Hooray for Hydrangeas

 

Hydrangeas perform well in the St. Louis area and the choices can be overwhelming. Hydrangeas range in height from varieties like Wee White and Bobo ( 1- 3 ft. tall) to Limelight and Firelight ( 6-8 ft. tall). With the wide selection of colors and heights, there’s sure to be a hydrangea that will suit your garden. The smaller selections are great in the garden or even in pots. These can be brought up close to the house, mulched and over wintered just fine. The larger plants make colorful privacy hedges.

 

Big-Leaf or Mophead Hydrangeas
  • Large leaves with mop type flowers
  • No need to prune unless to control height
  • If pruning is necessary , do so after the plant has bloomed during the summer not in the spring
Hydrangea Wee Bit Giddy

Wee Bit Giddy

Red-pink mophead flowers on compact glossy green foliage. Reblooms. 2 ft. tall and wide.

Hydrangea Wee Bit Grumpy

Wee Bit Grumpy

Royal blue mophead flowers on a sturdy compact plant. 2  ft. tall and wide.

Hydrangea let Dance Can Do

Let’s Dance Can Do!

Strong rebloomer and the fastest to rebloom providing a continuous display of star-like double pink flowers through frost! Colorful fall foliage. 3-4 ft. tall.

Hydrangea Lets Dance Blue Jangles

Let’s Dance Blue Jangles

A sturdy frame and propensity to rebloom makes this older variety still popular. Readily turns blue with acid feed. Only 1-2 ft. tall. So great in a pot.

Hydrangea Tuff Stuff AH-HA

Tuff Stuff Ah-Ha

Native to mountainous regions of Asia and Japan, so better suited to cold conditions. Large waterlily-like flowers in blue or pink. 2021 Hydrangea of the Year! 2-3 ft.

 

Smooth or Annabelle Hydrangeas
  • Annabelle is the original and still a  popular old- fashion favorite
  • Invincibelle is an improved series of Annabelle hydrangeas that rebloom
  • These plants  bloom on new wood so they can be pruned whenever it’s convenient
Hydrangea Invicibelle Garnetta

Invicibelle Garnetta

Flowers emerge dark burgundy then transform to a deep garnet-pink. Glossy dark green foliage and a dwarf compact habit. Only 2.5 ft. So great in a pot.

Hydrangea Invincibelle Wee White

Invincibelle Wee White

The smallest smooth hydrangea. This tiny, tidy reblooming plant has flowers that soft-pink, age to white and finish green. 1-2.5 ft.

Hydrangea Invicibelle Ruby

Invicibelle Ruby

Dark, near-red flower buds open to a two-toned combination of red and silvery pink. A strong rebloomer. 3-4 ft.

hydrangea Invicibelle spirit II

Invincibelle Spirit II

Dark foliage , stiff upright stems, deep pink flowers that age to green. Strong rebloomer. One dollar per plant goes to Breast Cancer Research. 3-4 ft.

Hydrangea Invincibelle Limetta

Invinciblle Limetta

Beautiful rounded variety with stiff stems and showy round flowers that emerge a lush lime green that lighten to soft greenish-white. 3-4 ft.

 

Panicle or Peegee Hydrangeas
  • Cone shaped or conical flowers
  • Can tolerate more sun than other hydrangeas
  • Blooms on new wood each year so can be pruned whenever it’s convenient
Hydrangea Bobo

Bobo

This super dwarf panicle hydrangea is covered with white blooms all summer long. Flowers are held on upright stems and age to pink. 2-3 ft. tall

Hydrangea Little Lime

Little Lime

Dwarf form of the popular Limelight. Lime green flowers on strong stems age to green, pink and burgundy in the fall. 3-5 ft.

Hydrangea Limelight Prime

Limelight Prime

An improved Limelight with stronger stems and a more compact growth habit. Flowers emerge vivid lime green and last all summer until they transition to rich pink in the fall. 4-6 ft.

Hydrangea Little Quick Fire

Little Quick Fire

Lacecap flowers quickly age to deep red before other varieties even show flower buds. 3-5 ft.

 

Oakleaf Hydrangeas
  • Attractive large oakleaf shaped leaves turn reddish maroon in the fall
  • Exfoliating rough bark is interesting all winter
  • Blooms on old wood so do not prune unless needed to control height and then right after flowering
Hydrangea Gatsby Gal

Hydrangea Gatsby Gal

A compact oakleaf with lots of large pure white flowers. Maroon fall foliage. 5-6 ft.

Hydrangea Gatsby Pink

Hydrangea Gatsby Pink

Big showy lacecap blooms that quickly transform from pure white to a delightful pink. Foliage turns mahogany-red in fall. 6-8 ft.

Hydrangea Munchkin

Hydrangea Munchkin

Abundant white flowers gradually turn pink. Mahogany-red fall foliage. This little guy would be great even in a pot. 3 ft. tall.

 

Why Didn’t My Hydrangea Bloom?
We get this question frequently and there are a few reasons. This quick video sums up the main reasons, including age of the plant, amount of sunlight, pruning, deer and late frosts.

 

Flower Color- Blue Verses Pink
All hydrangeas undergo some color change as their flowers mature, but only the bigleaf or mophead varieties can be manipulated from blue to pink or from pink to blue. Blue flowers are the result of a low ph or acidic soil, whereas pink flowers occur in high ph or basic soils.

Hydrangeas in our area tend towards pink. Getting them to bloom blue requires soil amendment. We prefer Espoma’s Organic Soil Acidifier, which with time, will safely and effectively produce bluish flowers. You must apply the acidic feed on a regular basis, once a month during the active growing season, to maintain blue blossoms.

General Growing Tips

  • Plant hydrangeas in moist, but well-drained soil.
  • Contrary to popular knowledge, most hydrangeas benefit from some morning or late afternoon sun.
  • The panicle hydrangeas, like Bobo and  Limelight can tolerate the most sun but should be well mulched to maintain moisture and a cooler root environment.
  • Hydrangeas have shallow roots, so they dry out quickly. Watch carefully during periods of high temperatures and/or drought.
  • 2-3 inches of mulch benefits all hydrangeas when the summer approaches.
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