Plant Of The Month – May

You Garden’s plant of the month for May is the Hydrangea paniculate ‘Wim’s Red’

The colour changing display of Wim's Red. Starting with white petals, then turning pink and finishing with red petals.

There are many reasons why ‘Wim’s Red’ is our plant of the month, but the main reason is due to its amazing chameleon-like tendencies.

Also known as ‘Fire and Ice’ this beautiful hydrangea provides a spectacular colour changing display as the seasons go on. Blooming in late May, it produces a gorgeous cone of flowers with delicate white petals. Then as they start to age, they take on a light pink hue. Eventually transforming into dark red cones of small flowers.

Perfect for growing in a sunny border, this hydrangea could grow as tall as 2 meters and its strong stems can carry gorgeous clusters of flowers that reach 30cm long. Easy to grow and hardy right down to -25°C, this is a hydrangea suitable for anyone to grow and it will even double as a houseplant for the spring – just remember that ultimately it prefers to be outside.

The great thing about Hydrangeas is that when the flowers have faded, they can remain on the plant right through the winter creating extended interest in your garden. Faded hydrangea blooms can also make gorgeous cut flowers in the home too.

Top Tip For Hydrangeas

They love to be kept well-watered – do not allow pots to dry out and water borders regularly.

Care Guide For Hydrangeas –

The beautiful cones of delicate flowers turning from white to pink
Hydrangea paniculata Wim’s Red

Planting Advice for your Hydrangea:

  • Grow in fertile, humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade with shelter from cold drying winds.
  • Dig a planting hole 3 x wider than the roots of the shrub you are planting and mix some well-rotted compost or manure with the soil from the hole and use this to re-fill once the shrub is in place.
  • Before planting soak container-grown shrubs thoroughly and allow them to drain.
  • Remove the plant from its pot and tease out a few of the roots.
  • Add mycorrhizal fungi to the roots when planting to help plants establish themselves quicker.
  • Place your shrub in the hole at the same level as the pot and refill the hole with the earth removed (backfilling).
  • Firm in the soil with your heel, avoiding the root ball and water well.
  • Mulch around the base of the plant with a collar, compost, gravel, bark etc.
  • If you are planting into pots, use the best compost you can buy and add some sand or grit for drainage and weigh the pot down.
A close up of the delicate petals on this Hydrangea Wim's Red

 Aftercare Advice for your Hydrangea:

  • Water regularly and apply a general-purpose feed every two weeks during the growing period.

 Pruning Advice for Hydrangea:

  • Prune hard in early spring to encourage flowering.  Cut back the previous season’s shoots to within a few buds of the permanent, woody framework of the plant.