I love hydrangeas simply because they produce massive amounts of long lastting beautiful flowers. Even my husband agrees that they are a hard plant to beat (and that’s saying something)! There are a ton of varieties but definitly ones that do better in Iowa than others. Here are a few of our favorites that we sell in the garden center.
What’s not to love about the Endless Summer Hydrangea? It begins blooming late spring and blooms endlessly until early fall. The blooms can be pink or blue in color depending on the soil acidity (add lime to the soil for pink blooms and aluminum sulfate for blue blooms). The shrub will grow up to 4′ tall by 4′ wide and tolerates full sun to part shade.
Pinky Winky Hydrangeas are a great shrub because it has a strong vigourous upright growth habit. The blooms are large (up to 12″) and pyramidal in form. The blooms begin later summer and last into the late fall. They start off as creamy white and transition into a dark pink color. Pinky Winky’s can grow up to 8′ tall and wide and can quickly fill an empty space.
Limelight hydrangeas are fabulous for their upright growth habit and their large cone shaped flowers. The blooms start mid summer as creamy white and eventually transition to a chartreuse green and onto shades of pink into early fall. They can grow up to 6′ to 8′ tall and do well in full sun.
Annabelles are always a favorite in Iowa gardens. They have enormous creamy white (volleyball size) flower heads, blooms all summer long, can tolerate full shade to part sun, and are super hardy in Iowa’s winters. Their only downfall is that the stalks often droop when the flower blooms are at their largest. This hydrangea gets approximately 3′ to 5′ tall and wide. Trim it back to the ground before winter hits for best results.
One of the newest varieties we’ve added to the garden this year is the Bella Anna Hydrangea, which is a strikingly beautiful plant with large, bright pink flower heads. It is the first truly hardy pink Annabelle Hydrangea. It began blooming in the early summer and is supposed to continue to bloom through Fall. Plant it in full sun to part shade. It grows 3’ wide x 3’ tall.
In my next few blog posts I will show you how to make a fresh hydrangea wreath and how to dry them for use in dried bouquets. Happy planting!