Hydrangeas are a classic landscape and garden feature, and they’re virtually unmistakable! Their trademark cluster blooms change color depending on the pH of the soil, with the exception of true white blooming species (Paniculata and Quercifolia). Specifically, pink blooms come from alkaline soil, blue from acidic soil, and purple from somewhere in between.
The name itself comes from the Greek words, ‘hydros,’ which means water,’ and ‘angos,’ which roughly translates to ‘jar.’ This name initially referred to the spherical shape of the flower head. However, it ironically also applies to the regular watering required to keep them perky and healthy.
Fortunately, there is a Hydrangea for nearly every landscape. There are varieties that thrive in Full Sun, Partial Shade, and even primarily shady locations. Nearly every variety will need regular watering in the first growing season. However, avoid planting them in areas with frequent standing water. This is likely to lead to root rot.
We recommend planting in either Spring or Fall. The moderate temperatures in these two seasons are ideal for new plantings. It’s risky to try to plant with less than a month before your expected first freeze of the year. However, these winter-hardy shrubs should be fine when planted with a month or more before your first freeze.
We sell three notably different species: Paniculata, Macrophylla, and Quercifolia. Each type has its own strengths in the landscape.
Paniculata (or Panicle) types include varieties such as the White Wedding Hydrangea. These shrubs are traditionally summer bloomers and are ideal for Full Sun applications. They produce cones of white panicle blooms that age to varying degrees of pink depending on the breed. This species is known for their fast-growth as well.
Macrophylla (or Mophead) selections, like the Bloomstruck Hydrangea and Summer Crush Hydrangea, are perfect for Partial Shade gardens. This is the group that features color-changing blooms depending upon the soil pH. Lacecap varieties also fall under this category. Some varieties from this species bloom only in summer, while others, such as Endless Summer Hydrangea varieties, rebloom from late spring through fall.
Quercifolia varieties include the Semmes Beauty Oakleaf Hydrangea. This type is perfect for partial Shade gardens where you need a taller element with attractive white blooms. They bring an indisputable elegance to any landscape.
All three types are deciduous, meaning that they’ll go dormant every winter. Therefore, they’re all impressively cold hardy.
All three types of this species that we sell go dormant in winter which means that they lose all of their leaves. We still ship them during this time. In fact, they ship very well in this state. So we encourage you to buy a few, leave them in a garage, basement, or on a patio shielded from harsh winds. Simply water them 2-3 times per month and then plant them in the ground or in a planter once spring rolls around again.