10 Ways to Conquer Your Fear of Gardening

You might not believe it, but you were born with a green thumb. It may have gone untended for a while, but it's there waiting for you to nudge it awake. Put away your theory of being a plant killer, that anything dies under your care. Forget those nagging thoughts of where your garden will live or when you'll find the time, it's there somewhere. It doesn't have to cost a fortune and you'll get more than you give. So, here are 10 tips for conquering your fear of gardening:

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Gardening Tips for Renters

Want to bring more green to your house or apartment? Using a few easy, inexpensive techniques, <a href="http://www.thehorticult.com/">The Horticult</a> shows how you can garden like you own the place -- without risking your security deposit. You don't have to own your home to create a garden that reflects your personal style. Grow your favorite plants and create an inspired landscape -- or patio, interior, or balcony -- using these fun, low-commitment methods. (Although you might want to check with your landlord about the larger projects!) And if you move, you can take it all with you. These 10 tips for renters will give your garden a new lease on life.

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Summer Checklist

Summer is a gardener¿s busiest season. If you¿re short on time or not sure what to do, follow this easy summer gardening checklist to keep your lawn and garden in great shape all season long.

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Drought-Tolerant Grasses

Drought! The word itself strikes fear into the hearts of gardeners everywhere. Scarce water resources, especially in hard hit areas such as California and Texas, are making it almost impossible to maintain traditional style lawns. That's why many people are replacing their lawns with groundcovers and native plants. But for those who want a lush green lawn, here are some less-thirsty options.

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How to Improve Garden Soil

Many homeowners inherit bad garden soil ¿ but you don¿t have to live with it! Learn how to get the best garden soil possible through amendments, composting, and more.

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Top Shade Perennials

Shade plants are perfect for those tough spots in your yard. Learn about the best shade-loving perennials, including flowering shade perennials, partial shade perennials, and full-shade perennials.

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Landscape Ideas

Landscape ideas provide inspiration, and studies show that upgrading your landscape will add value to your home. Here are some great landscape ideas to improve your home's outward appeal.

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Hydrangea

Hydrangea

Hydrangeas, which come in types that can flourish in sun or shade, offer huge bouquets of clustered flowers, in various arrangements from mophead to lacecap from summer through fall. Varieties of hydrangea differ in size of plant and flower shape, flower color, and blooming time.

PeeGee hydrangeas grow into small trees; the flowers turn russet and cling into winter. Oakleaf hydrangeas have the most handsome foliage, which reddens dramatically in fall. Some of the newer hydrangeas feature huge flowers on compact plants, ideal for containers and small gardens.

Hydrangeas thrive in a moist, fertile, well-drained soil in partial to full shade. If you're seeking blue hydrangea flowers, check your soil's pH level and apply aluminum sulfate in spring to lower pH to the 5.2-5.5 range. The change in hydrangea flower color results from lower pH and higher aluminum content in the soil.

Get tips on pruning hydrangeas for more blooms.

Learn more on how to care for hydrangeas.

Light:

Part Sun, Shade

Type:

Height:

From 3 to 20 feet

Width:

3-18 feet wide

Flower Color:

Foliage Color:

Problem Solvers:

Zones:

4-9

how to grow Hydrangea

more varieties for Hydrangea

'Annabelle' hydrangea
'Annabelle' hydrangea
Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' is a compact variety native to areas of eastern North America that features large clusters of flowers resembling snowballs. Zones 4-9
'Big Daddy' hydrangea
'Big Daddy' hydrangea
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Big Daddy' features some of the largest flowers of any hydrangea. The plant has strong stems, making the blooms good for cutting. It grows 6 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9
Bits of Lace hydrangea
Bits of Lace hydrangea
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Normalis' is a lacecap variety with large white, star-shape florets blushed with pink. It also bears dark green foliage and grows 5 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9
Black-stem hydrangea
Black-stem hydrangea
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Nigra' is a distinct selection with clusters of blue or pink mophead flowers on rich purple-black stems. It grows 6 feet tall and wide. Zones 6-9
'Bluebird' hydrangea
'Bluebird' hydrangea
Hydrangea serrata 'Bluebird' is a lacecap type with deep blue clustered fertile flowers surrounded by pale blue sterile flowers. This variety also features red fall leaf color. It grows 4 feet tall and wide. Zones 6-9
'Blue Bonnet' hydrangea
'Blue Bonnet' hydrangea
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Blue Bonnet' offers rich periwinkle-blue flowerheads on a plant that grows 6 feet tall and 8 feet wide. Zones 6-9
Blue Bunny hydrangea
Blue Bunny hydrangea
Hydrangea involucrata 'Wim Rutten' is a reblooming lacecap with blue flowers from midsummer to frost. It grows 4 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Zones 6-9
Cityline Berlin hydrangea
Cityline Berlin hydrangea
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Berlin Rabe' shows off large, long-lasting pink flower clusters on stiff, upright stems. It grows 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Zones 5-9
Cityline Paris hydrangea
Cityline Paris hydrangea
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Paris Rapa' is great for small spaces because it has upright stems and a compact habit. The long-lasting fuchsia-pink flowers fade to green. It grows 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Zones 5-9
Endless Summer Bella Anna hydrangea
Endless Summer Bella Anna hydrangea
Hydrangea arborescens 'PIIHA-I' offers large heads of pink flowers from early summer to autumn on a compact shrub that likes full sun to part shade. It grows 5 feet tall and wide. Zones 4-9
Endless Summer 'Blushing Bride' hydrangea
Endless Summer 'Blushing Bride' hydrangea
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Blushing Bride' offers semidouble flowers that open white then gradually blush to a light pink as they age. The blooms appear on new and old growth all summer and fall. It grows 6 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9
Endless Summer hydrangea
Endless Summer hydrangea
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Bailmer' blooms continuously from summer through fall, producing clear pink, dusky lavender, or blue blooms, depending on aluminum level in soil. It bears flowers on both old and new growth. Zones 4-9
Endless Summer Twist-n-Shout
Endless Summer Twist-n-Shout
Hydrangea macrophylla 'PIIHM-I' is a reblooming lacecap with pink or blue flowers from June to frost. It grows 5 feet tall and wide. Zones 4-9
'Forever Pink' hydrangea
'Forever Pink' hydrangea
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Forever Pink' bears extra large clusters of pink flowers on vigorous plants that grow 4 feet tall and 6 feet wide. Zones 5-9
Incrediball hydrangea
Incrediball hydrangea
Hydrangea arborescens 'Abetwo' offers especially large, pure white bloom clusters on sturdy stems. It blooms on new wood and resists flopping. It grows 5 feet tall and 6 feet wide. Zones 3-9
'Lanarth White' hydrangea
'Lanarth White' hydrangea
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Lanarth White' is a longtime favorite lacecap variety. Its large flower clusters are faintly blushed with blue or pink. The variety grows 4 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9
'Lemon Daddy' hydrangea
'Lemon Daddy' hydrangea
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Lemon Daddy' offers stunning chartreuse foliage that glows through the season. The lavender flowers are upstaged by the leaves. It grows 4 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9
'Lemon Wave' hydrangea
'Lemon Wave' hydrangea
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Lemon Wave' is prized for its wildly variegated foliage. Each leaf is painted with strokes of white and yellow. It bears blue or pink lacecap flowers on last-year's stems and grows 6 feet tall and wide. Zones 6-9
Let's Dance Starlight hydrangea
Let's Dance Starlight hydrangea
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Lynn' is a reblooming lacecap variety with blue or pink flowers, dark green foliage, and a compact habit. It grows 3 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9
Light O' Day hydrangea
Light O' Day hydrangea
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Bailday' bears green leaves festively edged in white. It bears flattened lacecap-type flowers in shades of blue. It grows 4 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9
'Limelight' hydrangea
'Limelight' hydrangea
Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight' is a sun-loving selection with large green flowers midsummer into autumn. The blooms deepen to pink in cool weather. It grows 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide. Zones 3-8
Oakleaf hydrangea
Oakleaf hydrangea
Hydrangea quercifolia is native to areas of North America and bears snowy cone-shape flowers in summer, but the real attraction are the large, scalloped leaves that redden in autumn. It grows 6 feet tall and 8 feet wide. Zones 5-9
PeeGee hydrangea
PeeGee hydrangea
Hydrangea paniculata 'Grandiflora' is a vigorous shrub or small tree for full sun that can grow up to 20 feet tall and 8 feet wide. It bears clusters of white flowers in summer that fade to shades of rose or green before turning beige in winter. Zones 4-8
Pink Shira hydrangea
Pink Shira hydrangea
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Sonmarie' features strong stems and lime-green buds that become rich pink or lavender flowers. It grows 5 feet tall and 6 feet wide. Zones 5-9
Pinky Winky hydrangea
Pinky Winky hydrangea
Hydrangea paniculata 'DVPpinky' provides a brilliant display of softly fragrant white flowers that fade to pink in mid- to late summer. It grows 8 feet tall and wide. Zones 4-8
'Rosalba' hydrangea
'Rosalba' hydrangea
Hydrangea serrata 'Rosalba' is a pink lacecape-type that grows 3 feet tall and wide. Zones 6-9
Rough-Leaf hydrangea
Rough-Leaf hydrangea
Hydrangea villosa shows off long, narrow fuzzy leaves and lacecap flowers in late summer and autumn. It grows 12 feet tall and wide. Zones 7-9
'Snowflake' Oakleaf Hydrangea
'Snowflake' Oakleaf Hydrangea
Hydrangea quercifolia 'Snowflake' displays showy double florets that fade to rosy pink before turning brown in autumn. The leaves turn wonderful shades of red and purple in fall. It grows 6 feet tall and 10 feet wide. Zones 5-9
Spreading Beauty hydrangea
Spreading Beauty hydrangea
Hydrangea serrata 'Hallasan' is a reblooming lacecap type that bears pinkish or bluish flowers from summer to fall on a low, spreading shrub. It grows 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Zones 4-9
'Sun Goddess' hydrangea
'Sun Goddess' hydrangea
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Sun Goddess' shows off bright golden-chartreuse foliage and clusters of pink or blue flowers. It grows 5 feet tall and wide. Zones 6-9.
'Tardiva' hydrangea
'Tardiva' hydrangea
Hydrangea paniculata 'Tardiva' is a sun-loving, white-flowering variety with large clusters of white blooms. It grows 10 feet tall and 6 feet wide. Zones 4-8
Vaughn's Lillie oakleaf hydrangea
Vaughn's Lillie oakleaf hydrangea
Vaughn's Lillie Hydrangea quercifolia bears large, extra-full flower heads in summer. It's a profuse bloomer that also features great fall color. It grows 4 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Zones 5-9
White Diamonds hydrangea
White Diamonds hydrangea
Hydrangea paniculata 'HYPMADI' is a sun-loving variety that offers loose clusters of white flowers in midsummer and dark green foliage. It grows 5 feet tall and wide. Zones 4-8
White Dome hydrangea
White Dome hydrangea
Hydrangea arborescens 'Dardorn' features fluffy lacecap flowers on a hardy, shade-loving plant that grows 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Zones 4-9
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