When the vibrant hues of summer gracefully yield to the warm tones of autumn, it’s the perfect moment to consider the care your garden demands for the coming season. Among the choices of flowering shrubs, the Hydrangea stands as an exceptional addition. To embark on your journey of Hydrangea care, it’s essential to acquaint yourself with the six main types. This knowledge will ensure years of sucess in your garden landscape.
Big Leaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)
Recognized by its sizable leaves, the big leaf hydrangea, also known as mopheads, lacecaps, hortensia, or florist hydrangeas, is a true beauty. Some variations bloom solely on the previous year’s wood (old wood), advocating restraint in pruning. Deadheading is a simple task – snip old blooms at the tip down to the first set of leaves. Novel varieties now bloom on both old and new wood, earning the moniker “reblooming” or “remontant” hydrangeas. Reblooming hydrangeas are more dependable in yielding multiple crops in a single season, albeit with varying height requirements for setting new wood buds. It’s wise to protect these plants from winter extremes, as pruning can influence both size and future blooms.
Panicle Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata)
Known as “pee gee” hydrangea, panicle hydrangeas boast cone-shaped blooms on the same year’s wood, rendering pruning timing less critical. If pruning is necessary, opt for post-blooming or early spring pruning to enjoy splendid displays from August to September. Flourishing under the sun, these hydrangeas captivate with their late summer and fall blooms.
Smooth Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens)
Also referred to as “Annabelle” hydrangeas, these native North American blooms thrive on new wood, making them resilient and easy to cultivate. Pruning them back hard in fall is permissible, contributing to their reliability.
Mountain Hydrangea (Hydrangea serrata)
With its origins in mountainous regions, this sturdy big leaf hydrangea offers colorful blooms and a robust blooming habit. Flourishing on old wood, it’s advisable to limit pruning unless deemed necessary.
Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea petiolaris)
A vine that embraces a “set it and forget it” mentality, the climbing hydrangea thrives with minimal effort, requiring just a touch of support. A testament to its robustness, this vine withstands frigid climates down to zone 4. Pruning is best avoided if you wish to nurture its potential for magnificent flowers.
Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)
A native North American marvel, the oakleaf hydrangea unfurls four seasons of captivating interest. Spring showcases oak leaf foliage, while early summer offers pristine white blossoms. Fall embraces dark burgundy leaves, and winter unveils exfoliating cinnamon bark beneath the snow. Taking care of its mature branches, it’s a good idea to prune thoughtfully. Also, giving it a little extra protection during winter is something this hydrangea would appreciate.
For comprehensive nourishment, feed your hydrangeas with Espoma Holly Tone during spring and summer, while considering the inclusion of Triple Super Phosphate in the fall. By embracing these insights, your journey to mastering Hydrangea care will flourish.