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How to Handle Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas' fleecy, cone-shaped blossoms can hang onto bushes for six months or longer; as late as November in some areas.

Their color changes subtly from day to day, from soft pink to bronze as the nights get cool.

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If picked too soon, the clusters can shrivel. But just before a frost, the flowers get a papery texture and that is the time to clip them. For earthier colors, pick right after the frost.

While the petals are fluffy, put the flowers in a vase with a small amount of water that will gradually evaporate.

Their delicate nature makes them a staple in dried arrangements and wreaths in every season. Months later, if you find the hydrangeas brittle and difficult to work with, place the blooms over a steaming pot or kettle just until they soften and are easier to work with. Do the same with statice or dampen it under the faucet.

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