Hydrangeas: Your Ultimate Guide

The fluffy-headed hydrangea is a firm favourite of ours. Coming in all sorts of colours, these beauties add impact and texture to any bouquet, or even make a great statement arrangement all by themselves.

Not too hot on hydrangeas? That’s where we come in. In this all-you-need-to-know guide to hydrangeas, we’ll get up close and personal with these popular flowers, taking a look at hydrangea history, when they’re in season, what they symbolise and more.

Purple hyndrageas

A quick hydrangea history lesson

Hydrangeas have been around a LONG time. In the USA they’ve found hydrangea fossils dating back millions of years! While hydrangeas have long been grown and used in Japan, they only made it to the West in the 1700s when plant hunters and physicians looking for medicine brought them over. And even then it took a little while for hydrangeas to be appreciated in Europe – it wasn’t until the 1900s (thanks largely to French horticulturalists) love for these glorious blooms began to spread.

When are hydrangeas in season?

Hydrangeas are a summer flower, usually available in the UK from May to November. Being widely available in summer makes them a popular choice for weddings, both in bouquets and as table arrangements.

What colours do hydrangeas come in?

The colour of hydrangeas actually comes down to the acidity of the soil they’re grown in (nature is amazing!) Deep blue flowers come from acidic soil, alkaline soil creates pink or purple petals and white or cream blooms come from soil with a neutral pH. Usually florists will have a selection of gorgeous colours, from delicate soft pink, to rich blue.

What do hydrangeas symbolise?

According to floriography - aka the language of flowers - hydrangeas signify heartfelt feelings but also appreciation and gratitude. This makes them perfect for almost any occasion (good thing too, because they really are lovely!)

Pink hydrangea & summer flower bouquet

What else is included in bouquets with hydrangeas?

Hydrangeas are often paired with other seasonal summer beauties like delicate peonies, roses and delphiniums. The large fluffy head of the hydrangea is perfect for adding volume and texture, as well as colour – it’s also why hydrangeas look good all by themselves in a statement display.

What do our florists make of hydrangeas?

We asked Steve Betts, an expert in wedding flowers, and he told us "thanks to the profusion of flowers and the generous round shape of the hydrangea they’re a great flower for dressing venues as they can cover large area – perfect for church archways and venue arrangements."

How do I care for hydrangeas?

Enjoying some lovely cut hydrangeas? Lucky you! Make sure they last by caring for them the same way you would all our bouquets: trim 2cm off their stems and pop them in fresh water with flower food. Change their water every few days and if they look like their wilting, take action! Remove them from the bouquet, recut the stems and submerge them in tepid water for about 45 minutes. That should revive them nicely before you put them back in the vase.

Anything else I need to know about hydrangeas?

Hydrangeas look incredibly striking when they’re dried, making them a great option if you’re after a truly long-lasting bouquet. Here's our handy guide on how to dry flowers.

Hydrangeas are great for hay-fever sufferers (this bloom can do no wrong!) making them a perfect pick if your special someone is a bit sneezy (find out more about other hey-fever friendly flowers).

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