Best Hydrangea Tips, a Full Guide! How to Grow, Prune, Dry, Display +

When I was little, my grandma had these massive hydrangea bushes growing along the entire side of her house. I remember playing in her yard, wondering how on earth she could grow such wondrous flowers like that! She must have been magic... :)
Today, I have 2 of my own. And the secret's out... they are EASY keepers if you provide all the right conditions for them.
Hydrangeas are one of the most abundant, easy care flowering shrubs you can have. Not only are they beautiful outdoors, you can also dry them so they can be enjoyed indoors all year long.
I decorate with them so often, the questions always arise... How do you get them to bloom? How do you change their colour? How do you dry them? What can you do with them? etc etc.
So here it is... one post answering many of those hydrangea inquiries...
Do you have any hydrangea tips to share? I'd love to hear them!
Click to read a special collection of FULL, informative posts right on Hometalk!
Below are my best tips on the wonderful world of hydrangeas...
1. GROWING / Hydrangeas are pretty easy keepers, but they do love some shade and moist, fertile soil. I live on the west coast of BC Canada and don't lift a finger for mine, yet the yield is always enormous. Damper, cooler conditions work well for these guys.
Tip: the petals can wilt and sunburn if located in direct, hot sun long term.
2. PRUNING / The best time to prune hydrangeas is in the fall after the booms are a done deal.
Be careful to leave a bud on the stem for next year, or your bush may not bloom the following summer. They do not like to be pruned hard.
3. DRYING / Time your pruning when the blooms GO SLIGHTLY CRISPY in the fall and you'll have the best chance of having them dry wilt free and last for an entire year.
Place the cut blooms in water until the petals are completely dry. Better yet, leave them in that container so they slowly mould to that position. The petals are very brittle once dried.
I have also placed crispy hydrangeas in places with no water and they've done beautifully. Just remember they need to be crispy for this to work.
4. CHANGING COLOURS / Hydrangea blooms change their hues come fall. Here's a blue bush during summer... and the next picture shows what happened in fall.
A fresh, apple green tone! So fun to have seemingly two plants in one. So don't forget about your amazing hydrangeas during the fall season and enjoy them in a whole new way.
5. DECORATING / Place them in position, fresh off the plant if you can, in cups of water. Then stage them any way you desire. They will dry on the spot!
These abundant blooms are perfect for large spaces due to the volume they consume quickly.
WREATH MAKING / Poke stems into a grapevine wreath, and keep going until the wreath form is completely covered. There was no glue used for this project. Amazing, isn't it?
Find out MORE! Click blog link below for / how to get them to change colour while growing, even more decorating ideas, plus where to find the goods!

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 10 questions
  • Jasb
    on Apr 17, 2017

    Can I grow lush hydrangeas n the west, sunny, side of my house in La Jolla Jolla, ca

    • Fran
      on Jul 8, 2018

      I have to beautiful hydrangeas I found out I have the old ones that you don’t cute down every year, when you do in the fall trim only the ones that have the flowers on them and I only cute down about 6 to 8 inches . Next year the others will Blum and the same every year. They will start filling more good luck.

  • Charlene Pollitz
    on May 14, 2017

    My hydranuia bush has never bloomed the leaves are very green in a moist part shade part sun but it will not bloom what to do ?
    • Hi Charlene, I'd suggest to talk to a local nursery and see what they say with a sample cut. From my own knowledge, a hydrangea will not bloom if it's cut back too far each year. I hope you can find an answer!
  • Kma25930661
    on Sep 22, 2017

    I believe I cut my hydrangeas too far back last year because I had no blooms this year. If I don't prune them at all, will they begin to bloom once again?

Join the conversation

3 of 57 comments
  • Clou77
    on Jun 19, 2016

    Thanks Laura! :)

  • Belinda Horsley
    on Nov 24, 2019

    My Sweet Mother-in-law woulda Loved this one🙏 💕🙏They were Her Favorite!

    • Vanessa
      on May 21, 2020

      My dad passed 4 years ago, the day he passed a friend came to my house and had stopped to pick me up a plant. She brought me a hydrangea plant. I told my brother what she brought me, he told me that was daddy's favorite. Perhaps it was my wonderful father letting me know he was ok but I now have it planted in my front yard next to my house and it has done beautifully. I purchased 2 more but they haven't done as well as the one given to me the day my daddy passed. Your comment about your sweet mother-in-law reminded me of this.

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