Gift hydrangeas have been floating around for over 6 weeks. Between Easter just past and Mother’s Day in just a few days, it was inevitable that these traditional gift plants (also called florist hydrangeas) would show up. You can’t avoid them in local garden centers, grocery stores, and box stores.
Blooming florist hydrangeas are a welcome sight as many of us are still struggling with unseasonably cold temperatures and continual lashings of snow, high winds, power outages and the like. So what should you do if you get one of these beauties?
All dressed up in colorful, shiny pastel colors like prom queens, these hydrangeas have been grown to brighten your home, having been specially fed and nurtured to put on a glorious show with lots of big flowers. I have had one in the house and continually marvel at its bodacious blooms. Once our weather warms a bit, it will go outside in a container. But what will be its ultimate fate?
HOW TO TREAT GIFT HYDRANGEAS
To keep these gift hydrangeas happy, keep them moist but not wet. While indoors, make sure the water can drain from their paper wrappings so they don’t sit in a puddle. Too much indoor heat will dry them out so be mindful of where you place the plant. They have only known life in a greenhouse where they were fed and watered regularly under ideal light and heat conditions. Expect them to possibly drop a few leaves from the shock of being pulled out of that cozy environment. They will also wilt if the container dries out so keep your eye on them.
PLANTING GIFT HYDRANGEAS OUTDOORS
Depending on where you garden, you can plant these hydrangeas outdoors but if you don’t live where it’s warm, don’t be disappointed if they don’t make it. Keep in mind they are not usually winter hardy. Plus the energy they have expended for their unseasonable early spring display often robs them of future growth potential. If you plant them out in the garden later on, be patient. You might get a nice green bush as the plant uses its energy to establish roots first. And for heaven’s sake, please don’t fertilize them. That will just push new growth when the plants need to work on roots. The flowers will be their second year’s agenda (think long term to 2022).
MOTHER’S DAY GIFT IDEA
If you’re feeling generous, gift the plant along with my best selling book, Success With Hydrangeas, A Gardener’s Guide.
It will answer all your questions about this fabulous shrub. More information about the book, testimonials, and how to buy a signed copy are at www.lorraineballato.com. Wouldn’t that make a great Mother’s Day gift?
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