For the first year or two after planting and during any drought, be sure hydrangeas get plenty of water. Leaves will wilt if the soil is too dry.
- When growing H. macrophylla varieties in Zones 4 and 5, don’t prune unless absolutely necessary, and then do so immediately AFTER blooming. Otherwise, remove only dead stems in the spring.
If you need to prune an older hydrangea, it depends on which variety you have.
- The common Bigleaf hydrangea should be pruned AFTER flowers fade (late spring/early summer). If you prune before bloom, you may not have blossoms the following spring.
- Oakleaf, panicle, and smooth hydrangeas blossom on the current seasons’ wood so they should be pruned BEFORE bloom when plant is dormant, i.e. late winter or early spring.
Try drying hydrangea flowers to create a wreath or other decorations around the house:
- Harvest the heads when the flowers have matured and developed a papery consistency.
- Hang upside down in a dry location.
- When completely dry (usually a couple of weeks), store in a dry location out of direct sunlight.
- To enhance flower color, spritz dry flowers with diluted Rit dye.
In the fall, cover plants to a depth of at least 18 inches with bark mulch, leaves, pine needles, or straw.
Again, thanks to the Farmers Almanac for their great article and information on Hydrangea.
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