Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > April 2015 > FORCED HYDRANGEAS


I feel in love with the big blue hydrangeas when I was around six and saw them blooming in my grandmother’s yard.  This grandmother was not a great gardener as was my other grandmother.  This one, however, had a large fig tree right next to her back porch and a hedge of hydrangeas.  Maybe it was the taste of the warm figs (my favorite fruit) that made me think the hydrangeas were so beautiful.  Then again, I love blue flowers (tropical plumbago, black and blue salvia, blue morning glory, forget-me-nots, etc.) and this old-fashioned giant blue hydrangea fills the bill.

While I grew up seeing this popular shrub just about everywhere, I have never had a place to plant one.  I have purchased a forced blue hydrangea to enjoy in the house as long-lasting “cut flowers”.  With no place to plant, I then toss it when it has finished blooming.  For those of you who have a yard or garden with a morning sun spot to plant in, these lovely hydrangeas can be enjoyed for years.

There are many types of hydrangeas, but the ones commonly forced for Easter, Mother’s Day or other occasions are the mopheads (Hydrangea macrophylla) and the lacecaps (H. macrophylla normalis).  While I love the blues, they are also available in white, reddish-pink, bi-color, and any shade from lavender to purple, a result of their transition from blue to pink--a product of the soil pH.

While in the house, a hydrangea should be kept moist with good drainage, in a cooler location.  Bright indirect light is best.  When the flowers fade, prune them back a little and keep them inside until after frost, when they can be planted outside.  Mid-day sun is too strong in our warm climate, but direct or dappled morning sun is ideal.  Make sure that the newly planted young hydrangea gets adequate moisture until it is well established.  These summer-blooming hydrangeas can be pruned right after flowering.  Keep in mind that these big-leaf hydrangeas can grow very large so place them in a spot with room to spread out.
Posted: 4/2/2015 by Margot | with 0 comment(s)
Filed under: MargotGunn, TheGreatIndoors
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