Hydrangea Tips and Tricks
Go for Blue
When pink hydrangeas lack the sweet blue color you may desire, that means your soil doesn't have enough acidity. To check your soil's acid levels, use a pH meter. These can easily be found in garden stores. Dip the meter prong into the soil and check for a pH level between 4.5 and 5.5–the acidity level necessary to keep blue hues in your hydrangeas. To add acidity, work iron sulfate or a soil acidifier into the soil near the base of your plants. Some say that burying rusty iron nails near the base of the shrub will add blue tones to hydrangea flowers, as well.
Dry for Decor
Hydrangea flowers are easy to air-dry: just cut the blooms at any stage, remove their leaves, and hang the stems upside down. Be sure to do this in a warm, well-ventilated space until blooms are completely dry. You can also wait for the flowers to dry naturally on the bush before cutting. Once dried, flowers will be papery and last for ages–even longer if spray painted or dyed for more intense color. Use the dried blooms in floral arrangements, as craft materials, or attach to wreaths with floral wire.
Hydrangeas grow from 3 to over 10 feet tall on average. If you don't have space for a bigger shrub, grow a dwarf cultivar in a container. Mophead hydrangeas like the Endless Summer Blushing Bride or BloomStruck take well to containers. Whether you pair the hydrangea or let it stand alone, be sure to plant it in a pot with good drainage. Water it well and prune as necessary so it doesn't outgrow its container.
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