The creativeness of a creative woman
Popular Varieties on the Market
As I mentioned before, there are 100’s of Hydrangea varieties and I can not possibly list every one available. Therefore I chose varieties that bloom throughout the summer, have unique flower color or petal shape, are hardy in both cold (zone 5 & 6) and warm (zone 7 to 10) climates and referred to as “easy growers.” I also looked over comments by customers (from novice to seasoned gardeners) and am only listing specimens with the highest rating.
A note about names: As you browse the selection below and other resources for hydrangeas keep in mind how the name is listed, you’ll want to find the exact one you’re looking for. Some are listed by genus and species and others are listed by variety. You’ll want to look for the “variety” name to ensure you are purchasing the correct one, as the genus and species name will encompass the overall large group of plants that fall into that category. The name of the “variety” is typically given by the cultivator who has bred the specimen. Also, not all will provide the information as to the subspecies as in the case of the macrophyllas (if it’s a mophead or lacecap), therefore it’s a good idea to become familiar with the shape of the inflorescence of the flower (ie: Mopheads are rounded ‘mounds’ (as in the round umbel in the diagram below) while the Lacecap is somewhat ‘flat’ (as in the flat umbel and compound umbel in the diagram below.)
Genus = H. (Hydrangea)
Species = macrophyllas
Variety = ‘Hokomarevo’
H. macrophylla ‘Hokomarevo’ (Mophead)
Several color combinations of deep pink, maroon and blue blooms, all with a green highlights as the flowers mature. Each color can be present at the same time. A very heavy-blooming variety and originally bred for the cut-flower market. Flower stems are stronger and straighter than many other hydrangeas, which prevents the blooms from flopping or twisting. Foliage color is medium green with large toothy leaves. A compact plant that grows 3 to 4 foot in height and width.
Care includes consistently moist well drained soil and a bit of shade, but needs a sunnier location in northern climates, therefore it is listed as full Sun to part shade. Additional characteristics include: blooms the first year, easy care, fast growing, free bloomer, long bloomer, repeat bloomer. Zone 5-9
H. macrophylla ‘Edgy HeartsTM’ (Mophead)
This is a unique hydrangea in that the flowerheads are folded lengthwise, creating a heart-shaped look. The petals are trimmed in white and stay white regardless if the flower color turns due to changing the pH of the soil. The flowers turn to a lime-green with maturity. This is a compact shrub that grows 3 to 5 ft in height and width. The blooms are large (8 to 10 inches in diameter) and good for cuttings and drying. The foliage is dark bright green and glossy.
Care includes planting in part shade in moist (not wet) well drained soil. Bloom season is early to late summer. Zone 5-9.
H. macrophylla ‘Cityline Mars’ (Mophead)
Bi-colored blooms with colored interiors of magenta-pink or blue (depending on soil pH) that gradually mature to green. This is a very compact shrub that grows 1 to 3 feet in height and 3 to 4 in width, therefore it is an excellent choice for a small area or for containers. This variety is touted as having strong stems and being well branched and bred to be mildew-free even in humid and/or rainy climates.
Flowers from early summer into fall with foliage that is wide, toothy and bright green.
Care includes planting in full sun in northern climates and part shade in southern and western climates. Needs moist, well drained soil. Additional characters include: blooms first year, attracts butterflies, easy care, fast growing, free bloomer, long bloomer, disease resistant, heat tolerant, humidty tolerlant, and powdery mildew tolerant. Zone 5-9
H. macrophylla ‘Endless Summer – Bailmer’ (Mophead)
One of the hardiest for northern climates. Can be planted north to zone 4 and still continue to re-bloom after early or late frosts, due to it’s habit of resetting buds. Flower clusters are 8 to 10 inches in diameter and blooms from early summer into fall – blooms into late fall in southern climates. Growth reaches 5ft in height and 4ft in width.
Care includes planting in moist, well-drained soil in partial or dappled shade, but can tolerate a sunnier location in northern climates. Is heat and humidity tolerant and cold hardy. Additional characteristics include: blooms first year, easy care, needs deadheading, repeat bloomer. Zone 4-9.
H. macrophylla ‘Twist-n-Shout’ (Lacecap)
The only reblooming Lacecap hydrangea (that I found). This variety blooms twice, once in the late spring/early summer and again towards autumn. Flower clusters have an inner circlet of tiny fertile flowers surrounded by a large, loose ray of sterile florets. Color is dependent on soil pH. The flower stems are a bright pinkish-red. In the autumn the foliage turns from green to orange, to a rosy-red and finally a maroon before dropping. Grows 3 to 5 ft in height and width.
Care includes planting in moist, well drained soil in part shade. Additional characterists include: bloom first year, attracts butterflies, easy care, fast grower, free bloomer, long bloomer, repeat bloomer, disease resistant, heat and humidity tolerant and pest resistant.
H. macrophylla ‘Horwack’ (Mophead)
(Next Generation Pistachio Hydrangea)
This is a stunning color combination of lime green petals with a scarlet red tinged center. A compact habit with a growth of 2-3 ft in height and 3-5 in width. Flowers are 5″ across and foliage color is dark green with toothy leaves. Blooms early summer to mid autumn. Can be planted in full sun to partial shade (recommended to have 4-6 hours of direct morning sunlight and afternoon shade.)
Care includes planting in moist, well drained soil with good organic matter. Needs deadheading to encourage re-blooming. Additional characteristics include: repeat bloomer, long bloomer, and attractive autumn color. Zone 5-9
H. macrophylla ‘Lady in Red’ (Lacecap)
I’ve seen conflicting descriptions for this Lacecap. Some sites claim it re-blooms and others do not. I’ve done an extensive search to determine if it does or doesn’t and honestly can not find a solid confirmation either way. Therefore to err on the side of caution, I am not going to describe it as a re-bloomer. If it does then great!! If it doesn’t then I have not given you incorrect information. Whatever the instance it is a very handsome hydrangea!
The flowers start out a pinkish white and mature into a deep burgundy rose; flower are 5″ across. Adding to the “red” description are deep red stems and red leaf veins through dark green foliage. The leaves turn a deep reddish purple in the autumn.
The habit is compact with a growth of 2-3 ft in height and 3-5 ft in width. Care includes planting in moist, well drained soil, with morning sun and afternoon shade in northern climates and full to partial shade in southern climates. Additional characteristics include: deadhead to encourage re-blooming, good for mass plantings and in shade gardens. Zone 6-9
H. paniculata ‘Renhy’-‘Vanilla Strawberry’
Flowers that begin a creamy white, turn to pink and then strawberry red to even burgundy late in the season with cooler nights. Flower heads are conical (note the species type), massive and dense. This is a re-bloomer and all three color stages can be displayed at once. Stems are red and has bright green pointy leaves. Flowers from mid summer to late fall.
Vanilla Strawberry will grow to be a massive shrub at 6 foot tall and wide! It grows at a medium rate and under ideal conditions can live up to 40 years. It is listed as high maintenance in that it requires regular care and upkeep. Best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed.
Care includes planting in average to moist, well drained soil, however soil can not be allowed to dry out completely. It is cited to perform well in both full sun and full shade and is not particular to soil pH or condition! Additional characteristics include: highly tolerant of urban pollution, good for cuttings, repeat bloomer, long bloomer. Zone 4-9
H. quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’
This is a dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea that has 9″ (in length) flowers that start out white quickly turn pink then to a deep ruby red. Foliage is dark green and deeply lobed; turns to mahogany in autumn. Habit is small with a growth of 3.5 ft in height and 5 ft in width. Has strong stems that prevent the flowers from drooping.
Cited to perform well in all soils as long as it is well drained; tolerates heat and drought, can be planted in sun or shade. Additional characteristics include: Good coverage for birds during nesting season and as food once seeds have set in the autumn; repeat bloomer, long bloomer, good for cuttings. Zone 5-8.
H. macrophylla ‘Everlasting Amethyst’ (Mophead)
Flowers begin a pale lime green and quickly turn a bi-color of fuchsia (above photo on right) or violet-blue (above photo on left) with green edges and finally turning to a rich lime green. Has large toothy leaves that are bright green. A compact shrub with a growth of 3-4 ft in height and width. Has strong flower stems so blooms will not flop or twist. Cited as having large, ultra long-lasting flowers with a heavy flowering period in late spring and early summer, then blooms again in early autumn.
Care includes planting in moist, well drained soil that is not allowed to dry out completely. Plant in shade, however needs some sun in northern climates. Additional characteristics include: re-bloomer, long bloomer, good for cut flowers, fast grower, good container plant. Zone 5-9.
Can you pick a favorite?
It’s hard for me to pick one that I like more than all the others. Each has it’s own beauty and this is just a very small sampling of the Hydrangeas available. I haven’t even touched on the new varieties out for this year! The more I have learned about these darling and what I consider ‘old world and romantic’ shrubs the more I am falling in love with them.
As I read about the history behind some of the varieties, my mind’s eye could picture ladies in long dresses and suited gentlemen (as was the attire of the late 1800’s) taking an afternoon walk, in a beautiful European garden with mass plantings of Hydrangeas in full bloom. With so many varieties that are easy to grow and maintain we can have a bit of that ‘old world’ charm in our gardens.
More info coming with next post – stay tuned!