A Guide to Hydrangea Varieties

Hydrangea Varieties - A Quick Guide

Hydrangea. Photo courtesy of shirobane

Are you looking for a big color feature? Hydrangeas are almost magical, with globes of flower clusters in nearly any color you can think of. Sort through the options with this guide to hydrangea varieties to see what will be best in your organic garden or landscape.

Bigleaf Hydrangea Varieties

Hydrangea macrophylla, Bigleaf hydrangeas, are also known as florist’s hydrangea thanks to their gorgeous flower shapes. They will typically be hardy to zone 5, though you will need to keep them protected a bit in a cold winter.

Abracadabra® Orb. The stunning bright colors of Abracadabra hydrangeas stand out even more atop dark black stems. Enjoy a range of peach to hot pink over the summer, depending on your soil composition and pH. Grows to 3-4 ft tall when given a part-shade refuge from the hot summer sun.Hardy to zones 5-9.

Nikko Blue. Lovely baby blue flowers cluster around this 4-6 ft tall and wide hydrangea shrub. The more acidic the soil, the deeper the blue. Best hardiness is further south, zone 6-9.

Cityline® Berlin. A smaller shrub at as low as 12 in and up to 3 ft tall, Berlin’s flowers are large and plentiful. The petal colors range from pink early on to green later. Hardy to zones 5-9.

Cityline® Mars. Instead of fading to other colors like Berlin, Mars boasts two colors all year long. The magenta petals (depending on soil pH) are lined with white, adding more color to your landscape than other hydrangeas and flowers! Grows to around 1-3 ft tall, hardy in zones 5-9.

Edgy® Hearts. Named for its heart-shaped petals edged in white, this hydrangea variety is colorful and showy. Hardy to zones 5-9 with a 2-4 ft height and spread. I love this one for eye-catching shape and color!

Paraplu.® At around three feet tall, Paraplu are richly colored with double-floret heads in the flower clusters. Grow in at least part sun, in hardiness zones 5-9, for mid-range height and plenty of color.

Let’s Dance® Blue Jangles. For flower heads that rebloom, go for this compact 2-3 ft hydrangea. The blue is especially attractive, with an almost tie-dye effect when soil pH adds touches of pink.

Let's Dance® Rave.™ Another gorgeous rebloomer, your soil will provide a blue or pink hue (or mix!). Use soil amendments to make Rave party however you want them to!

Tiny Tuff Stuff.™ Part of a subset of bigleaf called mountain hydrangeas, Tiny Tuff Stuff stay low to the ground at under 2 ft tall, taking hydrangea blooms to edging and undergrowth. Reblooming, hardy, and flexible, you can encourage blue flowers by amending soil pH.

Tuff Stuff™ Red. A little bigger than the tiny version of this mountain hydrangea, red is not only a beautiful pink/red when blooming but it continues to rebloom and tolerates cold well. No need to prune or take special care. Mountain hydrangeas deal with the cold rather well and are an easy addition to low-to-medium heights in the landscape.

Oakleaf Hydrangea Varieties

Better in the sun and dry soil than bigleaf hydrangea varieties, oakleaf are native to the US and a good choice for a broader zone range. Most will be hardy up until zone 3.

Gatsby Moon.™ These hydrangeas reach much bigger sizes than the others so far, at 6-8 ft shrubs. The flower heads are giant, white-to-green clusters in the summer, with foliage that turns red in the fall.

Gatsby Pink.® Opening up into large spikes of flowers instead of the tight mophead clusters, Gatsby Pink follows the same large shrub growth as Moon but with rosy pink flowers.

Gatsby Star.™ I love this variation because each of the florets on a cluster is star-shaped. Enjoy the bloom-covered shrub from a distance and the details on the flowers when you get up close.

Gatsby Gal.™ Much like Gatsby Star but with a smaller growth, from 5-6 ft. Plus, the flowers remain big and showy, so you can fit as many blooms as you can into a more compact space.

Bobo.® A shrub around 3 ft tall and absolutely covered in blooms, tuck Bobo into medium height spaces. Pollinator gardens will love the blooming time in the spring and summer.

Fire Light.® Early in the bloom time, Fire Light blooms emerge as a creamy white and then warm up into its pinkish red in the summer. Around 5-6 ft tall and extremely easy to grow.

Limelight. Named for its shades of lime that show up in the white blossoms, but also for its tendency to steal the show. A large shrub, at 6-8 ft tall, you can use Limelight just about anywhere that can take its stunning presence.

Zinfin Doll.™ Two-toned like the Fire Light, Zinfin grows just a bit bigger and almost as full as a mophead. The flowers will keep coming from early summer for several months.

Little Lamb. For a hydrangea that won’t change based on your soil composition, go with pure white Little Lamb. Flowering later in the summer even through bouts of drought, this is a good hydrangea for easy-growing in difficult spots.

Incrediball.® The essential, flagship hydrangea, Incrediball is truly incredible. Though the plant itself is only about 4-6 ft tall, the flower clusters are absolutely massive. Hardy as far north as zone 3 and south to zone 9.

Invincibelle® Spirit. Nearly as impressive as the Incrediball, Invincibelle stands out for its giant groups of pink flowers instead of white regardless of soil pH.Reblooming throughout the season, covering its 3-4 ft span.

Climbing Hydrangea Varieties

Really create a visual masterpiece by letting climbing hydrangeas take over a fence or lattice. Flowers still cluster but almost seem to cascade, creating a dramatic impression with plenty of color and texture.

Firefly. Take your hydrangeas vertical with these white flowering hydrangeas whose real show is the foliage. Yellow green in the spring with shades changing throughout the season, Firefly can reach 40 ft tall before it’s finished.

Kuga Variegated. Early on, Kuga leaves are specked with yellow and white, making its climbing habitat interesting to the last detail. The variegation continues throughout the season, peppered with white flowers in the summer.