Sunday, 23 March 2008 12:55
Q: What are the different varieties of Hydrangeas?
A: I found five varieties of Hydrangeas that are hardy to our Zone 5 area.
- Hydrangea arborescens, or Smooth Hydrangea, is native to
Eastern states woodlands. Smooth Hydrangea requires shade to grow its
best. Smooth Hydrangea has a rounded form and should be pruned in late
winter for the best blooms.
Hydrangea paniculata or Pee Gee Hydrangea is an upright shrub or small tree. Pruning should be done in late winter also.
Hydrangea macrophylla is known as Bigleaf Hydrangea. This rounded shrub
can be pruned after flowering has finished. One thing to note about
Bigleaf Hydrangea is that they are water hogs. Instead of the normal 1"
of water per week that most plants need during the growing season,
Bigleaf requires 2" of water during the summer months.
Hydrangea quercifolia or Oakleaf Hydrangea is an upright clumping
shrub. Oakleaf Hydrangea can be pruned after flowering has finished. As
with most of the hydrangeas, a balance fertilizer for shrubs can be
applied in early spring, and again after flowering has finished.
All hydrangeas benefit if care is taken when planting is done in moist
but well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Add compost as you back
fill the soil into the planting hole; that always gets your new
planting off to a good start. If you have established shrubs, adding
compost helps give the soil some added nutrients.
Hydrangea anomela subspecies petiolaris or Climbing Hydrangea was
one of the most asked about shrubs when I worked in a nursery. Climbing
Hydrangea has a very woody stem that adds to its charm. Climbing
Hydrangea should be pruned just after flowering.
There are many new varieties of Hydrangea that are known for the
flower color. Just make sure the one you choose is hardy to our area.
Some of our winters have freezing weather without the snow cover to
protect our plants. So remember to make sure there is a good protective
layer of compost or mulch around them.
Linnea Good is the owner of Linnea's Greenhouse. Her houseplants and wheatgrass can be found at all Bloomingfoods locations.