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Beautiful Hydrangeas Year Round

I have to say, I’ve become a little obsessed with hydrangeas recently.
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I think they are the most GORGEOUS plants! I have seven on my property now and am constantly looking around to other spots to see where I can dig up something and replace it with a hydrangea. I’ve even started counting how many I see as I walk around the neighborhood. I see the ones in front yards and scan the backyards as much as I can too (nosy me!) I particularly love the huge overflowing flower-heavy ones…the ones that look like they’ve been there through generations of family and storms and yet come back strong and proud year after year. I love the array of different colors on each plant. I’m particular to purples and those deep gorgeous pinks and  bright blues, over the more pastel colors. I’m fascinated with the way a simple penny  in the soil can make the flowers change color. I’m amazed how one bush can have flowers of dozens of all shade variations and how they are so delicate yet so hardy.

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Every Fall, I go a little Martha Stewart with my shears and cut those beautiful flowers to dry them in a huge vase. I have a few in vases around the house and they last all Winter- years actually. Here’s a picture of one I’ve had for quite a while (it actually looks better in person)

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I’m no expert in the care or preservation of them, I just know they look pretty whether on the plant in bloom or dry in a vase. I also know, come Fall, I’ll be buying a few more and attempting my hand at propagating a new bush from clipping (am I nuts to even try? I hear it can be pretty easy). Here’s what I learned online and from personal experience:

If drying hydragenas, don’t pick a blooming flower and try all those “tricks’ like hanging them upside down. Instead, pick them when they are perfectly dried already. It’s all about timing. When the flowers start looking “vintage” and a bit crispy on the outside, simply cut them, strip the leaves and bring ’em in! I’ve heard some people dye them by dipping in Rit dye. Since I know Kool Aid dyed my daughter’s hair, I’d say that could even work, but in my thoughts, why mess with Mother Nature? Nothing wrong with a faded bloom to me.

Pruning is OK if the plant is overgrown but try to plant them and leave them. Hydrangeas will get bigger and more beautiful each year. Do you think this is the most beautiufl plant or what?

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They thrive in partly/mostly sunny spots but wilt when the weather is too hot. Give them a good watering and be amazed when an hour or 2 later, they bounce back up and look fresh and pert. It’s very cool to witness. My hydrangea that is in the shade doesn’t droop but it doesn’s flower as well either. They need a lot of water in general.

I’m sure a simple google search can bring you dozens of results and info but really, if you like them as much as I do and always envy the houses you see with huge bushes full of hundred of blooms, go buy some, get them in the ground in the fall and hopefully next Spring, you’ll see a beautiful array of color out your windows to make you smile.

This year one of my plants hardly flowered at all. I have to figure out why. Anyone have thoughts on this?

Any other tips you can share with me about hydrangeas? Just leave a comment

Here’s what I have on my table right now. Pretty right?

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