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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hydrangeas Part II

You thought I forgot, didn't you? I did not. I lost my notes. I lost my mind. They have both returned. I began writing this post in my notebook, but found it became rather verbose. So if you can believe it, I'll have to write another post for Part III and the remaining questions I am often asked. This post addresses the question:
Is there a hydrangea I can grow even though we have harsh winters?
Why,yes, my cold weather friends there long as you are in a region no lower than Zone 3 on a climate map. In case you are unsure of your zone, I've scanned a climate map below.(Click on map to enlarge)

Here is a breakdown for hydrangeas suitable for cold regions:

Zone 3: Hydrangea Paniculata AKA Pee Gee Hydrangeas

What they lack in color, they make up for with presence and abundance.Jackie-Baby and 'Limelight' blooms as big as his head
Bloom Color: Cream, ivory or white often aging to green or pink.
Pros: Blooms on new wood, so it is not affected by late frosts.

One of the few hydrangeas which does well in full sun - don't even think about putting her in the shade!
Fast grower and gets BIG! (I guess that's not a "Pro" if you have a small space.)
Bloom Time: Late summer, but blooms will age beautifully until hard frost.
Favorite Pee Gee: Limelight

Zone 4: Hydrangea Aborescens AKA Wild or Smooth Hydrangeas

A prolific and consistent bloomer. ( I have 6 of these beauties.)early 'Anabelle' hydrangea blooms
Bloom color: begins bright green, turns white and ages back to green.
Pros: Also blooms on new wood and is not affected by late frosts.
Can tolerate a little more sun. (But not full sun.)
Bloom time: Early in the season.

Favorite: Annabelle, which will re-bloom in late summer if deadheaded and cut back after the first bloom.

Zone 4: Hydrangea macrophylla 'Endless Summer' - mophead
The only mophead which can survive in the cold of Zone 4.'Endless Summer'
Bloom color: blue or pink depending on soil conditions.
Pros: very hardy and colorful!
Bloom time: June
The further north you are located, the more sun she'll tolerate. Here in the south, she'll need protection from the afternoon sun.

Zone 5: Hydrangea quercifolia AKA Oakleaf Hydrangea

As the name suggests, it's leaves look like those of an oak and color up beautifully in the late summer and fall. Oakleafs are are consistent and abundant bloomers which do well with sun, but not full sun. Needs good drainage. Some varieties get VERY big. Lulu by my neighbor, Pam's Oakleaf Hydrangea
Bloom color: Green to ivory/white and age pink. However, they will burn out or brown out by July here in the south. I simply cut the spent blooms & enjoy the remaining foliage.
Note: Bees love oakleaf blooms in the early stages, so beware if you are allergic to stings.
Favorite Oakleaf: 'Snowflake' - it has a double flower and the bloom ages better than others in my garden.
early blooming 'Snowflake' Oakleaf
'Snowflake' Oakleaf aging to pink

Zone 5: Hydrangea serrata AKA Lacecaps

Lacecaps have delicate, airy and dainty blooms and their leaves are narrow.'Purple Tiers'
Bloom colors: Purple, blue, white or pink.
Pros: Lacecaps are a more reliable bloomer than mopheads since they are hardier. (Less threatened by late frosts.) Since their blooms are more delicate, they remain upright.
Favorite Lacecaps: 'Purple Tiers', 'Tiara' and 'Blue Billow'
Note: Another favorite of bees once the centers "pop".'Tiara'
In case you are wondering why I am posting this now, it is because hydrangeas are best to plant in the fall. This way, there is less stress on the plant, it gets plenty of winter moisture and has time to set it's buds.
So go forth and get yourself a hydrangea or three...or five. Best to plant in odd numbers.
Thanks for visiting!


  1. gorgeous shots - these are always a favorite. reminds me of quaint, peaceful and happy gardens.

  2. These are amazing shots!! I love that deep blue one...gorgeous!

  3. Our city has some gigantic hydrangeas in the street gardens. Such amazing blooms.

  4. I had no idea there are so many hydrangea varieties. Beautiful pictures!

  5. Hi Traci, My Travel Tuesday post is all about flowers today, so I have mentioned you, and linked back to your blog through my post. Have a wonderful day.

  6. well since these gorgeous flowers are scarce in the desert, I am admiring your images!

  7. Beautiful! Great, now one more thing to add to my list of "what to plant". Hee hee!

  8. This is great! I love hydrangeas! This is very well done!
    God Bless,

  9. love the hydrangeas post.. I did one a while back.. and I had hydrangeas cup cakes

  10. Hydrangeas are my true favorite flower. I loved all the photos and thanks for the info. Thanks also for visiting me today.

  11. Hello Traci,

    It's been a pleasure perusing your blog !
    LoVe this post on hydrangeas,
    thank you for sharing the beauty and info !



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