Since I moved to Florida last summer, I’ve kept a lookout for my favorite hydrangea shrubs in local garden centers. At least they are not in the “garden” area. I’ve seen hydrangeas in pots inside the Home Depot meant to give as gifts or use as indoor plants. And I think that in this hot and humid climate they may grow best inside.
From what I’ve read, the Oakleaf hydrangea will survive outside in zone 9, so that is one option. It’s not exactly like any of the other types of hydrangea I’ve grown, so it will be experimental if I decide to buy it. Also it seems very leafy, without those big gorgeous flowers like the mopheads have. The Oakleaf seems suited to areas beneath trees where it would get filtered sunlight. And it doesn’t seem to be grown for it’s gorgeous flowers.
What I do know is that a hydrangea will grow best getting some morning sun and then shade for the rest of the day. In Florida, during dry times, it will require a lot of watering also. I picture any hydrangea growing in the ground here needing a lot of water.
I’ve read in gardening forums that some people buy the potted hydrangeas that are sold around holiday time, and then keep them inside out of the direct sun.
The trouble with having hydrangeas in the yard down here is that most tropical plants remain lush and green year round. Hydrangeas are deciduous, which means their leaves will fall off for the winter months. For that reason, they will look out of place in a Florida landscape. In the north, everything goes dormant for the winter, so leafless hydrangea plants don’t stick out like a sore thumb.
Someone suggested growing camellias instead of hydrangeas as they do not lose their leaves. I’ve grown camellias before and they are lovely plants with a variety of flowers to choose from. But I think they like shade, which I don’t have much of here.
Easter and Mother’s Day are both coming up and I suspect the local stores will be offering some hydrangeas for both of those holidays. It could be the best time to find new hydrangeas to grow in my southern home.
(Photo credits: Pixabay.com)