Common Name : Hydrangea aka Hortensia
Science-y Name : Hydrangea
A Few Varieties : H. Macrophylla (big leaf) aka Mopheads and lacecaps, H. Paniculata (panicle), H. Arborescens (smooth), H. Quercifolia (Oakleaf), H. Petiolaris (climbing)
Native or Non : Smooth hydrangea are native to the northeast parts of North America, and this includes Canada. Panicle hydrangea, which are tree-like, are not native to North America. Panicle are hearty and cold weather tolerant, however, and make a great addition to a New England yard.
Characteristics : Hydrangea shrubs are most known for their clusters of showy blooms, also
called flowerheads, that explode out among the leaves in late spring and summer. Maybe even into fall!
Flowerheads come in a variety of shades of blue and pink, as well as stunning whites and even
reds. All hydrangea have large leaves that bring a real pop of spring green to a blooming garden. Some hydrangea, such as the bigleaf (H. macrophylla) and Oakleaf (H. quercifolia), produce
blooms off of old wood so they are not pruned back or cut down at the end of the growing season. During the winter their stems dry to a wonderful ivory hue and add visual interest to a landscape.
Fun Fact : Despite the delicate nature of a hydrangea bloom (or any flower really) fossilized hydrangea blooms were found at Jaw Mountain in Alaska in the early 1900s. The find was reported in the 1925 Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. These fossils were dated to the Paleocene, which came after the dinosaurs and before man.
Care Considerations : It is important to know which variety of hydrangea is in your yard because they all require pruning or deadheading at different times. Some set and grow blossoms off of old, woody growth (those wonderful ivory stalks that add winter interest) while others blossom from new, green growth. Pruning at the incorrect time or too much will affect the number of flowerheads that the shrub will produce. And when the flowers are the main attraction you want to be sure the plant is getting the best chance it can to thrive. These shrubs love some morning sun! Too much hot afternoon sun and at best a hydrangea gets wilty, at worst it will die as the sun will burn the tender stalks and flowers to a crisp.
Placement is particularly important for hydrangea because of their sun sensitivity. RAG Thyme gardeners will help you choose the best place for a hydrangea in your yard. We will prune at the right time as well to give the plant the best chance of producing those big, eye-catching flowerheads for you to enjoy.
Contact us to get an estimate on RAG Thyme services for your yard and garden! We’ll help existing plants stay brilliant, or suggest alternatives with as much beauty and personality.