fbpx

Hydrangea Types We Love

Jun 26, 2014

hydrangeabloomstruckHydrangeas – Always Trending

Hydrangeas are as varied as the gardens they inhabit. It may be because they satisfy so many different tastes and situations that they are so loved. Information on hydrangeas could fill a book and in fact many have been filled! These introductory facts may be just enough to help you decide which hydrangea you want to add to your landscape or just might help you figure out which type you already have. For a more thorough read on hydrangeas, try “Hydrangeas of the North” by Tim Boebel. It’s the best book we’ve seen on cold climate hydrangea gardening.

Pictured left: ‘Bloomstruck’, the newest addition to the Endless Summer collection of hydrangea macrophylla.

 

citylineparis

Hydrangea Macrophylla

Don’t let these names scare you! Macrophyllas are also known as Bigleaf hydrangeas or even French hydrangeas.hydrangeatwist

These are the hydrangeas that come in a myriad of colors. Pinks blues, red, multi-color and white. For macrophyllas the drama is generally in the color, which usually varies from clear hues to very bold and vibrant. Sizes vary from 4-8 ft. and leaves are shiny and serrated. Macrophyllas have a pleasing round and symmetrical habit.

Flower type: Mophead or lacecap. Mophead refers to a big cluster of flowers in a dome shape. Lacecaps hold both sterile and fertile flowers, so the outer ring of flowers are different than the inner flowers.

hydranpistachio2

Colors: White, pink, blue, red, multi-color
Bloom time: Late spring through fall
Sunlight: Sun to part shade depending on the variety.
Popular cultivars: ‘Endless Summer’ series, ‘Nikko Blue’, ‘Penny Mac’, ‘Cityline’ series, ‘Abracadabra’ Series, ‘Forever and Ever’ Series.

Pictured left: ‘Cityline Paris’. Pictured above right: Lacecap ‘Twist and Shout’. Pictured below right: multi-color drama ‘Pistachio’.

 

hydranincrediballHydrangea arborescens or Smooth hydrangeas

Arborescens are a much loved flowering shrub, some with basketball sized blooms blooming reliably year after year. This is a traditional plant for any cottage garden background, giving that nostalgic summer feel. Also, known to be so laden with flowers that they flop over, arborescens can be pruned in spring to strengthen the stems. This is a native plant to the U.S.hydraninvincibell

Flower type: Mophead or lacecap. Mophead refers to a big cluster of flowers in a dome shape. Lacecaps hold both sterile and fertile flowers, so the outer ring of flowers are different than the inner flowers.

Colors: White or pink
Bloom time: summer to fall depending on the variety.
Sunlight: Sun to part shade morning sun afternoon shade or dappled shade all day.
Popular cultivars:Invincibelle Spirit’, ‘Incrediball’, ‘Annabelle’, and ‘Bella Anna’. Pictured left: ‘Incrediball’. Pictured right: ‘Invincibelle Spirit’.

‘Annabelle’ was the first mophead smooth hydrangea. As a result, the cultivar name is often used to describe all cultivars in the arborescens family.

 

hydrangea pinky winky proven winnersHydrangea paniculata or Panicle hydrangeahydranlimelight

Often seen in tree form, paniculatas are known for their ever-changing flower color. These huge panicles morph from bud into large white, green or two-toned pyramidal clusters changing through the season to rosy, pink or bronzy pink. A favorite later in the season bloomer with the ability to proudly stand in full sun.

Flower type: Large pyramidal

Colors: White turning to pink or bronze, bi-color, lime green
Bloom time: mid-summer through fall depending on variety
Sunlight: Full sun to part shade, best bloom in full sun.
Popular cultivars: ‘Peegee’, ‘Tardiva’, ‘Limelight’, ‘Little Lime’, ‘Pink Diamond’, ‘Vanilla Strawberry’, ‘Pinky Winky’, ‘Bobo’ ‘Quickfire’. Pictured left: ‘Pinky Winky’. Pictured right: ‘Limelight’ picture courtesy of Prides Corner Farms.

Sometimes the name ‘Peegee’ is used to refer to all paniculatas, but it is in fact a specific variety.

 

hydranoakrubyslipHydrangea quercifolia

Prized in the landscape for their oak-like leaves, quercifolias boast ever-changing flowers as well. ‘Ruby Slippers’ opens with large white panicles turning pink and then to a deep rose. White quercifolias open white and turn a soft pink. The leaves also change their color from a deep green to rich scarlet and mahogany in the fall, making this hydrangea special for its fall interest. hydranoakleaf

Flower type: pyramidal
Colors: white, pink changing through the season.
Bloom time: summer
Sunlight: sun to part sun

Popular cultivars: ‘Ruby Slippers’ (pictured left), ‘Snow Queen’. This plant is a North American native. Its peeling bark is also visually appealing.

 

hydranclimbingwillowayHydrangea anomola petiolaris or climbing hydrangea

Climbing hydrangea do just that. Climb! These vines can grow to 40 or more feet showing off heart shaped leaves and fragrant white lacecap flowers. Climbing hydrangeas can be a little slow in establishing themselves, but are certainly worth the wait! Once a climbing hydrangea feels at home, it grows with abandon. No tying or staking is needed, just plant it next to what you would like it to climb. It’s happy to oblige. Also useful as a ground cover.

Flower type: Lacecap

Colors: White
Bloom time: Early summer
Sunlight: Sun to part sun
Popular cultivars: Usually sold as the subspecies plant Hydrangea anomala petriolaris

picture courtesy of Willoway Nurseries