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Blooming Plant
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hydrangea

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BOTANICAL NAME
Hydrangea macrophylla
(hy-DRAN-jee-a mac-ro-FY-la)

DESCRIPTION
Hydrangeas are popular blooming plants grown for their small, star-shaped flowers, which are packed closely together to form rounded or pyramidal heads that are often up to 6 inches across. The showy parts of the flowers are sepals, not petals. “Hortensias,” the major group of Hydrangea macrophyllas, have “mophead” flowerheads, with densely massed sterile florets. A smaller group, the “lacecaps,” have a ring of sterile florets surrounding tiny fertile flowers.

COLORS
Hydrangeas are available in white, pink, blue, lilac, green and red/brown as well as bicolor varieties.

DECORATIVE LIFE
Hydrangea plants will remain in bloom for several weeks, with each flower head lasting from 15 to 20 days, depending on location and care.

AVAILABILITY
These plants can be purchased year-round in many areas. They are readily available from February through May.

IN-STORE AND CONSUMER CARE
LIGHT Hydrangeas require high light levels to do well indoors. A sunny window is the best location, but avoid direct sun, which will fade or burn the flowers.
WATER Do not allow Hydrangea plants to dry out because wilting will reduce longevity. Submerge the pots in room-temperature water until completely saturated, and then allow them to stand until all dripping has stopped. Do not allow the plants to remain in standing water, or root rot may result.
REFRIGERATION Hydrangeas can be stored in floral refrigerators at 35 F for up to four days. Storage for longer periods may affect shelf life.
TEMPERATURE Hydrangeas like cool temperatures. Move the plants to a cool area at night (50 F to 60 F) to increase their decorative life.
HUMIDITY Mist the leaves occasionally.
REBLOOMING—OUTDOORS After the plants have finished flowering, move the pots outside and plant them, pots and all, into the ground where they will get full morning sun and light shade during the afternoon. Water the plants regularly, and fertilize them with a liquid fertilizer about every two weeks. For extra-large flower heads, allow only about three stems to develop. Remove extra shoots from the centers of the plants, and lift the pots occasionally to keep roots in the pots.
REBLOOMING—INDOORS Cut back the shoots after the plants have finished flowering so that two nodes, or pairs, of leaves are left on each shoot. Repot plants in a mixture of equal parts of soil and peat moss. Grow plants in south-facing windows.

CHALLENGES
ETHYLENE SENSITIVITY Hydrangeas may exhibit flower-shattering when exposed to ethylene gas. Check with your supplier to make sure your plants are treated with an anti-ethylene agent at the grower or transportation level.
PESTS Snails, slugs and aphids are the most common pests on Hydrangeas. Remove any snails and slugs, and control aphids by washing the plants with an insecticidal soap.
CAUTION If large amounts of Hydrangea bark, leaves or flower buds are ingested, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting and sweating can occur. Advise customers to keep the plants out of reach of small children and pets.

QUALITY CHECKLIST
BLOOMS Hydrangea plants are ready for shipping or sales when at least 75 percent of the flowers are open and showing color.
STEMS & FOLIAGE When plants arrive in your store, check them for signs of wilt, rot or mold.

FUN FACTS
WHAT’S IN A NAME “Hydrangea” comes from the Greek words “hydro” (water) and “aggos” (jar). The names refer to the plant’s requirement for lots of water and to its fruits, which are cup-shaped. The name “macrophylla” means “large-leafed.”
FAMILY Formerly included in the Saxifragaceae (saxifrage) family, Hydrangeas have been reclassified into the Hydrangeaceae family. There are 17 genera, 170 species and more than 400 cultivars of Hydrangeas.
HOME SWEET HOME Hydrangeas are native to Japan and Korea as well as to the eastern United States as far south as Florida. They thrive in woodlands and on riverbanks.
DESIGN NOTE Hydrangea heads and florets are great for pressing, freeze-drying or air-drying.


Some information provided by:
Chain of Life Network®, www.chainoflifenetwork.org
The New House Plant Expert, by Dr. D.G. Hessayon
The Society of American Florists’ (SAF) Flower & Plant Care manual
 

 

Super Floral Retailing • Copyright 2009
Florists' Review Enterprises, Inc.