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Hydrangeas in Shade: Types that Thrive


types of hydrangeas for shade
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Types of Hydrangeas for Shade

If your garden has a lot of shade, you might think that growing hydrangeas is impossible. But fear not - there are many types of hydrangeas that can thrive in shady conditions! In this article, we'll explore some of the best hydrangeas for shade, as well as tips for growing and caring for them.

1. Bigleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)

Bigleaf hydrangeas are one of the most popular types of hydrangeas, and for good reason. They come in a wide range of colors, from pink and blue to white and purple, and they're perfect for adding color to shady areas. These hydrangeas prefer partial shade, as too much sun can scorch their leaves.

To grow bigleaf hydrangeas in shade, make sure the soil is moist and well-drained. You can also add organic matter like compost or peat moss to improve soil quality. Don't forget to water your hydrangeas regularly, especially during hot, dry weather.

2. Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)

Oakleaf hydrangeas are another great option for shady gardens. These hydrangeas have large, oak-shaped leaves that turn a beautiful red in the fall. They also produce stunning cone-shaped flower clusters in the summer.

To grow oakleaf hydrangeas in shade, make sure the soil is well-drained and slightly acidic. You can add sulfur or aluminum sulfate to lower the pH if necessary. These hydrangeas are drought-tolerant, but they still need regular watering to thrive.

3. Smooth Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens)

Smooth hydrangeas are native to North America and are known for their large, white flower clusters. These hydrangeas prefer partial shade and moist, well-drained soil.

To grow smooth hydrangeas in shade, make sure the soil is rich in organic matter. You can also add a slow-release fertilizer to promote healthy growth. These hydrangeas don't like to dry out, so make sure to water them regularly.

4. Mountain Hydrangea (Hydrangea serrata)

Mountain hydrangeas are another type of hydrangea that thrives in shady gardens. These hydrangeas produce delicate flower clusters in shades of blue, pink, and purple. They prefer partial shade, as too much sun can damage their leaves.

To grow mountain hydrangeas in shade, make sure the soil is well-drained and moist. You can also add compost or peat moss to improve soil quality. These hydrangeas don't like to dry out, so make sure to water them regularly.

5. Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala petiolaris)

Climbing hydrangeas are a unique type of hydrangea that can grow up to 50 feet tall! These hydrangeas are perfect for covering walls, fences, and other structures in shady areas. They produce beautiful white flower clusters in the summer.

To grow climbing hydrangeas in shade, make sure the soil is well-drained and moist. You can also add compost or peat moss to improve soil quality. These hydrangeas are slow-growing, so be patient and give them time to establish themselves.

Caring for Hydrangeas in Shade

Now that you know some of the best hydrangeas for shade, let's talk about how to care for them.

1. Watering

Hydrangeas in shade still need regular watering, especially during hot, dry weather. Make sure the soil stays moist but not waterlogged. You can use a soaker hose or drip irrigation system to water your hydrangeas slowly and evenly.

2. Fertilizing

Hydrangeas in shade don't need as much fertilizer as those in full sun. You can use a slow-release fertilizer in the spring to promote healthy growth. Avoid fertilizing in the fall, as this can stimulate new growth that may not have time to harden off before winter.

3. Pruning

Most hydrangeas don't need pruning, but if you want to shape your plants or remove dead wood, do so in the late winter or early spring before new growth appears. Be careful not to prune off next year's flower buds!

FAQs

1. Can hydrangeas grow in full shade?

While most hydrangeas prefer partial shade, there are some varieties that can tolerate full shade. These include climbing hydrangeas and some types of bigleaf hydrangeas.

2. How often should I water my hydrangeas in shade?

Hydrangeas in shade still need regular watering, especially during hot, dry weather. Water deeply once or twice a week, depending on how quickly the soil dries out.

3. Why aren't my hydrangeas blooming?

There are several reasons why hydrangeas may not bloom, including too much shade, improper pruning, or a lack of nutrients. Make sure your hydrangeas are getting enough light, avoid pruning off next year's flower buds, and use a slow-release fertilizer in the spring.

4. Can I grow hydrangeas in containers?

Yes, you can grow hydrangeas in containers! Just make sure the container is large enough to accommodate the plant's root system, and use a high-quality potting mix that retains moisture. Water regularly and fertilize once a month during the growing season.

5. How do I change the color of my hydrangea flowers?

The color of hydrangea flowers depends on the soil pH. To turn blue hydrangeas pink, add lime to the soil to raise the pH. To turn pink hydrangeas blue, add aluminum sulfate to the soil to lower the pH.


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