Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hydrangeas Impressive Colorful Flowers

Hydrangeas are fascinating in that, unlike most other plants, the color of their flowers can change dramatically. As with most other Hydrangea species, the inflorescence is composed of a combination of large, showy and small, inconspicuous flowers. While there are approximately 23 species of Hydrangea, only five are widely cultivated in the U.S.

Some newer hydrangeas grow in colder climates, some are so small they will fit into the perennial border, and others have amazingly large blooms and deep colors.

Four Popular Hydrangea Species are,
Mophead hydrangeas

Mopheads(Hydrangea macrophylla) are the most popular hydrangeas grown in home gardens and landscapes. Most mopheads grown today are blue or pink. A few varieties are white.

Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'
Annabelle is a stunning white hydrangea; often producing heads over 10" in diameter. Unlike the better known blue and pink hydrangeas (macrophyllas), Annabelle blooms every year even after severe pruning or intensely cold winters. The huge, white "drumstick" blooms appear in profusion without fail.

Oakleaf Hydrangea
The Oakleaf hydrangea is a dramatic, white-blooming shrub with four seasons of interest. It blooms best in areas where summers are somewhat hot, but it is winter hardy farther north than the macrophylla (mophead).

Paniculata Hydrangeas
Paniculata hydrangeas will grow and bloom in a wide variety of climates (hardy to Zone 3!). Unlike mopheads, they need several hours of sun to do well. If your weather is too cold to grow the pink and blue hydrangeas or if your landscape doesn't have much shade, consider growing one of the many types of paniculatas. Paniculatas often get very large. 8-10 feet tall and wide is not unusual. Some, as seen in pictures below, get even taller.