Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sitting pretty...

I have a love for hydrangeas! They make me smile! We have 3 large bushes in our yard and I love when they begin to bloom, because my vases (or in this case mason jars) get to house something beautiful! I was a bit disappointed last year when we had no blooms. We had pruned the bushes ALOT the previous fall and figured that may have been the cause. I did a little research and found some info from "Dayton Nurseries Inc." that was quite helpful. If you're like me and you love this "voluptuous" flower, read on!


Prune the stems that flowered last season - don't prune un-flowered stems, because these are going to produce the next lot of blooms. The best time to prune Hydrangeas is after they have flowered and the blooms have died. That's not to say that normal pruning rules shouldn't apply: cut back anything that's very weak and spindly and, of course, any dead stems.

Large -leaved Hydrangeas: these Hydrangeas bloom on old wood. A severe trimming in spring may prevent blooming. Just trim out dead wood and trim to shape in late March.

I have also heard so much about changing the color of the blooms! Here is the "formula" if you want to give it a try!

Bloom Color

The most interesting feature of showy hydrangea flower heads is their ability to change color according to the pH level of the soil. Hydrangeas have blue flowers where the soil is naturally acidic, and pink or red blooms in alkaline soil. This gives the home gardener a certain amount of control over the color scheme of the hydrangea bed. Winter is a good time to start planning these changes - by the time the hydrangeas are in flower it's too late.

To change the color of Common Hydrangeas, add 5 to 8 Tbs. of aluminum sulfate for blue or 12 to 15 Tbs. of dolomitic limestone (pulverized lime) for pink per 10 square feet. Pull back the mulch and lightly mix into the top layer of soil and water thoroughly. It may take 2 years for a complete color change.

I don't have a green thumb, but these simple tips just might help me continue to enjoy my hydrangeas....sitting a mason jar.

Happy blooming!

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