8 types of hydrangea and how to grow them in the South

8 types of hydrangea and how to grow them in the South

It just isn't a Southern garden without a hydrangea or two. family members HydrangeaThe large, attractive flowers of hydrangeas make them the best elements in the garden. Their calling cards are undoubtedly their flower clusters, which appear in late spring or early summer, last for weeks, and come in various colors of blue, purple, white, pink and red. (Have you seen these vibrant vanilla and strawberry hydrangeas?) Some species change the color of their flowers depending on the soil pH; These include large-leaved hydrangea (H. macrophylla), Raw hydrangea (H. Aspera), and mountain hydrangea (H. serrate).

Learn more about these color-changing shrubs as well as the rest of the hydrangeas that thrive in Southern gardens. While there are plenty of other hydrangeas you can try growing, they adapt easily to our climates. There are countless reasons why the South's favorite hydrangeas are everywhere in the garden, so read on to find out why.

Large-leaved hydrangea

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  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Hydrangea macrophylla
  • Sun exposure: Partial, spotted
  • Soil type: Well-drained, moist
  • Soil pH: 4.5-7.5

Also known as French hydrangea, this shrub is one of the most popular shrubs in the southern states. It blooms in late spring or early summer, usually in May or June. This hydrangea grows as a rounded shrub, and has large, glossy leaves (hence the name “big leaf”) to accompany its spherical flowers. While most hydrangeas tolerate some drought, the largeleaf is less hardy and needs regular water, especially in the heat of summer. Flowers H. Macrophila Its color can change depending on the pH of the soil.

Common named selections: “All Summer Beauty”, “Ami Pasquier”, “Ayesha”, “Big Daddy”, “Blue Wave”, “Blushing Bride”, “Buttons 'n Bows”, “Dear Delores”, “Domotoi”, “Dooley”, “Endless Summer”, “Fuji Waterfall”, “Glowing Embers”, “LA Dreamin”, “Lanarth White”, “Lemon Wave”, “Mini Penny”, “Nikko Blue”, “Penny Mac”, “Pia” , “Twist and Shoot”, “Variegata”

Climbing hydrangea

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  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Hydrangea anomaly
  • Sun exposure: Partial, dappled, full shade
  • Soil type: Well-drained, moist, rich
  • Soil pH: 5.5-7.0

While the hydrangeas you probably know and love best are flowering shrubs such as bigleaf and clusters, this type of hydrangea takes the form of a deciduous vine. Climbing hydrangea produces stunning blooms—white, lace-covered flowers that bloom in late spring and summer—as well as attractive foliage that turns yellow in fall. This flowering vine is an aggressive climber and can reach heights of 60 feet or more as long as it has a sturdy support system to cling to. Don't try to grow them south of Zone 8, as they may wilt during very hot summers.

Rough-leaved hydrangea

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  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Hydrangea Aspira
  • Sun exposure: Partial, spotted
  • Soil type: Well-drained, moist, rich
  • Soil pH: 5.0-8.0

Native to East Asia, this hydrangea can grow 8-12 feet tall and wide in the right conditions. It produces dark green or burgundy green leaves and broad, flat clusters of fertile white-purple-pink flowers surrounded by various shades of sterile flowers. The fuzzy leaves may have burgundy undersides. This hydrangea is sometimes classified as a subspecies H.A. fluffy They are not easily found in nurseries. This hydrangea can be grown in zones 7, 9 or 10.

Common named selections: “Red Fred”, “Plum Passion”, “Burgundy Place”

Japanese hydrangea vine

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  • Zoya life can be appreciated: hydrangea hydrangea, previously Cuban schizophrenia
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to full shade
  • Soil type: Well-drained, moist, rich
  • Soil pH: 5.0-8.0

The vine is usually called Japanese hydrangea Cuban schizophrenia In the nursery it is sometimes called false hydrangea vine or Chinese hydrangea vine. We include it here as the plant has been reclassified as a hydrangea in recent years. This hardy deciduous vine takes time to grow but can reach 40 or 50 feet in height. The plant has serrated, heart-shaped leaves and lacy flowers surrounded by a scattering of single sepals that can be white or pink. Give your vine good support and plant it in rich, moist soil in zones 5-9. It is very tolerant of sun and shade but thrives best in partial sun in the south.

Common named selections: “Rose Feeling”, “Flirty Girl”, “Moonlight”

Hydrangea Mountain

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  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Hydrangea serrated
  • Sun exposure: Whole, partial, spotted
  • Soil type: Well-drained, moist
  • Soil pH: 4.5-7.5

This type of hydrangea is very similar to the large-leaved hydrangea but is slightly smaller. Some varieties produce blue flowers, such as 'Blue Billow'; Others produce pink lace hats, such as 'Purple Tiers' and 'Woodlander'. Still more, such as 'Preziosa', produce creamy flowers that age into more vibrant colors, including reds and blues. Many of them can grow in zones 5-9. Just as with the larger leaves, the flowers of most selections can change color depending on the pH of the soil in which they are grown (acid = blue, alkaline = pink). In cold climates, H. serrate It can be grown in full sun in constantly moist soil. In most areas of the South, they should be grown in light or dappled shade.

Common named selections: Akishino-Temari, Penny-Gaku, Blue Bellow, Bluebird, Blue Deck, Gracewood, Kurohime, Pretty Maiden, Preziosa, Purple Tears, Woodlander''

Oakleaf hydrangea

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  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Hydrangea quercifolia
  • Sun exposure: Complete, partial
  • Soil type: Well-drained, moist, rich
  • Soil pH: 5.0-6.5

This hydrangea is native to North America and grows as far south as the Florida Panhandle. Oakleaf hydrangea has distinctive leaves that resemble those of oak trees, which is where it gets its common name. It produces white flowers in clusters. Luxurious new varieties such as Tara produce more densely clustered flowers, while 'Ruby Slipper' has white flowers that age to deep pink. Oakleaf hydrangea can reach heights and widths of 6 to 8 feet in ideal conditions, including full sun or partial shade and moist, well-drained soil amended with plenty of organic matter. Oakleaf hydrangeas do not bloom often or grow lushly in full shade.

Common named selections: “Alice”, “Harmony”, “Jetstream”, “Pee Wee”, “Ruby Slipper”, “Sims Beauty”, “Snowflake”, “Snow Queen”, “Tara”

Panicle hydrangea

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  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Hydrangea paniculata
  • Sun exposure: Complete, partial
  • Soil type: Well drained
  • Soil pH: 5.0-8.0

If you're looking for a trouble-free hydrangea that can handle the heat of the southern sun, this is your plant. This 'pegee' hydrangea can do double duty in the garden. It is a deciduous shrub that can grow large, bushy, and tall or can be trained into a small tree. This popular planting has many well-loved selections, including the 'Grandifora' or Peegee hydrangea, which often grows upright as a tree.

Hydrangea cluster flowers bloom white and turn pink as they age. In hotter climates (many will grow in zone 9), this hydrangea still prefers a little shade in the afternoon. It likes average, well-drained soil and needs less watering than other hydrangeas.

Common named selections: “Grandiflora”, “Limelight”, “Little Lime”, “Little Quick Fire”, “Kyushu”, “Moon Dance”, “Pink Diamond”, “Pinky-Winky”, “Tardiva”, “White Diamonds”.

Soft hydrangea

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  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Hydrangea bushes
  • Sun exposure: Complete, partial
  • Soil type: Well-drained, moist
  • Soil pH: 5.0-7.0

This type of hydrangea is also native to North America, including southern states such as Florida and Louisiana. The large mauve flowers are usually white or green, although there are some newer cultivars such as 'Incrediball Blush' in bright pink. Selections like 'Annabelle' are stunning and produce huge flower clusters. This hydrangea tolerates cold temperatures and is one of the easiest hydrangeas to grow, needing only partial shade and regular water to thrive. It can only take full sun in consistently moist soil.

Common named selections: 'Annabelle', 'Bella Anna', 'Grandiflora', 'Incredipoll', 'Invincible', 'White Dome'

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