Posted by: Author scentandviolet January 17th, 2017

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Growing hydrangea in Houston (South Texas) is not impossible, but it is not easy either. Sun and humidity can make it very challenging to have a nice hydrangea bush that will both bloom and survive.

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First, you have to choose appropriate variety – and this is were it becomes challenging. The variety that works the best for our zone is Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia). This gorgeous shrub performs much better than other varieties, however it does not look like the hydrangeas we see in the magazines or in flower shops. Flowers are cone-shaped, cream colored and the shrub can grow to be 8 feet tall. Flowers will change color throughout season to pink and even reddish brown in autumn (note: you cannot change the color of Oakleaf hydrangea by changing acidity of the soil)

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Next hydrangea on our list as the top performer for South Texas is PeeGee hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata). Again, not your typical magazine variety hydrangea. Cone-shaped flowers are usually white-green that will turn pink with age. PeeGee hydrangea, if left unpruned can grow up to 15 feet – not bad for a shrub. With proper pruning, PeeGee hydrangeas are often trained to look like trees.

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However, what most of us would like to grow is the picture pretty French hydrangea, or mopheads (Hydrangea macrophylla). Of course, these hydrangeas are the most difficult to grow in Houston (and southeast Texas). Are you ready for the challenge?

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Let’s start with the best site for hydrangea: East side of the house (or any structure) will receive morning sun and be in the shade for the remainder of the day. If you do not have room on the east side, north side will be your additional option. Of course, if you’re like me and orientationally challenged, you need to spend some time observing: Find a spot that gets up to few hours of sun in the morning and is shaded throughout the rest of the day.

Second issue to consider is the size of your site.  Hydrangeas need room to grow. Consider that French hydrangeas can grow up to 8 feet wide and 7 feet tall. When planting, leave at least 2 feet in each direction (from the center of the plant) for your hydrangea to grow.

Third thing to consider is the color of the hydrangea. Easiest to grow in southeast Texas are pink and red colored blooms (our clay soil is very alkaline and as such works best for pinks and reds). Once you have become a hydrangea growing pro, you can play with changing the acidity of the soil (If you want blue hydrangeas, you will need to add Aluminum sulfate to the soil, to lower your pH and make soil more acidic).

Got all that? Lets dig a big hole. Hole needs to be twice the width of the pot you bought your hydrangea in. Depth of the hole needs to be the depth of the soil in your pot plus 4 inches. Add about 4 inches of compost to the bottom of the hole. Place your hydrangea and cover it with the soil you dug out. If your clay soil is too dense, mix it up with potting soil (keep the ratio 3:1 – 3 part potting soil, 1 part clay). Cover the top of the plant with 4-5 inches of mulch. We recommend cedar mulch (keeps the termites away). Water until all the mulch is moist.

And last, but not least is keeping your hydrangea alive. Hydrangeas like moist soil. You need to water hydrangeas daily until established (2-3 weeks). Do not water leaves and blooms (leave that part to rain), just soil (mulch) around the roots. Water your hydrangea early in the morning (recommended) or late in the evening.  Once established you need to experiment and observe a little. Start watering your hydrangea bush every second day. If your leaves look healthy (not drying or wilting) keep up with that schedule. If your leaves start turning yellow to rust colored, you’re watering too much and need to change the watering frequency. You will soon discover that mulch is your best friend. It protects the roots, retains water well and provides home to bugs.

Would you like to take it up a notch? Plant chives, thyme, and lemon balm close to your hydrangeas. These herbs can grow in shade and will help you attract some beneficial bugs. They smell lovely, and why not use some in your kitchen, too? Also consider planting some shade friendly Texas native flowers

Your hydrangea survived and thrived? It’s gotten too big and you’d like to prune it. Please check this video from North Coast gardening on how to properly prune hydrangea

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Scent & Violet, flowers and gifts is a full service florist in Houston, TX offering flower, plant and gift delivery in Houston, Katy, Richmond, Fulshear, Sugar Land and Bellaire. We aim to create fuss-free, everyday shopping source for flowers, plants, and gifts. It is our belief that we can create better relationships through gifting, better environments through plants, and better state of mind through flowers.

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Cuddle Up in Houston, TXCuddle Up in Houston, TX

Cuddle Up

 
 
$59.99
 
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Let’s cuddle up to this fun combination of colors and textures showcasing mini green hydrangeas which has a certain vintage feel with a strong hint of feminine. The texture of this arrangement invites you to touch and feel every petal. It is a great gift to send to a friend, sister, or sister-in-law. Gentle tones of the Cuddle Up bouquet are suitable for many occasions: from thank you and get well to congratulations and I love you. This gift is hand crafted to order and presented in a vintage style posy vase. The Cuddle Up arrangement is available for same day or next day delivery in our local delivery area only: Houston, Katy, Richmond, Fulshear, Sugar Land, Stafford, Missouri City, Pearland, and Bellaire, and is hand delivered by Scent & Violet, flowers and gifts. 

Flowers: Hydrangeas, roses, lilies, carnations. Please note that the colors of flowers can vary seasonally. 

Approximate size: 7" W X 9" H

Size and upgrade: Images and listed sizes are approximate representations of the product and may not always be to scale. Any product where an upgrade is purchased will be increased by the dollar value of the upgrade. Each upgrade is unique to the arrangement, and generally stands for more flowers, and/or a fuller overall look.

Substitution Policy

 
Mighty Hydrangea in Houston, TXMighty Hydrangea in Houston, TX

Mighty Hydrangea

 
 
$89.99
 
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My grandma had bushes of hydrangea in her garden. The abundance and mighty presence of it has made my heart flutter ever since. While I love hydrangea for so many sentimental reasons, one has to admit that there is something powerful about them. The only flower that can take up the room with just a few stems, hydrangea is a favorite choice of interior decorators. I call hydrangeas a quick and easy fix in upgrading a dark environment. However, did you know that in Victorian times sending hydrangeas to someone meant they were "heartless"? Does this make hydrangea a perfect break-up gift? Is the hydrangea a gift of unrequited love? Did you just start singing Heartless by Kanye? While this history of hydrangea makes me giggle a bit, just look at it - does this say heartless to you? All I see is MIGHTY. This arrangement is available for same day or next day delivery in our local delivery area only: Houston, Katy, Richmond, Fulshear, Sugar Land, Stafford, Missouri City, Pearland, and Bellaire, and is hand delivered by Scent & Violet, flowers and gifts.

Flowers: hydrangeas

Approximate overall size: 10" W x 11" H

Size and upgrade: Images and listed sizes are approximate representations of the product and may not always be to scale. Any product where an upgrade is purchased will be increased by the dollar value of the upgrade. Each upgrade is unique to the arrangement, and generally stands for more flowers and/or a fuller overall look.

Substitution Policy