Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Changing Hues of Hydrangea macrophylla

Hydrangeas are common in temperate climes but it can still be planted succesfully in the tropics if conditions are rendered suitable.  It is imperative to plant them  in partial shade or under filtered sunlight. Copious amount of water is needed to counter the onslaught of the harsh afternoon sun, otherwise they will wilt and look very sorry.
 
This bush of Hydrangea was about six months old before it started to bloom. It originated from a cutting taken from the Mother bush. Based on my own personal experience, Hydrangea cuttings take root easily with almost 100% success rate.


A common garden snail moved in the direction of this bloom. From my observation, snails don't fancy hydrangeas as tasty grubs. Actually it was merely seeking refuge under the leaves before the sun burns fiercely down.

 
The buds start off as green with the blue hue coming later as they blossom.

A few clusters can be found on the same branch.


This single inflorescence is terminal and is so large ...

 it drooped under its own weight.

A hint of pink start to appear on the blue blooms.

 
The colours gradually fade.

Hydrangeas can change colour according to the soil type. I took a cutting from a bush of blue hydrangeas and planted it on the other side of the garden. Months later, I was pleasantly surprised ...

 to find this pink hue on the first blooms.

Subsequent blooms remained pink ever since. I hope that it would not revert to its original blue colour as I have lots of the latter.

As the flowers matured, they took on a bluish tinge.

This touch of blue is quite prominent on this cluster which ...

faded as it aged.

This bloom is about three months old. It still look good so I am reluctant to deadhead it.

 
A tree frog was resting quietly on the stem, partially hidden from view.

I lifted up its cover to get a better image. It had no objection at all and allowed me to take as many pictures as I wished. It is a cute little thingy in spite of its slimy look.

Life is a travelling to the edge of knowledge, then a leap taken. 
- David Herbert Lawrence 


Some snippets of Hydrangea in a small vase brings a lovely touch of sky-blue indoors. I don't normally trim Hydrangeas as cut flowers since they last like forever in the bush.

28 comments:

  1. My mother used to grow hydrangreas and I remember her burying banana peels with some, eggshells with other to get different colours. I've also heard of people adding a touch of vinegar to the water. It would be interesting to experiment. I'm guessing it has to do with pH and with calcium, potasium, etc. There are wonderful blooms no matter which colour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tips, shall try them out as we consume bananas and eggs almost everyday. I was told to bury a nail too.

      Delete
  2. I've heard the same things as well. It all has to do with the soil for the colors. I love these plants and I wish they'd grow here but I'll just have to enjoy your plants:) Love the blues of the hyrandgea....but that snail and tree frog are pretty awesome:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought hydrangeas are temperate climate plants so there should not be any problem for you. I don't mind the tree frog in my garden but not the snail.

      Delete
  3. I love that blue color in your hydrangea! That frog is funny. We don't have treefrogs here in Finland.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, blue is not such a common colour in the garden compared to red or yellow.

      Delete
  4. Your pictures are gorgeous! Thanks for all the tips...maybe my single will look better after I include the banana peels and eggshells in its diet!:) Loved the tree frog too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for kind remarks. Its a wonderful way to recycle kitchen waste. The tree frog does look adorable with its half-lidded eyes.

      Delete
  5. Wonderful looking plants and photos like always Stiletto. I love hydrangeas, such an old-fashioned/traditional flower, that makes great bouquets. The blue ones look pretty amazing, but they all look great really. Cool tree frog too! Yes, your garden is definitely like a zoo, or perhaps a garden of Eden. Best! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for kind words. Hydrangeas are all time favourites. Saw masses of hydrangea bushes at the Rockefeller Centre, New York on a recent visit. I have to show a 'not welcome' sign to the snails.

      Delete
  6. Hydrangeas grow well here in a cool shady spot. What time of year is it best to take cuttings? I love how they change colours like this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here in Tropical Malaysia, we can take cuttings year round. I normally trim a semi-hard stem in the morning or late evening after watering when the stems are full of moisture.

      The best stems to harvest are those where deadheading has been done, and new buds can be seen peeping out of the nodes.

      Delete
  7. Certain hydrangeas I add an acidifier to the soil in spring to bring out the blue, and the rest I just let them do what they will. Those usually come out a shade of purple. I love how they change colors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some said to bury a rusty nail in order to get the pink colour. Mine are naturally blue. Its really interesting how ph levels can alter its colours.

      Delete
  8. Your hydrangeas are absolutely beautiful. You're right about them needing plenty of water. Even in the UK, they will sulk in a dry spell.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gardening Shoe,
      I like your choice of words. You make me chuckled when you said 'sulk'. I never thought of that, can only think of 'limp' or 'wilt.

      Delete
  9. Gorgeous hydrangeas. You make me want to buy and grow one too haha. And the tree frog looks so cute.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Aaron,
      A word of caution here when purchasing a hydrangea. Those from Camerons might not bloom while those from Holland which would be available during Chinese New Year period would not bloom at all.

      Yes, the tree frog is cute. I wonder whether it will turn into a prince :D (Yuck!!!)

      Delete
  10. I love hydrangeas. They are difficult but not impossible to grow on the northern prairies of Canada but a sheltered sunny spot is required. I plan to plant a bevy of them once we are moved to warmer climes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Susan,
      To reiterate, Hydrangeas are worth the effort invested in its cultivation.

      Delete
  11. gorgeous photos! That was cool to see the color progression of the hydrangeas. Those snails must be a menace, but they're so pretty. We don't have those around here. At least I've never seen one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Wendy,
      Thanks for the compliments! You can give the snails a miss. There are numerous crawling and munching around my garden. They just bring woes to any gardener.

      Delete
  12. Great hydrangea photos. I like the one with the snail on the wall.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kelli,
      The interaction between fauna and flora is usually fascinating thus the image of the snail with extended tentacles is intriguing.
      However when they chomped off huge chunks of foliage, tender buds and leave their droppings on my house walls, then they are no longer cute :(

      Delete
  13. Hello Stiletto, you have beautiful hydrangea blooms! Love them all. The colours, blue or pink, they both look as sweet and as gorgeous. Btw the plant can take more sunlight if planted into the ground. Happy propagating more hydrangeas :-D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Stephanie,
      Actually all my hydrangeas are planted into the ground, including those in the flower boxes where there are no bases or bottoms.

      Delete
  14. I do love hydrangeas and enjoy watching over them to change their colors from greenish white to pink or blue. Blue hydrangeas are my favorite. In my part of the world, they bloom during the rainy season from June to July. Snails on a leaf of hydrangea is a typical scene of rainy season. The tree frog is so cute! We have forest green tree frogs. All the photos are fabulous.

    Yoko

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for comments on photos. There is no season for hydrangeas here as they bloom year round. They start to sprout leaves and buds as soon as they are pruned.

      Delete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...