pretty petals – hydrangea

September 12, 2013

Welcome to week nineteen of our column entitled Pretty Petals. Each week we will introduce you to a flower that we are working with here in the studio as well as flowers that we absolutely adore. Please join us every Thursday for some floral eye-candy where you will learn about a variety of very special blooms. This week we are in love with hydrangea.

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There are 70-75 species of hydrangeas. These plants are native to southern and eastern Asia (China, Japan, Korea, the Himalayas, and Indonesia) and the Americas. As new varieties are developed, gardeners in colder climates have come to enjoy these colourful bushes on their properties as well. Their bloom times range from early spring to late fall.

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As I am sitting at my kitchen table writing this blog post, I am joined by an oversized vase stuffed full of peegee hydrageas. Some of them are pure white, some have a greenish tint, but the majority of these fragrant, cone shaped blossoms are starting to turn a delicate shade of blush pink. Everyone should share their work space with beautiful flowers – it helps the creativity flow.

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As the summer draws to a close, the peegee hydrangea, just one of many types of hydrangea, are prolific. If you are fortunate enough to know someone with a peegee bush who is willing to share in the beauty, you should most certainly fill a vase with these flowers. This type of hydrangea is one of the few that can also be enjoyed as a dried flower. You will notice that as the flowers age in your vase they will begin the drying process all on their own – you needn’t remove them from the vase or turn them upside down, just let them do their thing. Easy peasy!

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Hydrangeas are one of the most popular flowers for use in bridal work. This reason is twofold: they are large and can fill a good sized vase with a minimal number of stems; and their delicate petals create a soft bridal look. The most common colours of hydrangeas available in the floral industry are white, soft blue and green. The white are available in several sizes ranging from a diameter of 4” up to 10”. The blue are approximately 5”-6”. The green are much smaller measuring in at 2” – 4”. These three colours range in price from $4 to $8 a stem. They are reasonably priced for such a large headed flower – they are the equivalent of many flowers put together and therefore are an economical, yet pretty choice.

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Hydrangeas are also available in “not-so-economical” too!! These richer shaded varieties cash in at anywhere from $18-$45 a bloom depending on the size, colour and country of origin. Holland product tends to carry the highest price tag where hydrangeas are concerned. Shades of deep blue, purple, raspberry, pink, antique green, and burgundy are stunning hues to design with, but often they are not within the budget of most. But don’t despair – thanks to some floral industry inventions, a line of floral paint called Just For Flowers has been developed, allowing a florist to custom tint a white hydrangea to accommodate the wishes of a customer without breaking the bank!

Here are a few tips for the cut hydrangea lover to keep them alive in your vase for a week or more:

  1. Change the water every day. Provide each stem with a fresh cut. Bacteria kills hydrangea
  2. Keep hydrangea out of direct sunlight
  3. If they feel like they are started to wilt, cut off a large amount of the stem and fill your vase with hot water from the tap.
  4. If number 3 doesn’t work, fill the sink with warm water and soak the whole flower until it revives
  5. If you want to have your hydrangea tinted a different colour , take it to a florist who has the proper paint to do it DO NOT USE REGULAR SPRAY PAINT!!!!
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