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This type of hydrangea is known as a panicle hydrangea. This name refers to how this variety grows in an upright or tree-like position. Quick Fire Hydrangea is native to China and Japan. Since this variety grows to be very large (between 6 and 8 feet tall and wide) it has been cultivated into a dwarf variety known as Little Quick Fire Hydrangea.
Whether you select the larger or the smaller version of this hydrangea variety, you are certain to receive plenty of accolades concerning the beauty of these plants.
Feature Qualities & Characteristics
It is easy to say this is a beautiful plant, but what sets it apart from other plants, or especially, other hydrangea varieties? Let’s look at some of the key features of this plant:
- This plant grows between 6 and 8 feet tall and wide
- This plant produces pink or white flowers
- This plant produces large clusters of conical-shaped flowers
- This plant produces blossoms on new wood
Feature Care & Conditions
Every plant has its unique needs. If you learn what those are, you are less likely to deal with unhealthy plants or pest infestations. Let’s look into what it takes to properly care for a Quick Fire Hydrangea so that your garden can look its best without any unnecessary hassles.
Take Time to Prune Your Hydrangea
All hydrangea varieties need to be pruned regularly. Pruning encourages these plants to produce healthier and more numerous blossoms. Pruning can also be used to train the small tree. Since these plants produce blossoms on new wood, it is best to prune them in late winter or early spring. It is also a great way to propagate new plants.
Pruning is a really simple process. The steps are as follows:
- Use a sterile pair of cutting shears to cut off a healthy stem that includes several leaves and nodes.
- Clip off the bottom leaves and cut the top leaves in half.
- Dip the bottom of the stem in a rooting hormone
- Set the cutting into a container filled with moist potting soil
- Cover the container with plastic to hold in moisture
- Set the container in a warm place
- Water the soil regularly but allow excess water to drain out
- Transfer the cutting to a permanent location when new growth appears
Choose Great Soil
All hydrangea varieties require soil that is well-draining and full of organic matter. If you intend to grow a healthy Hydrangea, you need to make sure your soil is suitable for the plant. It may require a few adjustments to your soil but these are relatively easy and straightforward, plus they will guarantee healthier plants. Here are a few tips for doing this:
Acidic & Alkaline Soil
Hydrangeas are capable of growing in all types of pH levels but prefer acidic to neutral levels. You can easily adjust soil pH levels by adding different types of material to your soil. For more acidic soil, add sulfur or aluminum sulfate to the soil. For more alkaline soil, add lime or wood ashes to the soil. If you need more guidance on how to adjust soil pH levels, read this article.
Since this type of soil tends to hold water, it should be removed from the ground and replaced with compost or manure. These types of organic matter will feed the plant while allowing excess water to drain off.
Since this type of soil does not retain water well or contain enough nutrients on its own, it should be mixed with compost and manure. When these three elements are together, they provide plants with nutrients and drain off excess water.
Espoma Organic Garden Soil
This garden soil mix will meet all the needs of any hydrangea plant variety.
Fertilize Your Hydrangea
This Hydrangea variety should be fed in spring, mid-summer, and fall. Each of these feedings will require a slightly different method.
Use a balanced fertilizer that is both organic and slow-release. This feeding is intended to bring the plant out of its winter dormancy. Jobe’s Organic Granular Fertilizer is an excellent option to use for this feeding.
This feeding should is meant to boost the growth and development of the plant’s blossoms during its growing season. Apply a layer of compost to provide this boost.
This feeding should be similar to the spring feeding. It should be given to the plant after the flowers are fading in color.
Mulch Your Hydrangea
Giving your hydrangea some mulch can provide it with so many benefits. It will retain moisture, it will break down and feed the plant over time, and it will insulate the plant from extreme temperatures. Mulch should be set 6” away from the base of a hydrangea plant. The mulch should not touch the plant since this creates an environment for pests and diseases to flourish.
This mulch is excellent for its ability to control weeds and retain moisture in the soil around plants.
Provide Sunshine for Your Hydrangea
This hydrangea variety requires plenty of sunlight to produce healthy blossoms and grow strong; however, if it receives too much direct sunlight, it can dry out and wilt. For this reason, it is recommended that Quick Fire Hydrangeas be set in a place where they will receive plenty of full sunlight in the mornings and shade or filtered sunlight in the afternoon.
It is also important to note that different growing zones will require different amounts of sunlight, so let’s look at those in more detail. Plants in zones 3 to 6 can deal with six or more hours of direct sunlight. If the plant’s leaves begin to dry out and wilt, consider providing it with some shade.
Plants in zone 7 to 8 should be set in an area with access to filtered or full sunlight in the morning and shade in the afternoon.
If you need help figuring out if your plant is set in the appropriate amount of sunlight, try either the Sun Seeker or the Sun Surveyor apps to determine where the sun will be and when. For indoor areas, try using the Plant Light Meter app to determine if you have the best lighting setup.
Select a Ground Plot or a Plant Container for Your Hydrangea
Quick Fire Hydrangea is a very hardy plant that can grow in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 – 8. If you live within these zones, you should have no problem gardening this plant outside all year round. If you live in an area outside of these zones, you should plant to keep this plant in a container that can be transferred indoors.
This, however, can become problematic since it can grow to be a very large plant. To keep it small enough to fit in a container will require a lot of extra pruning. If this is not ideal for you, then you may want to get the dwarf variety of this plant instead.
When you look for a home for your new Quick Fire Hydrangea plant, keep these requirements in mind:
- Look for a ground plot that has access to the morning sun
- Look for a ground plot that has shade during the afternoon
- Look for a ground plot that is not directly under a tree (trees will compete with it for water)
- Look for a ground plot that is protected from high wind
- Look for a ground plot that has soil that can be adjusted to drain off excess water
- Look for a ground plot with plenty of space (these hydrangeas should be planted 7 to 8 feet away from other plants)
- Dig a hole in the selected ground plot that is twice as wide as the pot the hydrangea comes in and just as deep as the soil in the pot
- Look for a container with drainage holes in its bottom
- Look for a container that is large so that the plant will have room to grow
This is a stylish planter that will also provide excellent drainage and support for a hydrangea plant.
Water Your Hydrangea
If you can learn to properly water any plant, you will eliminate or at least reduce the chances of it getting a disease or pest infestation. When it comes to your Quick Fire Hydrangea, follow these watering guidelines for a healthy plant:
- Water the hydrangea thoroughly
- Water the hydrangea when its leaves begin to wilt
- Water the hydrangea when its soil begins to dry
- Water with a soaker hose to ensure that the soil is thoroughly soaked but the leaves do not get wet
Note: A great way to make sure all your plants are properly watered is to use a plant watering app
Treat and Maintain the Health of Your Hydrangea
While this plant does face a few diseases and types of pests that like to attack it, they are mostly preventable and treatable. Here are a few of the most prominent problems these plants can face and how the problem should be treated:
This insect infestation looks like tiny globular bugs clustered onto leaves and stems. Symptoms of this type of infestation are:
- Leaves that are yellowing
- Leaves that are growing crooked
- Leaves that have had their growth stunted
- Black and sticky residue on the plant
- Honeydew trails on the plant
The most effective way to deal with an infestation of aphids is to introduce predatory insects into your garden and naturally get rid of the ants. Ants feed on aphids and for this reason, they will fight to protect aphids from predatory insects such as ladybugs and lacewings. If you can introduce predatory insects into your garden while removing the ants, you may succeed in ridding your plants of aphids as well.
Leaf Spot Fungus
This fungal infection attacks the tissue of leaves and causes them to lose their good looks. This will go away when the leaves fall off the plant in autumn and can be prevented from coming back by clearing out the fallen leaves, avoiding spraying the leaves with water, and trimming back stems to provide more airflow throughout the branches of the plant.
Symptoms of this type of insect infestation are:
- Leaves that have yellow, white, or tan spots on them
- Leaves that have tiny red or white spots that move around on them
- Leaves that have a cotton-like webbing covering their undersides
The most effective and natural way to deal with an infestation of spider mites is to introduce predatory insects into your garden. Predatory insects include ladybugs and parasitic mites. Other ways to deal with this type of infestation are to apply insecticidal oil or neem oil to the plants.
This is a typical symptom of overwatering a plant. Try reducing the amount of water you give the plant and allow its soil to dry out a little more before watering it again.
Purchase Your Hydrangea
These plants are readily available in garden stores, tree and plant nurseries, and some home improvement stores. But, if you want to avoid the crowds and have your plants delivered directly to your doorstep, try one of these online shops:
Quick Fire Hydrangea Growing Guide: FAQs
Answer: Yes, these plants are slightly toxic. If you have pets and small children, you should encourage them to keep away from your hydrangea plants.
Answer: Yes, these plants can be propagated via stem cuttings. Here are the basic steps for working this method:
• Use a sterile cutting utensil to cut a 5-inch stem that includes a node but not a flower
• Dip the bottom of the stem in a rooting hormone
• Set the cutting into a container filled with moist potting soil
• Cover the container with plastic to hold in moisture
• Set the container in a warm place
• Water the soil regularly but allow excess water to drain out
• Transfer the cutting to a permanent location when new growth appears
Set Up for Garden Success
Now that you know how easy it is to grow and care for a Quick Fire Hydrangea, there is nothing stopping you from growing a successful garden full of them. Plus, once you know a little bit about one of these varieties, you can easily adapt to caring for another type of hydrangea. This is a great way to begin a beautiful English country-style garden all your own. Enjoy!
Do you have questions about other types of plants? Let Jardin HQ assist you with all your gardening queries. We have resources on gardening fruits and vegetables, as well as, selecting the best gardening tools.