At Home Depot I spotted a table with small hydrangeas for sale. I call it a “greenhouse” hydrangea because I imagine that is where it came from. The price was around $12 as I recall, so I bought one. Now I know these are not like the hydrangea plants I purchased in New Hampshire to plant in my northern yard.
The tag on this one said it “likes cool nights” and it’s climate preference is 50-70 F. That’s what “cool” is in Florida. It’s also listed as a Houseplant. This plant obviously can’t take wintering in a dormant stage over several months. Growing hydrangeas this way is new to me.
I’ve kept my new potted hydrangea in the original pot outdoors in my front yard garden which gets no direct sun, but a lot of light. Night temperatures have been in the 40’s and 50’s recently (March) and it’s still doing fine. I water it often and a new bud is forming. We’ve had a mild winter.
This winter I had hoped to begin a new front yard garden. The government wants a lot of my money in taxes, so that may have to wait. I would love to get this plant into the ground and see what happens.
As you can see in my time-progression photos the buds turned purple and then a lovely blue.
One day I noticed the blooms were drooping. I gave it a big drink, and it came right back. My hydrangeas in New Hampshire used to do that a lot. Usually if they had too much afternoon sun they would droop. But hydrangeas are resilient and they bounce back quickly.
This hydrangea is my experiment in growing hydrangeas outdoors in Florida. I have no desire to keep it inside. I’d love to see it thrive in a shady spot outdoors. For now it will remain in the pot where I can enjoy the flowers just outside my front door. Perhaps it will adjust to life as a hydrangea is meant to live – well, sort of. Florida is not a normal climate, but that may appeal to this hothouse plant which was never meant to survive a true winter.
Hydrangeas tend to need a lot of water, and especially so if they are grown in pots. I’ve been watering this one nearly every day and it gets no direct sunlight. The little buds have turned into pink blossoms. I look forward to seeing how these flowers change color as they age and dry out.
At the beginning of May I planted my hydrangea in the garden. The blooms have changed from blue to light green (which is normal) and they are beautiful. I have to water this plant every day, but it gets no direct sun. We’ll see how it does with the summer heat in this climate.
Read more about The Gift Hydrangea at the Plant Addicts site where people have kept their greenhouse plants outside and alive for years. Those people also live in the southern part of the US.