Hydrangea Blooms with Large Summer Flowers - Snowball Hydrangeas, Endless Summer Hydrangea, Hydrangea Panicles

Part of the You Can Learn Landscaping and Gardening series.
By Ken Brown
Editor, YouCanLearnSeries.com
March 26, 2008

Do you like huge blooms of flowers? You can plant the Hydrangea in your flower garden. The Hydrangea is also known as the Snowball Bush.

Three Varieties of Hydrangeas

The Hydrangea flowers in the summer after a lot of other plant's flowers are spent. There are different varieties of Hydrangeas. The variety, Panicle Hydrangea, produces pyramid shaped flowers. The Endless Summer Hydrangea, known as Hydrangea macrophylla 'E.S.', has bluish, purple or pink balled shaped flowers. Another popular variety is the Annabelle or Hydrangea arborescens. This version produces large balls of flowers up to 10 inches in diameter.

The Annabelle Hydrangea will fill your garden landscape with white beauty. This is a smaller variety that will grow up to 4 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide. It helps to have a small green fencing around each of the plants to keep the huge flowers from falling over. The green fencing will blend in nicely with the leaves of the plants.

The Panicle Hydrangea has the pyramid shaped flowers similar to the flowers of a butterfly bush. These will grow much larger than the Annabelle Hydrangea. We used to have Panicle Hydrangeas at our old home. It was always so wonderful when this plant bloomed in the summer. It looked like the plant contained a layer of snow at the end of each stalk. You should trim this plant in the fall or early spring to keep it at a reasonable height and width.

The Endless Summer Hydrangea will add some variety to your backyard landscape. The bluish, purple or pink flowers add a color you don't normally see in the flower garden. This variety will bloom on both old and new wood. So, don't trim it back all the way to the ground. It can grow to 3 to 5 feet high and 3 to 5 feet wide. Similar to the Annabelle Hydrangea it is a fast grower. How do you know which color you are getting? It actually is dependent on the soil's pH value.

How to Care for the Hydrangea

Plant the Hydrangea in well-drained, loamy, moist soil. These perennials grow best in full sun or partial sun. Be sure and water them if you run into a hot dry spell. The Hydrangea usually transplants nicely.

The different varieties require different care in the different growing zones. Since the Endless Summer Hydrangea grows on both old and new wood, do not trim all the way to the ground each year. The Annabelle Hydrangea you can trim to the ground in spring or fall after the blooms are done. In some areas of the country it will be winter-killed. The Panicle Hydrangea can be pruned to remove weak stems. Trim back about 2/3rds of the stems till you are left with about a dozen strong stems for growth in the new year.

Trimming the Hydrangea Flowers

Once the blooms are spent you can trim the flower. It will not grow back. Some people like the looks of the spent flowers during the winter months. Especially the large snowballs. But, others think they look ugly and will prefer to trim.

The Hydrangeas offer many opportunities to showcase their beauty. You can include them into a border, as speciman plants or along a fence line as shrubs. Many people will cut the flower while blooming for beauty in the home or office.
Perennial Full sun to Partial Sun
Huge White Flowers or blue flowers Well-drained, loamy, moist soil
Flower in summer Height 6 to 15 Feet
Some varieties die to ground in winter width 6 to 15 Feet
Many different varieties Cut to ground in fall or spring

A small close up view of a Hydrangea or Snowball Bush.
The Hydrangea shows huge flowers with many different petals.
A close up view of Hydrangea or Snowball Bush


Click on Hydrangea Image to see larger view.
The Snowball perennial grows many large balls of flowers.
A full view of Hydrangea or Snowball Bush which is a perennial


Click on Hydrangea Endless Summer Image to see larger view.
The Endless Summer Hydrangea has interesting colors of purple, blue or pink based on the soil's pH level.
A view of the Hydrangea Endless Summer, flower color is determined by pH of the soil.

The Hydrangea offers many varieties to enhance your garden with beauty. You can choose the Panicle Hydrangea with the pyramid shaped flowers. Or maybe you prefer the Annabelle Hydrangea which produces huge snowballs of white flowers. There is still the Endless Summer Hydrangea which will produce colors in your landscape not normally found in gardens.

Now that you know about the different varieties, you have the hard decision of which variety to choose and where in your garden you will plant it.

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