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Forced Hydrangeas

I received a blooming hydrangea for my February birthday. How do I care for it while I have it indoors and can I plant it outside after it blooms?

What a wonderful gift, hydrangeas are such a fresh breath of spring! They are one of my favorite plants because they’re so versatile. You can enjoy them indoors as a long lasting houseplant and them shift them outside and enjoy them as a flowering shrub for years to come.

The name hydrangea will tell you a lot about what this plant likes. Hydra means water and these guys love plenty of it. To keep your plant in top shape make sure the soil stays consistently moist, if not wet. Keep it out of direct sunlight. This will help the blooms last longer and prevent the leaves from scorching.

Once the flowers fade, just clip them off and when temperatures are mild, plant it outside. And if you’ll put it on a shady side of the house, you’ll find it will be very happy.

An interesting thing about old-fashioned hydrangeas is the color of the bloom is dictated by the soil pH. For pink flowers you want an alkaline soil and for blue flowers you need more acidic soil. Regardless of your soil’s pH you want to make sure that it’s rich with humus so put some of that compost to good use. And of course you want to make sure your hydrangeas are kept consistently moist.