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Lawn & Garden

©2006 Publications International, Ltd. The hydrangea

Hydrangea shrubs are known for their beautiful large clusters of flowers, which can come in various shapes such as mounded, globular, flat, or spiked. Each flower head consists of both sterile and fertile florets, with the sterile flowers being the most spectacular. These flowers can be white, pink, purple, or blue, depending on the type of hydrangea and the soil’s acidity.

To grow hydrangeas, they require plenty of water and nutrient-rich soil, and can thrive in full sun or bright partial shade. Mulching can help to keep the soil cool and moist for the roots. Remove any faded flowers and prune away deadwood.

Hydrangeas are versatile shrubs that can be used in many landscaping designs such as in shrub and perennial borders, as foundation plantings, and even in containers. The oakleaf hydrangea variety is especially suited for planting in wooded areas and shrub borders.

Other related species include the oakleaf hydrangea, which has long-lasting white flowers in spikes and grows well in wooded areas in partial shade. Hydrangea Annabelle has white, globular flower heads and also thrives in these conditions. Lacecap hydrangeas, such as Blue Wave, have flat, showy heads with a lacy appearance.

The scientific name for the hydrangea is Hydrangea species.

For more information, check out:

  • Landscape Shrubs
  • Evergreen Shrubs
  • Types of Shrubs


1. What are hydrangeas?

Hydrangeas are a type of flowering plant that belong to the Hydrangeaceae family. They are native to Asia and the Americas, and are known for their large, showy blooms. Hydrangea flowers come in a variety of colors, including blue, pink, white, and purple, and can be either mophead or lacecap in shape. They are often used in gardens and as cut flowers, and are a popular choice for weddings and other special events.

2. How do you care for hydrangeas?

Hydrangeas require regular watering, especially during dry spells. They prefer well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter, and should be fertilized with a balanced fertilizer in the spring and again in the summer. Hydrangeas should be pruned in the late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. This will encourage the plant to produce more flowers and maintain its shape. It’s also important to protect hydrangeas from frost and harsh weather, as they can be sensitive to extreme temperatures.

3. What are some common problems with hydrangeas?

Hydrangeas can be susceptible to a variety of pests and diseases, including aphids, spider mites, and powdery mildew. Overwatering can also cause root rot, which can be fatal to the plant. In addition, some varieties of hydrangeas can be prone to not blooming, which can be caused by a lack of sunlight, over-fertilization, or pruning at the wrong time. To avoid these problems, it’s important to monitor the plant regularly and take action as needed.

4. How do you change the color of hydrangea flowers?

The color of hydrangea flowers can be influenced by the pH level of the soil. To make the flowers blue, the soil should be acidic with a pH level of around 5.5. To make the flowers pink, the soil should be alkaline with a pH level of around 6.5. This can be achieved by adding amendments to the soil, such as aluminum sulfate or lime, depending on the desired color. It’s important to note that not all varieties of hydrangeas can change color, and that the process can take several months to show results.

5. What are some popular varieties of hydrangeas?

There are many different varieties of hydrangeas, each with their own unique characteristics. Some popular varieties include the mophead hydrangea, which has large, round flowers in shades of blue, pink, or white; the lacecap hydrangea, which has flat, delicate flowers and is often used in more naturalistic gardens; and the panicle hydrangea, which has cone-shaped flowers and is more tolerant of sun and heat than other varieties. Other popular varieties include the oakleaf hydrangea, the climbing hydrangea, and the smooth hydrangea.

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