Mathilda Gutges is a compact type of hydrangea that produces different colored flowers depending on the pH of the soil. They’re slightly different from other popular hydrangeas because they flower on old wood, and are relatively small in size.
Mathilda Gutges Hydrangea Care Tips
- Keep Mathilda Gutges in partial shade to full sun, at least 4 to 6 hours a day of sunlight
- Plant them in well-draining soil, that has a pH in the range of 4.5 to 7
- Keep pests and fungus at bay by spraying them with neem oil
- Fertilize them in spring and after they flower with an all-purpose fertilizer
- Water the hydrangea when the soil is dry to a depth of 1 inch
- Mulch the surface with organic material 1-2 inches thick
This is a summary of the main considerations to grow really good Mathilda Gutges Hydrangeas. But, there are some additional considerations, such as how close to plant them next to each other, and how to prune them, as well as what to do if they don’t bloom.
Below, I’ll explain everything you need to know about growing Mathilda Gutges Hydrangea, whether it’s your first time growing them, or you have a bit of experience growing hydrangeas, other flowers, or other plants.
|Care/requirements||Mathilda Gutges Hydrangea|
|Hardiness:||USDA zone 5-9|
|Size:||Height 3 to 6 ft and width 3 to 6 ft|
|Shape:||Rounded with upright stems|
|Type:||Perennial, deciduous, shrub|
|Light requirements:||4-6 hours of direct sun per day|
|Soil:||Loam or amended soil|
|Soil pH:||4.5-7.0 Grow best in slightly acidic to little alkaline soil.|
|Watering:||1-2 times per week in drought. Don’t water in the winter.|
|Blooming:||Late spring and early fall. On old wood.|
|Leaves color:||Bright green|
|Pots:||Needs a large pot and frequent watering.|
|Best time for planting:||Early spring and early fall|
|Pruning:||Deadheading after flowering and removing deadwood.|
|Reblooming:||In early fall|
|Spacing:||4 feet apart (center to center)|
|Transplanting:||Early fall or early spring|
|Winter care:||In zone 5, hydrangeas need to be covered.|
|Spring care:||Uncover hydrangeas when there is no risk of late frosts and remove all plant debris.|
|Fall care:||Keep the soil around it slightly moist. Avoid the use of fertilizer. Remove all deadwood and fallen leaves.|
|Fertilizer:||Balanced NPK formula, once per year.|
|Propagation:||By cuttings in early spring.|
Before planting Mathilda Gutges Hydrangeas it’s important to acclimate them to your specific climate. Provided that they bought them from a garden supply store, and didn’t grow them yourself from seed.
The reason is that hydrangeas are typically grown in a greenhouse. The conditions in a greenhouse are quite different from most people’s gardens.
Therefore, when you take them home and plant them straight away they can get a shock that will stunt their growth. Therefore, before planting them give them a few days to a week to get used to your climate.
With that said ideally plant them in Spring, as this will provide the softest landing for them. However, they can be planted any time of year. Just be aware that they won’t grow very much at all in late Autumn, and Winter as they are dormant during this time.
They grow 3 to 6 ft (0.90 m to 1.80 m) high, and wide, therefore, plant them where they have enough room on either side. Measure 3 ft (about 1 meter) from the main stems of the plant, and allow this much space around the entire plant so that it doesn’t grow into other plants, walls, or other ornaments you have in your garden.
When you plant them ensure they will get around 4 to 6 hours of sun and do not plant them in full shade. They can handle full sun, and Mathilda Gutges Hydrangeas prefer as much sun as you can give them.
But, be wary if you live in a particularly hot region where the summers get very hot and dry. Such as, in California. In which case it’s best to give them partial shade where possible, especially during the hottest part of the day during the hours around midday.
The ideal soil for hydrangeas is well-draining soil that is the consistency of the potting mix, or compost that you buy from a garden supply store. Soil that is very sandy, or is very clayey isn’t very good for Mathilda Gutges Hydrangeas. If you have this type of soil, you should dig a much larger hole, and put a thick layer of compost – about half a foot (15 cm) – on the bottom and sides.
Alternatively, you can choose to grow them completely in pots. As you may know, hydrangeas flowers change color based on the pH of the soil. Lower pH soil produces blue to light blue/purple flowers. Higher pH soil produces flowers in pinks and reds. The ideal pH is between about 4.5 and 7.
Store-bought compost or potting mix is already within the pH range. But, if you’re using your garden soil or a mix of garden soil and compost you should test the pH of your soil. If it’s outside the range of 4.5 to 7.0 by a point or more you should address this first before planting your Mathilda Gutges Hydrangeas.
This can be done with a soil testing kit you can get from a garden supply store online, they are inexpensive and are very easy to use.
The best way to know if your Mathilda Gutges Hydrangeas need watering is by looking at the leaves and stems. The stems and leaves will droop when they need water. Generally, you should keep the soil damp. You can see how damp the soil is by sticking a finger into the ground near the base of your hydrangeas and feel how wet it is.
When newly planted you should give them deep water 2 to 3 times a week. This involves putting a hose at the base of the plant for 15 minutes. This will give them enough water that it will soak deep down into the soil. If it’s rained quite a lot you can skip watering them.
Other than that, simply observe the leaves and feel the surface of the soil. You’ll soon get a good idea about how often you need to water them based on how much range you’ve had and how hot it’s been.
The main thing to watch out for is the soil becoming waterlogged. This is where standing water is visible on the surface of the soil. When you give them deep water this is fine and the water will soon soak down. But, if you’ve planted them in a depression that accumulates water, then you’ll want to water them less.
Generally, you should only prune Mathilda Gutges Hydrangeas when they need it. When pruning them there is a risk of removing the buds for next season. The form at the end of summer. The buds that produce flowers form on old growth. This is the previous season’s growth that will be more rigid, and not green and floppy like new growth.
Because flowers on Mathilda Gutges Hydrangeas don’t only grow on old growth, any old growth you remove will limit the number of flowers they produce until the following year. Therefore, to get the most amount of flowers it’s always best to remove as little of the old growth as you can. Depending on your space requirements. And if you want to give them a particular shape. You should also preferentially prune new growth rather than old-growth where you can.
The best time to prune is anytime but most people prune at the end of the flowering season at the end of summer, early winter. At this time of year, the flowers will have mostly fallen off. Removing the flowers – also called deadheading them.
Various issues can arise with Mathilda Gutges Hydrangeas but provided you’re aware of the simple steps to take when you encounter an issue you should largely avoid any potential problems with your Mathilda Gutges Hydrangeas. Here are the main issues that can occur.
The flower buds of Mathilda Gutges Hydrangeas are formed in late summer and occur on old growth. Any old growth you prune can remove the buds. Therefore, they will produce far fewer flowers. In the spring and summer, new growth will form which will fill in areas that you’ve pruned. But, no buds will form on them so these areas won’t produce flowers.
The buds are visible on the old growth. There are small notches on the stems. When you prune them you should careful not to remove so much old growth that you won’t have any buds remaining. Also, if there is a particularly cold snap or frost between one summer and the next it can kill the buds.
It’s quite rare for this to happen provided you live in the right hardiness zone (5, 6, 7, 8, 9) for Mathilda Gutges Hydrangeas. But, it can happen, unfortunately, there’s no way to control if and when this happens.
Issues with the leaves
The leaves can curl, turn brown, or develop yellow spots. These issues with the leaves occur because of the amount of water they’re getting, soil quality issues, or fungus and pest insects. To be sure it’s not the amount of watering ensure you follow the watering recommendations in the section above that explains how much to water them.
And for the soil follow the recommendations in the section about soil. Pest insects can infest Mathilda Gutges Hydrangeas. Telltale signs of pest insects are white webbing on the underside of the leaves. As well as, brown crusty residue on the stems.
These are signs of scale, and mealybugs which are the most common pest insects. These can be treated by spraying the entire plant with neem oil after sunset. This will also get rid of any other pest insects. This will also kill any fungus that can be causing leaf issues. Spraying the entire plant with neem oil is very easy to do, and is also a preventative measure.
So, if you notice any issues with the leaves spray the entire plant with it, every day or two for a week, and then cut back to spraying them once a week as a preventative measure. Or, don’t spray them at all until you notice an issue developing.
According to the University of Georgia, you should use a fertilizer that is 8-8-8 or 10-10-10. You should apply about 2 cups of fertilizer per plant after they begin to bloom (around spring), and once again a month or so later in about early to mid-summer, depending on how soon they begin to bloom.
Fertilizer is best applied as they are putting on new growth. Because once they go dormant in autumn and winter they won’t utilize the added nutrients in the fertilizer which can dissipate due to soil processes over autumn and winter. And therefore won’t be taken up by the plant.