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Care for Shooting Star Hydrangeas

The shooting star hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla Shooting Star) is a deciduous, shrub-like plant that grows 3 to 5 feet tall and blooms in double-petaled, star-shaped white flowers. Shooting star hydrangeas are forced into blossoming and sold during the holiday season, much like poinsettia plants. These hydrangeas can be kept in containers and grown indoors or planted outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 7 through 9, where winter temperatures don’t dip below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Because these plants have forced blooms and are usually stressed at the time of purchase, some extra care is required to transition the shooting star hydrangeas.

Repot your newly purchased shooting star hydrangea into a larger container filled with rich, all-purpose potting soil. Keep the hydrangea in a cool spot indoors that has bright, indirect light until spring.

Water the shooting star hydrangea when the top half-inch of potting soil dries out. Water the plant to soak the soil evenly until the water drains from the bottom of the pot.

Plant the shooting star hydrangea outdoors in early spring, after all danger of frost has passed. Plant the hydrangea in a location that has partial sunlight with direct morning sun and afternoon shade.

Water your shooting star hydrangea deeply and thoroughly once each week during the spring, summer and early autumn, when rainfall is less than 1 inch. Provide enough water to soak the soil around the root zone.

Feed your shooting star hydrangea once each year in spring when new growth emerges. Feed the hydrangea a slow-release fertilizer made for acid-loving plants, following the dosage instructions on the label.

Prune your shooting star hydrangea after it finishes blooming to remove any dead or damaged branches and to thin out older growth. Deadhead the hydrangea to remove spent flowers.

Tip

If you live in a colder climate, you can grow the shooting star hydrangea in a container and bring it indoors during the fall and winter. Keep the hydrangea in a protected but cool location during winter, such as a shed, garage or sheltered porch area, and water the plant to keep the soil from drying out completely.

Warning

Protect your shooting star hydrangea from winter freezes and hard frosts by covering the plant with a blanket. Remove the blanket in the morning when the sun begins to warm the air and soil.

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