However, you can add gypsum to clay to aid with drainage, and peat moss or sand to allow for more water retention, he explains. https://homeguides.sfgate.com/preparing-hydrangea-soil-47416.html There are flowering perennials, shrubs, climbers, and trees that all enjoy or tolerate hard clay … On the other hand, well-drained soil is great for cultivating hydrangeas. Suppose the soil is dry, water the hydrangea several times to soak the pot completely. The flowers can be red, white, lavender and blue. Thus, it is not ideal for growing hydrangeas. It is not easy to grow in dense soil but this list of plants for clay soil will give you a fighting chance. Hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) are deciduous shrubs that produce large blooms. Well-drained soil is generally characterized by its ability to let water pass through it easily. They grow in a wide variety of soils, including heavy clay, but prefer well-drained soils. Soil – Excellent drainage is crucial to keep Limelight's roots healthy and free from rot. Hydrangeas prefer "well-drained soil that is rich in nutrients," McEnaney says, adding that heavy clay and sand-like soils aren't ideal for this plant. Hydrangea seemanii are happy in clay soil as long as it’s in shade. Growing Hydrangeas in Clay Soil If you have loam soil which contains approximately 20% clay (the rest is composed of sand 40% and silt 20%) then this is ideal for growing hydrangeas. Pennington Fast Acting Gypsum helps loosen compacted soil, improve water penetration and drainage, and correct soil conditions to allow for better root growth. If you have a heavy clay soil, add gypsum to the soil to break up the clay and allow for drainage. Once you’ve determined what type of soil you have, you can more effectively prepare the soil for your hydrangea macrophylla. Excess moisture will leak through the drainage holes. As mentioned above, clay soil absorbs and retains water. It’s essential to water (but don’t soak) the plant daily when you first plant it, until it becomes established. And you can grow flowering shrubs in clay soil like: Weigela, Buddleja, Forsythia, Hydrangea, Chaenomeles (flowering quince) Roses are also good shrubs for clay especially if it has been improved with organic matter. If you have clay soil, then take 50% compost and 50% clay soil and mix it. Smooth and Panicle Hydrangeas – Some of the easiest hydrangeas to grow include smooth hydrangeas (H. arborescens) and panicle hydrangeas (H. paniculata). Unlike their bigleaf cousins, they are not so fussy about soil and grow easily in well-drained clay soils (those that aren’t continually waterlogged.) The ideal soil type for these plants is loam. Hydrangea. In the future, keep the soil always moist. Clay soils are naturally acidic, which will make the blooms on hydrangeas blue. You definitely don’t want the roots to dry out at this stage, but the clay soil should help with this. 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