Vermont Garden Journal: Hydrangea Varieties

Aug 3, 2016

There are more than 600 varieties of hydrangea around the world and while the blue hydrangea gets the most press, there are newer types that don’t get as much attention.

Hydrangea arborescens

Best known as the 'Annabelle' hydrangea, this one is blooming now with large, fluffy, white flowers. A newer selection, called 'Invincibelle Spirit,' features ruby-pink colored flowers.

Not only does it add more color to our perennial flower garden, the blooms are smaller and stems thicker so it doesn't flop over as much after a rain. To make the white types less floppy, prune branches in spring to one to two feet tall. The flowers that form off these branches should hold the blooms upright better.

Hydrangea paniculata

Many are familiar with the 'PeeGee' hydrangea, often pruned as a tree form, and newer varieties that improve on this mid to late summer bloomer. 'Limelight' is a six to eight foot tall shrub whose flowers change from green to white to pink to burgundy. 'Bobo' only grows three feet tall and wide, and 'Quickfire' is one of the fastest panicle hydrangeas to turn its flowers to red.