All About Hydrangeas
The hydrangea flower is undoubtedly one of the most glamorous blooms. The big, bold, and beautiful flowers have dainty, delicate and lacy petals flushed with colour, making them the go to flowers for regular home decor and occasional flower arrangements for events and celebrations. They come in enchanting pastel and vibrant shades of pinks, blues, purples, reds and the classic frosty white.
The name hydrangea is derived from the Greek words hydor meaning water and angeion meaning vessel in reference to the plant’s seed pods that look like water jugs. Hydrangea is a genus of around 75 species of flowering plants native to southern and eastern Asia and North and South America. Different hydrangeas need varied climatic conditions to thrive well but most of them appreciate moderate climate because both frostbite and sunburn can severely damage them.
The flowers are loved by people of all age groups and are considered by many as grand-mother’s old time flowers and rightfully so, because they also exhibit an old fashioned charm that is hard to ignore. Many of these blossoms have a fragrance and are sure to add a charm to spaces.
What are the different types of hydrangeas?
These gorgeous blooms come in several varieties like bigleaf, smooth, panicle, oakleaf, climbing, and mountain hydrangeas.
The big leaf hydrangeas, (macrophyllas), are the most common species. Also called the French hydrangea or florist’s hydrangea, these come in three variants.
Mophead hydrangeas are the most popular and easily recognizable among the bigleaf hydrangea, due to their large puffy flower heads.
Lacecap hydrangeas have tiny, fertile flower buds in the centre with sterile flowers encircling them and act as pollinators attracting bees and butterflies to the fertile buds in the centre.
Mountain hydrangeas as the name suggests can thrive in cold mountainous region and are very much like the lacecap hydrangeas with smaller leaves and flowers.
What is the socio-cultural significance of the hydrangea flower?
Hydrangeas symbolize gratitude for being understood, heartfelt emotions and apology while some also connect the hydrangea flowers to vanity and boastfulness perhaps due to the abundance of petals and lavish, rounded shape but very few seeds.
Hydrangeas are appropriate for various special occasions and events.
- Engagements, weddings and celebrations
- 4th wedding anniversary celebration as a mark of appreciation
- Asking for forgiveness and reconciliation
- Rejecting a suitor’s proposal
Each colour holds a special meaning!
- Pink - to express love and tell them they are the beat of your heart
- Purple - to express a desire to deeply understand someone
- Blue - to formally acknowledge someone or to apologise
- White - to congratulate someone on their big achievements
How to arrange and pair hydrangeas with other flowers?
Our floral designers recommend that the hydrangeas either be placed in a bunch of 3, 5, 7, and so on. “The Rule of threes”, says that flowers arranged in odd numbers are more appealing and effective than even numbered groupings. Hydrangeas have an average stem length of 12 inches, they, therefore, look good in short vases
For an appealing arrangement, hydrangeas are best paired with:
- Lilies- asiatic and oriental
How to care for hydrangea flowers at home?
Despite being very dainty and delicate, cut hydrangeas last for 4-5 days!
Here are a few tips to care for your cut hydrangea flowers to maintain them and make them last longer.
- Place the cut hydrangea stems immediately in cold water to avoid wilting.
- Remove the leaves from the lower part of the stem and cut it in an angle of 45 degrees every day.
- Check the water in the vase daily.
- Don’t mist the blooms with water.
- Soak wilting blooms in cold water to revive them.
- When the temperature soars, fill the vase with 2 part ice to 1 part water to cool down the blooms.
- To rehydrate very thirsty and dehydrated hydrangeas, immerse them in a bucketful of water.
How to preserve hydrangeas?
Don't we all wish we could freeze the beauty of flowers and keep them forever? Fret not, because now you can preserve those flowers you got as a gift on a special occasion or the pretty blooms you got home yourself! The flowers can be dried and placed in vases and used in making wreaths or decorations around the house.
- After removing all the leaves, the flowers should be hung upside down in a warm, dark and airy room.
- A couple of weeks later after they are completely air dry, store them in a dry location away from sunlight.
- To enhance the flower colour, spritz them with diluted fabric dye.
Some fun facts:
- Hydrangea flowers were apparently first discovered in Japan.
- The colours of the flowers is dependent on the pH of the soil.
Slightly acidic soil with a pH below 7 produces blue flowers while alkaline soil with pH above 7, produces pink blooms. The colours can be altered from blue to violet, pink and red, by changing the composition and acidity of the soil.
- The leaves of this plant are said to be mildly toxic because of the presence of cyanogenic glycosides that release hydrogen cyanide when chewed.
- In Japan, ama-cha,甘茶 meaning sweet tea, is another herbal tea made from hydrangea serrata, whose leaves contain a substance that develops a sweet taste (phyllodulcin).
- Many artists and writers like Tony Morrison have been inspired by these blooms and in her book, she mentions praises for the flowers saying that even a dead hydrangea is as intricate and lovely as one in bloom!
Hydrangeas at “The Flora”
“The Flora” hydrangeas are sourced from our own farms and are grown organically. We currently have white, pink, blue, and purple coloured cut flowers that are available throughout the year.
Falling in love with hydrangeas? We got you!
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