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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 [https://www.stonegategardens.com/].
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There are essentially five types of hydrangeas:
Bigleaf hydrangeas, or hydrangea macrophylla [https://bit.ly/3wkC3sz], 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 hydrangeas, or hydrangea arborescens [https://bit.ly/39bIwy6], 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 hydrangeas, or hydrangea paniculata [https://bit.ly/3M7JOJ0], 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 hydrangeas, or hydrangea quercifolia [https://bit.ly/3w0lJhA], 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 hydrangeas, or hydrangea petiolaris [https://bit.ly/3M9lztK], 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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Everything to Know About Hydrangeas | Ask This Old House