In summer, which is officially from June 17th to September 21st, no other flowering shrub in the landscape brings as much freshness and appeal as the hydrangea. Available in various flower types, colors, and sizes, this unfussy plant is perfect for a garden with a sunny to part shady spot that is moist and well-drained. The flower colors of H. macrophylla types and H. serrata cultivars can be altered by changing the soil pH: less than 5.5 produce blue flowers; soils with a pH greater than 5.5 produce pink flowers. Some hydrangeas bloom only on old wood, so pruning right after flowering is necessary.
Here are some of our favorites, photographed in July right here in our nursery.
Small Hydrangeas (Under 3′ tall)
Bobo Hydrangea, Hydrangea paniculata ‘ILVOBO’, is a little shrub covered with big white flowers that stay upright on strong stems. Blooms July-September.
Tiny Tuff Stuff Mountain Hydrangea, Hydrangea serrata ‘MAKD’, is small but mighty! At under 2 feet tall, it pumps out lace-cap flowers ranging from blue, pink, lavender, and white, all aging to dusty pink. It blooms on old and new wood and a re-bloomer from June-September.
Medium Size Hydrangeas (3-4′ tall)
Endless Summer Bloomstruck Hydrangea, Hydrangea macrophylla ‘PIIHM-II’, has rose-pink, purple or blue blooms; color determined by soil pH. Strong red-purple stems, red petioles, red veins in dark green foliage. Great fall color. It blooms on old and new wood from June-September.
Little Lime Hydrangea, Hydrangea paniculata ‘Jane’, is the smaller form of ‘Limelight’; its pale lime green flowers change to pink. In fall, leaves take on yellow and reddish-purple colors. Blooms on new wood from July to September.
Little Quick Fire Hydrangea, Hydrangea paniculata ‘SMHPLQF’, is the dwarf form of Quick Fire Hydrangea. Like Quick Fire, it blooms earlier, a month before other hydrangeas. White flowers turn bright pink-red over the summer. It blooms on new wood from June to September.
Endless Summer Twist-n-Shout Hydrangea, Hydrangea macrophylla ‘PIIHM-I’, is a lace cap type with lavender-rose blooms on dark red stems. It is a rebloomer and also disease-resistant. Reddish burgundy fall color. It blooms on new and old wood from July to August.
Sikes Dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Sikes Dwarf’, is a compact form with white panicle flowers in summer. Oak-shaped leaves are tightly arranged and turn deep red in fall. Part to full shade. Blooms June to July.
Large Hydrangeas (6-8′ tall)
Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Alice’, has cone-shaped flowers that emerge white and turn pink as they mature. Distinctive oak-shaped leaves start turning in mid-summer to purple-red tones in fall. 6-8′ tall. Blooms June to July.
Limelight Hydrangea, Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’, has pale lime flowers in mid-summer into fall, changing to deep pink. It blooms on new wood from July to September.
Pinky Winky Hydrangea, H. paniculata ‘DVPPinky’, has enormous flower heads measuring over a foot long that emerge white, then deepen to pink at the bottom. Strong upright red stems mean that flowers don’t flop. Blooms July to September.
Vanilla Strawberry™ Hydrangea, Hydrangea paniculata ‘Renhy’, offers huge white flower panicles in mid-summer that change to pink and deepen to strawberry red, staying upright on strong red stems. Red flower color persists for at least 3-4 weeks.
Quick Fire Hydrangea, Hydrangea paniculata ‘Bulk’, is an early blooming hydrangea that begins blooming in May, first white then turning to dusty rose. New stems are red which contrasts well with the white blooms and green foliage. It blooms on new wood from May to September.
Quick Fire Fab Hydrangea, Hydrangea paniculata ‘SMNHPM’, is a 2021 introduction which also blooms early like Quick Fire, except it has huge mophead flowers with an interesting texture. Flowers start off white, then turn bluish pink, bright pink, and bright red, starting at the base of the flower. It blooms on new wood from May to September.
… and Hydrangea Vine
Climbing Hydrangea, Hydrangea anomala ssp petiolaris, clings onto and climbs vertical surfaces with holdfasts. It takes a few years to fully establish, but the sight of a wall covered with fresh white flowers every year is worth it. Its exfoliating bark is interesting in winter. 20-30′ tall. Blooms June to July.