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Hydrangeas-Selection-Planting--Care.jpg

Hydrangeas: Selection, Planting & Care

Smooth, Hills of Snow, Snowball (Annabelle type) Hydrangeas

Hydrangea arborescens (pictured above)

  • Shade garden, mixed border, dried flowers
  • Grows 3 to 5’ tall and wider
  • Prefers partial shade, full sun if soil is kept moist
  • Moist, well-drained soil preferred
  • Fertilize with low nitrogen/ organic fertilizer early spring to improve flowering
  • Soil pH (acidity) does not influence flower color
  • Blooms on new growth – prune during dormant season
  • Varieties
    • Annabelle – large white flowers, 4’ tall x 5’ wide, tolerates full shade
    • Invincibelle Spirit – Pink flowers
    • Incrediball – Large round flowers. 5’ tall and wide
  • Pruning Tips
    • Prune late winter after the worst of winter has passed /early spring before growth begins (You’ll enjoy the winter interest & increased hardiness
      • OR prune in fall for a neater appearance over winter
    • Prune all stems back to 12 to 15” above the ground, then prune half of these back to ground level for less floppy growth
      • OR All stems back to several inches above the ground – results in floppier growth

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Panicle Hydrangea

Hydrangea paniculata

  • Screen, hedge, specimen, mixed border
  • Dwarf varieties 3 to 6’ tall & wide, Large varieties up 10’+ tall & wide
  • Performs best in full sun will tolerate partial shade
  • Moist, well-drained soil preferred
  • Soil pH (acidity) does not influence flower color
  • Blooms on new growth – prune during dormant season if needed
  • Varieties
    • Bobo  - 2 to 3’ x 3 to 4’ wide, compact mounded plant with lots of long lasting large white flowers that eventually fade to a purplish pink
    • Limelight – 6 to 10’ x 5 to 6’ wide, lime green flowers fading to rose
    • Little Lime – 3 to 5’ tall and wide. Lime green flowers fading to rose
    • Little Lamb – 6 to 8’ x 4 to 6’ wide, large fluffy white flowers
    • Pinkie Winky – 6 to 8’ x 5 to 6’ wide, large, white & pink flowers fade to dark pink
    • Quickfire – 6 to 8’ tall and wide – earlier bloom, white to pink to rosy red
    • Tardiva – 8 to 12’ x 5 to 7’ wide – late bloom, lacy white flowers fades to purplish- pink
    • Vanilla Strawberry - 6 to 8’ x 4 to 5’ wide – large white flowers fade to pink and then a strawberry red
  • Pruning Tips
    • Minimal pruning needed
      • Thinning plants to 5 to 10 primary shoots will encourage larger flowers
      • Pruning to ground level will result in weak floppy growth Prune in late winter after the worst of winter has passed /early spring before growth begins

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Bigleaf Hydrangea

Hydrangea macrophylla

  • Shrub or mixed border
  • Grows 3 to 6’ tall & wide
  • Grow in full sun with moist soil, afternoon shade
  • Moist, well-drained soil preferred
  • Soil pH (acidity) influences flower color
    • Blue flowers in acidic soil
      • Aluminum sulfate (per label directions spring through July)
    • Pink flowers in alkaline soil
  • Blooms on old growth
    • Improve flowering on Endless Summer & Twist and Shout
      • Moist, not wet soil spring through summer
      • One application of Milorganite fertilizer in spring. It contains plant available – non leaching phosphorous (P). Plus as the microorganisms release the nutrients from Milorganite they also release some of the P bound to our soil – P promotes flowering
  • Varieties
    • Endless Summer – 3 to 4’ tall & wide, spherical blooms on old and new wood
    • Twist and Shout – 3 to 4’ tall & wide, lace cap flowers on old and new wood
  • Pruning
    • Allow plants to stand for winter
    • Remove winter-killed stems (this may be all of them to the ground)
    • No further pruning is usually needed in our area

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Oakleaf Hydrangea

Hydrangea quercifolia

  • Shade garden, four season interest, hedge, mixed border
    • Deep green oak shaped leaves
    • Bronze, maroon and purple fall color
    • Cinnamon colored exfoliating bark
  • Grows up to 8 feet tall and wide
  • Grow in partial shade or sun
  • Moist, well-drained soil preferred
  • Blooms on old wood
  • Varieties
    • Alice – 5 to 8’ tall & wide, large 10-14” white flowers fading to pink then brown Bronze, maroon, purple fall color & orange exfoliating bark
    • Pee Wee – 3 to 4’ x 2.5 to 3’ wide, compact, less suckering, flowers white, fade to pink, then brown - Bronze, maroon, purple fall color & orange exfoliating bark
  • Pruning – minimal
    • Remove deadwood
    • Prune after flowering if need/want to control the size

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