What Is A Hydrangea?
A hydrangea is a plant with leaves and flowers that grows from stems up to six feet tall. They have white or pink petals, which are followed by long stamens (stalk) and pistils (blossom). Flowers bloom only once every two years.
The name “hydrangea” comes from the Greek word “hiero,” meaning water; and “terra,” meaning earth.
Hydrangea species include:
Evergreen Hydrangeas: These plants grow in tropical regions such as Florida, Hawaii, Mexico, Central America and South America. They are native to these areas.
Most of them are evergreen shrubs and trees. Some of them are known as sea-hybrids because they form large colonies when grown in saltwater environments.
Hybrid Hydrangeas: These plants grow between evergreens and deciduous trees. They are native to Europe, Asia and Africa.
Hybrid hydrangeas are not true hybrids since they do not produce seeds.
Blue Hydrangeas: These plants grow in temperate climates such as Canada, North America and Australia. Blue hydrangeas are natives to these areas.
They are sometimes called sea-blue hydrangeas because their flowers resemble seashells.
Why Are Hydranges Evergreen?
Evergreen hydrangeas are known for native to tropical climate. The ones that grow in warmer areas can survive cold weather. Deciduous trees lose their leaves in winter and go dormant. Evergreens don’t lose their leaves at all. They retain their leaves all year long. Some evergreens have different colored leaves than others. These colors may range from purple, orange, yellow, red and green. Evergreens shed their leaves when they’re dead or diseased. They also shed their leaves to conserve water during droughts.
How Long Do Hydrangeas Last?
Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall and re-grow new ones in the springtime. Evergreen trees keep their leaves all year round. Unlike deciduous trees, evergreens do not rely on photosynthesis to grow. Deciduous trees rely on the sun for energy. Evergreens use a process called “fixed carbon” to grow. The leaves of an evergreen stay green all year round. The needles of an evergreen are shed individually instead of all at once like deciduous trees.
Evergreen branches often have scale-like leaves that overlap each other. They are thicker to conserve water and protect the plant from cold weather.
Evergreens have a thick trunk that acts as a storage tank for water and nutrients. Instead of shedding their leaves, evergreens conserve water to survive long, harsh winters. Evergreen trees are often over 100 feet tall. They are very long-lived and can survive for hundreds of years.
How To Care For An Evergreen?
Evergreens should be planted in soil that drains well to prevent them from getting waterlogged. The soil should be loose, rich in nutrients and well-draining. Large plants need lots of water, so the soil around the roots should be kept constantly moist. Smaller evergreen plants can be placed in a glass of water to ensure they don’t dry out.
Evergreens in containers should be transplanted every couple years. If they are growing in the ground, replace 25 percent of the evergreen’s soil every few years.
Why Is It Called A Blue Hydrangea?
Blue hydrangeas are shrubs that grow in swampy or marshy areas. They have small, rounded leaves and flower in clusters. Native to United States, they bloom from late spring until fall. They are sometimes called “Moss Roses.” Blue hydrangeas are hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 4-9.
How Do You Care For A Blue Hydrangea?
Blue hydrangeas prefer rich, well-draining soil. They like full sun, but can also tolerate partial shade. Blue hydrangeas should be pruned immediately after they are done blooming. They should be watered until water runs through the drainage holes in their pots. They like temperatures between 50 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
What Do Blue Hydrangeas Look Like?
Blue hydrangeas have clusters of small flowers that bloom along their stems. They range from light blue to dark blue. Each stem will grow between one and eight flowers. The flowers are often less than 1.5 inches wide. The leaves are rounded and not more than three inches across.
Blue hydrangeas can grow up to five feet tall, but are usually smaller. They grow best in USDA zones 6 through 9.
They grow best in sandy, loamy soil where they will get at least six hours of sun a day.
Blue hydrangeas are often confused with “Parsley flowers.” They are also called blue-violet hydrangeas.
Blue-violet hydrangeas are short, shrubby plants with leaves that look like large, woolly leaves of parsley. The flowers are blue or violet in color. They bloom in clusters and look like smaller versions of hydrangea flowers.
Blue-violet hydrangeas are hardy in USDA zones 4 through 9. They should be planted in well-draining soil.
They like at least six hours of sun a day. Blue-violet hydrangeas can grow up to four feet tall.
What Is The Scientific Name For A Blue Hydrangea?
Sources & references used in this article:
A novel interspecific hybrid plant between Hydrangea scandens ssp. chinensis and H. macrophylla via ovule culture by N Kudo, T Matsui, T Okada – Plant biotechnology, 2008 – jstage.jst.go.jp
Comparative anatomy and systematics of woody Saxifragaceae. Hydrangea by WL Stern – Botanical Journal of the linnean Society, 1978 – academic.oup.com
Production and characterization of intergeneric hybrids between Dichroa febrifuga and Hydrangea macrophylla by M Haworth-Booth – 1975 – Constable
Genetic diversity estimates for the genus Hydrangea and development of a molecular key based on SSR by SM Reed, KD Jones, TA Rinehart – Journal of the American …, 2008 – journals.ashs.org
Unraveling extensive paraphyly in the genus Hydrangea sl with implications for the systematics of tribe Hydrangeeae by TA Rinehart, BE Scheffler, SM Reed – Journal of the American …, 2006 – journals.ashs.org
Occupational contact dermatitis to hydrangea by MS Samain, S Wanke, P Goetghebeur – Systematic Botany, 2010 – ingentaconnect.com
Production and verification of Hydrangea macrophylla× H. angustipetala hybrids by M Rademaker – Australasian journal of dermatology, 2003 – Wiley Online Library
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Optimizing pollen germination and pollen viability estimates for Hydrangea macrophylla, Dichroa febrifuga, and their hybrids by RE Pilatowski – Castanea, 1982 – JSTOR