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How to care for your Easter hydrangea

Copyright 2011 Joan Harrison

The potted hydrangea you bring home at Easter can bring you a great deal of viewing pleasure. You'll want to care for it properly to prolong its beauty. Follow the simple guidelines below to keep your hydrangea looking its best.

 Place your hydrangea where it gets bright light but not direct sunlight which can make it fade faster. You also want to keep the plant away from a heat source like a radiator or heat vent.

Most potted hydrangeas sold at Easter come in a colorful paper wrap. It's better to remove this wrap and place the pot either inside a decorative container large enough to hold it, or directly on a plate to catch any water that drains through when you water it. The reason for removing the paper is that it makes it hard to tell if the plant is in standing water which is not good for it.

Copyright 2011 Joan Harrison

Water to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Too much water can be as bad as too little water. Stick your finger down into the soil to make sure the soil is moist below the surface. Depending on its location, the temperature of the house and the relative humidity, you may have to water every day, or every other day, or every third day. Don't hover. It can take some benign neglect.

The flowers can last several weeks if the plant is cared for properly, and if it was a nice healthy plant to start with. When the flowers have gone by, snip them off.

Potted hydrangeas can be saved to plant in the garden. If you plan to do this, put the plant in a cooler location (like your garage)and don't let it dry out. Expect it to lose leaves the first season in the ground. It will not flower again that year. The following year fresh green growth will announce that it survived the winter.

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Copyright 2011 Joan Harrison