Hydrangeas are most likely the most popular of all deciduous shrubs. While most of us think of the big 'mophead' flower varieties, there are at least 6 species and hundreds of varieties available.
Hydrangea macrophylla, or Bigleaf Hydrangeas, encompass both the mophead flower varieties as well as the less common lacecap types. Flower colours are typically blue, pink or white. Blue and pink varieties will change their colour based on the nutrient content and acidity of the soil
Hydrangea panniculata, or Pannicle Hydrangea has large white flowers and are also available in a tree-form
Hydrangea arborescens, or Smooth Hydrangea is also an excellent choice when a larger shrub is required
All hydrangea varieties are best in part-shade but will tolerate full sun if the soil is kept on the moist side. Most hydrangea varieties bloom on old wood, so avoid extensive pruning in the winter if you want more blooms. Otherwise, cut back hard when dormant in winter or early spring.
A relatively newer group of Hydrangeas called the 'Endless Summer' series are proving popular as they bloom on both new and old wood.
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