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Your Favorite Flowers That Are Acutally Shrubs

favorite flowers that are shrubs

Sure, all flowers grow from the ground, but many of your favorites come from shrubs and aren’t your standard annuals or perennials. These flowering shrubs can be a highlight to your landscape as well as your flower arrangements. [Read more…]

3 Popular Spring Wedding Flowers

Everyone knows that spring is the season for weddings and flowers. We have made a quick list of the three most popular wedding flowers this season. Take a look at what flowers brides are loving for their weddings!

1. Peony
From classic neutral arrangements to colorful modern mixes the peony is an all-time favorite for spring brides. Peonies have large gorgeous ruffles that make them stunning in any bouquet or arrangement. Peony season begins in early spring and extends through late June. This beautiful bloom is available in various shades of pink, red, yellow, white, and cream.

[Read more…]

June Flower Spotlight: Hydrangea

The hydrangea is a beautiful flower that can be found all over the US during the spring and summer months. It is native to eastern Asian countries such as China and Japan, but it grows well throughout the Americas. The hydrangea is normally a shrub growing about three to nine feet high with lovely blue, pink or even sometimes white flowers.

Two StylesHydrangea Purple Flower

It is possible to find two different styles of this flower. The first and most common type is known as the mophead. Mopheads have large round flower heads resembling a pom-pom or the head of a mop. The other is called a lacecap and has round, flat flower heads with a center core of flowers surrounded by outer rings of showy flowers. Both types can bloom from early spring until late autumn, so it’s possible to see them the majority of the year.

Flower Meaning

Hydrangea is composed of two Greek words: hydor, meaning water and angos meaning jar or vessel. This roughly translates to water barrel, thought to relate to the hydrangea’s need for lots of water as well as its cup-shaped flower.

It’s symbolic meaning, heartfelt feelings, comes from Japan, and can refer to both happiness or despair. However, there are other symbolic meanings that have been attached to the hydrangea over the years. Some believe it means vanity and boastfulness while still others claim gratefulness for the recipient’s understanding. It’s important to be aware of all of these meanings when gifting this flower to another so you can be sure and make it clear which symbolic meaning you intend. Of course, you may not intend any symbolic meaning other than that which accompanies all lovely flowers, but it’s important to make that clear as well.

The hydrangea is also the 4th wedding anniversary flower.

Don’t hesitate to contact your local florist and request this beautiful bloom. Even if they don’t have any in stock, they should be able to get them as part of their weekly shipment!

15 Hot Summer Flowers

Summer begins Saturday June 21st. If you enjoy having seasonal blooms on your table or in your home, check out this list of some of the most popular summer flowers available June through August. Your florist may not have all of these on-hand every day, but they should be available if you give her a couple days notice.

Rainbow of BloomsSavannah StyleCelebrate the Day

Sensational Summer Flowers

  1. Begonia – These are beautiful flowers that come in large variety of colors. They are native to tropical climates, but can be grown in colder regions of the world during the summer months. This flower traditionally means, beware or be cautious. Sound advice if you are planning on giving these flowers as a gift to your significant other.
  2. Chrysanthemum – These flowers have a long and storied history dating back to before the 15th Century BCE. So if you’re looking for blooms with a little gravitas, these are the flowers for you. They traditionally mean joy or optimism.
  3. Orchid – These delicate blooms represent love, luxury, beauty and strength. They have long been coveted flowers because of their fragile beauty and long lives.
  4. Gardenia  The perfect choice for the secret admirer or the smitten would-be lover. This flower traditionally means secret love and is a wonderful way to let someone know you’re thinking of them.
  5. Gerbera – A popular choice, this flower means innocence, purity and cheerfulness. For more information about the Gerbera, check out our March Flower Spotlight!
  6. Hyacinth – A wonderful flower for professing your devotion, the hyacinth traditionally means constancy. Its name comes from an unsurprisingly tragic tale from Greek Mythology, but then what Greek Myth doesn’t end in tragedy?
  7. Hydrangea – These make a wonderful gift to give after you’ve had a sincere apology accepted. The traditional meaning of hydrangea is heartfelt emotion and gratitude for being understood.
  8. Iris – The iris is another flower whose name hails from the Greeks. It stands for faith, hope, wisdom, courage and admiration.
  9. Lily – The lily may be a flower that has grown alongside mankind as long as there has been a thing such as mankind. As such, it has many different meanings depending on the culture you’re coming from. For detailed information on the lily, check out our April Flower Spotlight!
  10. Lilac – Oh, those flower loving Greeks, they named another one! It should come as no surprise that so many summer flowers have names that come from the Greek isles. After all, the Mediterranean climate is sort of … summery. The lilac is perfect as a gift from a student to a teacher or from you to your child as the flower traditionally means youthful innocence.
  11. Magnolia – The magnolia tree is a common site throughout most of the South during the summer. It is a gorgeous white blossom that means splendid beauty and dignity and is perfect for that singular love of your life.
  12. Marigold – The marigold is a gorgeous flower that comes in bright, vibrant oranges and reds. It should then come as no surprise that it traditionally means passion and creativity. This makes it the perfect gift for that relationship in the heat of its life.
  13. Peony – The peony is lovely flower that means good fortune and a happy marriage. It is generally considered synonymous with the 12th wedding anniversary. For more information on peonies, check out the May Flower Spotlight!
  14. Poppy – The poppy has a gorgeous bloom and means beauty, magic, consolation, fertility and eternal life. It makes a good gift for many different situations, and its versatility makes it popular.
  15. Rose – I’m sure you’re more than familiar with this extremely popular flower, but it is a summer flower and it’s popularity makes it impossible to leave off this list. Roses have many different meanings based on their color, but the most commonly known is red which means romantic love. For more information on roses, check out our February Flower Spotlight.

Sweet Georgia PeachSun-Drenched ColorHooray For Summer

Summer is definitely the season for flowers, and as always, the best place to get those flowers is from your local florist. Don’t neglect yourself this warm summer season, buy some flowers for you or a loved one and enjoy the best that nature has to offer!

Suggest an Article: Hydrating Hydrangeas!

In this edition of Suggest an Article, we have a fantastic tip from Jo Ann Evans of JoAnn’s Flowers and Gifts in Indian Trail, NC. Take it away, Jo Ann!nikko-blue-hydrangea

“To keep Hydrangeas hydrated:

Wet tip of stem and place in alum powder, then put the flower in the water bucket. You can also put a small amount of alum powder in the water bucket itself. This simple application keeps the flower fresh. It really works!!” 

Discovering Alum

If you aren’t big into cooking, pickling in particular, you may not be familiar with alum powder. It’s a primary ingredient in the pickling of fruits and vegetables to help maintain freshness. It would stand to reason that if it can keep these items fresh through the pickling process, it could help prolong the life of your freshly cut hydrangeas!

Because alum powder is used in cooking, it can easily be located on the spice aisle of your local grocer. It’s a cheap additive to keep Hydrangeas happy, so there’s no excuse not to use it.

I hope you enjoyed this edition of Suggest an Article, and I can’t wait to see what kinds of ideas we’ll find in our comments section. Remember, your ideas do not have to be limited to flower care tips or marketing techniques. If you think something is happening in your local community deserving of an article by Flower Shop Network, let us know!

Keeping Hydrangeas Healthy, Happy & Blue

Ask The Plant Expert: I planted several Endless Summer hydrangea plants last summer. Most seem to be doing okay, but a few have a brown spot fungus (I think) on the leaves. How do I care for them? Second question: When should I place Aluminum on them to turn them more blue?
Thank you – Christine

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: Christine,

If you see the spots starting to spread, spray them with a fungicide. Your local garden center will have the right fungicide for hydrangeas.

As for care, Endless Summer hydrangeas bloom on both old and new growth – so prune them right after they bloom. Do this by pruning the flower stems back to a pair of healthy buds.

Like most hydrangeas they need a slow-release, balanced fertilizer from April through August. Because hydrangeas love a rich well-drained moist soil, it is best to water them thoroughly with time between waterings rather than a little every day. Mulch them well going into winter and during the heat of summer. During the summer, don’t pile the mulch too close to the plant.

In late autumn or early spring, you can add aluminum sulfate to the area surrounding the hydrangea to encourage their blue color.

I hope this information was helpful. Please let me know if I can help with anything else.

Keeping Potted Hydrangeas Happy, Healthy & The Right Color

Pink HydrangeaAsk The Expert: This is the first time I’ve tried to grow hydrangeas in pots; they are actually doing very well. My first plant was purple that I bought in April, the color now is a greenish color, (very beautiful color). I also have a light pink (called white spirit) and burgundy color. How do I keep the color purple, pink or even blue? What plant food is best, and anything else that keeps my hydrangeas beautiful in pots.  Thank You for your help in this matter. -Juanita

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: Juanita,

Eventually you will need to re-plant the hydrangeas in the ground. I am assuming that you have Mophead hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla). These types of hydrangea bloom-colors are controlled by soil conditions, specifically the pH of the soil.

  • To keep a hydrangea pink you would amend the soil with lime.
  • To keep it blue you would use aluminum sulfate.
  • Purple blooms are usually the result of a more neutral soil pH.

This would be done in late winter or early spring.

Once a bloom has formed, you can not change or control the color. So, at this point you don’t need to do anything. However, as the bloom begins to decline (which they all do) the color may change to a lighter pink or blue. Some varieties will change to a light greenish or dusty pink color towards end of the bloom life.

As for fertilizer, feed them once or twice during the summer with a slow release fertilizer. I recommend something with a balance ratio like 10-10-10 or 14-14-14. You local garden center nursery will have this product.

Hope this information has been helpful. Please let me know if you need assistance with anything else.
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To Pot Or Not To Pot New Hydrangeas?

Potted Hydrangea

Ask The Expert: I received 2 new hydrangeas for Mother’s Day, from a nursery, not foil wrapped.  They are both large.  I have one other one that was foil wrapped that I have potted and is now flowering (after 20 months).  I live in San Antonio, TX, which is hot and dry.  I want to know what would be the best option for these new hydrangeas — to plant them or pot them in probably a 15-20 gallon pot each. I would keep them in is partial shade – late afternoon sun, which has been good for my other older hydrangea.  Do you have any suggestions on these new ones and what kind of pots, soil, etc?

Thanks a bunch,

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: Pam,

Since you have one hydrangea that is doing well, I would plant the new ones the same way. Hydrangeas typically prefer a well-drained soil with some sun protect in very hot climates. Different varities of hydrangeas can tolerate sun better than others.

For example: the oakleaf hydrangea prefers a shady area where as the PeeGee hydrangea like the sun.

In Texas, it is best to plant your hydrangeas in rich loamy soil with an eastern or northern exposure (some shade protection could be beneficial, but it will still need a fair amount of sunshine). Make sure to mulch your hydrangeas well to help retain the soil moisture.

I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if I can Help You with anything else.

Painting Hydrangeas To Use On A Wedding Cake

wedding-cake-with-purple-hydrangea-bloomsAsk the Expert: Can you paint hydrangeas and put on cake?

We are doing a wedding this weekend with Hydrangea. Since they are very expensive in colors we are using white hydrangea and painting them purple. I have some reservation about using painted flowers on a cake. Will it smear on to the icing? I am pretty sure the ones in the attached picture are painted but I just wanted to make sure.Please let tell me what you would suggest! Thanks. Whitney

Plant Expert Reply:

Hydrangea would not be my choice for cake flowers. If you need to use them begin by hydrating them properly. Without a water source the hydrangeas will curl quickly. So, proper hydrangea hydration is essential.

As for painting the blooms, you need to use the right type of paint.  You need paint specially designed for flowers.  Design Masters’ “Just For Flowers” floral paints come in several different shades.  Choose one that has the right tint and test it on one of the hydrangea blooms. This is the only way you will be able to tell if the color will run. Using a paint specifically for flowers is critical.  Other paints will not be absorbed by the flower correctly and will cause issues like: blotchy and smearing.

Good luck and please let me know how it turns out.

This flower design tip is brought ot you by local Phoenix Florists.

Hydrangea Wedding Bouquet Design Tips

Ask the Expert: Best way to ensure hydrangeas in a wedding bouquet
I have a bride that wants to use hydrangeas in her bouquet and her bridesmaids.  I am really afraid of using fresh blooms as I know they wilt quickly.  Her wedding is in March. Can you tell me the secret to ensuring that the bouquets will hold up and not wilt.  Thank you so much.

Plant Expert Reply:
The first step to ensuring the hydrangeas don’t wilt is the care you give them when they hit your door. Proper hydration is the key. In Hydrating A Hydrangea Bouquet For A Wedding, the steps for hydrating hydrangeas are outlined.

The steps are as follows
1. Submerge heads for 2 to 4 minutes under tepid water. (You can submerge the heads for up to twenty minutes for significant hydration).
2. Gently shake the bloom heads dry.
3. Recut the stems (preferably under water and at an angle).
4. Place in water.

These steps will ensure that the hydrangeas have been hydrated properly. Now you will need to keep them hydrated and how your store them is the key. Keep the hydrangeas in a high humid environment with very little air velocity. In other words, don’t put them near the cooler fan or door and keep the air around them moist (misting if necessary). Temperature is also a factor; 35 to 38 degrees is optimum. Don’t store near fruit, vegetables or other ethylene gas producers. It is best to create the bouquets the morning of the wedding. However, this isn’t always possible. When you create the hydrangea bouquets leave the stems long enough that the bouquets can be placed in water without getting the ribbon wet (if a hand tied bouquet). Leave the bouquets in water until an hour before the wedding. This process should keep the hydrangeas well hydrated for the wedding and alleviate any wilting issues.

Some designers use hydrangeas in floral foam when creating wedding flower arrangements or bouquets. Advanced preparation is still the key in this technique. You will want to cut the stems so that they look like an arrow rather than just a one sided angle cut. Some people recommend using a floral preservative or powdered alum when preparing the hydrangeas, other see no need.  You might want to experiment with a couple of stems before the wedding to see which works best for you.

Good luck and keep me posted.