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Hydrangeas in the Garden

Hydrangeas in the Garden

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Published by Kirk's Lawn Care

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Published by: Kirk's Lawn Care on Mar 03, 2012
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03/05/2012

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Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey 88 Lipman Drive, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8525Phone: 732.932.5000
Cooperative Extension
Edith Wallace, Ph.D., Master Gardener, Passaic County Elaine Fogerty Barbour, Passaic County Agricultural Assistant 
Fact Sheet FS1152
Hydrangeas In The Garden
There are fve dierent species o hydrangea commonly grown in New Jersey and they have dierent owers and cultural requirements. Themost common hydrangea is the biglea hydrangea with blue to pink owers. It is sensitive to rost and pruning at the wrong time, which willboth result in no owers.
Common Hydrangea Species
Hydrangea macrophylla
(biglea, hortensia or forists’ hydrangea)is most oten seen with its spectacular pink or blue fowers. It is used as a garden shrub, in pots by forists, and or resh or dried fowers. The many cultivars o this species may bedivided into mopheads and lacecaps. The mopheads havelarge balls o fowers. Lacecaps have a center o small non-showy fowers surrounded by an outer ring o showy fowers.For both types, fower color may be shades o white, red or purple in addition to pink or blue. Flower color is determinedindirectly by soil acidity. The bluest shades are produced onsoils with a pH o 5.0 to 5.5. Aluminum sulate applicationsmay induce blue fowers. Less acid soil (pH 6.0 to 6.5 or slightly higher) is associated with pink fowers. Typical growth is rom3’ to 6’ high by up to 10’ wide. Biglea hydrangea bloomsmainly on stems grown the previous year, thereore spring pruning usually results in no fowers. Dead wood should beremoved. Frost may kill the potential fowering shoots.
H.macrophylla
is hardy to zone 6 and rarely does well in zone 5.It thrives as a garden plant in seaside communities.
Hydrangea
 ‘Endless Summer’ is a one o the rost resistant cultivars that is less likely to be damaged by late spring rosts and bloomsin both spring and summer.
Hydrangea paniculata
(panicle or Pee Gee hydrangea) is thelargest o the commonly grown hydrangeas, sometimesreaching a height and spread between 10’ to 20’ with theappearance o a low-branched tree or large shrub. It is one o most cold hardy hydrangeas. The white or yellowish-whitefowers, in 6” to 8” panicles, later change to purplish pink and weigh down the branches. Faded blooms may be prunedto make the plant more attractive. Pruning may also be usedto maintain the shape o the shrub. This species fowers onnew growth so it may be pruned in late winter. Consider cultivated varieties i planting this species.
Hydrangea arborescens
(smooth or wild hydrangea) is native tothe eastern United States. This ast growing species may reacha height and width o 3’ to 5’. It is sometimes dicult todistinguish rom
H. paniculata
as the fower clusters o cultivated varieties may be similar. The leaves o 
H. arborescens
 are broader and oten bigger with long (1” to 3”) petioles.
H.paniculata
petioles are ½” to 1” long. Some cultivars have beenselected with larger fowers. As
H. arborescens
blooms on current growth it can be prunedin late winter. It may be drastically pruned (to the ground) or pruned only to remove old fower heads. Dried fowers may be used in fower arrangements along with dried
H. paniculata
 and
H. querciolia.Hydrangea querciolia
(oaklea hydrangea) is easy to distinguishby the lobed (oak lea-shape) leaves. These leaves may develop spectacularly handsome all colors (red, bronze,purple). The plant typically grows 4’ to 6’ tall and can becomequite wide due to its habit o suckering. The fowers, on last  year’s growth, may also be spectacular with white foretsin panicles over 1’ long. Native to the southeastern United

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