There are six types of Hydrangeas that grow successfully in the northeast and southeast of the United States. These six hydrangea options vary greatly in appearance and environmental preferences. If you love hydrangeas, our knowledgeable designer can help you choose the one that is right for your garden.
Which Hydrangea is Right for You?
Hydrangea macrophylla (Big Leaf or Mophead Hydrangea) is a mounding deciduous shrub that is native to the areas of Japan, China, and Korea. Here in Zone 7, this beautiful shrub prefers part shade to shade and soil with high organic content. The flowers, which emerge in early summer and last for several weeks, will change color depending on the pH of the soil. The Big Leaf Hydrangea is salt tolerant and prefers moist soil.
Hydrangea serrata (Mountain Hydrangea) looks very similar to Hydrangea macrophylla but is more cold tolerant because it is native to the mountainous regions of Japan. This one’s cold hardiness makes it perfect for areas that are exposed to winter winds which can freeze the flower buds of the Hydrangea macrophylla.
Hydrangea quercifolia (Oakleaf Hydrangea) and Hydrangea arborescens (Smooth Hydrangea) are native to the Northeastern United States. Our native species vary greatly in shape and appearance, but both are hardy and adaptable. Plant breeders have developed many cultivars of these two, making more flower shapes and colors available.
Hydrangea quercifolia (Oakleaf Hydrangea) received its name because of the shape of its leaves. The large (or coarse) foliage emerges a light green in spring and matures to a dark green color in the summer before changing to a beautiful maroon in the fall. The panicle flowers emerge in early summer and last for several weeks and often age from a pure white to a hue of pink. Even though, the Oakleaf Hydrangea is deciduous the show does not end in the fall. The exfoliating bark on the graceful stems provide interest throughout the winter.
Hydrangea arborescens (Smooth Hydrangea) is a mounded shrub with large (usually white) flower clusters that bloom in early summer. The flowers remain showy for several weeks and if cut the shrub will rebloom in late summer. The stems of a Smooth Hydrangea should be cut within six inches of the ground in late winter to encourage strong new growth.
Hydrangea paniculata (Panicle Hydrangea) is a sun loving option that blooms in mid-summer. The flowers emerge white and mature to hues of pink and red. There is a wide assortment of cultivars available that vary in shrub size, flower size, and flower color
Hydrangea anomala subspecies petiolaris (Climbing Hydrangea) is a deciduous flowering vine that can grow up to 60 foot tall with the correct support. The white lace-cap flowers bloom in late May and last for several weeks. It is tolerant of sun and shade but does like some protection from hot afternoon sun.
Call our designer at 410-667-8900 or contact us today to see how hydrangeas can be incorporated into your garden.