PO Box 567
Lilydale, Vic 3140
Phone (03) 9735 3831
There are some plants that are just part of the gardener’s palette. Plants that one expects to be in almost any large garden and many small ones. Plants that attract both those that love to ‘just be’ in the garden and those who like to ‘work’ their garden. The humble Hydrangea is the epitome of these plants. It has been around for centuries, it is easy to grow, can find a place in any garden and has many uses. It is a medium sized genus from Central and eastern Asia and North and South America, with fifty plus species and hundreds of cultivars. First cultivated by another great gardening nation Japan. The history of the various cultivars, hybrids and species is as complex as any good murder mystery.
Most of the modern cultivars come from the species Hydrangea macrophylla. However there are a range of other species coming out of Asia. Hydrangea chinensis is one of these. ‘Formosa’ is a particular selection of from Taiwan with 4cm long, serrated, lanceolate leaves that are covered by cream, lacecap type flowers in spring. In most parts of Australia it is evergreen and like most Hydrangea is tolerant of most frosts and coastal conditions. They will grow in full sun but need to be kept mulched and moist but prefer part shade to filtered sun.
Hydrangea ‘Formosa’ likes a good feed with Osmocote in spring. A light prune after flowering will keep the plant looking good. Plant with winter and autuman flowering plants like Salvia ‘La Luna’, Correa ‘Win’s Wonder’ and Tiarella ‘Cygnet’ or colored foliage plants like Hosta and Heucherella.