If you can’t help but feel happy in front of a bush filled with these unmistakable vibrant pom poms in purple, pink and blue, we’ve got you covered. Hydrangeas are some of the most beautiful flowers in the world and with over 75 species there is a variety to suit every gardener’s taste. Whether you’re interested in secret tricks to help keep your buds alive all year round or curious about when and where they were first grown, check out this list of fun hydrangea facts.
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Hydrangeas were first grown in Japan.
They date back millions of years, and fossils found in North America show they arrived here 40 to 65 million years ago. They landed in Europe much later in 1736.
Their name has a Greek origin.
“Hydor” means water and “angos” means pot or container, emphasizing the need to water this particular flower often.
Each color has a different meaning.
Blue = apology, gratitude, understanding
Purple = pride, royalty, understanding
White = vanity, purity, grace
Pink = romance, true feelings, sincere emotions
The colors are determined by the ground.
The ideal pH levels for each shade are as follows:
Blue = less than 5.5
Purple = between 5.5 and 6.5
White = between 6 and 6.2
Pink = more than 7
If your soil has varying pH levels, you could end up with a mixture of colors!
They were in Blake Lively’s wedding bouquet.
The actress had to learn about her hydrangeas, as she opted for romantic roses for her 2012 wedding to Ryan Reynolds.
Hydrangeas do not have petals.
These beautiful petals are not petals at all. These are sepals, which are leaves that protect the flower bud. It’s only after they age that they change from the green to the pigmented colors you see.
The flowers can drink through their sepals.
There are over 75 species of hydrangeas.
That being said, there are only six majors that are grown in American gardens: Bigleaf, Smooth, Panicle, Oakleaf, Climbing, and Mountain. Each requires a different type of soil, sunlight, and flowering time.
They contain low levels of cyanide.
It is the official wildflower of Alabama.
Specifically, the oak-leaved species is – which usually involves large clusters of white or pink flowers.
They usually bloom from May to July.
However, some species thrive better in cooler temperatures, so you may see them appear well into August or even September.
Hydrangea Day is January 5.
Sure, that’s when hydrangeas are out of season, but it’s always a great time to celebrate them!
It’s pronounced “hai-dran-juh”.
Madonna is not a fan.
While it’s hard to imagine anyone not loving this cheerful flower, the Queen of Pop actually hates them. In 2011, she was filmed saying she “absolutely hates hydrangeas” when a fan gave her some.
Hydrangeas have been used for healing purposes.
Buddhists are said to have used the leaves to brew a sweet tea for “cleansing rituals”, as well as to treat autoimmune diseases, malaria, kidney stones, etc. Native Americans used the root as a diuretic and the bark as an analgesic for muscle aches and burns. Remember: we don’t recommend trying this at home!
New England is known for its hydrangeas.
Every summer, flower lovers travel to see Nantucket Blue, a special hue named after the famous island in Massachusetts. Also nearby is the Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival, an event filled with garden tours, classes and more.
They need just the right amount of sun.
These gorgeous flowers love early morning sun, but don’t do so well in the hot afternoon heat. That’s why the best place to plant them is in a sheltered spot, usually on the north or south side of your house, where it’s lightest in the early hours of the day.
There’s an American hydrangea company.
Drying them can increase their indoor life.
After being picked from the ground, hydrangeas can last about 10 days. To extend this time, dry them by leaving them in a vase with only a few centimeters of water and letting them evaporate over time. The final result ? Flowers that will last a year or two.
You can protect them in winter.
Building an insulated enclosure around the plant with chicken wire and covering the branches can help keep it alive until the following summer, when it’s ready to bloom again.
Cutting off all those dead stems and overgrown branches is necessary to keep your hydrangeas thriving. If you don’t, they might not bloom the following year.
This is a common gift for the fourth wedding anniversary.
If you’re approaching four years with your spouse, consider gifting them hydrangeas. The flower is often used to celebrate the special anniversary and is meant to show appreciation.
Their shapes have names.
Pompom-shaped ones are called “mopheads”, while flat-headed ones are called “lacecaps”.
Hydrangeas are perfect for allergy sufferers.
Since the flower produces allergy-safe pollen, it remains a favorite plant among people with bad allergies.
They are also fragrance free.
Leaning over to smell a hydrangea certainly won’t give you the same experience as a rose. Most flower species have no scent.
Hydrangeas can get incredibly tall.
Overwatering is possible.
Just because hydrangeas like water doesn’t mean they should be drowned. In fact, soggy soil and poor drainage will cause the roots to rot.
Mulch can help improve soil texture.
They can turn green without enough natural light.
When there is less daylight, hydrangeas can turn green. This is especially common in late summer when the days get shorter.
They grow naturally in many places.
You’ll find wild hydrangeas in a variety of places with mesic forests (wet but not too wet land), usually along streams or rocky areas.
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