Growing Hydrangea: Tips at a Glance
With around 75 species and hundreds of cultivars, flowering hydrangeas find their way into most gardens in temperate climates. Would summer as we know it even exist without their cheery, explosive flowers?
- Type Flowering shrub
- Lifespan Perennial, up to 50 years
- USDA Zones 2-9
- Water Heavy drinker
- Light Sun or partial shade
- Companions Roses, clematis
- Colors Pink, blue, white
- Design Tip Untamed hedge
- Peak Season Summer
Hydrangea: A Field Guide
Hydrangeas suffer from the same image problem as rhododendrons: They are usually in the wrong place. But they take on a magnificence when they have freedom, grown along narrow lanes or as wild hedges.
With around 75 species and hundreds of cultivars (there are more than 600 cultivars of H. macrophylla alone), hydrangeas find their way into most gardens in temperate climates. Flowers, like clothes, go in and out of style, but white hydrangeas will always dispel gloom in a dark corner. Mopheads will blanket an awkward slope. And big, blue macrophylla hydrangeas look otherworldly in twilight.
Some of our favorite hydrangea cultivars are H. arborescens ‘Annabelle’ with 10-inch white mopheads that bloom on new wood (even if there’s a late freeze, you can count on flowers); lacecap ‘Twist and Shout’, which will re-bloom if you deadhead it, and H. petiolaris, a climbing hydrangea you can train to cover a shady wall or fence. See our list of favorites in Hydrangeas: 10 Best Flowering Shrubs to Grow.