Choosing Hydrangeas for Your Garden

Jun 24, 2020

Hydrangeas have a classic charm that is hard to resist. Not only are they beautiful, but they are also easy to cultivate and are long-blooming. Hydrangeas bring a wow-factor to any landscape! They're commonly used for group plantings, as shrub borders, in containers, and as cut flowers.

The level of soil acidity affects the flower color of blue and pink varieties, especially in the mophead and lacecap. The more acidic, the bluer the bloom and the less acidic the pinker the bloom. Add Espoma Soil Acidifier for bluer flowers and Espoma Garden Lime for pinker ones. White flowers are not affected by the pH in the soil.

It’s important to note that color correction takes weeks, even months. It is easier to change blue flowers to pink than vice versa. Wait until the plant is at least two years old to attempt color changing.

We love all Hydrangeas but some stand out a little bit more than others. Here are our favorite hydrangeas for full sun, reblooming long-lasting color, and partial shade. All Hydrangeas prefer moist, well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Boost the nourishment of your soil with compost, peat moss, or something similar.

You can plant them in the spring or the fall, but they are not drought tolerant. Keep your hydrangeas consistently watered in the first two years after planting and during any dry times.


Best Hydrangeas for the Sun


Limelight Hydrangea: Limelight Hydrangea is a slightly more compact, easy to care for, panicle hydrangea cultivar developed by Proven Winners. Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight' typically grows to 6 to 8 feet tall and as wide. It is known for producing sizeable cone-shaped lime colored flowers.

Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea: Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea has giant 10 inch blooms that appear in mid-summer and begin a pristine white. This hydrangea's blooms turn a blush pink before changing to a dark rose color!


Reblooming Hydrangeas for Lasting Color


Hydrangea Endless Summer: The original Endless Summer Hydrangea blue-hue flowers bloom on new growth; most hydrangeas need multiple seasons to produce blooms. This shrub will produce blooms throughout the spring and summer months; giving more color and visual appeal to your garden.

Hydrangea Endless Summer Bloomstruck: This showstopper explodes with Mophead shaped blooms held on sturdy, reddish-purple stems. Its blossoms mature to shades of purple or rosy-red (depending on soil pH ). Its purple or rosy hues extend into fall, followed by rich, burgundy-red foliage.

Blushing Bride Hydrangea: Endless Summer Blushing Bride Hydrangea Shrubs are the first re-blooming white hydrangea. Its white flower heads mature to a pale pink in alkaline soil, and pale blue to purple in acid soil. This easy-to-grow plant blooms on older shoots from the previous year, beginning in late spring, and also on new growth that develops from the base and begins to bloom in late summer.

Annabelle Hydrangea: Annabelle Hydrangea produces stunning pure white flowers, much larger than others of the species - up to 12 inches across! Blooms appear in late spring through summer, often continuing into fall. Strong, straight stems hold the huge flower heads up well, despite heavy rain.

Pistachio Hydrangea: Pistachio Hydrangea is a compact mop-head cultivar that grows to 2.5-3’ tall and to 3-5' wide. Flowers open green tinged with chartreuse (pistachio colors), but as they develop the center of each flower turns scarlet red to violet red tinged with chartreuse-green and a small blue eye. Leaves (to 6" long) are glossy green.

Let’s Dance Starlight BigLeaf Hydrangea: Let’s Dance Starlight BigLeaf (hydrangea macrophylla) is the first reblooming lacecap hydrangea, known for its transitioning-hued blooms. This compact shrub’s vibrant pink and blue flowers make an elegant addition to any garden or landscape.


Best Hydrangeas for Shade


Munchkin Oakleaf Hydrangea: Munchkin Oakleaf Hydrangea is an exceptional cultivar introduced by the U.S. National Arboretum. This type of hydrangea is compact and well-suited for smaller landscapes, in groups, or as a hedge.


Snow Queen Oakleaf Hydrangea: Hydrangea Snow Queen is a cultivar that produces 8-inch-long, conical flower heads from early summer on. It is notable for its distinct, deeply lobed leaves and reliably showy, creamy blooms. The foliage produces outstanding fall color and the flowers take on purplish-pink hues when dried.


Ruby Slippers Oakleaf Hydrangea: Ruby Slippers Oakleaf Hydrangea is a cross between the Snow Queen and Pee Wee Hydrangea. This dwarf cultivar produces white blooms that transform into a deep ruby in the fall for year-round interest. 


Climbing Hydrangea Vines: This beautiful, vigorous climbing vine uses its aerial rootlets to cling to surfaces, and produces astounding white lacecap blooms in the summer. This is the only Hydrangea vine that climbs and is so vigorous it can cloak a good-sized house in no time.


Hydrangea Tiny Tuff Stuff: Known for its hardiness, this hydrangea features beautiful lacecap blue blooms that mature to an attractive pink color. Not only does this shrub grow in half-shade, but it also re-blooms throughout the year. Its compact growth habit makes it an excellent addition to any small space garden.