Anatomy of a Flower: Hydrangea

Hydrangea season lasts from early spring to late fall, though most online sellers provide them year round.

If you lived in France you’d probably give your mom a huge bouquet of hydrangeas for Mother’s Day instead of the typical roses, and for good reason. In addition to being known for their elegant textural blooms, hydrangeas come in a variety of stunning colors sure to please even the pickiest mothers.

Native to both Asia and the Americas, the 70 species of hydrangea typically come in white, blue, purple, pink and antique jewel tones. However, within these palettes you’ll find a wide range of deep to light hues, making the color selection virtually endless. Think cerulean to navy, lavender to violet, mauves, emeralds, and soft pink to burgundy.

Fun fact: Color not only depends on the species, but also on the soil in which the hydrangea is planted. Anything too alkaline and the blooms can’t absorb the aluminum needed to pick up shades of blue. Acidic soil results in shades of rouge.

At first glance, DIY brides may be daunted by the price of individual stems. Depending on the cultivar, color and bulk of the order hydrangeas can cost anywhere from $3 to $8 a stem. But the bountiful blooms commonly fill the space of 3 or more flowers, ultimately making hydrangeas an economic choice.

Hydrangea Cheat Sheet

  • In season:  Early spring to late fall
  • Price: $3 to $8 a stem, depending on the vendor and season
  • Colors: Wide range of light to deep blues, lavenders to violets, pinks, whites and creams, and jewel tones
  • AKA: Hortensia, Annabelle, Mophead, Lacecap, PeeGee

--Brandi Coleman Valdez

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