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When to Prune Hydrangeas?

Prune Hydrangeas, beloved for their exquisite blossoms, have gained popularity as flowering shrubs. However, without proper pruning, these shrubs can become overgrown and exhibit diminished flower production. Engaging in the crucial task of pruning hydrangeas holds significant benefits, enhancing the plant’s well-being, fostering fresh growth, and stimulating abundant blooms. Nonetheless, it is essential to approach hydrangea pruning with care, as various hydrangea types necessitate distinct pruning techniques.

If you find yourself uncertain about the proper way to prune your hydrangeas, this article is here to assist you. Within this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with a step-by-step process for effectively pruning your hydrangeas. Our guidance encompasses helpful tips on identifying the specific type of hydrangea you possess and executing correct pruning techniques accordingly.

The right way to prune hydrangeas 

Step 1: Determine the type of hydrangea you have

Pruning techniques vary depending on the specific type of hydrangea. Hydrangeas can be categorized into four main types: mophead (Hydrangea macrophylla), lacecap (Hydrangea macrophylla), panicle (Hydrangea paniculata), and smooth (Hydrangea arborescens). Prior knowledge of your hydrangea’s type is crucial before undertaking pruning tasks, as it ensures that you avoid inadvertently removing buds or flowers that play a vital role in the plant’s growth.

Step 2: Identify dead, damaged or diseased wood

To enhance the plant’s overall health, it is advisable to utilize pruning shears to eliminate any dead, damaged, or diseased wood. This proactive measure contributes significantly to the plant’s well-being and vitality.

Step 3: Remove old wood (if necessary)

To promote new growth and maximize flower production in mophead and lacecap hydrangeas, it is recommended to prune out any old wood that is older than three years. By doing so, you create space for fresh growth and stimulate the emergence of more vibrant flowers. In the case of panicle hydrangeas, you have the flexibility to remove up to half of the previous year’s growth. This pruning approach encourages an abundance of blooms, allowing the plant to showcase its full potential.

Step 4: Cut back to healthy buds

When pruning, ensure to make the cut just above a healthy bud, leaving a minimum of two pairs of buds on each stem. This technique fosters the development of new growth and facilitates an increased number of flowers. Additionally, make the cut at a 45-degree angle, as it promotes proper healing and prevents water from accumulating on the cut surface. By following these guidelines, you optimize the pruning process for the hydrangeas’ benefit.

Step 5: Don’t over-prune

Exercise caution to avoid excessive pruning, as it can impede the plant’s growth and diminish its flower production. It is advisable to limit the removal of plant growth to approximately one-third of its total in a given year. By adhering to this prudent approach, you maintain a healthy balance that allows the hydrangea to flourish and showcase an abundant display of flowers.

Allow me to share some supplementary tips to assist you in pruning hydrangeas:

1. Timing: Understanding the specific timing for pruning your hydrangeas is crucial. Different hydrangea types have varying optimal pruning periods. Research and identify the appropriate time to prune your particular hydrangea species for optimal results.

2. Remove Weak Stems: During the pruning process, be sure to identify and remove any weak or spindly stems. This action promotes healthier growth and directs the plant’s energy towards stronger, more robust branches.

3. Clean and Sharpen Tools: Prior to pruning, ensure that your pruning tools are clean and properly sharpened. Clean tools help minimize the risk of spreading diseases, while sharp blades facilitate cleaner cuts and promote faster healing.

4. Consider Hydrangea Size: Take into account the mature size of your hydrangea when pruning. If your hydrangea tends to grow larger, leave ample space between branches to prevent overcrowding and promote air circulation.

5. Observe Flowering Patterns: Familiarize yourself with your hydrangea’s flowering patterns. Some hydrangeas bloom on new wood, while others bloom on old wood. Understanding this distinction will guide you in deciding the appropriate pruning approach.

Remember, careful pruning practices contribute to the overall health, growth, and abundant flowering of your hydrangeas.

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A Taste of 2023 – Hibiscus

This popular ingredient gives a whole new meaning to flower power.

Everyone is looking for bigger, bolder flavors, and hibiscus delivers: The electric pink flower is boldly floral and unmistakably tangy, and we’ve all become obsessed. “The taste is a showstopper—like the fabulous dress at a party everyone notices,” says Suzy Badaracco, president of food trend forecaster Culinary Tides, Inc. While the tart, citrusy flowers have been a popular ingredient in tea and cocktails forages,Google searches for hibiscus drinks have doubled in the past year, and chefs are adding the flavor to everything from appetizers to desserts: Hibiscus mentions on restaurant menus have risen 24 percent over the past few years. You’ll also find it all over the grocery store—in yogurt, goat cheese, sparkling water and sorbet, to name a few. Bonus: It’s full of vitamin C and other antioxidants. Taste it for yourself in one of these pretty pink recipe — Carol Lee


ACTIVE 45 min TOTAL: 2 hr MAKES: 6

1½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup granulated sugar

4 teaspoons lemon-hibiscus tea leaves (from about 4 tea bags), crumbled with your fingers

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 1 large lemon)

1¼ sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

¾ cup sour cream

Cooking spray

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Jarred hibiscus flowers in syrup, chopped, for topping, plus 2 tablespoons syrup

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the granulated sugar, crumbled tea leaves and lemon zest in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the butter and beat, scraping down the bowl, until light and creamy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time until combined, then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the sour cream. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until smooth.

2. Spray a 6-cup mini bundt pan generously with cooking spray and dust with flour, shaking out any excess. Evenly divide the batter among the cups, filling each about two-thirds of the way. Bake until the cakes are golden on top and spring back when gently pressed, 27 to 32 minutes. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the cakes cool about 10 minutes, then remove the cakes to the rack to cool completely.

3. Meanwhile, whisk the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and hibiscus syrup in a medium bowl until smooth and spreadable. (The glaze should be thick; if it’s too stiff, thin with a few drops of water.) Spoon the glaze over the cakes, letting it drip down the sides. Top with some chopped hibiscus flowers. Let set, at least 20 minutes.


ACTIVE: 25 min l TOTAL: 1 hr 25 min l MAKES: 1 drink (plus extra syrup)

1. Make the syrup: Combine the hibiscus, sugar, ginger and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, and cook for about 1 minute.Remove from the heat and let cool, then refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour.

2. Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve into a liquid measuring cup or storage container; discard the solids. (The syrup will keep for 2 to 3 weeks in a sealed container in the refrigerator.)

3. Make the float: Add the ice cream to a tall glass. Pour 3 tablespoons of the hibiscus syrup over the ice cream. Slowly pour in the seltzer, giving the foam a few seconds to subside.


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10 pieces of advice for couples who have postponed their weddings to 2021

When Tavi Kaunitz and Tom Lerner had to postpone their May wedding due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was stressful and upsetting for the couple, who had spent nearly a year planning their dream ceremony.

“We’d already been in the throes of planning, and you just get excited for it,” Lerner told “Good Morning America.” “That time was really tough and stressful.”

Tavi Kaunitz and her fiance Tom Lerner, pose for a photo after their engagement. The couple had to postpone their wedding earlier this year due to COVID-19.

Kaunitz and Lerner, from California, are one of many couples from all across the country who were planning on getting married in 2020, but instead quickly had to pivot, decide on a new date and rethink what their celebrations would look like.

“There was a lot of disappointment and a lot of fear about what their new wedding was going to look like,” said wedding planner Victoria Holland, founder and CEO of Victoria Ann Events in Los Angeles, who worked with Kaunitz and Lerner. “For my weddings that were in May, I told them they needed to make a decision sooner than later because we needed to come up with a plan B. I think the best thing was [for us] that we were at the first line of defense right away.”

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