Choosing and Planting Hydrangeas

Generally when thinking of Hydrangeas we think of the large blooming cultivars that flower in pinks and blues, however, there is more to the Hydrangea family than we may first think. Plants range greatly in habit and flower form.

 

Hydrangea provide summer blossoms and fall color

Hydrangea planting in the fall gives plants time to set down strong roots while avoiding the draining heat of summer. Hydrangeas are perhaps one of the easiest shrubs to grow. Their beautiful balls of purple, blue, magenta, pink or white flowers over lush green foliage make hydrangea an excellent choice for foundation plantings and garden plants. Some hydrangea also offer beautiful fall leaf color. Hydrangea make excellent cut and dried flowers too. The following instructions for hydrangea planting should get your new shrubs off to a great start.

 

Hydrangea Selection

Gardeners often feel like the proverbial kid in a candy store when they spy the masses of hydrangea in the garden center each spring and fall. From the candy-colored foil wrapped pots to the large container-grown shrubs, there’s a hydrangea for almost any garden.

If adding hydrangea to the landscape or garden, choose potted specimens. Avoid the foil-wrapped plants often found in the early springtime in the garden center. While these hydrangea can be planted outside, they tend to be greenhouse raised plants that have not been hardened off to the outdoor climate and conditions. They’ll grace your home with charm and blossoms, but may falter once planted outside. For robust, vigorous plants, choose the larger shrubs.

Some varieties of hydrangea you may wish to try include:

  • Hydrangea paniculata (Pee Gee Hydrangea and related hydrangeas): These hardy hydrangea can grow as tall as 10 feet high and do well in full sun. They tolerate both neglect and overzealous pruning as long as they get their full sun and plenty of moisture.
  • Hydrangea macrophylla (Mophead hydrangeas) are the most popular hydrangeas grown in America. Most of these hydrangeas the blue or pink varieties spotted in the home landscape, although some can be white.
  • Hydrangea macrophylla normalis (Lacecap hydrangea) look similar to the Mophead but have a space in the middle of the flower bundle, giving it a lacey appearance. They’re a great choice for gardeners who want a natural, informal look.
  • Hydrangea quercifolia (Oakleaf hydrangea) is native to the United States. As its name suggests, it sports leaves that resemble those of the oak tree. There are single and double blossom white colored varieties. The best feature …

 

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