People are obsessed with Hydrangeas. They’re crazy about them today…and probably will be for years to come.
You can find a multitude of articles at Better Homes and Gardens or Google within seconds of searching, and big name personalities like Martha Stewart write about them. But, Why?
Here are just a few likely reasons for the wild obsession with Hydrangeas:
#1 – All about that bloom
It’s hard to find another plant, let alone another shrub, that gives homeowners a more beautiful flower. They’re substantial, durable, colorful, diverse, long-lasting and elegant. They transport the viewer to a magical place. Many Hydrangeas offer diverse colors and shades, including white, cream, green, pink, red, purple and blue.
Some Hydrangeas can be intentionally altered with soil additives that change the pH. For example, add aluminum sulfate to make soil more acidic and many varieties of Hydrangea macrophylla will change from pink or red to blue or purple (speaking of obsessions, blue Hydrangeas are all the rage right now!).
#2 – A Hydrangea for everyone
With so many species and varieties of Hydrangeas to choose from, there’s a great choice for any outdoor space. There are many great articles out there that explain Hydrangeas better than I can.
#3 – Easy peasy
Most newly introduced Hydrangeas are quite easy to grow, with just a bit of care involved to keep them beautiful and performing well. Watering and pruning are probably the most common issues because Hydrangeas do have medium to high water requirements. The name even comes from Hydra, meaning water. If you plant Hydrangeas, know that you’ll need to provide regular, consistent water, especially for the first couple of years while they establish a good root system.
As far as pruning is concerned, recommendations will depend on things like species and variety. For example, Panicle Hydrangeas like our Candelabra®, Flare™ and Moonrock™ can be pruned in spring after frosts are over, resulting in fresh, healthy growth that produces flowers that bloom in July and last through fall. Some species, like Bigleaf Hydrangeas (Hyd. macrophylla) often bloom on old wood, so pruning must be done in late summer so that new flower buds can establish for blooming the next season. If you prune these in spring, you won’t get flowers that season. However, recent breeding has developed some amazing new Bigleaf Hydrangeas that bloom on new wood so you’ll always see flowers, even if you prune in spring.
#4 – Breeder breakthroughs
Plant breeders are hard at work developing and selecting truly outstanding new Hydrangeas.
Reblooming qualities (blooming on new wood, described above) are only one of the attributes professionals are selecting for when cultivating new varieties. Breakthroughs in color and stature are also starting to make their way into the market.
Stay tuned for some rockstar Hydrangeas to release in Bloomin’ Easy and other branded programs over the next few years.
#5 – Lasting appeal and function
From spring through fall, Hydrangeas strut their stuff. By planting only a few in your garden beds or patio containers, you could have blooms all season long, changing colors and offering fresh blooms mixed with older flowers for a really interesting show.
Finally, there’s the cut flower appeal of Hydrangeas. You can cut fresh flowers to make beautiful indoor vase displays or wait until the flowers are spent to create other forms of interesting fall and holiday decor.
One of our brand partners, wholesale grower and propagator, Van Belle Nursery, is primarily focused on new and improved flowering shrubs and they tell us that Hydrangeas lead their sales in the US and Canada by a long shot. Garden centers and landscapers in North America simply can’t get enough to satisfy the appetite for Hydrangeas.
For now, this obsession continues to burn white hot. And, with the new plant pipeline full of unique varieties to come, the craze should continue for the foreseeable future.
Until next time, Happy Hydrangea hunting.
Bloomin’ Easy® plants
A few years ago, my In-laws bought some palm trees for their patio. They were gorgeous all summer! But, after a mild fall, we experienced one of the biggest winter snowstorms I can remember. And the palms I loved couldn’t weather the storm.
It was then that I learned (the hard way) the importance of protecting plants through winter.
Bloomin’ Easy® plants are not only selected for their unique beauty and easy care qualities, but are also chosen for cold hardiness, which means they can grow well and survive in colder climates like we have in Canada. Yet even still, plants can succumb to harsh weather conditions, especially when the temperatures go from mild to freezing very quickly.
For all plants you browse in the garden center, generally, as long as you follow the zone listed on the tag, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about them over winter. But no matter what plants you’re trying to grow outdoors, here are some tips to protect your special plants for the winter.
Five easy tips to get ready for winter and a head start on spring:
Doing one final weeding is the best way to get rid of overwintering unwanted seeds in your garden. Be sure to put these plants, especially the seed heads, in a covered garbage can, and not your compost.
Some shrubs, perennials and trees might need a little prune after they’ve gone dormant. Do this especially if you have heavy snow or high wind that could break branches. For your Bloomin’ Easy plants, we recommend signing up for our plant specific Care Reminders so you will know when and how to prune your plant. Sign up is free and easy at mybloomineasy.com.
We try to have plants that are as hardy as we can find them. But feel free to add a burlap covering to your shrub if you live in an extremely cold, or windy area. This is especially true if you have one of the shrubs in a container on your patio. Plants in containers are not insulated like they are in the ground, so covering your shrub with burlap will give your plant that little bit of extra help your plant might need to overwinter. Another way you can insulate your container is by covering the container with snow (if your area gets enough of it).
Continue to water until the ground freezes
Plants will certainly use less water in the fall than in summer, but it’s important to continue to water regularly as needed if you don’t get a lot of rain. When the ground freezes, ice will form around the roots protecting them from extreme ground temperatures, so continue to water until winter arrives for good.
Add a layer of mulch
When you mulch your garden it helps moderate the rapid changes in temperatures so your plant’s roots aren’t freezing then thawing then freezing again. Head to your local garden centre and pick some up, you will not regret it!
A 2-3 inch layer of mulch around the base of your plants will insulate and protect from winter’s extremes. It will also help cut down on weeding and watering needs – a nice easy bonus.
How did my in-laws deal with their palm trees in 2019? When they planted the palms in the containers they started with bubble wrap wrapped on the inside of the container. And, now that we have hit freezing weather here in Vancouver, they have wrapped the palms with burlap.
Winterizing is easy and we know you can do it! With carefully chosen plants and a bit of care, you really can create the beautiful, relaxing, low-maintenance outdoor space you deserve.