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Simple Tips for Growing Hydrangeas ~ In The South

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Simple Tips for Growing Hydrangeas in the South.

Certain plants have a natural association with gardening in the South: dogwoods,magnolias, azaleas, camellias and, of course, hydrangeas. In my little area of the world I am fortunate to have all of these growing near my home. Most of them grow wild in the woods with the exception of hydrangeas. Over 10 years ago I planted three hydrangea bushes along our walkway and they have thrived beautifully. In fact, neighbors and friends often ask me “what do you do to grow such pretty flowers”? Truthfully, not much at all. In the hopes of helping my friends and educating myself I learned simple tips for growing hydrangeas in the south.

Pretty Front Door Greeting

In previous generations, you would be hard-pressed to find a little white frame country home without a big bush of puffy, pink, blue, or white hydrangea blooms in a place of honor by the front door. My grandparents had just this country home with pink hydrangeas as a front door greeting. Nowadays hybrid plants abound offering not only hardiness, but color variations as well. 

Play in the Dirt

After doing this hydrangea research, I discovered something very important. Our rich Georgia clay is full of natural nutrients, making healthy plant growth much easier. Thank goodness, because I need all of the help that I can get! 😀I don’t know about y’all, but I am great with indoor plant care.  My outdoor plants are in perpetual shock if truth be told. Too much water, not enough water and so on. Plus now that our temps are in the mid to high 90’s it seems harder to keep container plants alive.

Pruning

Being that I clip a lot of the flowers for floral arrangements, it promotes better flower growth. The actual pruning of the plant is not as important. You can cut it back to the ground, or leave the plant at full growth even when dormant.

At least the hydrangeas are planted in the ground and are doing well. I had a bit of a panic moment this passed week because our HOA removed a large oak tree from our walkway. Its roots were creating a dangerous situation to our sidewalk. Our shaded area was immediately gone. The hydrangeas have wilted a bit during the hottest part of the day. After a good misting with the water hose, they spring right back!

General Hydrangea Care

  • If you plant them in the summer, they need a lot more water in the beginning to establish the root system.
  • Most varieties thrive in full sun to partial shade, as long as they are planted in moist, rich soil.
  • Water deeply once a week, and maybe more, if the weather is particularly hot or dry. Especially when no rain is evidenced.
  • Hydrangea fertilization needs vary greatly, depending on your zone. Check with your local professional

 

Using Hydrangeas for Cut-Flower Arrangements

  • Cut them just as blooms fully develop.
  • Cut your flowers in the early morning, before the sun gets too hot to evaporate some of their moisture.
  • Cutting stem at a diagonal will allow the stem to take in the most amount of water, some people will even cut slits or fray the ends of the stems a little.
  • Place your freshly cut flowers in vases or containers with clean, cool water. 
  • Keep in mind that many gardeners and florists complain that hydrangeas wilt faster than other cut flowers and may require a little extra planning. This has never been my experience. See below.
  • Keep them out of drafty areas and direct sunlight to prevent the flowers from drying.
  • Sit back and admire their beauty! Again, these floral arrangements are now 2 weeks old and are still very fresh and lively.

All of these cuttings and floral arrangements are now 2 weeks old. 

They are just as fresh and lively as they day I cut them.

With hydrangea cuttings I love to display them in simple containers. Nothing super fancy – Ball jars or clean glass food jars like this leftover honey jar.

We even used the hydrangea leaves to create these easy DIY clay bowls.

I hope that you found this article helpful. Again, I am not an expert…just a hydrangea enthusiast sharing what works for me. Are you crazy for hydrangeas too!

Don’t forget to Pin this to your favorite Pinterest Board!

8 Comments

  1. Your hydrangeas are beautiful!!! I too live in the South and love these plants. I had a plant given to me and had it for years until we had our house repainted and they trampled them! : ( I have not been able to get one going again and it maybe because I haven’t put much effort into enriching the soil. Seeing yours makes me want to try again!

  2. Oh my word you guys – could these hydrangeas be more beautiful? I think not! I swear you guys have THE best soil for growing these gorgeous blooms. I love how you feature them both inside and outside of your home too. They’re stunning! Hugs, CoCo

  3. Ruth Ledyard says:

    I, too, love hydrangeas and collected over 70 varieties when I thought I was going to grow them to sell. That is another story. In the south, mostly the lower south hydrangeas do better with morning sun and afternoon shade. They do no like the sun all day but like most plants they need sun to bloom. Your blooms are beautiful,

    1. Ruth –

      We had no idea that there were so many varieties of hydrangeas! Here in Georgia, it is starting to get hot and the plants and blooms wilt a little during the day. Thankfully in the morning they are gorgeous again. We appreciate your comments!

      Vicki and Jenn
      ~2 Bees

  4. Hydrangeas are one of my favs! How could you not love them. An easy way to propagate is to use a lower branch, and push it down to touch soil (still attached to the bush). Lay a brick longways along the branch, then forget about it. You can do this at any time (except winter while dormant). I usually do it in spring and plant either in fall or early next spring. Many times these lower branches will root on their own without any help if they touch soil. When ready to separate your newly rooted plant, cut newly rooted branch from original plant, then dig up your new one to plant where you’d like.

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