Hydrangea School and Rusty Vintage Wire Basket

April 29, 2013

purple white hydrangea plant care floral arrangement galvanized tub wire basket

What is your favorite flower?  Mine used to be roses.  But over the years it's changed from roses to hydrangeas.  I think the love affair started with our first house.  Lucky for me it just happened to have a HUGE blue hydrangea bush next to the back deck. When I say HUGE I mean I'd never seen anything like it ever before. And the depth of the blue was absolutely brilliant.

Fast forward 13 years. In our current house, my husband planted a bunch of hydrangea bushes in the back yard.  Last summer was so sad, though, I could have cried.  We had such a drought here in the Midwest that there was nary a blooming hydrangea head to be found all summer.  At least not in our yard.  But we're hoping for better weather this year, and in honor of that notion he went out and bought me two more hydrangea plants!  Not like I hinted around that I wanted any, or anything.

purple white hydrangea plant care floral arrangement galvanized tub wire basket

Aren't they gorgeous?  I placed both pots in a silver tub, and then I placed the tub in a rusty old wire basket.  The basket is an awesome Kane County Flea Market find. It's just the right amount of rusty and it has red rubber handles.  Looking back, I wish I had bought a few more when I had the chance.  Unfortunately, I didn't have the extra cash at the time.

purple white hydrangea plant care floral arrangement galvanized tub wire basket

purple white hydrangea plant care floral arrangement galvanized tub wire basket

See what I mean about the basket?  Awesome.

So I looked up a bit about hydrangeas in The Old Farmer's Almanac and thought I would share what I found with you here.  So here goes.

Botanical name: Hydrangea
Plant type: Shrub
USDA Hardiness Zones:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Sun exposure:Part Sun, Shade
Soil type:Any
Soil pH:Acidic
, Slightly Acidic to Neutral, Neutral
, Neutral to Slightly Alkaline
Flower color:Red, Pink, Blue, Purple, White
Bloom time:Summer, Fall

Did you know that you can change the color of the blooms by changing the acidity of the soil?  I always thought that was so cool about hydrangeas.  Acidic soils with a pH of less than 5.5 produce blue flowers; soils with a pH greater than 5.5 product pink flowers. White flowers are not affected by pH.  To get blue flowers, you need to lower the pH, which you can do by adding sulfur or peat moss to the soil. To get pink to light red flowers, add ground limestone around the plant.  Any change won't be instant, though. Color correction takes weeks, even months. It's easier to change blue flowers to pink than it is to change pink flowers to blue. Wait until the plant is at least 2 years old to give it time to recover from the shock of its original planting.

Most hydrangeas thrive in rich, porous, somewhat moist soils. Add compost to enrich poor soil.
  • They prefer full sun in the morning, with some afternoon shade; however, many will grow and bloom in partial shade. This is especially true for the bigleaf hydrangeas.  {I think mine get too much sun!} 
  • Plant in spring or fall.  {Guess I better get cracking!}
  • Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and 2 to 3 times as wide.
  • Set the plant in the hole and fill it half full with soil. Water. After water is drained, fill the rest of the hole with soil.
  • Water thoroughly.
  • Space multiple hydrangeas about 3 to 10 feet apart.  {Mine are WAY too close together!}

Try drying hydrangea flowers to create a wreath or other decorations around the house:
{I love to do this!}
  • Harvest the heads when the flowers have matured and developed a papery consistency.
  • Remove leaves from stems, and hang upside down in a warm, dry, dark, airy room.
  • 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.  {I've never done this, not sure you even need to.  Mine dry fine and seem to hold their color well without the dye.} 
purple white hydrangea plant care floral arrangement galvanized tub wire basket

purple white hydrangea plant care floral arrangement galvanized tub wire basket

purple white hydrangea plant care floral arrangement galvanized tub wire basket

 I don't know the specific type of hydrangeas they are since they didn't come with any identifying information.  {Admission:  they're from Costco.)  I'm hoping that that doesn't automatically mean they aren't for long-term planting.  I fully intend to give it a go and see what happens.  Hopefully we'll be blessed with great cutting blooms throughout the summer and fall to come.  

If you're interested in hydrangeas as much as I am you can always check out my Hydrangea Pinterest Board!  I think you'll agree that most of the pins are swoon-worthy.  Be sure to check them out.

What color are your hydrangeas? Do you ever dry them? 
How do you use them in your home decor?  
I'd love to know!  

Well, that's it until next time, friends! 
I hope you enjoyed reading 
Hydrangea School and Rusty Vintage Wire Basket.

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purple white hydrangea plant care floral arrangement galvanized tub wire basket

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Leave a Comment!

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Well dang - was thinking you were gonna win on the lamp shade.
Love hydrangeas - so pretty!
Enjoy your evening.

stefanie said...

love that basket!!!

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

They're gorgeous! They've become my favorite flower to...the colors are just amazing!

Madonna/aka/Ms Lemon of Make Mine Lemon said...

Pinned this post.

Unknown said...

I used to despise hydrangeas...and I don't even know why. Then, 2 years ago I was trying to find flowers to go with the color scheme in my wedding and guess what flower I ended up with? The hydrangea...and I have been in love with it ever since! I planted 8 limelights last year and hope they all bloom this year. Wishing you luck with yours!

Jane B. said...

Ohhh how I LOVE hydrangeas...they are definitely one of my favorites!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I love the information you provided; thanks! Hydrangeas are one of my favorite flowers too! I remember my mother drying them in a closet in our basement. Your photos are lovely!

Fishtail Cottage said...

Would love to have you come over and share this fabulous information at this weeks garden party at Fishtail Cottage! love love love hydrangeas too! xoox,tracie

Stan and Jody Gabara said...

I love hydrangeas too! Lovely photos.


Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

Hydrangeas are a favourite of mine but where I live in Ontario (Can.) the type you're showing are sold for houseplants around Easter. Some people have had luck putting them into the garden but our late frosts kill the buds - and no flowers.
The paniculata variety which includes Limelight grow much better and I'd have to say it is my favourite.

Shabby chic Sandy said...

Hydrangeas are a favorite of mine--though I am just beginning to learn how to make the soil right and such. I dried them 2 years ago-and still have them sitting out. It was super easy--I honestly just let them sit! They dried a beautiful color. I am a huge lover of roses and peonies too--flowers make the world a better place!

Debbie said...

I enjoyed this post...so informative!

I have a rather big spot in my yard that I'm trying to decide what to plant and I've been considering hydrangeas. You just sold me with your planting info.

My Mom had them from her Mom and I'm still planning on getting a cutting one day :)

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

I love hydrangeas! And extra pretty in that basket!

Kathryn Ferguson Griffin said...

They are stunning! Great tips as well. Thank you for sharing. You will be one of the features today at the Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Pop on in and grab a feature button for your blog. Hope to see your prettiness again at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

Fishtail Cottage said...

yay! you came over and linked up! thank you so much for doing so!!! can't wait to see what you share this week! xoxo, tracie

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Hi Kathleen, Thanks for sharing your tips and your beautiful hydrangeas at the Open House party. I love your basket! Check out this weeks party to see your feature.

Debra@CommonGround said...

oh my goodness, Kathleen, your flowers are fabulous, love that basket too! I know what you mean about the drought last year. same thing happened here, just the most pathetic flowers ever! I watered them twice a day but the heat was just horrible for them. I'm featuring this post tomorrow for Be Inspired.

lynn cockrell said...

I love hydrangeas, too. Who could not love those vibrant and abundant blossoms?! Pity that most blooming bushes do not last but a few weeks or so. I guess if they were in perpetual bloom, we might begin to take them for granted. Thanks for sharing your wonderful new hydrangea plants!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your features! This is a lovely post! I just saw Stone Gable featured you too. :)

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