Hydrangeas are heavenly. Charming, colorful florets clustered together. It’s hard to imagine someone who wouldn't be captivated by this classic. A flower genus with over 100 various species, hydrangeas are naturally found in Japan, China, the Himalayas, and other parts of North and South America.
Generally, most hydrangeas bloom from early spring to late autumn months. But because these flowering shrubs have versatile species and also due to expert pruning techniques, florists have access to a healthy supply of hydrangeas for flower arrangements all year round – even in winter!
Types of Hydrangeas
Blue hydrangeas are probably one of the most popular variants, but this beautiful flower can also come in white, pink, red, green, and purple. Interestingly, did you know that certain species of hydrangeas can change colors, depending on the growing soil’s acidity or alkalinity. (More on this topic in future posts.)
While we’re all familiar with hydrangeas as pompom-looking flowers, there are actually different kinds of hydrangeas. Today we’ll talk about what sets each type of hydrangea apart – shapes, colors, and growing behaviors.
The most common commercially available hydrangeas in the market scene today are the bigleaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla). Frequently, they go by other names, such as florist’s hydrangea, garden hydrangea, or French hydrangea.
Bigleaf hydrangeas are actually divided into three kinds:
- Mophead Hydrangea – Known for its iconic ball-shaped flower bunches, mophead hydrangea can grow from three to six feet tall and six to 10 feet wide. This type of hydrangea loves the sun, but its flowers cannot survive the bitter cold of the winter months.
- Lacecap Hydrangea – It features little flower buds clustered tightly together and surrounded by bigger blossoms that look like florets from mophead hydrangea.
- Mountain Hydrangea – A rarer type of bigleaf hydrangea, mountain hydrangeas have a strong resemblance to lace-cap hydrangea. It has a hardiness zone 5 rating, which means it can thrive during winter.
Planted in an ideal location, growing and maintaining bigleaf hydrangeas can be a walk in the park. Keep in mind not to give it too much of either sun or shade, which can mess up its flowering potential. Water your bigleaf hydrangeas regularly.
Otherwise known as wild hydrangeas, smooth hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens) are native to the United States. Annabelle is one of its most famous cultivar, which is now used to refer to smooth hydrangeas in general.
Smooth hydrangea is much resilient to hotter climates and produces white circles of flowers that can go as big as 12 inches in diameter.
Cone-shaped panicle hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata) can grow from six to 18 inches long. First appearing as white hydrangeas, flowers of panicle hydrangeas actually turn pink as they mature.
PeeGee or “Grandiflora” hydrangea cultivar is a member of the panicle hydrangea family. While all hydrangeas grow as tall shrubs with the potential to turn into full-blown flowering trees, PeeGee hydrangeas stand tall from the others because, believe it or not, it can grow up to 25 feet high!
Just a glimpse of its leaves and you’ll know how it got its name. Aside from its pretty flowers, the foliage of oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) chameleon into a different color during the fall season, ranging from golden shades of orange, crimson, and mahogany.
Of Asian descent, the climbing hydrangea is also called “Japanese hydrangea vine.” Although a slow-growing plant that can take as long as four years to grow, these vine-type hydrangeas can actually climb up to 80 feet! Climbing hydrangeas bloom with white flowers that come with a signature sweet scent.