Hydrangea

With a flower that can reach 25 centimetres in diameter, the Hydrangea is a tremendous eye catcher! The changing colours of its flowers make the Hydrangea extra special. In the course of the season, the flowers acquire a green tint in combination with their original colour. Hydrangeas, which are cut during this period, have longer vase lives.

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The fascinating form of the Hydrangea is reminiscent of an ancient water jug – at least that is what the botanist Gronovius thought in 1739. He combined the words ‘hydro’ (=water) and ‘angeion’  to give Hydrangea its name. At the time Gronovius was thrilled by this ‘new’ plant; new to Europe in any case. It was 1735 when the first Hydrangeas appeared in these countries. This was actually pretty late as Hydrangeas had already been in use in Chinese and Japanese gardens for centuries. In fact Hydrangea is even older than that. Research into fossil residues has shown us that the Hydrangea existed as long as 140 million years ago!

Mistress Hortense

The name ‘hortensia’ (one of the common names of the Hydrangea) was first reported in 1771. It was thought up by the French botanist Philibert Commerson and there is a suspicion that it was named after a woman, either his mistress or one of his friends who was a well-known astronomer. Some high born ladies were also suggested as his source of inspiration. These included Queen Hortense, the daughter of Josephine de Beauharnais and Napoleon and Hortense de Nassau, the daughter of the Prince of Nassau. The truth about the inspiration for the name will always remain shrouded in mystery.

  •   Properties
    Scientific name
    Hydrangea
    Family
    Hydrangeaceae
    Synonyms
    Hydrangea
    Origin
    China and Japan
    Meaning
    Strength, Calm
    Shelf life
    If the flowers stop absorbing water and the leaves look limp, remove the leaves from the stem and empty the vase of water. Replace the flowers in the vase minus the leaves and water. Normally the flowers will then dry out completely and provide further mo
    Season
    Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
                           
  •   Care tips florists
    • Cut Hydrangeas will not do well in a metal vase or pail. Glass vases are ideal. They allow you to keep a check on the water level and water quality at all times.
    • Slant cut the stems to facilitate improved absorption of water.
    • Stand the flowers in sufficient fresh, cold water.
    • Always use cut flower food. This helps the flowers to open fully and keeps the leaves green and firm. In the case of fresh cut Hydrangeas, cut flower food can add more than a week to their vase life.
    • Always give your customers some cut flower food with their purchase of cut Hydrangeas.
    • Fresh cut Hydrangeas dislike drought. If you are using them in Oasis foam, ensure they have an adequate supply of water to keep them looking good longer.
    • The ideal storage temperature is 8°C.
    • If the flowers stop absorbing water and the leaves look limp, remove the leaves from the stem and empty the vase of water. Replace the flowers in the vase minus the leaves and water. Normally the flowers will then dry out completely and provide further months of enjoyment!
  •   Care tips consumers
    • Cut Hydrangeas will not do well in a metal vase or pail. Glass vases are ideal. They allow you to keep a check on the water level and water quality at all times.
    • Ensure the vase is clean.
    • Slant cut the stems to facilitate improved absorption of water and cut flower food.
    • Always remove any excess foliage and side shoots.
    • Always use cut flower food. This helps the flowers to open fully and keeps the leaves green and firm. It helps keep cut Hydrangeas looking good for much longer.
    • Fill the vase 2/3 with water and add cut flower food before arranging the cut Hydrangeas in it.
    • Allow no leaves to hang in the water as this causes contamination.
    • The flowers become sensitive as soon as they have been put in the vase. They dislike: ◦the vase being moved around; ◦the water in the vase being stirred; ◦water being added to the vase; ◦standing in a draught, in bright sunlight or near a radiator; fruit bowls!
    • Fruit produces gases that cause flowers to age quickly.
    • If the flowers are limp on arrival, cut 5cm off the stems and wrap them in paper (waterproof if possible). Leave the flowers for about three hours in a cool spot to absorb water and recover. Move them to a (glass) vase. If the flowers still look limp you can spray them with water from a plant mister.
    • If the flowers start to look limp after a few days in the vase, cut another piece off the stems and spray the flower heads gently with a flower mister.
    • As long as the flowers continue to absorb water the tips for care are the same as those for non-colour changing varieties. "