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Choosing the Right Hydrangea

Which Hydrangea is right for your yard?

Hydrangeas are familiar sights across the Cape. Along with the more familiar varieties, we have many new varieties that you may not have heard of. The biggest advantages to the newer varieties are more compact height, longer blooming times and interesting colors. Here are some descriptions of some of our favorites.

Nikko Blue Hydrangea

This is a staple in most Cape Gardens and is one of the best known cultivars. Nikko Blue is a “Mophead” Hydrangea with huge round flower heads. This cultivar growing 5′-6’ tall and 6′-8’ wide, prefers part shade and moist, but well-draining soil. The Nikko Blue flowers on the previous season’s wood, so it is important not to cut the stems drastically back in the spring.  If needed, prune right after flowering and cut back to a pair of healthy buds.  Dead or weak stems can be cut out in early spring. This cultivar is also affected by the pH of the soil – in acidic soil, the blooms will be blue and in alkaline soil the blooms will take on a pinkish hue.

Endless Summer Hydrangea- ‘Bailmer’

This Hydrangea is the original Endless Summer cultivar. With a height and spread of 3′-4’, this plant blooms on both old and new growth so it’s bloom time is from July through September. The large globe-shaped blooms are affected by the pH of the soil. The more acidic the soil, the more blue the flowers are and the more alkaline the soil, the pinker the blooms are.

Endless Summer ‘BloomStruck’

This is the newest of the Endless Summer collection of reblooming hydrangeas. This amazing plant boasts big, beautiful blooms, 3.5″- 5” across, all summer long. As with all of the Endless Summer collection, you are easily able to change the color of the blooms by making the soil more acid or more alkaline. Other interesting characteristics of BloomStruck is that it has beautiful red-purple stems, dark green leaves with red petioles and red veins giving it a great contrast in the garden. BloomStruck grows 3-4’ tall and 4-5′ wide. It prefers partial shade and well-drained, moist soil.

Hydrangea mac. ‘L.A. Dreamin”

This wonderful mophead hydrangea flowers in BLUE AND PINK AND EVERTHING IN BETWEEN, ALL AT THE SAME TIME ON THE SAME PLANT!  L.A. Dreamin is also a rebloomer so you will get this great display all summer long. Grows 4’ tall and wide and prefers part sun.

Tiny Tuff Stuff Lacecap Hydrangea

As the name implies, this is a lower growing variety of Hydrangea only reaching 24” tall x 24” wide. It is a Lacecap Hydrangea so the flower is not the traditional globe-shaped flower, but a flat delicate flower in shades of pink and blue. A few things to note about this variety is that the pH of the soil will affect the color of the flowers.  In acidic soils, with aluminum available, the flowers will be blue. In more alkaline soils they will turn a lavender-pink. Because this is a re-blooming Hydrangea, you will enjoy more blooms throughout the season. Pruning is not generally needed but the plant can be shaped after the first bloom of the season.

Hydrangea serrata ‘Bluebird’

This outstanding lace-cap hydrangea has gorgeous sea-blue sterile florets surrounding a large cluster of rich blue fertile flowers. This variety blooms in early summer on old wood. Flowers are affected by the pH of the soil. This  plant prefers part shade and grows 4′ to 6′ tall and wide.

3 thoughts on “Choosing the Right Hydrangea”

  1. Exactly the info. I was looking for – a comparison between the blue hydrangeas. I especially appreciated your knowledge and inclusion of the newest varieties – a few I was not aware of. When space is limited, it’s best to get it right the first time.
    Thank you!

    1. There is a brand-new for 2019 Endless Summer cultivar called “Summer Crush”. Bright rasberry-red/pink flowers (or deep purple flowers in acid pH). I am hoping it will go well with the LA Dreamin which is pH-insensitive. I might get a white variety next to complete the ‘cocktail’ of blooms.

      1. Crocker Nurseries

        Sounds good! We have the Summer Crush and it is a really nice bright pink/red color so that should look great!

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