Zone: 3 – 9
Bloom Time: Summer to Fall
Height: 3′ to 8′ (depending on the variety)
Big green leaves and prolific magnificent blooms describe this entry in the shade loving shrubs list.
Hydrangeas, as the name (hydra) implies, need to be kept well watered. They are deciduous bushes that blossom from July through September. The pruning care requirements are dependent on the type.
Hydrangea macrophylla* (bigleaf, hophead, lacecap, and florist hydrangea) should only have dead and weak stems removed immediately after the blooms fade, otherwise, it will not flower next year.
It blooms on old wood, so resist the urge to trim the dead looking stems in the spring!
With the exception of the white bloomers, and some new introductions (e.g.’ pistachio’), the color of Hydrangea macrophylla flowers is dependent on the pH of the soil—blue in acidic and pink in alkaline.
Buy Hydrangea macrophylla HERE.*
Oakleaf hydrangea* is an understory plant indigenous to the southeastern United States and is poplar in the home border for its all-season interest.
The summer blooms change from white to dusty pink and are very long lasting.
Its distinctive oak-shaped leaves turn bright red in the fall and the exfoliating bark of its stems is interesting in the winter and early spring.
It likes acidic soil and needs no pruning.
Buy Oakleaf hydrangea HERE.*
Note: Hydrangea paniculata ‘peegee’ and Hydrangea aborescens ‘Annabelle’ usually do better in sunny locations, and may not bloom as well if planted in the shade.