Hydrangea Plant Care – All You Need to Know
Hurray, it’s March, so we can officially wave goodbye to winter and welcome spring, right? Here at TLB we’re expecting warmer, sunnier days any time now… With these uplifting thoughts filling our heads, we’re turning our attention to indoor potted plants that are happy outdoors in warmer weather. So, this week we’re here to tell you all about the beautiful hydrangeas that will very soon be landing in our collection. Hydrangeas are a stunning flowering plant that will add a blooming lovely burst of colour to your outside space, perfect to admire while you’re doing some outdoor entertaining through the spring and summer.
With the right care, these floral beauties will produce large, colourful clusters of blooms that are perfect for adding a pop of colour to your garden. We’ve pulled together this guide to make sure you’ll know exactly how to care for your hydrangeas and keep them coming back year after year.
A complete guide to caring for hydrangeas
You might be pleased to hear that hydrangea plant care isn’t too taxing, your flowering beauty doesn’t need too much attention to keep him happy; just a little love and care (and water!) will be enough to see him thrive. Read on for the specifics and you’ll have yourself a fabulous, flourishing plant in no time.
Hydrangeas are fairly thirsty plants and like to be kept moist so try to avoid letting the soil completely dry out. They will begin to wilt if they are too thirsty but they should perk back up again after a good drink. During the summer your hydrangea will need water up to 4 times a week depending on the variety and we advise doing this in the morning before it gets too hot. This allows the moisture on the leaves to evaporate, preventing fungus issues. And water your hydrangea from the base to give it a deep drink rather than a light sprinkling.
Hydrangeas perform best in partial light, they’re not fans of hot, arid conditions and can scorch in the full sun, so it’s important to choose a spot in your garden carefully. They will thrive in a spot that’s not too sunny or too shaded; somewhere that gets the morning sun and is in shade the rest of the day would be just perfect. Definitely avoid a south facing position as this will give your hydrangea too much sun.
If you’re planning to plant your hydrangea into the ground, he’s pretty laidback, as long as his soil is rich, moist and free-draining, he should thrive.
As the summer progresses, it will be completely normal for the blooms on your hydrangea to fade and turn brown, when this happens you should trim them off. This process is called deadheading and does not harm the plant in any way; you’re simply encouraging him to put his energies into root and foliage development instead of producing seeds. This will ensure that your plant stays healthy and strong.
Winter Care (for later in the year, of course!)
To ensure your hydrangea sees the winter through and comes back blooming for the following summer, you should firstly give your plant a good cut back, focussing on the deadwood that the plant has produced. Also cut away weak and dead branches. This will make room for new buds to come through. If your hydrangea is potted, bring him indoors for the winter to protect him from the elements. For hydrangeas planted outdoors, the aim for winter care is to protect the plant as much as possible. Firstly, give them a good cut back as you would if they were in a pot. During the Autumn add around 2-3cm of compost to the soil to give your plant enough nutrients to survive until spring. It’s also a great idea to insulate your plant by creating a cage around him. Place wooden stakes around your plant and then wrap chicken wire around them. Then fill this up with leaves to keep your hydrangea warm and protected through the colder months.
Shop Hydrangeas at The Little Botanical
We will soon be adding some fabulous, British-grown hydrangeas to our TLB collection and we wanted to give you a sneak preview of the range so you can plan a floral refresh in your home and garden. These beautiful blooms are super long lasting and styled in our concrete ceramic, are perfect for adding style and colour to your indoor living space.
The Hydrangea Garden Bundle
Our Hydrangea Garden Bundle is a duo of oh so fabulous mophead hydrangeas in either pink or blue. This gorgeous pair will produce beautiful, soft blooms to bring some blooming lovely colour and texture to your garden.
Keep these beauties moist as they can be sensitive to wilting and out of direct sunlight to avoid scorching those colourful petals. They will thrive outdoors in the summer months in temperatures of 16-24 ˚C.
The Magical Hydrangea is the perfect plant to bring the outdoors in, providing a mass of softly coloured blooms that change shade as the plant matures – magical! And they look just gorgeous in our classic TLB concrete grey varnished based ceramic. This floral beauty is known for being robust and long-lasting, so will bring some colour into your home and an extra bonus, they’ll last far longer than a bunch of flowers! We think they make a wonderful centre piece for Spring and Summer.
Our tips to keep him looking fresh indoors is to pop him in a spot that gets plenty of light and give him some plant food every month through the warmer months of the spring and summer when he’s in his growing period. Avoid placing him in full direct sunlight in the heart of Summer, as this will scorch his gorgeous flowers and foliage. Oh and don’t forget he’s a thirsty little guy, so make sure his soil doesn’t dry out too much he certainly likes to be well hydrated.
It’s still possible to get more from your plant even once the floral heads die back and we’d suggest planting your magical hydrangea in the garden. Do this towards the end of Summer, just choose a warm, slightly shady spot in your balcony or garden. Keep his soil moist, deadhead any faded or browning flowers and you’ll have a happy little hydrangea to enjoy again next year.
Did you know…?
Hydrangeas are a gorgeous plant species with a rich and oh so interesting history. Have a read of these fun facts and you’ll be able to wow your garden guests with your knowledge whilst they admire the gorgeous blooms styling up your patio.
There are more than 70 different species of hydrangea in the world. Most come from the Americas, but the most popular hydrangeas in the US and Canada actually hail from Asia.
Hydrangeas are less commonly known as the hortensia.
The name hydrangea comes from the Greek words ‘hydro’ meaning water and ‘angeion’, meaning pitcher. This is because the blooms look like water pitchers.
In Japan, hydrangeas are commonly given as gifts. According to a Japanese legend, an emperor gifted hydrangeas to the family of his love to apologise for neglecting her. As a result, these plants are now associated with heartfelt emotion, apology and gratitude for understanding.
Interestingly, Victorians didn’t see hydrangeas as favourably as the Japanese. That’s because they produce beautiful flowers but very few seeds and so the Victorians saw them as symbols of boastfulness, vanity and bragging.
Pink hydrangeas are most frequently associated with genuine emotion because they look like the shape of a beating heart.
A little bit of history…
Hydrangeas are super old – they go back around 40-65 million years! Researchers discovered a fossil species called the Hydrangea Alaskana from a rock section at Jaw Mountain in Alaska, USA which dates back to around the time dinosaurs died out.
Slightly younger hydrangea fossils have been found in Asia, which is where their cultivation began thousands of years ago. Asian hydrangeas first reached Europe in 1736 when Peter Collison brought them from the Pennsylvania Colony. And in 1775, Swedish naturist Carl Peter Thornberg brought five different hydrangea plants back to Europe from Japan, where they’ve been much-loved ever since.
In recent years, the popularity of hydrangeas has increased even further thanks to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). They crowned two of these floral beauties as winners of the Plant of the Year Award in 2014 and 2018. Just think, with a little TLC your hydrangea plants could match the award-winning beauty of these stunners!
What is the meaning of Hydrangeas…?
Hydrangeas are a colourful bunch, coming in beautiful shades of blue, purple, green and pink. And each colour is thought to have a different meaning…
Blue hydrangeas represent an apology or feelings of regret.
Pink hydrangeas represent heartfelt emotion and romance.
Purple hydrangeas represent the desire to deeply understand someone.
Green hydrangeas represent renewable and rebirth.
White hydrangeas represent a testimony of first love or grace and purity.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the best way to care for hydrangeas and learnt a few fun facts about these stunning plants along the way too. If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at [email protected], we’d love to help. And, even though our hydrangeas aren’t quite ready yet, don’t panic, this year’s crop are so very close! They’ll be available very soon so keep your eyes peeled and once they’re in situ, brightening up your garden we’d love to see some snaps, don’t forget to tag us on insta; @thelittlebotanical. Until next time plant people.
Lots of love
Team TLB xx