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HomeFlower7 Main Varieties of Hydrangeas: Your Full Information

7 Main Varieties of Hydrangeas: Your Full Information

In case you’ve been dreaming of luscious white or blue blooms as a backdrop in your summer season backyard, you’ve in all probability thought of planting a hydrangea or two. These hardy deciduous shrubs are a wonderful alternative for partly shaded gardens with wealthy, well-drained soil. In case you’ve received a spot in your backyard that’s calling for a hydrangea, maintain studying. That is our listing of all the things it’s essential to know concerning the seven most typical sorts of hydrangeas.

Popular Types of Hydrangea To Consider for Your Summer Garden

1. Bigleaf Hydrangea

  • Botanical Identify: Hydrangea macrophylla
  • Rising Zones: 5-9
  • Colours: Pink, blue (can differ based mostly on soil pH)
  • Top/Unfold: 3-6 ft/3-6 ft
  • Gentle: Partial shade
  • Soil: Moist, well-drained, enriched with natural matter
  • Flowering Season: Summer time
  • Pruning: After flowering, however minimal as they bloom on outdated wooden
Bigleaf Hydrangea

Also referred to as French, Japanese, or Snowball hydrangea, Bigleaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) are a preferred alternative amongst gardeners everywhere in the US, particularly in coastal elements of the Jap states the place the acidic soil permits for vibrant blue clusters of flowers. These beauties can develop wherever from three to eight toes tall, and common round 4 toes large. 

In right now’s hydrangea-loving nursery commerce, there are over 500 cultivars of Bigleaf hydrangea divided into two primary teams: the hortensias, which have giant snowball-like flower clusters, and the lacecaps, which generally have extra flat-topped clusters. No matter which type you get, most bigleaf hydrangeas have related wants within the backyard on the subject of mild and water. 

Bigleaf Hydrangea Care

Usually, Bigleaf hydrangeas will flourish in zones 5-9, and like morning solar, afternoon shade, and moist, well-draining soil. Planting websites which can be too uncovered or too scorching and dry must be averted.

Many hydrangeas appear to take pleasure in partly shaded areas beneath timber and subsequent to homes, and common waterings between rain showers. You may also take into account including a general-purpose fertilizer to the bottom of your hydrangeas within the months main as much as their bloom time (usually late spring by early summer season which can also be the most effective time to think about transplanting or propagating hydrangeas when you’re trying to develop your assortment).

Pruning must be executed as soon as flowers start to fade, however not too late within the season. Bigleaf hydrangeas start forming their blooms for the next season in late summer season, so keep away from pruning too late otherwise you threat damaging the next summer season’s bloom potential. 

In terms of which coloration hydrangeas you’re in a position to develop, it will all rely on the pH of your soil, and the way a lot aluminum is current. For acidic soils (pH of 5.5 or decrease) which include extra aluminum, blooms will usually be blue. For extra impartial or alkaline soils (pH of seven.0 or greater), flowers are extra pink. 

It’s value noting that hydrangeas are thought of poisonous, so it’s prudent to put on a pair of gardening gloves all through the method.

2. Lacecap hydrangea

  • Botanical Identify: Hydrangea macrophylla var. normalis
  • Rising Zones: 5-9
  • Colours: Blue, pink (can differ based mostly on soil pH)
  • Top/Unfold: 3-6 ft/3-6 ft
  • Gentle: Partial shade
  • Soil: Moist, well-drained
  • Flowering Season: Summer time
  • Pruning: After flowering, minimal as they bloom on outdated wooden
Lacecap hydrangea

One other number of the Hydrangea macrophylla, Lacecaps have totally different flowers however very related rising necessities. Not like the beloved Snowball hydrangeas, Lacecaps have flatter-topped flowers which can be made up of a disk of smaller flowers outlined by bigger, showier ones. They’re hardy in zones 6-9, and lots of hydrangeas varietals can attain six toes tall (and large) at maturity and relying in your soil— might bloom in blue, white, or pink.

Very like the snowball hydrangeas, Lacecap hydrangeas favor common watering in well-draining soil. Muddy soil that retains their roots too moist will spell catastrophe. Half-sun areas (with a desire for morning solar) are finest. Annual fertilization earlier within the season with a balanced 10-10-10 components will assist your lacecap to flourish throughout the summer season, and common deadheading will encourage blooms all season lengthy. Not like different sorts of hydrangeas, Lacecaps can face up to intense pruning, so when you have one which hasn’t bloomed in a number of years, take into account chopping it again by about ⅓ throughout the winter season to encourage recent development the next 12 months. 

3. Mountain hydrangea

  • Botanical Identify: Hydrangea serrata
  • Rising Zones: 6-9
  • Colours: Blue, pink
  • Top/Unfold: 2-4 ft/2-4 ft
  • Gentle: Partial shade
  • Soil: Moist, well-drained
  • Flowering Season: Summer time
  • Pruning: After flowering
Mountain hydrangea

A smaller, extra delicate number of hydrangea, Mountain hydrangeas (Hydrangea serrata) are native to elements of Korea and Japan, hardy in zones 6-9, and sometimes develop two to 4 toes tall and simply as large. These shrubby vegetation have a rounded look and produce lacecap flowers in varied colours. Essentially the most distinctive high quality of Mountain hydrangeas is their skill to alter colours three to 4 occasions all through the bloom season (which runs from early to late summer season). 

This number of hydrangea additionally prefers half shade and wealthy, moist, well-draining soil. Though weak to chilly, they’re higher in a position to face up to early spring frosts than another varieties on this listing. That being stated, they do admire a wholesome coating of mulch and can bloom extra constantly if deadheaded all through the rising season.  

4. Clean Hydrangea

  • Botanical Identify: Hydrangea arborescens
  • Rising Zones: 3-9
  • Colours: White, sometimes pink
  • Top/Unfold: 3-5 ft/3-5 ft
  • Gentle: Full solar to partial shade
  • Soil: Moist, well-drained
  • Flowering Season: Summer time
  • Pruning: Late winter or early spring
Smooth Hydrangea

The extensively branched Clean hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) is thought for its creamy white flowers that bloom practically constantly from early summer season to fall. In zones 3-8, these shrubs can develop three to 6 toes tall and simply as large. 

Clean hydrangeas can take full solar however will favor half shade in hotter climates. Not like different hydrangeas on this listing, Clean hydrangeas are literally comparatively drought-tolerant and can thrive in common, medium, or well-drained soils. Due to their full look, these shrubs are a wonderful alternative for hedges and backdrops. Clean hydrangeas develop on new wooden, so pruning ought to happen in late winter or early spring to encourage new development and blooms. 

5. Panicle Hydrangea

  • Botanical Identify: Hydrangea paniculata
  • Rising Zones: 3-8
  • Colours: White, turning into pink or pink as they age
  • Top/Unfold: 6-10 ft/6-10 ft (can differ by cultivar)
  • Gentle: Full solar to partial shade
  • Soil: Effectively-drained
  • Flowering Season: Late summer season to fall
  • Pruning: Late winter or early spring
Panicle Hydrangea

This cold-hardy hydrangea is a simple alternative for gardeners in zones 3-8 on the lookout for a dependable bloomer. The Panicle hydrangea (hydrangea paniculata) varieties giant conical lacy flower clusters and blooms constantly from midsummer to fall. 

The Panicle hydrangea enjoys full solar to half shade and can thrive in wealthy, medium-moisture, well-draining soils. This selection is thought for its chilly hardiness and ensures harsh winter climates significantly better than different sorts of hydrangea. A bonus of this selection is its XL dimension— with common development charges between eight and twenty toes tall and 6 to eight toes large. This monumental stature makes it a simple alternative for privateness hedges and backdrop shrubbery. One other perk of this selection is how the colours of its foliage and flowers evolve with the season—with blooms turning from white to pink and inexperienced leaves turning into pink within the fall. Panicle hydrangeas are finest pruned in late winter or early spring, as blooms seem on new development at the start of every season. 

6. Oakleaf Hydrangea

  • Botanical Identify: Hydrangea quercifolia
  • Rising Zones: 5-9
  • Colours: White, getting older to pinkish-brown
  • Top/Unfold: 4-8 ft/4-8 ft
  • Gentle: Full solar to partial shade
  • Soil: Moist, well-drained
  • Flowering Season: Summer time
  • Pruning: Minimal, might be pruned after flowering if crucial
Oakleaf Hydrangea

Because the identify would counsel, the leaves of the Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) strongly resemble these of an precise oak tree. Hardy in zones 5-9, the Oakleaf hydrangea provides a near-constant show of coloration, with additional giant conical white blooms that may attain as much as 12 inches and switch rosy-pink on the finish of the season and darkish inexperienced leaves that flip deep pink by fall. The plant itself can develop as much as six to eight toes tall and simply as large. 

The Oakleaf hydrangea will develop in full solar or half shade and prefers acidic, moist, well-drained soil. It might thrive in dry situations, however will favor part-shade in hotter climates. The sort of hydrangea can also be stoloniferous, which is able to unfold by way of horizontal shoots that type new roots and high development. Due to its spreading skills, this number of hydrangea is finest planted on the outer edges of your backyard or as a border plant on the sting of a forest.  For the smaller backyard, take into account a dwarf selection just like the ‘Pee Wee’, which has all the identical magnificent foliage in a a lot smaller (often three to 4 toes tall) bundle.

7. Climbing Hydrangea

  • Botanical Identify: Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris
  • Rising Zones: 4-7
  • Colours: White
  • Top/Unfold: As much as 50 ft/as much as 5 ft (as a climber)
  • Gentle: Partial shade
  • Soil: Effectively-drained
  • Flowering Season: Late spring to early summer season
  • Pruning: Minimal, might be pruned after flowering if crucial
Climbing Hydrangea

One other hydrangea true to its identify, the Climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea petiolaris), is a vigorous climbing selection that grows vertically and clings to surfaces by way of its aerial rootlets. With related blooms because the Lacecap hydrangea (small within the heart and extra showy on the outer edges), these aromatic, flat clusters start as green-white buds and blossom into pure white flowers towards wealthy, darkish inexperienced leaves. 

In zones 4-9, these climbing perennials take pleasure in full shade and wealthy, well-drained soil. They could tolerate full solar if fixed moisture might be offered. When given ample floor space to climb (such because the facet of a constructing or a big trellis), the Climbing hydrangea can attain 30 to 40 toes tall and 5 to 6 toes large. Not like different varieties, the Climbing hydrangea doesn’t require annual pruning besides when wanted for controlling the route of its climb. In case you do want to prune it, accomplish that straight after the blooms start to fade. 


With a number of flower colours and shapes to select from and a bunch of makes use of and advantages, it’s simple to discover a hydrangea that you simply love. Past their preliminary bloom coloration, a number of varieties on this listing even provide evolving colours with the seasons—flower clusters that flip from white to pink, or darkish inexperienced leaves that grow to be pink within the fall. 

The easiest way to pick your excellent hydrangea is by selecting a spread that might be happiest in your develop zone and one that can work within the atmosphere offered by your backyard. Keep in mind that bloom colours will differ based mostly on the situation of your soil, and east-coast hydrangeas with blue blooms may not be out there in much less acidic western soils.

Whatever the colours it produces, a well-placed hydrangea will present the proper backdrop or border hedge for nearly any backyard—primarily when you can present the sunshine and water it must thrive!

To benefit from the fruits of your labor for longer, see our important information to drying and preserving hydrangea flowers and how one can lower hydrangeas for a vase or bouquet association.



Larissa is a author, gardener, and herbalist dwelling within the San Juan mountains of Colorado. Her writing has been extensively printed in way of life and private finance publications everywhere in the nation, and he or she’s additionally the creator of the weekly publication @rootedintribe.


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