Have you ever seen a flower that looks like a magic wand? Well, the hydrangea stems make it look something quite like that! This particular plant has many meanings as bountiful as its flowers. Hydrangeas are not like your typical garden flower. It consists of a beautiful cluster of dainty florets that take the shape of a globe!
Hydrangeas are beautiful blooms used primarily as ornamentals and folkloric herbal plants. The story behind the hydrangea meaning and symbolism is held on its history and floral colors. For example, a white or green hydrangea means humility and prosperity. A red and blue one each symbolizes beauty and transition. Lastly, a pink and purple flower represents emotions and pride.
History of Hydrangea Flowers
The hydrangea has a very rich history. It was first described in 1753 as erect woody shrubs with ball-like clusters of flowers. These beautiful flowers are native to the Western hemisphere of the globe and across the Eastern Asian regions. It was first popularized in England when a colonist brought the flowers from Japan.
The name hydrangea comes from the Greek words hydor meaning water and angēa which is a feminine derivative from angeîon. It belongs to the genus Hydrangea of the Hydrangeaceae family. There are only about 23 species from this genus making it a pretty unique flower!
Aside from the hydrangea history, here are some interesting hydrangea facts you should know. It requires full sun to partial shade conditions with well draining soil. Another soil requirement it needs is the soil pH level. When hydrangeas grow in alkaline soil or acidic soil, hydrangea colors change. In acidic soils, pink hydrangeas turn blue and vice versa when soils are basic. If you want your soil to be acidic, simply add citrus peels or coffee grounds!
Hydrangea species have the greatest diversity in eastern Asian countries such as China, Korea, and Japan. Some of the popular types of hydrangeas include the Hills-of-Snow (Hydrangea arborescens), Mountain hydrangea (Hydrangea serrata), and the Hortensia or the French Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla). The Hortensia can also be known as the Bigleaf hydrangea.
Symbolism of Hydrangea Blossoms
Believe it or not, but the soft colors of Hydrangeas actually symbolize its coolness! Just like a swift breeze, the flowers represent relaxation and calmness.
In the Victorian language of flowers, the early Victorians believe that Hydrangeas symbolize boastfulness and indifference. If you haven’t been told that you seem too proud, maybe you’ve been told that you seem too emotionally distant!
The astrological signs also have associated flora for the gods. You will find it interesting to know that the Hydrangeas are actually plants of good luck for zodiac Cancer!
Meaning of Hydrangea Flower
There are a few interesting hydrangea meanings just like its symbolisms. One of the hydrangea flower meaning lies in its delicate seed capsule. According to some, its floral name actually and literally meaning jar or water vessel because of the cup-like shape of the seed!
Some say that the hydrangea meaning actually comes from the seed capsule resembling an ancient Greek water container. Whichever definition you come across, one thing is for sure. The seed capsules DO look like water vessels.
Some negative connotations about this flower include hurtful feelings, carelessness, heartlessness, and frigidity. Besides this, each of the different colors of the flowers have different meanings to it.
What does a White Hydrangea Flower Mean?
The dawn of a new beginning and hope is meant by white hydrangeas. These white flowers are a reminder to always stay humble. Just like a new slate of canvas, it also means room for growth and limitless creativity.
Another white hydrangea flower meaning is heartfelt emotion and peace.
What does a Red Hydrangea Flower Symbolize?
Although it popularly symbolizes beauty and strength, a red Hydrangea is symbolic of vanity. May it be for a man or woman, being vain has no gender! On a side note, being vain isn’t always as bad as it sounds. In fact, it actually also symbolizes self-love.
What does a Blue Hydrangea Flower Indicate?
Most hydrangeas appear in soft, pastel blue color. Blue hydrangeas indicate practices of being conservative and predictable in action. The blue hydrangea flower meaning also often indicates the difficulty in accepting and transitioning change.
What do Pink Hydrangeas Represent?
A pink hydrangea looks a lot like a living being’s beating heart. Being delicate and sweet is represented by pink hydrangeas.
It also portrays favorable traits such as true feelings of sweetness and innocence. These pink flowers are also a representation of pure, sincere emotions and pleasant memoirs.
What does a Purple Hydrangea Flower Symbolize?
The color purple is known to be a color of deep understanding and sometimes, positive energy. Sometimes blooming in pink purple, purple hydrangeas symbolizes pride, honor, and devotion.
Apart from this, the purple hydrangea flower meaning is also a reminder of making the right choices every day.
What does a Green Hydrangea Flower Mean?
The green hydrangea flower meaning is nothing but positivity. These green flowers symbolize renewal and good fortune. Besides this, green hydrangeas are also known to symbolize a fresh start and good health and represent prosperity.
What is the Cultural Significance of Hydrangea Flowers?
There are various cultures that give importance to the hydrangeas. In the cultural beliefs and practices of the Japanese, the hydrangeas are honored in a very interesting way. The flowers are a traditional motif decorated on the yukata. The yukata is similar to a traditional robe but is actually an informal and unlined cotton kimono used by only the modest upper-class society. In modern times, the yukata is now more commonly worn by simple folk.
During the Victorian era, the hydrangea was a flower expressing one’s heartfelt emotions and was often given by men to young women they were courting. In the many cultures of Asia, Buddhist tradition also gives a higher value to these flowers. The flower’s young leaves were dried and steeped into a ceremonial sweet tea called tea of heaven.
What is the Spiritual Influence of Hydrangea Florets?
Such bountiful flowers are aligned with the mystical powers of water and aid in the realm of psychic awareness. Its presence helps improve the experience of having psychic gifts. Creating boundaries and staying spiritually safe and sound are just a few of these gifts.
Aside from creating boundaries, these blossoms also break hexes, redirect bad energy, offer spiritual protection, and stabilize energy fields.
What are the Folktales or Mythologies Associated with Hydrangeas?
According to popular belief, English young women were taught at a young age to appear indifferent and emotionless. Oftentimes giving English men suitors a tough time, the flowers were associated with such women for being heartless and frigid. Did you know that these flowers are bad luck? It certainly is if you decide to give a bouquet of these to a woman you’re courting!
In a whole different perspective of storytelling, the flowers actually have magical powers. It was believed that if you carry with or scatter these flowers, their charm and power could break any strong spell!
Greek mythology says that these flowers are an indication of thirst. In one tale, many folks believe that the flowers are named after the famous sea monster Hydra, the creature with snake hairs!
There is another myth in Japan that tells a story of the hydrangea and a Japanese emperor. It was said that the emperor would send hydrangeas everyday to the woman he angered but loved dearly. This act was a symbol of his deep love and appreciation for the woman.
What does a Hydrangea Floral Tattoo Symbolize?
The symbolism behind this floral tattoo design sends a message of being grateful for the gift of understanding. This message probably refers to the bounty of flowers appearing per cluster! To put it simply, a tattoo of this choice embodies gratitude and thankfulness.
Uses of Hydrangeas
Hydrangeas are definitely a fan favorite in a bouquet or floral arrangement and as cut flowers in vases. Hydrangea care is very easy and to grow hydrangeas is even easier! If you would want to keep it around longer, these are also excellent floral garden ornaments or indoor potted plants.
Hydrangea sales are very popular in online shopping and it has many special offers on your first order. Aside from being highly selling as an ornamental, the hydrangea also has many cultural and traditional medicinal uses.
The roots are known to have diuretic and cathartic properties. The Cherokee folk practice the use of this part in traditional medicine. They used the roots as a support supplement or treatment for bladder and kidney stones.
During the 19th century, the physiomedicalism herbal movement suggested and presented the use of the flowers combined with cough grass and Hollyhocks to treat nephritis – an inflammation of the kidneys. In Japan, a dangerous traditional practice of steaming the leaves was done to drink for relief. A word of caution that it is a must to always consult a medical professional before using this plant or any part of it for medical purposes.
Up next: How to plant hydrangeas