Nikko Blue HydrangeaHydrangea macrophylla 'Nikko Blue'
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Hydrangea macrophylla 'Nikko Blue'
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
For an outstanding plant for shady borders, or to make a hedge or screen in any shady part of your garden, the Nikko Blue Hydrangea can’t be beaten. It has huge flower heads all summer in the most spectacular shade of rich blue possible. Unlike other blue hydrangeas, this one is a reliable blue color in a wide range of soil-types. It forms a large shrub five to six feet tall and as much across and is pest-free, resistant to deer and easy to grow in shade or partial shade right across America.
For reliable color and sturdy growth, this is the hydrangea to choose, even in hotter areas where other types fail. Plant as a stunning specimen or a spectacular hedge and sit back and relish the beauty of this gorgeous plant.
Every garden has shady areas; primarily on the north side of a home, and beneath or in the shadow of trees. Many plants need more sun than can be found in these spots, so plants that thrive in shade are especially valuable. Nikko Blue Hydrangea is the ideal plant for shady areas. It forms a dense mound of large leaves topped with enormous rounded heads of beautiful blue flowers all summer, and loves to be in the shade. Indeed, the color of the flowers will be stronger in shade and the plants will thrive. It can be grown as a single plant in any shady border, but a long border of Nikko Blue Hydrangea along a shady wall or driveway, in front of trees or along a shady path is a beautiful and easy way to create an atmosphere of real calm and peace.
Nikko Blue Hydrangea is a selected form of the Mophead, or French Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) which originated in China and Japan. These plants have been loved in Japan for centuries and many varieties were bred there. Even though there have been many newer varieties produced since they were introduction to Europe and America, ‘Nikko Blue’, which was one of the original Japanese varieties, has proved its worth and value by remaining popular, loved and widely grown. It has stood the test of time and will perform wonderfully in a wide range of conditions and locations.
Your Nikko Blue Hydrangea will grow at least one foot a year, until it reaches a height of 6 to 8 feet tall, and as much across. The height can be controlled and your plants kept smaller by pruning a little harder each spring. It is a tough plant, resistant to pests and having few if any diseases. It is normally not eaten by deer. Hydrangeas do need water since they are not drought tolerant and they should not be planted in dry places, or in hot sunny ones. Some morning sun is beneficial but not necessary, but the hot afternoon sun will cause all hydrangeas to wilt and need a lot of watering.
Nikko Blue Hydrangea grows into a shrub about 6 to 8 feet tall, and as much across. The height can be controlled and your plants kept smaller by pruning a little harder each spring. It has rounded deep-green leaves 8 or more inches long, which clothe the plant right to the ground, making a rounded mound that will shade the ground beneath it and prevent weed growing. In summer it is covered in huge balls of rich-blue flowers which last and last. Even when they eventually fade to a light-brown color they stay on the plants into fall and give an elegant appearance. With Nikko Blue Hydrangea you will need no other plants around it, as it will be interesting all season long.
Nikko Blue Hydrangea is hardy from zone 6 to zone 9. So it will grow all across America except for the tip of Florida and the coldest central and eastern states. It will also grow in zone 5, but fewer flowers will be produced, especially after more severe winters. These plants do extremely well in areas with good rainfall and mild winters, so are especially admired and loved throughout the South.
Nikko Blue Hydrangea should be planted 3 feet apart to make a dense informal hedge or screen. So dig a hole or a trench, two or three times wider than the pot and add plenty of organic material, like peat-moss, compost, rotted leaves or rotted manure to the soil. Place your plants in the hole or trench, replace most of the soil and firm it well down. Then water thoroughly and when the water has drained away replace the rest of the soil, being careful not to cover the roots with any extra soil. Keep well watered and apply mulch each spring to retain moisture.
Nikko Blue Hydrangea is the ideal shrub for shady areas. It will do well in the shade from homes and buildings but will also be happy with some sun in the early parts of the day. Do not plant in hot, dry areas or in the afternoon sun. Each spring removes any weak, thin branches and cut back the tip of the stems to the first pair of healthy, fat buds. If you want to retain a lower height, cut back to buds one or two feet lower than the height you want your Nikko Blue Hydrangea hedge to be. If your plants get too large, cut back further, just leaving a few strong branches low down, but you may get fewer flowers the first year after doing this.
If your Nikko Blue Hydrangea produces flowers that are not the proper rich blue color, use aluminium sulfate. Mix 1 tbsp. in a gallon of water and put this around your plants every few weeks. That way you can easily keep your hydrangea flowers blue in any soil.
Nikko Blue Hydrangea is such a special plant that only the exact plant will have the right color and growth habits. So it must be produced directly from plants absolutely known to be this variety. Our Nikko Blue Hydrangeas are grown the correct way, from branch cuttings of these known plants. That way every plant is identical to the original, which is particularly important to produce a uniform result when planted in a row. However, these take longer to produce, so avoid cheaper, plants that will only be a disappointment.
We have a wide range of sizes to give you the best plant for your purpose. However, we are constantly renewing our stock so our customers get fresh, healthy plants – so supplies of this tree may be limited! Be sure to browse other unique varieties that we carry, like the Annabelle Hydrangea and the Red Sensation Hydrangea.
The best time to prune Nikko Blue Hydrangea is in the late winter or early spring. This is because the plant blooms on the previous year’s growth, so any pruning should be done before new growth begins. Pruning at this time allows you to shape the plant and control its size without risking the loss of blooms. However, be careful not to prune too hard as this can reduce the number of flowers.
The color of Nikko Blue Hydrangea flowers can be influenced by the pH level of the soil. In acidic soil, the flowers will be blue, while in alkaline soil, they will be pink. To maintain the rich blue color, you can use aluminium sulfate. Mix 1 tablespoon in a gallon of water and apply this around your plants every few weeks. This will help to acidify the soil and keep your hydrangea flowers blue.
Nikko Blue Hydrangea is a hardy plant that can tolerate frost to some extent. It is hardy from USDA zone 6 to 9, meaning it can withstand minimum winter temperatures down to -10 degrees Fahrenheit. However, in colder climates (zone 5), the plant may suffer from winter kill, where the cold temperatures cause the buds to die. This can result in fewer flowers or no flowers at all. To protect your hydrangea in colder climates, consider providing some winter protection such as mulching or wrapping the plant in burlap.
Nikko Blue Hydrangea is adaptable to a wide range of soil types, but it prefers well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. The soil pH can also affect the flower color, with acidic soil producing blue flowers and alkaline soil producing pink flowers. To improve the soil structure and fertility, you can add organic matter such as compost, rotted leaves, or well-rotted manure. This will also help to retain moisture and provide nutrients for the plant.
Hydrangeas, including the Nikko Blue variety, need regular watering to thrive. The exact frequency will depend on your climate and soil type, but a general rule of thumb is to water deeply once a week. In hot, dry conditions, you may need to water more frequently. The goal is to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. A layer of mulch can help to retain soil moisture and reduce the need for frequent watering.
Nikko Blue Hydrangea is generally resistant to pests and diseases. However, like any plant, it can still be affected by certain issues. Common pests that can affect hydrangeas include aphids, spider mites, and scale insects. Diseases can include powdery mildew, leaf spot, and root rot. Regular inspection of your plant and good cultural practices (such as proper watering, fertilizing, and spacing) can help to prevent these issues. If you notice any signs of pests or disease, it’s best to treat the problem as soon as possible to prevent it from spreading.
Yes, Nikko Blue Hydrangea can be grown in a pot, but keep in mind that it is a large shrub that can reach up to 6 to 8 feet in height and width. Therefore, it will need a large pot and regular pruning to control its size. Make sure the pot has good drainage to prevent waterlogging, and use a high-quality potting mix that is rich in organic matter. Potted hydrangeas will also need regular watering, as they can dry out more quickly than those planted in the ground.
Nikko Blue Hydrangea can be propagated from cuttings. This is usually done in the early summer, using a piece of stem from the current year’s growth. The cutting should be about 4 to 6 inches long, with a couple of leaves at the top. Remove the lower leaves and dip the cut end in rooting hormone, then plant it in a pot filled with a mix of peat moss and perlite. Keep the cutting moist and in a shaded location until roots develop, which usually takes a few weeks.
Nikko Blue Hydrangea can be a showstopper on its own, but it can also be paired with other plants for a more diverse garden design. Companion plants should have similar light and water requirements, and ideally, they should complement the hydrangea’s large leaves and blue flowers. Some good companions for Nikko Blue Hydrangea include hostas, ferns, and other shade-loving perennials. For contrast, consider pairing it with plants that have fine-textured foliage or different flower shapes.