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Mathilda Gutges Hydrangea Care

Mathilda Gutges hydrangeas are a unique, compact variety that bring a splash of color to your garden, changing hues based on the soil’s pH level. Unlike many common hydrangeas, they bloom on last year’s growth and are more petite in stature.

In the following sections, I’ll walk you through everything you need to master growing Mathilda Gutges hydrangeas. Whether you’re new to gardening or have some experience with hydrangeas or other plants, you’ll find helpful tips to make your gardening journey a success.

mathilda gutges hydrangea care

Mathilda Gutges Hydrangea

Plant profile

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.
Growth rate: Medium
Blooming: Late spring and early fall. On old wood.
Flowers color: Blue
Leaves color: Bright green
Fragrance: Low scent
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.
Deer resistant: No
Problems: Pests, diseases.

Planting

Plant your Mathilda Gutges hydrangeas in the spring to give them the best start, although early fall is also a suitable time. Aim for a cloudy day with recent rainfall for the best planting conditions.

These hydrangeas can reach heights and widths of 3 to 6 feet (0.90 to 1.80 meters), so it’s important to give them ample space. Ensure there’s about 3 feet (roughly 1 meter) of clearance from the plant’s main stems all around. This prevents them from encroaching on other plants, walls, or garden decorations.

When planting, dig a hole that’s twice the size of the root ball and place the hydrangea inside. Use a mix of compost and the original soil to fill the hole. Remember, only the roots should be covered with soil, not the stems. When you’re done, water the hydrangea with a generous amount of water.

Read also: How To Grow Hydrangeas

Light Requirements

Make sure your Mathilda Gutges hydrangeas receive about 4 to 6 hours of sunlight daily; avoid planting them in full shade. While they can tolerate full sun, they thrive with as much sunlight as you can provide.

However, if you’re in an area with intense, dry summers, like California, it’s wise to offer them some partial shade. This is particularly important during the peak heat around midday, when the sun is most intense.

mathilda gutges hydrangea

Mathilda Gutges Hydrangea

Soil

The best soil for Mathilda Gutges hydrangeas is well-draining and resembles the quality of store-bought potting mix or compost. Avoid soils that are overly sandy or heavy with clay. If you’re dealing with such soil, prepare a much larger hole and line it with a generous layer of compost—about 6 inches (15 cm) deep—along the bottom and sides.

Hydrangea blooms shift colors with the soil’s pH level: lower pH results in blue to light blue/purple flowers, while a higher pH brings out pinks and reds. The sweet spot for pH is between 5.5 and 7.

If you’re using store-bought compost or potting mix, you’re likely already in the right pH range. However, when working with your garden soil or a mix of garden soil and compost, it’s crucial to test the pH. Should it fall outside the 5.5 to 7.0 range by more than a point, you’ll want to adjust the soil’s pH before planting your hydrangeas.

Watering

To determine when your Mathilda Gutges hydrangeas need water, keep an eye on their leaves and stems; they’ll start to droop when thirsty. You can also check soil moisture by inserting a finger into the soil near the plant’s base to feel for dampness.

For newly planted hydrangeas, water them deeply whenever the top half inch of soil dries out. Aim to use at least one gallon of water per session to ensure the water penetrates deeply into the soil.

Beyond initial care, monitor the plant’s leaves and check the soil’s surface. It’s time to water your hydrangea again once the soil feels dry more than an inch down.

Pruning

Pruning Mathilda Gutges hydrangeas should be done sparingly, as there’s a chance of cutting off next season’s buds. These buds form at the end of summer and are set on the previous year’s growth.

Since Mathilda Gutges hydrangeas bloom on old growth, removing any of it can reduce the number of flowers until the next year. To maximize flowering, it’s wise to trim as little of the old growth as possible.

The optimal time for pruning is after the blooming season, typically at summer’s end, though it’s best to prune only when necessary.

mathilda gutges hydrangea care

Mathilda Gutges Hydrangea

Problems

Mathilda Gutges hydrangeas may face several issues.

Lack of Blooms

A sudden cold snap or frost from one year to the next can destroy the buds. While this is uncommon in the appropriate hardiness zones (5 through 9) for Mathilda Gutges hydrangeas, it’s still a possibility.

To mitigate this, protect your hydrangeas in winter with a frost cover.

Leaf Problems

You might notice the leaves curling, browning, or developing yellow spots due to watering issues, soil conditions, or pests and fungi. Ensuring proper watering as advised above can help prevent these problems.

Pests such as scale and mealybugs can also affect these plants, indicated by white webbing under the leaves or a brown crusty residue on the stems.

Treating the plant with neem oil can address both pest and fungal issues effectively, serving as both a cure and a preventive measure. Applying neem oil is straightforward and beneficial for the plant’s overall health.

Fertilizer

The ideal fertilizer for Mathilda Gutges hydrangeas is a multipurpose type, though products specifically formulated for hydrangeas are also excellent choices. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended dosage for application. Fertilize once in spring and again after the blooming period.

It’s best to skip fertilizing as winter approaches. Once hydrangeas enter their dormant phase in autumn and winter, they won’t benefit from the additional nutrients.

Judy

Tuesday 9th of April 2024

I’m looking to find out if in my potted Matilda’s, when the bloom dies do we prune that part or leave it until winter?

Igor Viznyy

Wednesday 10th of April 2024

Hi, Judy. It is best to remove the blooms after they have faded.

Arati

Thursday 20th of July 2023

I planted Mathilda Gutges Hydrangeas in ground in early April in zone 7B. These were in full bloom when I bought it. Now the old blooms have faded and are green in color while new fresh buds and blooms are popping. Should I go ahead and de-head the spent blooms (cut it above the first set of leaves under the spent bloom) or leave it as it is? Also should I fertilize at this time? Thank you!

Igor Viznyy

Sunday 23rd of July 2023

Hi, Arati. Yes, you need to cut off the old blooms. You can also fertilize the hydrangea with a small amount of fertilizer.

GARY AMBROZIAK

Wednesday 19th of July 2023

Is northern Ohio considered zone 5? What would be the proper winter care in this area?

Igor Viznyy

Sunday 23rd of July 2023

Hi GARY. You need to cover your hydrangea for the winter and mulch the root zone.

Richard Pinsonnault

Monday 17th of April 2023

Can the Mathilda Gutges Hydragea do pretty well in Florida (Palm beach) , any additional recommendation?

Igor Viznyy

Tuesday 18th of April 2023

It's hard to say since I don't live in this area. Most likely your climate will be too hot for this variety. You can try it, but give it plenty of shade and enough watering.