By April 30, 2013 Read More →

8 Hydrangeas You Should Try

Hydrangea paniculata Limelight

Hydrangeas have been a staple of Southern gardens for generations and with good reason. Our Grandmothers knew a thing or two about beautiful and fuss-free plants.

Most varieties will rebloom all summer and fall in shades of blue, pink, purple or white (depending on variety and soil type). Many varieties carry superior disease resistance. Ranging from squat and shrubby to tall and tree-like, Hydrangeas add an old fashioned feel to any new or old garden.

Here are eight varieties that are editors think you should consider trying in your garden this season!

 

Hydrangea macrophylla Endless Summer

Hydrangea macrophylla Endless Summer®

Common Name: Mophead Hydrangea

Most Hydrangeas bloom only on old wood and must carry their flower buds through the winter.  Endless Summer® is the first Bigleaf Hydrangea to flower on both the current year’s growth as well as on old wood. This is a big deal anywhere, but especially if you live in colder climates where the buds must survive harsh winters.  It can bloom for more than six months in warm areas, especially if deadheaded regularly.  The blooms are up to 9 inches across and will bloom blue in acid soils and pink in alkaline

Hardiness Zone: 4-8 S / 4-10 W    Height: 3-5′    Exposure: Full or Part Sun    Blooms In: June-Sept
Ships as 1 gallon pot for $26.95 @ White Flower Farm

Hydrangea arborescens Incrediball

Hydrangea arborescens Incrediball®

Common Name: Smooth Hydrangea

The ‘Annabelle’ Hydrangea has become a garden standard in recent years and for good reason.  But the Incrediball® is an amazing advancement with flower heads four-times the size of ‘Annabelle’ on sturdy stems that resist the flopping tendency of most large flowering Hydrangeas. Blooms transition from lime green to white and back to green. They also add great heft to fresh or dried bouquets.

Hardiness Zone: 4-9 S / 4-9 W    Height: 4-5′    Exposure: Full or Part Sun    Blooms In: June-Sept
Ships as 1 gallon pot for $39.95 @ White Flower Farm

Hydrangea paniculata Vanilla Strawberry

Hydrangea paniculata Vanilla Strawberry

In 2010, the American Nursery and Landscape Association chose between 28 plants for their much lauded top plant of year.  Their selection was Vanilla Strawberry™ from Bailey Nurseries.  Large flower heads begin to bloom white in midsummer, but turn pink two weeks later and then become strawberry red or even burgundy, retaining that shade for about 3–4 weeks.  This relative of the classic ‘PeeGee’ Hydrangea continues to bloom late into the summer.  As a result the shrub will display all three color stages at any one time.  The blooms are borne on red stems with green leaves, completing one of the most unique coloration in the Hydrangea family.

Hardiness Zone: 4-8 S / 4-8 W    Height: 6-7′    Exposure: Full or Part Sun    Blooms In: July-Sept
Ships as 1 gallon pot for $29.95 @ White Flower Farm

Hydrangea arborescens Annabelle

Hydrangea arborescens Annabelle

Common Name: Hills-of-snow

‘Annabelle’ is one of the most classic, widely planted and old-fashioned of the Hydrangea varieties.  From early summer until mid or late summer the mounding 4 foot tall and 4 foot wide shrubs produce an abundance of enormous, 12-inch, snow white, globe shaped flowerheads.  Their scale makes them a perfect addition for a mixed border.  While they prefer partial shade and evenly moist but well-drained soil, they will grow in full sun with amble moisture.  Because they flower heavily on the current season’s growth, most gardeners cut the stems to the ground in late winter. New shoots emerge from the base and bloom the same summer.

Hardiness Zone: 3-8 S / 3-10 W    Height: 3-5′    Exposure: Full or Part Sun    Blooms In: July-Sept
Ships as 1 gallon pot for $29.95 @ White Flower Farm

Hydrangea macrophylla Blushing BrideHydrangea macrophylla Blushing Bride

When introducing his new cultivar, Dr. Michael Dirr declared ‘Blushing Bride’ to be “my most significant introduction to date.”  Growers and gardeners agree that it is the best improvement on the ever popular cultivar Endless Summer® ever introduced.  ‘Blushing Bride’ flowers in spring on old wood and then in summer on new wood. White, 9 inch semi double blooms appear on sturdy stems before changing to antique pink or pale blue depending on soil acidity.  It is more compact than its parent and far more resistant to powdery mildew. At only 3 to 6 feet high and wide, it makes a great large container plant in a partly shaded garden. The foliage also adds an extra season of ornamental show, turning from yellow to orange and finally red in autumn.

Hardiness Zone: 5-8 S / 5-10 W    Height: 3-6′    Exposure: Full or Part Sun    Blooms In: June-Sept
Ships as 1 gallon pot for $29.95 @ White Flower Farm

Hydrangea paniculata Pinky Winky

Hydrangea paniculata
Pinky Winky

The Royal Horticultural Society conducted a 5-year trial of 47 varieties of Hydrangea paniculata.  Only ten, including Pinky Winky™, were given their highest rating, an Award of Garden Merit.  Unlike most Hydrangeas, Pinky Winky™ is not bothered by pH.  It blooms midsummer to frost, and tolerates both sun and shade…and drought!  The flower heads can reach 16 inches in length and are held upright on red sturdy stems with green foliage.  Blooms begin white, then turn pink or red at the base during summer, creating brilliant bicolored florets.  It would make a wonderful flowering hedge.

Hardiness Zone: 4-8 S / 4-8 W    Height: 6-8′    Exposure: Full or Part Sun    Blooms In: July-Sept
Ships as 1 gallon pot for $29.95 @ White Flower Farm

Hydrangea
paniculata BoboHydrangea paniculata Bobo®

Bobo® was first introduced in Belgium by the same hybridizer as the award-winning Pinky Winky™ and became an instant hit.  Its compact size allows it to be a great addition to a smaller garden border or a beautiful container planting.  The plant is engulfed midsummer to fall with large blooms held on strong stems. Blooming on new wood, the florets first appear white and then turn to pale pink in the fall.  It is a hardy plant that is not effected by soil pH balance.  Hobo® won the gold medal for its innovative size and habit.

Hardiness Zone: 4-8 S / 4-8 W    Height: 30″+    Exposure: Full or Part Sun    Blooms In: July-Sept
Ships as 1 gallon pot for $34.95 @ White Flower Farm

Hydrangea paniculata Limelight

Hydrangea paniculata Limelight

This is a hardy Hydrangea that does well in cold climates and still blooms right through the heat of summer. The large, pistachio-hued floral cones range from 6-12 inches and take on a blush of deep pink during the fall months.  The fast growing, ‘Limelight’ reaches a height of 7-8 feet making it a great back of the border planting whose color blends well into any garden.  It is also drought tolerant and makes a standout specimen as a container planting.  The flowers do well in either fresh or dried arrangements.

Hardiness Zone: 4-8 S / 4-8 W    Height: 6-8′    Exposure: Full or Part Sun    Blooms In: Aug-Sept
Ships as 1 gallon pot for $32.95 @ White Flower Farm

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5 Comments on "8 Hydrangeas You Should Try"

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  1. Sandy says:

    I love Hydrangeas!

  2. Rhonda says:

    I am going to order some of these. So pretty!

  3. Lori says:

    So Southern!

  4. Tina L. says:

    Planning my garden now! Thanks for the suggestions!! Love Southern Guide to Life!!!!!!

  5. Olive says:

    Bookmaked this site!!!