Gia is the mood ring of the plant world (or the litmus test, if you're the scientific type). Depending on the pH level of her soil, she'll change colour from pink to blue to white. Acidic soil makes her blue, while alkaline will make her blush pink - pretty cool if you ask us.
Her pom-pom-esque clusters of flowers are large and rounded, and her leaves are big, glossy, and green. She makes a beautiful and low-maintenance hedge, but will look just as pretty in a large pot.
Indiginous to Japan, her leaves are fermented to make a popular sweet tea there, called Amacha. In medicine, she's also been found to have antimicrobial properties, and even more impressively, could be a hot ticket to treating malaria and diabetes.
Botanical name: Hydrangea Macrophylla
Nicknames: Mophead Hydrangea, Lacecap Hydrangea, French Hydrangea, Hortensia
Plant type: Deciduous shrub / Outdoor
Toxicity: Toxic to humans and animals if consumed.
Current height: 40-60cm
Nursery pot: 23cm
Pro level: Easy
HOW TO CARE FOR GIA (HYDRANGEA MACROPHYLLA)
If you're replanting Gia into a new pot or garden bed, make sure to use soil that'll keep her colour strong. If you have a blue Gia, plant her in our ericaceous compost, while pink and white Gias will prefer the multi-purpose one. In either case, don't forget to line her new bed with drainage material.
Gia likes gentle sun, so find her a spot that gets plenty of rays in the afternoon, but is quite sheltered in the morning. Partial shade would be best for Gia.
If she's in a sunnier spot, she'll need regular watering throughout the summer - she likes her soil to be damp to the touch. If she's in a shadier spot, she'll need less water.
Going the extra mile
You don't really need to prune Gia, but if you find that she's getting a little scraggly looking you can do so after she finishes flowering. Pruning at any other time may stop her flowers from coming in as they should.
Don't worry if Gia starts losing her leaves in winter as she'll be back come spring!
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