|Hydrangea Varieties, Requirements & Pruning|
The next welcome addition to your landscape could be one of the many show-stopping varieties of hydrangea. Hydrangea produces a display of voluminous blooms on large deep green foliage throughout the summer months adding ongoing color and interest to your garden. There are different varieties of hydrangea that you can choose from that differ slightly in lighting and soil requirements and time frame for pruning.
|'Nikko Blue' Flower Head|
The Mopheads (Hydrangea macrophylla) are the most widely planted hydrangea in home landscapes and are usually blue or pink in color with large leaves.Hydrangea ‘Nikko Blue’ is very well known in the landscape for its large blue ball-shaped flowers that bloom towards the later part of the summer and deepen in color as they mature. ‘Nikko Blue’ Hydrangea does bloom on old wood, which means that if you are looking to prune your plant it needs to be done immediately after flowering before the fall. Hydrangea ‘Nikko Blue’ grows best in moist, well-drained soil in partial shade. It reaches 3-5 feet in height and is hardy to USDA Zone 5.
|Hydrangea 'Endless Summer'|
An alternative to Hydrangea ‘Nikko Blue’ is the new culitvar Hydrangea ‘Endless Summer’ which blooms on both old and new wood and ‘All Summer Beauty’ that blooms on the new growth of the season. Both of the later mentioned also have a much longer bloom time and repeatedly bloom throughout the summer. Each of these plants grows to approximately 3-5 feet in height, each grows best in partially shaded conditions (afternoon shade) and moist well drained soil and are hardy to USDA Zone 5. Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Blushing Bride’ in the Endless Summer Collection displays white blooms that turn pink with age.
|French Miniature Hydrangea macrophylla Pia 'Pink Elf''|
Hydrangea ‘Pia’ is a miniature French hybrid with broad pink flowers growing only to 2 to 3 feet in height, a good candidate for small spaces in zones 5-9. ‘Pia’ grows best in partial sun with afternoon shade and prefers a rich organic soil. Pia hydrangea bloom on old wood and generally need little to no pruning; however, if needed, prune immediately after flowering by cutting back flowering stems to a point of healthy buds.
|Hydrangea 'Tokyo Delight'|
Another variety of Hydrangea ‘macrophylla’ is the Lacecap Hydrangea that displays a smaller inner circle of lace-like flowers surrounded by a ring of larger showier flowers. A favorite is Hydrangea ‘Tokyo Delight’ that displays beautiful cobalt blue flowers with an inner ring of delicate white flowers, grows to 4-6 feet and blooms late July through August, prefers afternoon shade, moist well drained soil and is hardy to USDA Zone 6. Prune Hydrangea ‘Tokyo Delight’ immediately after bloom since new buds form on the older wood from the previous season.
|Hydrangea 'Twist & Shout'|
If you like Lacecap hydrangea, new to the Endless Summer Collection is Hydrangea 'Twist & Shout'. Introduced in 2010 this show stopper is the first lacecap variety in this collection and blooms on old and new wood like the others. Lacy deep-pink centers are surrounded by larger blossoms of pink or periwinkle blue depending on pH of the soil. Leaves turn red-burgundy in fall to offer year-round interest in the garden. Hydrangea 'Twist & Shout is hardy to zone 4 and grows to a height of 3-4 feet.
|Peegee Hydrangea Tree Form|
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora’ or the ‘Peegee' Hydrangea is a personal favorite of mine for extremely large pyramidal white blooms in July throughout fall and abundant fragrance in the garden. Hydrangea ‘Peegee’ can be grown as a shrub or tree form and can serve as either a group planting or as a single specimen in a landscape design. Hydrangea ‘Grandiflora’ also grows 3-5 feet or higher in its tree form. This particular hydrangea can grow well in full to partial sun and blooms on new wood. Sent to the US from Japan in 1861 this beauty is a showpiece in the garden