Flower Care

Flower Care Guide: Hydrangea

June 12, 2018
Hydrangea Care

Hydrangeas have their fair share of haters—even A-list celebrities. In fact, a few years back, Madonna was overheard saying, “I absolutely loathe hydrangeas” when she was gifted a bouquet of them by a fan at the Venice Film Festival.

But don’t let Madonna’s hot take give you a false impression. First off, there are die-hard hydrangea fans everywhere you look: Blake Lively made them the centerpiece of her wedding, Lana Del Rey gave them a shout-out in her song “Old Money,” and Khloe Kardashian regularly turns to fresh Bouqs of hydrangeas to beautify her home. Harry Potter even found peace from the Dursley’s tyrannical wrath by regularly hiding in a hydrangea bush.

But what’s more important to their widespread and long-term popularity is that they’re extremely dependable, durable, easy to care for, and, most importantly, floriferous (that’s just a fancy way of saying they produce full and luscious blooms). They even look great dried out!

So if you happened to receive a fresh-cut Bouq of hydrangeas, forget all the noise and just be appreciative. Because what you have is a flower with a gorgeous and unique appearance, characterized by large, pom-pom shaped, pink, white, and blue blooms. You can even change their color by altering the soil’s pH level. How cool is that?

Before we jump into cut hydrangea care, though, let’s first cover a little bit of their background and symbolism. After all, knowing the meanings of the hydrangeas you were gifted will make them all the more worthwhile and special.

 

Hydrangea Symbolism

The name “hydrangea” comes from the Greek words “hydro” and “angos,” which roughly translates to water barrel, due to the flower’s need for lots and lots of water.

In Japan, where hydrangeas are said to originate, the flowers are symbolically tied to heartfelt emotion, gratitude, understanding, and apology—thanks to Japanese folklore. One Japanese legend spoke of an emperor who neglected the girl he loved in pursuit of power and wealth. To make amends to his spurned lover and to win back her affection, he gifted her a pink hydrangea resembling a heart. (Awww!)

During Victorian times, though, hydrangeas carried more negative connotations like boastfulness, arrogance, and vanity. Most likely this was because hydrangeas are showy in nature. They produce majestic and voluminous blooms but very few seeds. Luckily, these days hydrangeas have shed most of the negative symbolism.

Hydrangeas also have specific meanings based on their color:

  • Pink hydrangeas signify romance, heartfelt emotion, care, appreciation, love, weddings, and marriage.
  • White hydrangeas represent purity, innocence, grace, and abundance.
  • Blue hydrangeas symbolize romantic proposal, apology, forgiveness, and regret.
  • Purple hydrangeas are a sign of understanding and wealth.

 

How to Care for Hydrangeas

Here’s the good news when it comes to cut hydrangea care: hydrangeas are notoriously tough and resistant to external damage. The bad: as their name implies, they need a whole heck of a lot of hydration to live a long and full life. Don’t worry; there’s an easy way to keep them fully satiated.

 

Refresh that Freshly Arrived Hydrangea Bouq

As you could have probably guessed, when your Bouq of cut hydrangeas arrives they’ll be thirsty as ever. With other flowers, you’d just submerge them in water for a bit, and they’d be ready to go, but not hydrangeas. You’ll need to call on a more drastic course of action.

According to the Queen Homemaker herself, upon arrival, you should rehydrate the flowers by floating them in a sink or tub filled with cold water for three to four hours. If you repeat this step every few days, there’s no reason your hydrangeas can’t live happily for up to two weeks.

 

Cut the Stems and Remove Excess Leaves

You’ve given your hydrangeas a refreshing bath; now it’s time to get them ready for the rest of their life in their brand new home. So grab a clean vase and follow the steps below!

  • Hold the stems of your Bouq next to the vase to determine how much needs trimmed.
  • Remove any foliage that would rest below your vase’s waterline to prevent introducing harmful bacteria to your hydrangeas’ drinking water.
  • Cut 1-2 inches off the stems at a 45-degree angle with a sharp knife or shears while holding underwater. This will drastically boost water absorption and prevent air bubbles from clogging the stems.
  • Fill your vase with cool water and the flower food that came with the Bouq.
  • Drop those bad boys in the vase and arrange them however you see fit.

 

Find Them the Perfect Place to Flaunt their BeautyHydrangeas

Cut hydrangeas love, love, love H2O, but the same definitely can’t be said of direct sunlight, heat, or cool drafts. In fact, they hate them. So make sure to put them in a cool room, away from direct sunlight where they can thrive and live a long and fulfilled life.

 

Recondition Every 1-2 Days

As with any other flower, cut hydrangea care shouldn’t end immediately after vase-ing and placing. There’s still a tad bit of work to do. But don’t worry, it’s not much.

Put simply, all you need to do to keep those charming hydrangeas looking fresh is to re-cut their stems, change their water, give them some much-needed flower nutrients—one tablespoon of sugar and 1/4 tablespoon of household bleach should do the trick.

 

Pro Tip: Poke Holes in the Stems

Hydrangea stems produce a sticky sap that can make absorbing water effectively a constant challenge. For this reason, it’s advisable to poke holes down the stem with a needle or some other tiny sharp object. Like we said earlier, they crave water, so don’t let them ever go without it!

Hydrangeas were once seen as a flower relegated to the garden. But times change, and superstar fans have elevated hydrangeas by making them the feature act of kitchens, living rooms, weddings, and more. In our humble opinion, this is because hydrangeas are an incredible base flower when combined in a bouquet with a much more flashy flower. They’re the perfect supporting act if you will.

If you’re looking to get your hands on some, why not head over to The Bouqs Co. and grab a show-stopping hydrangea Bouq handcrafted by one of our artisan florists? You’ll be glad you did, we guarantee it!

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