My house came with mature landscaping and when we met the sellers at the closing meeting, the wife was kind enough to warm me not to pluck everything up as weeds, that there would be some perennial growths.

It has been an absolute joy to discover new things in the yard. Yellow lilies and a dogwood tree, for example, were a total surprise. Moving in late winter, there were no signs that I’d be getting yellow lilies and I didn’t think dogwoods- the NC state tree (Carolina girl here)- grew this far south. Not to mention they’re usually bare during winter.

Something that was and was not a surprise was the lovely hydrangeas. As there were little to no leaves on the bush, judging by the size and shape, we figured that’s what they were. The fun surprise was waiting to see what colors they’d be.

I have a couple of bushes out front that’s not doing as well. Judging from my research on line, either the soil is not acidic enough (can’t be the issue as it’s a purple color), it was pruned back too much or at the wrong time of the year, or there was a late spring frost (most likely the case as that did happen). I may try some fertilizer later on. Whatever the issue is, they weren’t photo-worthy. Sigh. Maybe next year. Such a shame, though, as it’s a real pretty shade.

On the other hand, the ones in the back yard looks great! The blue blooms are not always as big as I would like them to be- again, maybe they need fertilizer?- but I’m enjoying them nonetheless. They make such great cuttings for bouquets inside and lasts practically two weeks! That in itself is great because I’m not going through the hydrangeas like nothing, waiting for more to bloom.

Although I didn’t plant them myself, I’m so excited about them that I had to share pictures with you! They really make a difference in the garden, adding a beautiful punch of color!

Hydrangeas

Sun: Partial to full (take care during very hot seasons- may need some shade at this time or lots of watering)

Plant: In the spring, but not too early in the spring when frost is still possible, with moist soil that drains well. Early fall is also ideal- early enough to avoid frosts. Try to avoid planting in the summer as it may be too hot for them. Newly rooted hydrangeas need lots of water.

Prune: Depends on the variety. As Mopheads and Lacecaps (large globe-shape) are the most common, prune in late summer. (It looks like I have Mopheads in these photos.)

Colors: Fertilize with sulfur to get blue and lime to get pink. Whites do not change.

Soil: Less than 5.5 to 6 pH on an acidic level produces blue flowers. Greater than 7 produces pink blooms. On a neutral ground of 6 to 7 pH, purple flowers are produced.

Zones: 4 to 9

**Toxic to people and animals (horses, dogs, cats, etc), but a very large quantity would have to be ingested. Taz doesn’t eat any plant beyond grass and Kali has been very good about not touching the Hydrangeas, so proceed with caution and just be aware of how your pet behaves around plants.

Did I miss anything in my little care section? Let me know!

Also, let me know if you have hydrangeas and how it’s worked out for you!