Hydrangeas are flowering deciduous or sometimes evergreen flowering shrubs or climbing plants from the family Hydrangeaceae. They are native to China, Korea, Japan, other Asian countries and the Americas.

What is a Hydrangea?

Hydrangeas are hardy mainly deciduous plants that offer a tremendous variety of plant sizes, most of the garden forms will be between 0.5m and 2.5m tall but some of the woody climbing forms are capable of making over 12m in height. Flowers are normally of the mophead or lace cap type with colours in white, cream, pink, red, purple and blue. Foliage is mainly green but there are forms with bronze or golden hues and many offer vibrant autumn colours before leaf drop.

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Where to plant Hydrangea?

Hydrangeas prefer moist but well drained soil and full sun or partial shade. The climbing types will often tolerate more dense shade or planting on a north facing wall. Smaller forms will make beautiful patio pots or be used in the garden borders whilst larger forms can be used as flowering feature plants. The flowers can be used as cut flowers and are attractive to bees and other pollinators.

How to care for a Hydrangea?

Water young plants and pot grown plants in dry spells. Use rainwater if possible to help maintain the blue hues of flowers. Mophead and Lace cap Hydrangeas flower on old wood so prune immediately after flowering to allow new growth to develop before winter. Other hydrangeas can be pruned earlier in the year.