Choosing the Perfect Hydrangea

Choosing the Perfect Hydrangea

Oh, hydrangeas! What gives a more fantastic show from summer to fall (and truly, into winter!) than these gorgeous, hardy shrubs? Here’s a quick list of the types we carry and the advantages of certain types over others.

Paniculata types

Hydrangea paniculata have, as the name suggests, panicle-shaped flowers. This is the type we have by far the largest selection of. They’re good and hardy, meaning you rarely have to worry about any winter kill, and the larger varieties can be grown as a multi-stemmed shrub or specimen. They also make excellent cut flowers, fresh or dried. We can have around 15 different varieties in the busiest parts of the season, but here are a few of our favourites:

  • Bobo – A new selection at Southview in 2017! ‘Bobo’ is a dwarf hydrangea, reaching only about 3’ tall, with creamy white flowers (turning pink in late summer to fall) that completely cover the plant.
  • Vanilla Strawberry – Huge flowers open white, then turn bright pink, and finally to strawberry-red as the season progresses. Looks absolutely stunning with multiple blooms in different stages of colour. We carry this in a grafted tree form as well.
  • Limelight – Something a little different – flowers open up in a limey-chartreuse colour and stay lime-green all summer, aging into pinky-red later on.

Arborescens types

Classic, easy, reliable, long-blooming and hardy, these hydrangeas have large, round flower heads with rich green, heart-shaped foliage. The ones that stand out for us are:

  • Annabelle – A classic, and popular for a reason. Huge, creamy-white flowers make this hydrangea a must for any garden. 
  • Invincibelle Wee White – New at Southview for 2018! We’re very excited about this new introduction, which is a dwarf ‘Annabelle’ and grows only around 2’ tall.

Macrophylla types

These are the types that, depending on the pH of your soil, can change between shades of pinks and blues. More acidic soils (pH below 7) will have flowers in bluer tones – add aluminum sulfate to acidify. To alkalize your soil, add lime to get pinker flowers. For more reliable blooming, consider providing extra winter protection for the stems, since some bloom on old wood as well as new wood.

  • Endless Summer – Blooms on old wood in spring and new wood in summer, making for a long bloom period.

Make sure to check out our selection at the greenhouse this summer – it’s surely a sight to be seen!

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