Producing huge globe-like blooms from spring onwards the Hydrangea is a flower that never fails to lift our spirits.
There are 75 different species of these popular backyard plants and can be found growing around the globe from Japan to the Himalayan mountains.
They can grow as a vine or a tree but most of us enjoy them as beautiful shrubs that add color to our yards from spring all the way through to fall.
First cultivated in North America in the 1700s, they are thought to date back to Japan in the 700s. Their long history means we may think we know a lot about these plants but here are 7 facts you may not know.
1. Originated in Japan
Hydrangeas are thought to have originated in Japan and they have embedded themselves in the Japanese culture where festivals are held to celebrate their blooms. They are also given to let a person know they are the beat to their heart in Asia. And in the U.S. pink hydrangeas are a traditional gift for a fourth wedding anniversary.
2. Highly toxic
The blooms are considered highly toxic but the leaves of the Hydrangea serrata are brewed to make amacha tea on Buddha’s birthday on April 8. Before they were cultivated Native Americans had long been using the roots of wild hydrangeas as painkillers, as well as for kidney, bladder and other ailments. This isn’t recommended and they are especially poisonous to animals.
3. Needs a lot of water
Hydrangeas are very thirsty plants, their name comes from the Greek words “hydor” meaning water and “angos” meaning vessel. It’s recommended they are watered 1 inch per week through the growing season and watered deeply three times a week to encourage root growth.
4. Best time to plant
The best time to plant a hydrangea is in the spring or fall. You can plant them in the summer but it can be stressful for the plant. They can grow in full sun to partial sun, depending on the variety.
5. Can change color
Did you know you can change the color of your hydrangea? It’s easier to change its color if you’re growing it in a pot as you can control the aluminum in the soil. Changing the color of your hydrangea from blue to pink means adding aluminum to the soil but changing the flower from blue to pink means taking that aluminum from the soil which is a more difficult process.
6. Three main shapes
These striking pom pom flowers come in three main shapes: the mop head, the lace cap, or panicle hydrangea. Mop head hydrangeas are the most popular shape that you’re more likely to see in yards. Lace cap hydrangeas will grow in clusters of little blooms panicle hydrangeas will grow in a cone shape.
7. Kate Perry’s favorite flower
In the celebrity world these gorgeous flowers were chosen by actress Blake Lively for her wedding bouquet, singer songwriter Lana Del Rey gives the flower a shout out in her song “Old Money” and they are singer Katy Perry’s favorite flower, in particular the white and purple variety which together symbolize purity, grace, and love.
I will always love these gorgeous plants and are so happy to have them blooming in my yard.
Please share with all the hydrangea fans you know today.