Hydrangeas with green flowers – What is the cause

Hydrangeas with green flowers – What is the cause

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Image by RitaE from Pixabay

Hydrangeas are a beautiful type of flower with many varieties. The mophead hydrangeas are among the most popular for gardeners new and old. In the summertime, the blooming colours that might fill your backyard include different hues of blue, pink, even white. But every once in a while you might notice green hydrangea flowers. What is the cause?

Why are my hydrangea flowers green?

There is a cause for green hydrangea blooms. And that cause is none other than Mother Nature. the colourful flowers that are turning green are not actually flower petals but rather, sepals. Sepals are a part of the hydrangea flower designed to protect the flower bud.

There is a cause for green hydrangea blooms. And that cause is none other than Mother Nature. the colourful flowers that are turning green are not actually flower petals but rather, sepals. Sepals are a part of the hydrangea flower designed to protect the flower bud.

The green that you see in your hydrangea blooms are not part of the flowers directly but rather, part of the sepals. The sepals are naturally green and as they age the pigments of white, pink, or blue will overpower the green which is what causes your hydrangea blossom to change colours and eventually fade to green with time.

Some gardeners argue that your colour is controlled by the amount of aluminium you have in your soil such that high amounts of aluminium give you blue flowers while low amounts give you pink flowers. That only accounts for part of the story.

The other part is that your green hydrangea flowers will change colours once they are exposed to longer days of light. Light gives your plant the power it needs to change colour. In fact, that colour might last for weeks at a time and then suddenly your hydrangea turns to green again as the days start to shorten. The white, pink, and blue pigments will lose energy once the days get shorter and they will start to fade away. When this happens, the green flowers take back over.

Hydrangea paniculata Limelight
Hydrangea paniculata Limelight

Sometimes you might notice your hydrangea has green flowers all season. You might actually have a variety called Limelight. Not everyone pays attention to the varieties that they have in their garden and might be caught off guard by a plant that is regularly green all year round.

These are relatively new plants that have smaller leaves and their flowers turn green and then become white as they fade. But if you have any other type of hydrangea and you still have green flowers, it is very likely just do to your weather conditions.

Rest assured this isn’t anything that you need to worry about. Your plant is not in any way sick. There is nothing you have to do to take care of the plant. Even if your hydrangea produced beautiful colours one season, and is producing green colours now, rest assured that eventually, it will go back to its normal state. Your flowers may stay green for a season or two but eventually will return to whatever colour they once produced.

Image credits – Shutterstock.com

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