Plant of the week – Hortensia.

They take your breath away with their long-lasting blooms. Plant of the weekHortensia (Hydrangea macrophylla) – who can resist them? Garden Centres know this very well and have no doubts about displaying them front row come spring. Why buy one when you feel like buying them all? I used to have a garden, now I have a terrace. Knew that it’s a tad difficult making them survive winter in a planter in northern Europe. But I couldn’t resist the temptation. How lucky wasn’t I to have an undercover space to store them? Away from the dampness and frost. It was COLD at times, hitting -12 C. But the container was wrapped up in bubble plastic and I put a small heater next to the base. That I was happy seeing new leaves coming through in February is an understatement to say the least.

Plant of the week – Hortensia. - Garden Room Style
Plant of the week – Hydrangea macrophylla – in pink and blue shades.

Hortensia is native to Asia and North America. Hydrangea derives from the greek word water vessel, doubts concern the origins of the name Hortensia. The popularity of this specie is quite staggering. Academic research suggest that Hydrangea was the second most popular deciduous shrub across all horticultural markets in 2014 and was produced in more than 1,500 U.S. nurseries, with more than 10 million plants sold, accounting for 13.5percent ($91.2 million) of total annual U.S. shrub sales ($676.6 million).

Plant of the week – Hortensia. - Garden Room Style
Magnificent blue Hydrangeas.

If you haven’t already, I presume you very much want to join the crowd. These deciduous beauties like any moist but well-drained soil in a sheltered spot in partial shade or full sun if soil remains reliably moist. Reliable moisture is tricky, I would recommend partial shade. They are hardy in areas with winter temperatures of -15 to -10 C (UK conditions). They reach their ultimate height of 1.5 – 2.5m after about 5-10 years. As mentioned above, when grown in containers, special care applies. Common colours are pinkish, purplish, white and blue but Hydrangea colours is a chapter in itself.

Plant of the week – Hortensia. - Garden Room Style
Blueish/purplish and a dash of white.