While most hydrangeas do best in shade, varieties of Hydrangea paniculata prefer sunny spots. Most selections have large clusters of white flowers in summer. The showy blooms fade to shades of pink or red before drying to beige. In many areas, they dry right on the plant in fall and stay looking good through most of the winter.
While Hydrangea paniculata likes full sun, it also does well in part shade. It prefers moist, well-drained soil rich in organic matter, so it's helpful to amend your soil with compost, peat moss, or other similar materials before you plant it. Hydrangea paniculata is one of the hardiest varieties; it thrives in Zones 4-8.
Because this hydrangea blooms on current year's growth, the best time to give it a trim is winter or early spring.
Hydrangea paniculata 'Bombshell' is a dwarf selection that grows 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide. It bears clusters of white flowers from midsummer to autumn.
Hydrangea paniculata 'Grandiflora' is sometimes called peegee hydrangea. It's a large shrub or small tree to 20 feet tall.
Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight' bears light lime-green flowers from midsummer to fall. It grows 8 feet tall.
Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea paniculata 'Rehny' bears large clusters of white flowers that fade to strawberry pink from midsummer to autumn. It grows 7 feet tall.
Learn more about Vanilla Strawberry hydrangea.
Smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens), also sometimes called hills of snow or snowball hydrangea, is an especially easy-growing type that's native to areas of North America. It has clusters of pure white flowers from midsummer into autumn; the older flowers often fade to green before they turn brown and dry.
Grow smooth hydrangea in part shade and moist soil that's rich in organic matter. It's not very drought tolerant, especially if it's in a spot that gets afternoon sun -- so be sure to water it during dry spells and apply a 2- to 4-inch-deep layer of mulch on the soil. This extra-hardy hydrangea thrives in Zones 3-9.
Smooth hydrangea blooms on new growth, so if you need to prune it, the best time is in winter or early spring. Some gardeners cut it back to 6 or 8 inches tall every year to keep it dense and compact.
Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' bears extra-large clusters of white flowers. It grows 5 feet tall.
Hydrangea arborescens 'White Dome' bears fluffy clusters of creamy-white flowers. It grows 6 feet tall and is hardy in Zones 4-9.
-Hydrangeas are some of the most popular flowers around. With their big flower heads and candy colors, it??s easy to see why and it??s beautiful as they are. Hydrangeas can be confusing because there are different kinds that like different spots in the garden. One of the easiest to put out was Annabelle. It??s sometimes called Snowball Bush. It shows off big puffy flower heads that start out pure white and fade to green. It begins blooming in late June and continues intermittently throughout the summer. It??s native to areas of North America and can be come back to the ground in early spring without affecting its blooms. Annabelle grows in sun or shade. While Annabelle is pure white, there are pink flower and varieties too. Invincible Spirit and Bella Anna both sport pink flowers and have the same easy to grow nature. Oakleaf Hydrangeas are another North American native variety. They feature big, course leaves that are great for adding texture to the garden. They??ll grow well in afternoon shade and hot summer areas. They bloom on one-year-old stems so the best time to cut them back is in midsummer. Oakleaf Hydrangeas feature fantastic fall color and cool peeling bark in addition to beautiful blooms. Panicle Hydrangeas are becoming more popular than ever, thanks to varieties like Limelight and Vanilla Strawberry. These Hydrangeas do best in fall [unk] and moist well-drained soil. They start blooming in July and can continue through fall. All have white flowers but many will blush to pink as the blooms aged. They are also pretty big. The old PeeGee Hydrangea can get more than 20-feet tall. Most of the newer varieties stand around 5 feet to 10 feet.
Continued on page 2: Easy-Care Hydrangeas