Hydrangeas 101

In this blog series, we will be featuring care tips and varieties of hydrangeas found across gardens in Ontario.

Planting tips for hydrangea

As a general rule hydrangeas should receive a four hour minimum of sunlight every day, ideally in the morning. Some varieties prefer full sun, while others shine in partial sun locations in the garden. Always read the nursery tag provided on the plant.

Plant in an area that has moist soil, but is well drained. Hydrangeas need plenty of water, especially if they are getting established; they have shallow roots, so they tend to dry out faster compared to other flowering shrubs.

Adding a two to three inch layer of shredded mulch is an excellent way to help the plant maintain moisture.

Bigleaf hydrangea (h. macrophylla)

First up in our series are the showy flowers on bigleaf hydrangeas (h. macrophylla). Large pink, blue, or purple ball-shaped blooms are spellbinding in any backyard.

The secret to beautiful flowers is very simple – don’t prune! The blooms are produced on old wood, so if you do prune, you might end up cutting off the flowers.

Here are some of our favourite bigleaf hydrangea varieties that will thrive in Ontario gardens.

Let’s Dance® Big Easy

This reliable bloomer will flower every year in your garden. Hefty, vivid pink blooms flower on old and new wood, which allows for early to late summer flowers lasting until fall. Quite the thriller in garden beds and containers! Hardy from zones 5-9.

'Let's Dance Big Easy' Bigleaf Hydrangea

Cityline® Vienna

Blue or pink blooms grow in a compact mound. The colour can be adjusted by pH levels; blue flowers will appear in more acidic soil due to higher levels of aluminium (more acidic); pink flowers will appear when there’s less aluminium. We suggest adding Parkwood Make it Pink™ or Make it Blue™ if you’re interested in encouraging either colour on your hydrangea.

Cityline® Paris

If you are looking for a compact, fuchsia-red flower hydrangea, this is the variety for your garden. Ideal for mass plantings, in shrub borders, and in mixed containers.

Cityline® Mars

Similar to Cityline® Vienna, the flower colour can range from pink to blue; thrives in partial sun to sunny locations. It’s a compact variety that grows well in containers and landscapes; it does not need pruning to maintain their compact shape. The long-lasting blooms age to beautiful green and the foliage is incredibly mildew-resistant.

Blue Cassel Hydrangea

Attractive blue lace-cap blooms will repeat bloom all summer. One of the best varieties for planting in an area that has filtered or partial sunlight.

Blue Cassel Hydrangea

By: Kayla-Jane Barrie