The Dirt: Hydrangeas 101

The Dirt: Hydrangeas 101

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Hydrangea (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com) Hydrangea (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com)
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

Hands down hydrangeas are one of America's all-time favorite perennials.  They give us gorgeous, beautiful blooms from early summer through fall, but they can be a little tricky to grow.

"Hydrangeas are so versatile.  If you have shade, you can choose something like an Annabelle that has beautiful white snowball blossoms throughout the summer.  If you have sun, everyone loves the big leaf hydrangea.  They start out pink, but if you want them to turn blue, then you use [a] soil acidifier.  You have to apply it to your soil possibly a couple times of year.  You have to really keep after it," said Deena Saroto with Four Seasons Garden Center.

What is needed in terms of feeding and pruning throughout the year?

"The general rule with the hydrangeas is that you only want to prune them right after they bloom.  You just need to cut off the blossoms.  You don't want to cut them back hard because you may be cutting off next year's blossoms, and then just fertilize twice a year with a good, organic, granular fertilizer for trees and shrubs [around the base of the plant]."

There are a lot of longtime favorites, but there are some new varieties on the market that give repeat blooms.

"We have 'Endless Summer', we have one called 'Forever and Ever', and they will give you a couple of blushes of blooms throughout the summer.  We have the beautiful Limelight hydrangeas.  They become very tall, stately shrubs, and they come in white and pink," Saroto said.  "Then we have Oakleaf hydrangea that can also take shade, a big, bold plant, and it turns a beautiful burgundy in the fall."

Also keep in mind is that hydrangeas dry beautifully.  You can bring them inside and use them in weaves and arrangements and enjoy them all winter long.

Four Seasons has locations in Oak Park and Birmingham.  For more information, visit www.fourseasonsgardencenter.com.

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