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The Hydrangea Plant

The Hydrangea plant can be found in many old fashioned gardens. Their large shapes dotted with large clusters of blue or pink flowers often elicit memories of your mom's or grandmother's house.





There are many hydrangea varieties used in the garden. Hydrangea arborescens is also known as the Hills-of-Snow hydrangea.

Hydrangea paniculata is the most frequently planted variety. Also known a Pee Gee hydrangea, it starts with white flowers and then fades to pink.

Hydrangea macrophylla is the one you remember from your grandmother's garden. Large globes of flower clusters will appear blue in acidic soil, pink in alkaline soil and white in neutral soil.

hydrangea plant
Photo courtsey gailf548


Hydrangea quercifolia is known for its beautiful foliage that resembles oak leaves. It provides excellent fall color, nice flowers and attractive bark for winter.

Hydrangea anomala petiolaris is a climbing hydrangea. This woody vine uses aerial roots to attach to wood, brick or masonry and has nice flowers in the middle of summer.

Landscaping With Hydrangeas

The hydrangea plant is known for its rounded shape and large leaves with serrated edges. The leaves are dark green. It can reach 3 to 6 feet tall and about the same distance from side to side.

Hydrangeas are wonderful as foundation plantings or in shrubby borders. In warmer areas, they can be used as flowering hedges. The dark foliage makes a good backdrop for white and pastel flowers. When you let it grow to its full potential, it makes a magnificent specimen plant.

Hydrangea Care

To adjust the color of your hydrangea macrophylla, add aluminum sulfate until the pH is between 5.0 and 5.5 for blue flowers. For pink flowers, add limestone when you plant the shrub to make the soil between 6.5 and 7.0.

Always test your soil before adding anything. If you continually change the pH, you can make it difficult for the plant to take up nutrients.

Amazon carries a 3 way meter that test your moisture, light and ph levels.

Most hydrangea plant varieties have large ball-shaped clusters of simple flowers. Lacecap varieties have flat clusters of tiny inflorescences surrounded by large sterile blossoms.

Photo courtsey Herkie
hydrangea plant
These deciduous plants provide a lot of visual interest in the summer. The shrub blooms on the previous year's growth, so a mild winter is necessary for good flowering. Hard winters will kill the flower buds.

Native to Japan and Korea, the hydrangea plant can easily naturalize in similar climates. They like rich, loose soil that is moist but well drained. It can take full sun in cooler climates.

In hot areas, the plant prefers part shade. Hot sun will cause the leaves to wilt even if it has just been watered.

Prune old flowers as soon as they fade since new buds will form soon after.

It is hardy from USDA zones 6 through 10.

Hydrangeas are easily propagated by cuttings.

Minimal pruning is best for the most flower production. Hydrangea flowers can be air dried for everlasting bouquets. They can be left natural or spray painted. Natural dried flowers need to be sprayed with hair spray to stiffen the blossoms and preserve them.

Hydrangea plants are often purchased as holiday gifts for Easter or Mother's Day. They are brought into full bloom before their normal time to look perfect.

The important thing to remember if you get one of these as a gift is that they dry out quickly, especially in the house. Keep the soil moist at all times. It needs direct sunlight as well.

Once the flowers fade, clip them off and treat the plant like any other house plant. Once there is no danger of frost, it can be placed outside in the garden in a sheltered area.

It is important to shelter the hydrangea plant since it was grown in a greenhouse and needs time to adjust. If you live in a cold area, it may not produce flowers. You can help the situation by sheltering the plant and even covering it with burlap if needed.

In mid-July, prune your hothouse hydrangea about 5 inches from the ground. The shrub will produce short branches that end in a dormant flower bud.

In the winter, before the temperature reaches 25 degrees Fahrenheit, surround the plant with a screen. Fill this with insulation such as peat moss or vermiculite. Add more if it settles as time passes. Remove this when the crocuses begin to bloom, but cover it at night if it gets cold. This may help the buds to survive.

Hydrangea Plant Varieties


Lady In Red Hydrangea

The Lady in Red hydrangea is something new in the world of hydrangeas. Not only does it offer a beautiful lacecap in pale pink or blue that fades to a deep burgundy, the leaves have red veins and stems. Blooming in late spring, this smaller hydrangea is ...

Read more about the Lady In Red Hydrangea

Bluebird Hydrangea

Bluebird hydrangea is a beautiful lacecap. The large blossom clusters are pale blue in acidic soils, with dark blue tiny flowers in the center. They don't need additional acidic fertilizers to remain blue. Adding lime will turn the flowers pink. The flowers are beautiful as cut flowers and ...

Read more about the Bluebird Hydrangea

Annabelle Hydrangeas

Annabelle hydrangeas make a wonderful addition to a shady spot. Bright green leaves serve as a nice backdrop to the show of white flower clusters most of the summer. The flower clusters, known as mopheads, grow from 8 to 12 inches in diameter.

Read more about the Annabelle Hydrangeas

Hydrangea Pink Diamond

Hydrangea Pink Diamond is a showy bush of medium size that offers a showy white bloom in mid to late summer. The flowers quickly fade to a deep rich pink, which gives the plant its name. The large leaves...

Read more about the Hydrangea Pink Diamond

Bluebird Hydrangea

Bluebird hydrangea is a beautiful lacecap. The large blossom clusters are pale blue in acidic soils, with dark blue tiny flowers in the center. They don't need additional...

Read more about the Bluebird Hydrangea

Nikko Blue Hydrangea

The Nikko Blue hydrangea is a big leaf shrub with large globes of flowers. The flowers will be blue or pink, depending on the pH of the soil. The shrub blooms in...

Read more about the Nikko Blue Hydrangea

Shooting Star Hydrangea

Shooting Star hydrangea is also known as the cultivars 'Hanabi', 'Fireworks' and 'Fuji Waterfall'. They have a spectacular lacecap type flower, but the outer flowers are double petaled and look like...

Read more about the Shooting Star

Climbing Hydrangea Vine

The climbing hydrangea vine is a large plant that can reach 50 feet or more if the circumstances allow. Fragrant white lacy flower clusters appear in...

Read more about the Climbing Hydrangea Vine

Red Hydrangeas

Red hydrangeas are hard to find. Most that profess to be red are actually a dark pink. Even those that are almost a red can benefit from some lime added to the soil now and then. Red hydrangeas planted in acidic soil may suffer...

Read more about the Red Hydrangeas

Oak Leaf Hydrangea

The oak leaf hydrangea is native to North America. This deciduous shrub has big coarse leaves with 3, 5 or 7 lobes and an open loose mounding growth habit. The multiple stems grow...

Read more about the Oak Leaf

Variegated Hydrangea

The variegated hydrangea plant is an excellent choice for your shrub border or to accent your garden. Its beautiful lacecap flower heads are a spectacular...

Read more about the Variegated Hydrangea

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