rapidly fill out, ready for another season of color. Never cut your plant down to the ground, as flowers only appear on shoots from older branches, so you will miss a season of bloom if you cut everything down to the ground.
With the Cardinal Red Hydrangea, those shady spots become an asset, not a liability, and we have top-grade stock of this popular classic variety. We know that this is one of the most popular and dependable hydrangeas available, so order now, as our stocks will not last long.