Selecting a Hydrangea for your Garden

One easy way to surprise someone with your plant knowledge is to tell them about all of the varieties of hydrangeas that can be grown in North Carolina.  From traditional mophead varieties to hydrangea trees and Hydrangea arborescens to Schizophragma hydrangeoides read on to learn about these exciting plants.

Native VarietiesHydrangea quercifolia and Hydrangea arborescens

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(Hydrangea quercifolia (Oakleaf Hydrangea) and Hydrangea arborescens (Smooth Hydrangea))

There are two native hydrangeas available to North Carolina gardeners – the Oakleaf and Smooth Hydrangeas.  These are two very different plants – the Oakleaf is larger, with boldly toothed leaves, panicle flowers, and fantastic fall color while the Smooth has white mophead flowers, great sun tolerance, and can be pruned to the ground every season.

Traditional FavoritesMophead and Lacecap Hydrangea Macrophylla

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(Hydrangea Macrophylla (Bigleaf Hydrangea) and Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Variegata’ (Variegated Hydrangea))

The hydrangea that most of our clients are familiar with is the blue and pink blooming bigleaf hydrangea.  In addition to this great plant, there are lots of other interesting types including red blooming varieties, those with variegated foliage, and a range of lacecap varieties.  All of these grow best in partial shade, suffer from deer damage, and need to be pruned immediately after blooming or not at all.

Interesting AlternitivesHydrangea vines and trees!

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(Schizophragma hydrangeoides ‘Roseum’ (Pink Hydrangea Vine) and Hydrangea paniculata ‘PeeGee’ (PeeGee Panicle Hydrangea)

Probably the least known hydrangea types are the hydrangea vines and the panicle hydrangeas that can be pruned as trees.  Hydrangea vine comes in two species – Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris and the Schizophragma hydrangeoides, which though not a true hydrangea is very similar in appearance.  Both are shade tolerant, vigorous climbers, with great flowering.  The panicle hydrangeas are the largest shrub variety, and are often seen ‘limbed up’ to give them a tree like appearance.  Panicle hydrangeas are very sun tolerant and are considered deer resistant.

With all the varieties of hydrangea available there is one to fit in every yard.  Interested in adding one to your garden?  Contact Bright Leaf Landscaping at 919-475-1015 or fill out our online contact form.  Design and installation are our expertise, and we are always happy to meet with new clients to discuss potential projects!