Category Archives: Types of Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas in Florida May Grow Best Inside

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.

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Pretty Pink Potted Hydrangea

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.

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I miss my blue hydrangea (photo is mine)

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.

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I’ve never had a pink flowering hydrangea and this one is lovely.

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.

camelia

Camellia

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.

In the north, the blue hydrangeas and Pinky Winky were my favorites, but it might be a nice change to have a true pink potted hydrangea.

(Photo credits: Pixabay.com)

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cone shaped limelight hydrangea flowers

Stages of the Limelight Hydrangea Flower

One hydrangea that has cone-shaped, panicled flowers is the limelight variety.  I’m using my own photos on this post to show the stages of the limelight hydrangea flower, as it grows from spring through the fall season.  All pictures on this page were taken from the same flowering shrubs in my front yard, but throughout their growth period.

Hydrangeas can produce some of the most spectacular light green flowers, and the limelight does not disappoint. Brides love this flower to accent any wedding theme, and it’s often chosen to create stunning centerpieces.

In spring, this perennial sends out tall stems.  Eventually buds form, with many little clusters of flowers shooting out along the end of the branch. This is the panicle, which makes this a hydrangea paniculata.   These tiny clusters will each grow and merge to form a resulting, huge single bloom.

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Panicle Hydrangea Buds

The flowers are the greenest when they are first growing. The buds open from the bottom to the top, creating a flower that is a combination of soft white to light green.

limelight hydrangea flower
Filling In, The Flower Expands

My limelight shrubs are fairly new to the yard. They were planted in 2012, and I am still learning about how to prune and grow them successfully. Fortunately hydrangeas are very hardy, and even if you do something ‘wrong’ they will continue to grow nicely.

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White Hydrangea Flowers

Once the blooms fill out they are mostly white, and big and puffy looking. This hydrangea creates some of the most stunning blooms you’ll ever see.

As summer passes, the white flowers begin to turn pale pink and become darker during the autumn months. They can be cut to use in an inside arrangement, or left to dry on the bush (see my last photo on this page).

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Big White Limelight Bouquet

My photos above and below show the pink-tinted hydrangea flowers as they appear in the fall season. The flowers are massive, and the petals that were once a creamy white are now turning partially pale green and mauve pink.

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Fall Limelight Blooms

My plants are fairly young. As the plants age, the stems will fill in and become stronger. I’ve seen them staked to hold the flowers upright, as they are heavy and tend to flop downward.

The Limelight hydrangea can be pruned into a little tree, but that takes skill and patience. I have never tried to create a hydrangea tree, but they are stunning accents to any landscape. The flowers hold up well into fall and become dried garden decor.

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October Limelight – Dried Flower With a Late, White Bloom

Hydrangeas are fun to grow.  You just never know what they may do, like pop out a new bloom in October!  When all the other flower heads were dried and brown, suddenly a new white flower emerged from my Limelight (photo above).

I hope you have enjoyed my photos, and maybe I have inspired you to grown one (or more) of these lovely hydrangea shrubs.

Now, would you like to see the stages of the Pinky Winky blooms?

Hydrangeas With Cone-Shaped Flowers

Hydrangeas with cone-shaped flowers are of the paniculata variety.  In my yard I grow the ‘Limelight’ and ‘Pinky Winky’ which are both paniculata grandiflora.  This type of hydrangea can be grown as a bush or shaped into a tree over time.

The flowers are long and sometimes really huge in size.  My limelight bushes have produced some amazing white to pale green blooms that are stunning.  And they did this the first year after they were planted!  Hydrangeas are very hardy and fast blooming.  You won’t have to wait for years for them to produce showy blooms.  The exception to that may be fewer and later blooms after a hard winter.  I have that happening in my yard this year.  (See Pictures of My Hydrangea Plants 2015)

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The Limelight Hydrangea in Summer

Last year the blooms on the Limelight hydrangea were huge, and as the Fall season approached, the blooms began to turn light pink. They were just gorgeous.
Because this type of hydrangea flowers on long stems, many people trim them into trees, with one or a few main branches that grow tall with hanging branches.
Do a Google search for the paniculate grandiflora and you’ll see many lovely images. The picture below shows the same flowers shown in the picture above, just later in the season.

cone shaped limelight hydrangea flowers
Late Summer Limelight Flowers Turning Pink

Possibly my favorite, the Pinky Winky is also a paniculata variety which produces white flowers that gradually turn dark pink.
Here is one of my photos of a little Pinky Winky bouquet made up of cut flowers before they turned pink.  Please click this link to see the progression of the bloom growth and color change in the photos on a previous post.

pink hydrangea paniculata
Most flowers are pink by late summer
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White Hydrangea, Pinky Winky Bouquet

There are many other types of paniculatas, and the Pee Gee is very lovely with white flowers. I bought one, but it was crushed and never had the chance to grow. I can’t give you a personal account of it, but the Pee Gee is loved by many hydrangea fans.  And there are many more.  Search for what will grow well in the climate where you live, and be sure to plant the paniculata hydrangea in a space that can accommodate it’s growth.

Pictures of My Hydrangea Plants 2015

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Newly purchased hydrangeas in pots

In 2011 I bought a house and began to fill the yard with perennials.  I had a lot of cleaning up to do, as the gardens were pretty ugly – but not as ugly as the house!  In between fixing up the inside of my home, I spent time beautifying my new yard.

That first summer was spent clearing away old growth and garden edging, but in Spring 2012 I was ready to buy some perennials, and one of the first shrubs I wanted was the hydrangea.

It is now 2015, just three short years later, and I thought I’d share pictures of those plants, and their offspring (propagated plants). I also want to post an update to acknowledge my favorites, problems, etc. to share with readers.

First, the Blushing Bride, hydrangea macrophylla. The pictures below were all taken in August, 2015. The first is the original shrub I bought from a local nursery. The next two are pictures of the two I propagated from the original. I planted them last year, and as you can see, they are almost as large as the original. In fact, one of the ‘babies’ is blooming, and the others are not.
These are beautiful shrubs, with large green leaves, and I highly recommend this perennial for the yard.

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Blushing Bride – original shrub
white flowering hydrangea
Blushing Bride propagated plant
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Blushing Bride baby #2 – no blooms this year

The blue-flowering hydrangea, ‘Endless Summer’ is pictured here. It’s not flowering much this year, but I blame the bad winter. There are two small flowers at the bottom. I think in time, as it ages, this will be a more beautiful shrub. I also cut down a larger bush that was preventing it from getting sun. That may help with blooms next year.

blue hydrangea shrub
Endless Summer

Please see my next post and read my review, with pictures, of two more hydrangeas, the paniculatas – the Pinky Winky and Limelight – which have elongated blooms.