A Detailed Guide on Hydrangeas: Growth, Care and Different Varieties of the Hydrangea Plants
Has more than 75 varieties
Most of us are fascinated by the one kind of flowering plant, the blooms of which can change colours due to some reason. Yes, Hydrangeas are the one plant that is known to change the Hydrangea flower colours per the kind of soil that they are planted in.
Native to the Americas and Asia, Hydrangeas are a genus of flowering plants with more than 75 varieties named under them. Hydrangeas mostly grow as shrubs that are around 1 to 3 metres tall. However, certain varieties of the Hydrangea plants can also grow into small trees or as climbers going as high as 30 metres on different trees.
Beautiful Hydrangea Flowers
Produces beautiful blooms
The Hydrangea flowers are truly beautiful to look at. The Hydrangea flowers had been fascinating for most of us and our childhood as certain varieties of Hydrangea flowers changed colours as per the kind of the soil. These Hydrangea flowers are known to turn red in acidic soil and pink in soil that consists of more lime. True, the flower is quite reminiscent of the litmus paper experiments that we were all made to try out in the science classes at school.
The Hydrangea flowers are mostly in bloom from the early spring season to the late autumn season. Hydrangea flowers are known to have a large petal surface area and thus dry out quickly once they are cut off from the plant. However, immersing the stems of the flowers in room temperature water is harmful in restoring hydration in the Hydrangea flowers. Once the hydration is restored, the Hydrangea flowers can be effectively displayed in beautiful vases to uplift the décor of the room.
Caring for Hydrangea Plants
Easy to care for
Caring for Hydrangea plants is not as much of a tough task as it is often made out to be. Just make sure that you have all the necessary information on the kind of Hydrangea that you are adding to the household. Once you have that, here are some basic care tips that can make caring for Hydrangea plants an effortless task.
- The Ideal Planter: Hydrangeas can very well be grown in containers and planters. However, make sure that the planter is neither too large nor too small as per the current size of the plant. Also, make sure that there are enough drainage holes to flush out the excess water from the plant that would otherwise pose a serious threat to the growth of the plant.
- Potting Mix for the Plant:Hydrangeas plants are fuss-free plants when it comes to deciding on the kind of soil for growing the plant in. However, the plant best prefers growing in soil that is rich in organic matter and also drains well. Adding some compost to the soil mix also helps to boost the growth of the plant.
- Meeting the Light Needs:The light needs of the Hydrangea plants can differ from variety to variety. Certain varieties prefer the bright sunlight while others grow well in partial shade. However, make sure that the plant is not exposed to the direct rays of the sun. If possible, place the plant in such a spot that receives sunlight but also cools off in the afternoon shade.
- Watering the Plant: Adequately watering the plant is an important step in caring for Hydrangea plants. Remember to water the plant deeply once every week or so. If possible, use distilled water for watering as the tap water consists of chlorine and other chemicals that might cause harm to the plant. Make sure that the soil does not dry out and also that you do not over-water the plant.
- Temperature and Humidity: Most of the Hydrangea varieties dislike being exposed to extremely hot conditions. This makes it necessary for the plant to be placed at a spot that receives sunlight but is also cooled off by the afternoon shade. Hydrangeas do well in temperatures between 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit and require a humidifier only if the conditions are extremely dry.
- Fertilizing the Plant:Fertilizing the plant is necessary to make sure that the plant is being met with all its nutrient requirements. For Hydrangea plants, use water-soluble fertilizers and dilute them to half their strengths. Feed the plant once every week when it is blooming. Once the plant is done blooming, it is enough to fertilize it once every month.
- Pruning the Plant: The pruning season and the pruning needs of the Hydrangea plants also differ from variety to variety. Some require pruning in the late summer while others require the same in the early spring season. Just gather the necessary information on your variety and make sure that you do not end up over-pruning the plant.
Creating a Hydrangea Garden with Beautiful Hydrangea Colors
The Hydrangea plants come in different-coloured blooms. The plant has more than 75 varieties in its name, so it is only obvious that there are different beautiful Hydrangea colours. When grouped, these different hydrangea colours can give rise to a beautiful Hydrangea garden.
- Blue Hydrangea
Turn blue in acidic soil
Blue Hydrangeas maintain the blue colour mostly owing to the kind of soil that they grow in. Blue Hydrangeas are often the result of slightly acidic soil. Examples of blue Hydrangeas are Nikko Blue, Blue Wave, etc.
- Green Hydrangea
Changes colour as per the lighting
Green is quite a rare colour when it comes to flowers as it is mostly used to just being a foliage colour. Green Hydrangeas can last all season long and might also change colour. However, instead of the soil, the colour change in green Hydrangeas is due to the lighting.
- Pink Hydrangea
A sign of alkaline soil
Pink hydrangeas are a common sight in many regions. Hydrangeas tend to turn shades of pink if the soil that they are growing in is rich in alkaline content. The soil must be treated with lime to maintain the colour of pink Hydrangeas.
- Purple Hydrangea
Symbolises abundance, elegance and royalty
Purple Hydrangeas are quite popular Hydrangea colours. Purple hydrangeas are known to symbolize abundance, elegance and royalty. Purple Hydrangeas mostly start flowering during the summer season and last up to the fall.
- Red Hydrangea
Indicates excess alkaline soil
The red hydrangeas are known to be some of the most popular types of Hydrangeas. Many Hydrangeas tend to turn to add due to an excess alkaline content in the soil. Examples of Red Hydrangeas are Forever and Ever, Royal Red, etc.
One of the most common colour
White Hydrangeas are possibly the most common but preferably the most popular Hydrangea colours. The White Hydrangeas blend well into different landscapes., Some examples are Hydrangea Arborescens, Hydrangea, Macrophylla, etc.
Types of Hydrangea Plants
As mentioned above, there are more than 75 different types of Hydrangea plants. Each of these varieties is unique in its little way, each of them breathtakingly beautiful. Here is a look at some of the most common and popular types of Hydrangea plants.
- Climbing Hydrangea
A trailing variety
The Climbing Hydrangeas are scientifically referred to as the Hydrangea anomelapetiolaris. The climbing hydrangeas are called so because they grow as trailing vines. The climbing hydrangeas are a spectacular view and can easily reach a height of around 60 feet once they are established.
- Hydrangea Arborescens
Known as Smooth Hydrangea
The Hydrangea Arborescens is commonly and more popularly known as the Smooth Hydrangea. The Hydrangea Arborescens is one variety of Hydrangeas that prefers growing in the shade and requires a lot of moisture. The plant often grows as a shrub that reaches around 1.5 metres in height.
- Hydrangea Macrophylla
Known as Mophead Hydrangea
Popularly known as Mophead Hydrangea, the Hydrangea Macrophylla is a kind of what is termed as Bigleaf Hydrangeas. As the name seems to suggest, the Hydrangea Macrophylla is marked by beautifully large leaves. The Hydrangea Macrophylla blooms as a complete orb of blossoms.
- Hydrangea Paniculata/ Pee Gee Hydrangea
Known as Panicle Hydrangea
Also known as the Panicle Hydrangea or the Tree Hydrangea, the Hydrangea this Hydrangea variety can grow either as a shrub or as a small tree. The Hydrangea Paniculata can easily reach up to 20 metres in height. With its beautiful white blooms, the Pee Gee Hydrangea is known to be the most easily grown Hydrangea variety.
- Hydrangea Serrata
Known as Tea of Heaven
The Hydrangea Serrata is native to the mountains of Japan and Korea. The Hydrangea Serrata is more popularly referred to as the Mountain Hydrangea or the Tea of Heaven. The Hydrangea Serrata mostly grows as a shrub bearing small flowers and leaves.
Hydrangea Trees from Hydrangea Seed
Produces different cultivars
Hydrangea trees can very well be grown at home. The trees can easily be managed at the desired height and will only help to spruce up the indoors.
Now, we know that Hydrangeas rarely produce seeds. But this does not imply impossibility but is just a case of rarity. The seeds are often available at nurseries or online stores. Once you land yourself some Hydrangea seeds, you can easily grow Hydrangea trees from the Hydrangea seeds.
Here is a step-by-step breakdown of growing Hydrangea trees from Hydrangea seeds.
- First things first, keep an eye out for fading blooms in a grown Hydrangea plant.
- As the flower gradually dies, cover it with a paper bag.
- Cut the stem that the dead flower is in and let the flower dry out in the paper bag.
- Wait for a few days after which you can shake the bag to extract the seeds from the flower.
- Carefully pour the seeds out of the bag. Be careful as the seeds are tiny and can easily be mistaken for dust.
- Prepare a planter with some good quality potting soil to sow the seeds in.
- Sow the seeds and shift the planter to a nice spot in the house that receives adequate sunlight.
- Make sure that you maintain a moist consistency of the soil.
In around two weeks or so, the Hydrangea seeds will have started germinating.
Remember that the spring season is the most favourable for planting Hydrangeas as they mark the ending of the frosting period.
Propagating Hydrangea Plants through Cuttings
Easy to propagate through cuttings
As the Hydrangea seeds are often a rarity, propagating hydrangeas is often done from cuttings. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of propagating Hydrangea plants through cuttings.
- From a healthy Hydrangea plant, choose a stem that is at least 6 inches long. Make sure that the stem is new growth and has no flowers attached to it.
- Take a pair of shears and gently cut off the stem. Just below the leaf nodes. Make sure that you cut off at least 4 inches of the stem and that it has at least one set of leaves attached to it.
- If your cutting has more than one set of leaves, get rid of each of them except the topmost set. The two leaves that are remaining should be cut half crosswise.
- If possible, dip the cut end of the stem in some rooting hormone to boost the growth of the stem.
- Prepare a planter with some damp potting mix and stick the cutting into it.
- Use a transparent plastic sheet and cover the planter. Make sure that the plastic sheet is not touching the leaves on the stem.
- Shift the planter to a location that does not experience increased exposure to sunlight. Check every few days to make sure that the potting mix remains damp.
In around 2 to 4 weeks, the cutting will have established roots and the plant will gradually grow into a healthy Hydrangea plant.
Artificial Hydrangea Flowers
Bears close resemblance to Hydrangeas
Nowadays, there are different kinds of artificial plants and flowering plants available. Hydrangeas too aren’t left out of the facade of artificial flowers and plants.
The artificial Hydrangea flowers can easily be found in various online shopping sites or conventional stores. These artificial Hydrangea flowers are made with such precision that they look quite close to the real Hydrangea plants. It is often difficult to distinguish the artificial Hydrangea flowers from the real ones. These are helpful for people that want to have flowers around them but are lacking in time or gardening skills.
Do hydrangeas need sun or shade?
Different types of Hydrangeas have different light needs. Most of them grow well in bright light while several other varieties prefer growing in partial shade.
Where should I plant a hydrangea?
Hydrangeas can very well be planted in the garden or even indoors. They look beautiful wherever they are planted.
Are you supposed to cut back hydrangea?
Yes, you can very well cut back or prune Hydrangea to maintain the desired size of the plant. Pruning can also help to get rid of unhealthy growth.
When should hydrangeas be pruned?
Different Hydrangea varieties have different pruning times. Some need pruning in the spring season while others must be pruned in the summer.
How close to one another can hydrangeas be planted?
Hydrangeas should be planted a few feet apart from each other. There should be enough space to allow the plants to grow.
What makes hydrangeas change colour?
Hydrangeas mostly change colour owing to the kind of soil that they are growing in. However, some varieties, like the Green Hydrangeas, change colour as per the lighting conditions.
When should I trim hydrangeas?
The best time to trim Hydrangeas differs from variety to variety. Certain varieties do best when trimmed in the spring season while others require trimming in the summer season.
How do you grow blue hydrangeas?
Blue Hydrangeas maintain the blue colour mostly owing to the kind of soil that they grow in. Blue Hydrangeas are often the result of slightly acidic soil.