|Part of the
You Can Learn Landscaping and Gardening series.
By Ken Brown
Updated: 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