Pick Hydrangea Blossoms Now for Winter Enjoyment
Peegee hydrangea blossoms can look great for months
Now is the time to pick hydrangeas if you want to have some in a dry vase all winter. It’s important to pick them before frost if you want them to keep their color instead of turning brown. Right now we have lovely white, pink and chartreuse blossoms to choose from.
Classic PeeGee Hydrangea
Pick blossoms on a sunny afternoon, not in the morning when
they are weighted down with dew. I have a classic peegee hydrangea shrub with
some blossoms that are 8 to 10 inches long and 6 to 8 inches wide.
Don’t put water in the vase: a dry vase will allow them to
remain essentially unchanged for months. Use a wide-bottomed vase as these
flower heads are heavy and a narrow vase will topple.
Be careful: heavy flowers will tip over a narrow vase
When picking, I cut each stem back to its place of origin on
a bigger branch so that I didn’t leave stubs that would be unsightly during the
winter months. Stubs will often serve to stimulate several new stems to grow
next year below every cut, creating clutter.
I also have a Hydrangea tardiva called ‘Pink Diamond’. This hydrangea turns a nice pink in late summer and has longer, narrower panicles (clusters of small blossoms) that are a bit more sparse than the standard ‘Peegee’. Not only that, ‘Pink Diamond’ has stronger stems that don’t tend to flop when wet.
'Pink Diamond' has a different shaped flower panicle
There are plenty of hydrangeas in bloom and for sale right now including ‘Limelight’ and ‘Little Lime’ both varieties have a pleasant light green color. Then there are pinkish and reddish varieties of the classic peegee hydrangea such as ‘Pinky Winky’ and ‘Big Red’.
A word of warning, for all you readers in northern New England: We never will have blue hydrangeas that perform year after year. I have tried more than once and failed. ‘Endless Summer’, a blue hydrangea was introduced with great fanfare, but after the first year it rarely makes gardeners happy. I call it ‘Endless Disappointment’. So if you want one, buy it as an annual.
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