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Hydrangeas- A Calendar of Bloom Times

One of the most recognized, appreciated flowers of all time is the hydrangea- hands down!
The hydrangea’s fame is not just about popularity, though- this beauty has earned it’s spot on the proverbial Plant A-List! How? Because its got great qualities that make it oh-so-easy-to-love: it’s beautiful, it comes in many varieties and colors, it’s easy to grow and tend, it makes a great cut flower, it plays nicely with other plants, and it is the quintessential summer flower.

 

These wonderful traits aside, one of the best things about hydrangeas is that different varieties have different bloom times, allowing for a whole summer filled with hydrangea blooms!
For those of you who can’t get enough of those soft, fluffy flowers,we’ve put together this handy ‘calendar’ of bloom times of our favorite shrub-habit hydrangeas;  with this tool, you can quickly see which species are blooming at what time of the season so you can plan a landscape that features hydrangeas in every month!
Calendar of Hydrangea Blooms 
by Hydrangea Variety
*bloom times listed below are estimates for the Central Virginia area; bloom time can vary year-to-year based on weather variations. 
 
May
 
Hydrangea macrophylla: 
Blooms Mid-May through Mid-June
*some cultivars re-bloom in the Fall
 
Hydrangea macrophylla is the most common type of hydrangea-this species known for its big, mophead blooms that are great as cut flower. Bloom colors change as the flower matures, beginning with a creamy yellow, then turning to blue and finally to greenish rose as the season progresses. Additionally, soil acidity (and available aluminum in the soil) affects flower color; in short, soil with low pH will produce bluer flowers while soil with higher pH produces pinker flowers.
Some common cultivars of Hydrangea macrophylla are ‘Nikko Blue’ and ‘Endless Summer’
June
 
Hydrangea quercifolia
Blooms Mid-May through Mid-June
 
Hydrangea quercifolia is a great native hydrangea! What makes it so wonderful? For one, it flowers in deep shade, which is hard to find. Secondly, (though having nothing to do with flowering) it has oak-shaped leaves that turn all shades of deep red in the fall! The flowers on this beaut are white and cone-shaped.
 
On the whole, Hydrangea arborescens blooms begin as large white globes that mature to a green color. Some popular (and stunningly beautiful!) cultivars are ‘Annabelle’ and ‘Grandiflora’
July & August
 
Hydrangea paniculata
Blooms mid-July to mid-August (sometimes into September)
 
Hydrangea paniculata blooms later in the season than most other hydrangeas, which is great for hydrangea-lovers longing to enjoy those beautiful blooms until Fall. The blooms on Hydrangea paniculata are more conical in shape, and begin as white flowers that mature to a pinkish hue. 
Some common cultivars are ‘Limelight’ (pictured) ‘Pee Wee’ and ‘Little Lamb’
*Don’t forget that some re-blooming cultivars of Hydrangea macrophylla bloom into the fall!
 
 
We hope this guide has been helpful (Or at least beautiful to look at!)
Happy [Hydrangea] Gardening!
Many thanks to Michael Dirr and his book Hydrangeas for American Gardeners for helpful information about hydrangeas!

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