The Whens, Whys and Hows of Hydrangeas: The Chameleon Flowers

Hydrangeas title card

3 min read

Whether you’ve got hydrangeas growing in your garden or you simply enjoy admiring their bouffant blooms, they’re truly a sight to behold. What you may not know is that hydrangeas have superpowers, in addition to being a fantastic feature of a bouquet.

We couldn’t resist finding out more about these exciting and appealing blooms, so we’ve explored just what makes hydrangeas so special, as well as everything you need to know about taking care of them in your home or garden.

A few quick facts about hydrangeas

potted pink Hydrangea FloraQueen inside

  • They originated in Asia and South America
  • They grow all over the world
  • They arrived in Europe in the 18th Century
  • They were once celebrated in the Gardens of Louis XIV and Kew Botanical Gardens in London

How big can hydrangeas grow?

If left to their own devices or provided with the best growing conditions hydrangeas can get huge! The biggest Hydrangea plants can grow to an incredible 24.4M long. Most of the time, however, your plants will maintain a steady 1-2 metre size. Keep an eye on them though, as they will grow very big if given the opportunity and enough water.

When should I prune Hydrangeas?

Potted pink hydrangea outdoors

For the most part, hydrangeas don’t need pruning if they’re growing in your garden. With potted hydrangeas, things are a little different and you should trim them back after their flowers have wilted and died after blooming. Like anything, these plants need a short period of rest so they can regain energy and bloom again. If you have a potted hydrangea and want to keep it reblooming, here’s what to do:

  1. Wait until the flowering blooms have died off
  2. Take a clean pair of shears
  3. Trim each stem back until only the bottom leaf sets or buds are showing
  4. Re-pot them into a larger container
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What makes Hydrangeas change colour?

Hydrangeas come in many different colours. Broadly speaking, this includes:

  • Red
  • Pink
  • Blue
  • Purple
  • Green
  • White

However, an amazing trick that they can pull is that they can change colour completely depending on the soil PH level. This means that in more acidic soil (about PH 4) they’ll turn bluer and in more alkaline soil (PH 6-7) they’ll become pinker. In many ways, they’re a natural ground soil PH meter! White hydrangea flowers, however, will remain white no matter what type of soil is used. In most cases, however, it’s quite true to say hydrangeas are chameleons of the flower world.

What hydrangeas mean symbolically

Hydrangeas are thirsty plants as we mentioned before, so rather appropriately, their name is derived from the Greek for “water” and “jug” or “jar”. As for the symbolic meaning of these flowers, there’s a lot to choose from as hydrangeas can convey:

  • Beauty and grace
  • Honesty
  • Gratitude
  • The development of a deeper bond between two people
  • Abundance and prosperity

They are also the symbolic flower of a fourth wedding anniversary for a couple.

Why hydrangeas are amazing as a gift

FloraChic Alstroemeria and Hydrangea bouquet

The versatility and durability of hydrangeas gives them a huge advantage over other cut flowers. Communicating such positive messages such as beauty and thankfulness, they are a great gift to give to show your gratitude or admiration for someone special in your life. These are long lasting flowers too, lasting over a week in the vase, or longer if you’re sharing a potted hydrangea. If you want your message to really resonate for the days and weeks to come then hydrangeas are a great choice.

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Not only that but there are a lot of other decorative tricks you can try with them, like making their bulbous blooms into a wreath. If you want to try making one yourself, try our own wreath making tips.

Hydrangeas do more than just look amazing. They can communicate the most beautiful of messages, and if you’re growing them from a pot, can easily be propagated into your garden to enjoy forever!

Impress in autumn with our special selection of hydrangeas, red amaryllis and alstroemerias in orange and red hues in over 100 countries around the globe. Make someone smile today with our Autumnal Warmth bouquet.

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