Hydrangea arborescens are native plants that are excellent landscape choices for shady areas in your landscape. They grow naturally in moist soils in shady hardwood forests, on rocky slopes, and along woodland roads and streams. Commonly called smooth or wild hydrangeas, these lovely deciduous shrubs display incredible summer blooms. You can find a huge selection of hydrangeas online from our Online Plant Nursery.
States Where Native Hydrangeas are Indigenous
Hydrangea arborescens occur naturally in most of the eastern United States from southern New York to Florida and west to Oklahoma and Kansas.
Types Of Hydrangeas
The classic Annabelle hydrangea boasts the largest blooms at up to 12 inches wide! These huge creamy white flower clusters arrive in late spring or early summer and last until fall. Strong stems support the huge flower heads even with heavy rain. This variety grows in zones 4 to 9 and reaches 4 to 5 feet tall and up to 6 feet wide at maturity
Similar to the Annabelle, the hardy Incrediball has those same stunning white blooms that can reach 12 inch in diameter. This hydrangea has thick, tough stems that can support even the most enormous flowers. This variety grows in zones 4 to 9 and reaches 4 to 5 feet tall and wide at maturity. The big difference between the Incrediball and the Annabelle is that the Incrediball can tolerate full sun. We still recommend some shade in warmer zones like 8 and 9.
Invincibelle Ruby Hydrangea
This hydrangea is such an unusual gem! The deep burgundy red flower buds of the Invincibelle Ruby open to a bicolor combo of ruby red and silvery pink contrasting blooms. The leaves are dark green and the stems are strong. This phenomenal hydrangea is extremely cold-hardy growing into zone 3. The Invincibelle Ruby is a petite dwarf variety that is great for containers. At 3 to 4 tall and 2 to 3 feet wide at maturity this is a great addition to just about any landscape
How To Care For Hydrangeas
Spring and fall are the best times to plant hydrangeas. Although in mild climates they can be planted just about anytime even when they are dormant. The worst time to plant hydrangeas is in extreme summer heat, but if they are in a shady spot and you are particularly diligent about watering you can even make that work!
Most smooth hydrangeas prefer some shade but both the Incrediball and Invincibelle hydrangea can grow in full sun. These hydrangeas prefer moist, well-drained, fertile soil, but are adaptable to most soils. In hot climates, hydrangeas will do best with some shade. Smooth hydrangea’s color is not affected by soil pH. Keep the soil moist, but not saturated, especially in summer and in the first year after planting. Throughout its life a hydrangea will be happiest with a deep watering once weekly during hot temperatures. Mulching at about 2 inches deep is highly recommended for hydrangeas. Mulching will cut back on watering needs and protect your plant in extreme temperatures. Use a slow release fertilizer in spring for best results. These hydrangeas bloom on new wood so you can prune heavily in the dormant season.
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Be sure to check out our articles on Hydrangea Care and Hydrangea Choices.