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Everything to Know About Hydrangeas | Ask This Old House

In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Jenn Nawada explains why she loves hydrangeas so much and where to plant and care for them.

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Landscape expert Jenn Nawada shares her love and knowledge of hydrangeas. After explaining how these bushy, bright flowering plants’ hardiness and versatility can work in almost any landscape, she examines the different types of hydrangeas available while visiting a local nursery.

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Expert assistance with this segment was provided by Stonegate Gardens [].

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There are essentially five types of hydrangeas:

Bigleaf Hydrangea
Bigleaf hydrangeas, or hydrangea macrophylla [], have two types of flowerheads; mophead (rounded) or lace cap (flatter). Bigleaf hydrangeas typically bloom on old wood. The best time to prune this variety is after the flowerheads are spent, nipping them right above a healthy set of nodes (where two leaves meet along the main stem).

Smooth Hydrangea
Smooth hydrangeas, or hydrangea arborescens [], have smooth leaves and the flowerheads range from lime green to white. These plants do well in shaded and dappled light areas of the yard. These plants can be cut to the ground at the end of the season like a perennial.

Panicle Hydrangea
Panicle hydrangeas, or hydrangea paniculata [], have cone-shaped flowers that range from lime green to brilliant white. The best time to prune panicle hydrangea is late winter or early spring before the leaves emerge.

Oakleaf Hydrangea
Oakleaf hydrangeas, or hydrangea quercifolia [], leaves are shaped similarly to those on an oak tree. This is one of the earliest blooming hydrangeas, often flowering in June and ending in July. Wait until the flowerheads are spent to prune them to the next healthy node. These hydrangeas work well in shade gardens and create beautiful fall foliage.

Climbing Hydrangea
Climbing hydrangeas, or hydrangea petiolaris [], is a vine variety, and it will climb walls, fences, trellises, and other structures. These plants bloom in June or July, and they need pruning right after they flower. They have aerial roots that attach to the structure and climb.

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From the makers of This Old House, America’s first and most trusted home improvement show, Ask This Old House answers the steady stream of home improvement questions asked by viewers across the United States. Covering topics from landscaping to electrical to HVAC and plumbing to painting and more. Ask This Old House features the experts from This Old House, including general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, landscape contractor Jenn Nawada, master carpenter Norm Abram, and host Kevin O’Connor. ASK This Old House helps you protect and preserve your greatest investment—your home.

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Everything to Know About Hydrangeas | Ask This Old House

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