Hydrangeas: The Colorful, Bloom-filled, and Shade-loving Shrub
Many flowering plants are given as gifts on Mother’s Day and I’d say Hydrangeas top the list in popularity. With so many colors and bloom types to choose from it is easy to choose a different variety each year.
Japanese legend associates heartfelt emotion, gratitude for understanding and apology with the hydrangea after a Japanese emperor neglected the girl he loved in favor of business and gave hydrangeas to her family to show how much he cared for her.
In addition, hydrangeas are beautiful plants that have evolved from the big ball-shaped flowers to lacecap flowers consisting of clusters of tiny blooms accented by larger blooms and large cone-shaped panicle flowers. The colors range from white, pink, blue, purple and multicolor and even blooms that change colors as the flower matures.
These beauties require shade and can handle some morning sun. They like a well-draining soil that is kept moist but not soggy. Mulching will help moisture retention and cool the soil in the summer heat. They will bloom throughout the season giving you a lot of showy blooms. An added bonus is that they easily make great dried flowers.
IMPORTANT: Hydrangeas are deciduous and lose their leaves during winter. Do no prune them at this time or you will cut off buds and will have no flowers. Prune right after they are through blooming. They develop blooms on previous year’s growth, so cut only stems that produced flowers this year or do not prune at all.
If you have a shady spot in your landscape add a hydrangea and enjoy their many blooms. No shade in the yard – then plant in a container and place it on a shaded patio or porch. These lovely ladies are wonderful additions and it is easy to see why they are such a popular gift.