Information About Hydrangeas
Hydrangeas are a genus of over 75 species and 600 named cultivars that are native to a wide range of regions and countries, including Japan, Asia, Indonesia, Himalayan mountains, and the Americas. Another common name for hydrangea is hortensia. Hydrangeas can grow as climbing vines and trees, but are most commonly grown as a shrub. The plants can grow from 1 foot tall, all the way to close to 100 feet tall as a climbing vine!
The beautiful flowers produced by this plant is what makes these so popular. Most put on a showy display from early spring all the way into fall. The large flowers come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. Hydrangea blooms can be pink, blue, red, white, purple and green! The flowering shrubs can grow in partial shade to full sun.
Many people remember hydrangea shrubs from their childhood. Today we are falling in love with them all over again. And the good news is that we can now grow many hydrangea varieties our grandmothers never even dreamed of. Some newer hydrangeas grow in colder climates, some are so small they will fit into the perennial border, and others have amazingly large blooms and deep colors.
Hydrangea Scientific Classification
Common Hydrangea Species
Hydrangea macrophylla normalis
Hydrangea macrophylla ssp. serrata
Hydrangea Meaning & Symbolism
The name hydrangea comes from the Greek words “hydor” meaning water and “angos” meaning vessel. Which together roughly translate to “water barrel”. This is because of the fact that hydrangeas are notorious for needing lots of water and the cup shaped flowers. The name, Hortensia, is a Latin version of the French word Hortense.
Hydrangeas can symbolize many different things, depending on where around the world and their culture. Many believe these flowers were first discovered in Japan, although the plants are native to several different locations around the globe.
Japan - According to a Japanese legend, the emperor gave hydrangeas to the family of a girl he loved to show how much he cared for her.
Victorians - In Victorian era, hydrangeas represent boastfulness, bragging and vanity. Especially white hydrangeas.
United States - Hydrangeas are used for 4th wedding anniversaries to symbolize appreciation and heartfelt emotion.
Common Hydrangea Questions
If you have a specific question or problem, you can email us directly and we will try and get back to you as soon as we can. We always love hearing from our fans and customers, whether you have questions about growing or just want to share pictures of your gardens and plants! We have tried to address the most common questions our readers have, but we plan on adding more articles to address other questions we hear.
- Hydrangeas are very hard to care for indoors. There are several reasons.
- Sunlight - you need to ensure the plant is getting the proper amount of sunlight. Without knowing the type of hydrangea your mom has, it is hard to give advice on this.
- Moisture and humidity - indoor plants tend to dry out faster, and there is not as much humidity indoors either. So be sure that the plant is getting enough moisture, but also not too wet where the roots rot.
- Overwintering - some plants require a cold period. Depending on the hydrangea, it may require a 2-3 month time frame of colder weather, so the plant can essentially hibernate.
- Breeding - lots of the "gift" hydrangeas you buy from the store are not bred to last long. Those plants are bred to have bigger/more attractive flowers. These types of hydrangeas are closer to an annual than a perennial blooming shrub like hydrangeas grown for outdoors.
Have more questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be in touch.
Our friend Judith King created the website hydrangeashydrangeas.com several years ago. She is a hydrangea enthusiast who worked in a retail and wholesale garden center for many years. The website was created to help others successfully grow hydrangeas and as a way for Judith to collect hydrangea images and information from traveling. Over the years, Judith has answered hundreds of questions about hydrangeas.
Judith took the picture below in Atlanta, GA about 1998 when Penny McHenry was still living. Penny was the beloved founder and long-time president of the American Hydrangea Society. This was her home and some of the hydrangeas which later became known as Hydrangea macrophylla 'Penny Mac'.
We've partnered with Judith King and hydrangeashydrangeas.com to create the #1 place online for hydrangea information and purchasing hydrangeas! We hope our easy to understand articles & tips help you learn about growing hydrangea bushes each and every year!