Hydrangeas are without a doubt one of the most popular flowers at Amanda Austin. We often use them in floral arrangements for weddings, at parties and events and in our fresh bouquets, so this month we thought we would take a closer look and share some of our Hydrangea wisdom with you!
First discovered in Japan, Hydrangeas now grow all over the world and can usually be sourced throughout the year. They start to flower in Britain in July and usually remain in season until November. We source ours from England, Holland and Columbia.
The most popular form of Hydrangea (and the one we usually work with) is the mophead variety of Hydrangea macrophylla with its pom-pom shaped clusters of individual flower heads. Other varieties include the Lacecap Hydrangea macrophylla which features crown-like rings of flower heads, and the more conical shaped Hydrangea paniculata. Personal favourites for this time of year include the Classic Hydrangea in Pimpernel Blue and the Verena Classic Hydrangea, both of which show beautiful Autumnal colour without being too obvious.
Hydrangeas are beautiful when displayed on their own, particularly when they are at the height of their season and have particularly large flower heads. If you’d like to feature Hydrangeas in a classic floral arrangement then we recommend using other traditional English flowers such as Peonies, Roses and Lilies. Freesia, Stock and Delphinium are all beautiful options too, alongside greenery such as Eucalyptus, Birch and Beech. The green and white colourway always looks refined, it is ideal for traditional English wedding flowers and will simply never go out of style!
If you would like a floral arrangement with an artisan look then consider light, textured flowers such as Astilbe and Veronica. Sweet Peas, Clematis, Aquilegia and some of the wilder looking David Austin Roses are perfect, and don’t be afraid to experiment with flowering herbs such as mint. Any colourway will work, but often this style of floral arrangement will feature hotter hues such as pink with hints of peach and coral.
Caring for Hydrangeas
As you may have guessed from the name Hydrangeas need a lot of water! Here are some of our top tips for keeping your Hydrangeas hydrated, as featured on our Instagram:
1. The best way to water your Hydrangeas is to spritz them or simply dip them straight into the water. They drink more through their heads than their roots.
2. The stems of any flowers should be cut at a 45 degree angle both when you arrive home and every few days, but if your Hydrangeas have a woody stem then be sure to cut up the stem too. This will maximise the water they are able to drink.
3. To revive planted Hydrangeas fill your sink with enough water to cover the pot and wait until the air bubbles stop, then stand your Hydrangeas to drain. In 20 minutes they should look fresh again.
For anyone who is looking to grow their own Hydrangeas, here are some words of floral advice:
1. The colour of your Hydrangeas will be determined by the pH level of your soil; alkaline soil produces pink flower heads and acidic soil produces blue. It is possible to alter the pH levels, but due to the limescale in London this is tricky, and most Hydrangeas will revert to a pink colour.
2. Cut your Hydrangeas back each year to keep them bushy rather than leggy, by this we mean preventing them from having too much stem and not enough foliage. Mid September is the time of year to cut them, be sure to place them into a vase with space around their heads and plenty of water until they stop drinking.
3. And, of course, keep your Hydrangeas well-watered both whilst they’re growing and afterwards.