Hydrangea Buyer's Guide | Our Hydrangea Varieties Explained (2024)

Hydrangea shrubs are a classic landscape and garden feature, and they’re virtually unmistakable! Their trademark cluster blooms change color depending on the pH of the soil, with the exception of true white blooming species (Paniculata and Quercifolia). Specifically, pink blooms come from alkaline soil, blue from acidic soil, and purple from somewhere in between.

Hydrangeas in History

The name itself comes from the Greek words, ‘hydros,’ which means water,’ and ‘angos,’ which roughly translates to ‘jar.’ This name initially referred to the spherical shape of the flower head. However, it ironically also applies to the regular watering required to keep them perky and healthy.

Where Should I Plant Them?

Fortunately, there is a Hydrangea Shrub for nearly every landscape. There are Hydrangea varieties that thrive in Full Sun, Partial Shade, and even primarily shady locations. Nearly every type will need regular watering in the first growing season. However, avoid planting them in areas with frequent standing water. This is likely to lead to root rot.

When Should I Plant Them?

We recommend planting them in either Spring or Fall. The moderate temperatures in these two seasons are ideal for new plantings. It’s risky to try to plant Hydrangeas with less than a month before your expected first freeze of the year. However, these winter-hardy shrubs should be fine when planted with a month or more before your first freeze.

Which Type of Hydrangea Should I Buy for My Landscape?

We sell three notably different species: Paniculata, Macrophylla, and Quercifolia. Each type has its own strengths in the landscape.


Paniculata (or Panicle) types include varieties such as the White Wedding Hydrangea. These shrubs are traditionally summer bloomers and are ideal for Full Sun applications. They produce cones of white panicle blooms that age to varying degrees of pink depending on the breed. This species is known for their fast-growth as well.


Macrophylla (or Mophead) selections, like the Bloomstruck and Summer Crush, are perfect for Partial Shade gardens. This is the group that features color-changing blooms depending upon the soil pH. Lacecap varieties also fall under this category. Some varieties from this species bloom only in summer, while others, such as Endless Summer Hydrangea varieties, rebloom from late spring through fall.


Quercifolia varieties include the Semmes Beauty Oakleaf. This type is perfect for Partial Shade gardens where you need a taller element with attractive white blooms. They bring an indisputable elegance to any landscape. All three types are deciduous, meaning that they’ll go dormant every winter. Therefore, they’re all impressively cold hardy.

How to Plant:

First, determine your planting location based on the Hydrangea types that you’ve selected.

  1. Second, dig a hole three times as wide as the pot that the plant is currently in.
  2. Dig the hole deep enough that the top of the plant’s root ball is even with the level of the soil around it, or slightly above by an inch or two.
  3. Mix your native soil with some rich garden soil to provide some additional nutrients for your plant.
  4. If you have heavy clay soil, we recommend mixing in some pine bark with the soil at about a 1:1 ratio.
  5. Place the plant in the center of the hole and fill the dirt mixture back in around the plant.
  6. Then, apply 3-4 inches of mulch around the base of the plant to help it retain moisture.
  7. Water this new planting about 3 times per week (more in times of high heat, less in times of heavy rain).

Why Buy Hydrangeas Online from PlantsbyMail.com?

We understand that it can be concerning to order a plant and have it shipped to your door sight unseen. However, we carefully select our plants to ensure quality before shipment. We guarantee that you’ll receive a plant that is ready to succeed in your landscape. If you have an issue with your plant on arrival, let us know and we will do whatever we can to make it right. We don’t guarantee that your Hydrangea shrub will be in bloom when you receive it.

They go through their cycles naturally here at our nursery. We sell plants destined for a home in someone’s landscape. So our goal is to get healthy plants to your door that will shine for you over time in your landscape. If you’re looking for a blooming plant for a gift, contact us and we will let you know if we have any currently in bloom.

Can I Order Them in Winter?

All three Hydrangea varieties that we sell go dormant in winter which means that they lose all of their leaves. We still ship them during this time. In fact, they ship very well in this state. So we encourage you to buy a few, leave them in a garage, basem*nt, or on a patio shielded from harsh winds. Simply water them 2-3 times per month and then plant them in the ground or in a planter once spring rolls around again.

Hydrangea Buyer's Guide | Our Hydrangea Varieties Explained (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Pres. Carey Rath

Last Updated:

Views: 6307

Rating: 4 / 5 (61 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Pres. Carey Rath

Birthday: 1997-03-06

Address: 14955 Ledner Trail, East Rodrickfort, NE 85127-8369

Phone: +18682428114917

Job: National Technology Representative

Hobby: Sand art, Drama, Web surfing, Cycling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Leather crafting, Creative writing

Introduction: My name is Pres. Carey Rath, I am a faithful, funny, vast, joyous, lively, brave, glamorous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.