We have all heard of the hydrangea shrub and how good the flowers look in the late summer time. These are a great shrub to have in our gardens as they are very easy to grow, make a fantastic colourful display and need little or no maintenance. The only maintenance worth mentioning here is to prune these back hard in the springtime and that is pretty much what’s required. They will grow in most soil types but they prosper in rich porus moist soil. All we add is some mulch in the spring or fall and they do the rest. They are a great space filler and will produce some flowers in the same year as they were planted. They like the shade but will grow in most climates and are pretty much pest and disease resistant.
They attract the usual visitors when in full bloom, like butterflies, insects and all sorts of honeybees. Flowering commences in late summer and will continue into the fall. They come in four colours mainly blue, pink, purple, and white. Sometimes we can be lucky and have all four colours in the one plant. In our standard garden we have a variety of colours in summer, like pinks, yellows, reds, whites, purples but blue is a colour that we don’t have that often, so hydrangea is a great option, if we are looking for this colour. They are predominantely blue and really stand out from the rest, especially because of the large mop-head blossom that they will give us.
What is the best way to grow hydrangeas;
Some people grow hydrangeas in pots and that method is fine, but that will require some extra maintenance in the form of watering, feeding and general care. If we over-water, this can be detremintal to the health of the plant and if we forget to water, that too will result in poor performance and growth. However by planting these in the ground, we will have a better result overall and its their preferred growing method. The other drawback is that the plants will not fully develop in pots, as the rootball is very confined in this envoirnment and as a result the flower yield will be somewhat restricted.
Hydrangea for cut flowers;
This is the big advantage of having a shrub of this calibre in our backyard or backgardens as it will deliver the most stunning of cut flowers for whatever the occasion is. We have all seen these as wedding bouquets, floral wreaths and just ordinary cut flowers for our sitting or living rooms. Go to any florist and they will tell you the tale of the hydrangea and how much in demand this flower is. They would easily admit that half of all the requests for wedding flowers are hydrangeas. They have such mystique and elegance and they have been around for years, it seems that everyone has grown up with these.
How to keep hydrangeas fresh;
This is the where some of the mystery lies when it comes to having hydrangeas keep their shape and style for days on end. These could keep their pose and structure on some occasions for at least seven days or so. Speak to anyone who grows hydrangeas and they will tell you a different story or secret on how they manage to stop these from wilting. The common denominitor is watering obviously, but that is only half the story. Most florists will dip the whole flower heads and stems into a bath of water and leave them there for a few hours. As soon as they have been removed from the bath of water, place in a vase and they are good to go. This watering method will keep the flower heads from wilting and as we know there are a lot of petals in the mop-head of a hydrangea.
One other idea that a lot of people use and they would say that the key is, in how the stem is cut. This method applies to all other types of cut flowers and that is to cut the stem at an angle. This allows the stem to draw more water upwards and thus keeps it fresh for longer. In other cases people will tell us that they bash the stem with a hammer and this prevents the stem from forming a glue blockage at the base. This method will then allow for water to be absorbed upwards and up along the stem towards the flower head. Finally some people will tell of how they dip the stems into hot water for three to four minutes, as this process again softens the glue coating and allows water to be drawn upwards.
It’s very easy to see how these flowers are a firm favourite with a lot of people and we would find it very difficult to disagree with them. Regardless of whatever the occasion, these cut and arranged hydrangeas will really stand out and the more we get to know and understand them, the more pleasing they will become. I trust that this information is beneficial and hopefully it will answer some questions that people may have on this particular variety of flower. As usual we are very social here at buildingraisedbeds.com and as ever do get in touch with us, with any aspect of this post that may concern you, via the comments section down under.