Although they are common in East Texas gardening, hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) also thrive on the Blackland Prairie soils in North Central Texas. And it’s possible to be even more specific than that.
Are hydrangeas able to thrive in Texas?
The following hydrangea types do well in Texas when grown as hydrangeas:
- Oakleaf hydrangea (this kind is less appealing to me because the flowers are cone-shaped and less colorful)
- Hydrangea PeeGee (similar but better to me than the oakleaf because the flowers turn pink eventually)
- Hydrangea Endless Summer (this variety has fared the best in the summer heat)
- Hydrangea named Annabelle (I haven’t personally tested this one, but it’s claimed to be more durable.)
- Light-up hydrangea (Another one I was thinking about trying next year)
How are hydrangeas maintained in Texas?
It’s not difficult to grow hydrangea in Houston (South Texas), but it’s also not simple. It can be very difficult to grow a beautiful hydrangea shrub that will blossom and endure in the sun and humidity.
It gets difficult when you have to choose the right variety up front. The Oakleaf hydrangea is the kind that thrives in our climate (Hydrangea quercifolia). Although it performs better than other varieties, this lovely shrub does not resemble the hydrangeas we see in books or at flower shops. The cream-colored, cone-shaped flowers on this 8-foot-tall shrub have a rounded appearance. Throughout the season, flowers will transform to pink and even reddish brown in the autumn (note: you cannot change the color of Oakleaf hydrangea by changing acidity of the soil)
PeeGee hydrangea follows as the best performer for South Texas on our list of hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata). Again, not the hydrangea you see in magazines. Typically white-green, cone-shaped blossoms eventually turn pink with maturity. If unpruned, PeeGee hydrangea can reach a height of 15 feet, which is impressive for a shrub. PeeGee hydrangeas can often be taught to resemble trees with correct pruning.
However, the picture-perfect French hydrangea or mopheads are what the majority of us would like to grow (Hydrangea macrophylla). These hydrangeas are undoubtedly the most challenging to grow in Houston (and southeast Texas). Do you feel up to the task?
Starting with the ideal location for hydrangeas: The east side of the home (or any other structure) will receive morning sun and afternoon shade. If space on the east side is not a possibility, your other choice is the north side. Of course, if you’re like me and have trouble with orientation, pull out your compass or pour yourself a cup of tea, and spend some time watching: Find a location that receives some morning sun but is sheltered for the majority of the day.
The size of your site is the second thing to think about. Hydrangeas require space to expand. Take into account that French hydrangeas can reach heights of 7 feet and a width of 8 feet. For your hydrangea to flourish, leave at least 2 feet in each direction (from the plant’s center) when you plant it.
The hue of the hydrangea is the third factor to take into account. In Southeast Texas, pink and red colored blossoms are the easiest to grow (our clay soil is very alkaline and as such works best for pinks and reds). Once you master hydrangea cultivation, you can experiment with altering the soil’s acidity (If you want blue hydrangeas, you will need to add Aluminum sulfate to the soil, to lower your pH and make soil more acidic).
Got it all? Let’s make a large hole. The hole must be twice as wide as the pot that your hydrangea came in. The hole should be dug to a depth equal to the soil in your pot plus 4 inches. Fill the hole with compost to a depth of about 4 inches. Add the soil you dug out over your hydrangea before planting it. Mix potting soil in with your clay soil if it’s too dense (keep the ratio 3:13 part potting soil, 1 part clay). Mulch should be applied to the top 4-5 inches of the plant. We advise using cedar mulch (keeps the termites away). Water the mulch until it’s evenly wet.
Maintaining the health of your hydrangea comes last but not least. Moist soil is ideal for hydrangeas. Hydrangeas require daily watering until they are established (2-3 weeks). Just water the dirt (mulch) around the roots; don’t water the leaves or the flowers; let the rain take care of it. Early in the morning is advised for watering hydrangeas, followed by late at night. Once established, you must experiment and make a few observations. Water your hydrangea bush every other day as of now. Maintain that schedule if your leaves appear healthy (not drying out or wilting). You need to reduce the frequency of watering if your leaves begin to turn yellow to rust-colored. Mulch will quickly become your closest ally. It safeguards the roots, effectively holds water, and gives bugs a place to live.
When should your hydrangea be planted is the next concern. The best response for our area is: When the weather is nice outside. It shouldn’t be excessively hot, wet, or cold: between November and April (weather report should not mention any hard freeze). Only from February until May do we typically sell hydrangea at Scent & Violet.
Would you like to raise the ante a bit? Place thyme, lemon balm, and chives close to your hydrangeas. These plants can thrive in the shade and will aid in luring beneficial insects. Why not utilize some of them in your cooking as well? Also think about growing some native Texas flowers that do well in shade.
Your hydrangea lived and flourished, right? You want to prune it since it has gotten too huge. Check out this video from North Coast Gardening to learn how to prune hydrangeas properly.
A full-service florist in Houston, Texas, Scent & Violet, flowers and presents offers flower, plant, and gift delivery in Houston, Katy, Richmond, Fulshear, Sugar Land, and Bellaire. We want to develop a hassle-free, regular buying source for presents, plants, and flowers. We really believe that giving gifts can lead to stronger relationships, better settings, and better mental states than receiving them.
In Texas, what month do hydrangeas bloom?
It is great to have other plants fill in with color as the spring azalea blooms fade. Roses are a clear choice because many of them are already in bloom, and the main show will begin in a few weeks.
The Oakleaf hydrangea in our yard is one of my favorite plants. With its huge leaves, lovely white blossoms, intriguing bark, and unique growth habit, it offers appeal almost all year round. It blooms in early to mid-May and creates a fascinating contrast in form and color with our native Rhododendron oblongifolium (Texas azalea), which flowers white, and a late-blooming pink Wakaebisu azalea.
East Texas benefits greatly from the oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) as a shrub. This medium-sized, deciduous shrub, which is native to the Southeast of the United States and grows to a height of 6 to 8 feet, possesses a number of qualities that make it a standout. In east Texas, finding a partially shaded spot is typically not too difficult. Sunlight in the morning or evening is best. It will flourish in areas with more sunlight and soil that is consistently moist. In regions with more sunlight, newly planted specimens have a tendency to wilt throughout the day the first year.
Oakleaf hydrangeas produce enormous, alluring, beautiful, conical inflorescences of creamy white flowers in late May and early June. The magnificent white flowers, which are supported above and distinguished by the big leaves, are produced by all of the identified cultivars. Flower clusters can be between 3 and 4 broad and 4 to 12 long. The flower clusters eventually become pinkish and continue into the fall and winter as a brown papery cone.
The enormous (up to 8 inches), oak-shaped leaves—which are gorgeous all summer long—continue the show in the fall and become a deep purple or burgundy before falling off in the winter to reveal lovely exfoliating bark up and down the erect branches. Plants growing in more sunny environments will have more noticeable leaf color. On stems older than three years, the outer bark starts to peel away to reveal a rich, dark brown inner bark.
Use oakleaf hydrangeas as an accent plant, in a naturalized shrub border, in front of tall evergreens, on the edge of a forested lot, or close to water, or anywhere a striking texture is required.
The oakleaf hydrangea is hardy, tolerating a wide range of soil and moisture conditions, long-living, and widely accessible. It also has a very low insect population. Recall to give it room to expand.
Most people immediately see the “French or Bigleaf hydrangea” when you mention hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla). Although this dazzling shrub was extensively hybridized by the French around a century ago, it is not native to France. A native of Asia, bigleaf hydrangeas today fall into two categories: hortensias and lacecaps. The hortensia genus produces enormous balls or clusters of pink or blue flowers, and is the one that is most usually seen around homes. The non-showy fertile flowers in the center of the lacecaps are surrounded by showy fertile blooms, giving the plant a delicate, lacy appearance.
Numerous novel cultivars are entering the market and there are countless others that rebloom on new growth for a longer duration of color.
Its botanical name, “Hydra,” which means water in Latin, serves as a hint that these large-leaved plants require a lot of water during the summer to prevent wilting of the leaves and blossoms.
The optimal conditions for hydrangeas are a mild shade exposure, rich, well-drained loamy soil, and a thick mulch 4 inches deep to keep the soil moist. Because the color of the blossoms can tell you whether your soil is acidic or alkaline, hydrangeas are like living litmus paper. While less acidic soils (pH 6.06.5) turn the flowers pink, strongly acidic soil (pH 5.05.5) produces blue blossoms. The majority of the soils in east Texas are acidic, so if you want pink blooms the following summer, add lime to the soil in the fall. Acidifying the soil with aluminum sulfate, sulfur, or ferrous sulfate will encourage bluer flowers. The true factor influencing the flowers’ blueness is the soil’s accessible aluminum level, which is tied to the soil’s acidity.
Due to variable pH levels in the soil surrounding the plant, it is occasionally possible for a single plant to have pink and blue hues at the same time. Two well-liked cultivars with reliable blue flowers are “Nikko Blue” and “Merritt’s Blue.”
Bigleaf hydrangeas can be blended with other evergreen and deciduous plants as an accent plant and in shrub borders. They look best when pruned on a regular basis. Flower buds form in the late summer and fall, so be sure to prune as soon as they finish blooming. Stems that have blossomed should be cut off, while stems that haven’t should be left. While the stems may appear to be dead in the winter, they actually contain the leaf and flower buds for the following spring. A harsh winter may ruin the flowers for the following year.
Where should hydrangeas not be planted?
growing circumstances The best place to grow hydrangeas is where they will receive morning light and afternoon shade because they require well-draining soil. Both full sun and deep, consistent shadow are unsuitable for hydrangeas. Choose a location where your hydrangeas will receive at least three to four hours of direct sunlight each day.
Can hydrangeas be grown in Austin, Texas?
Hydrangea shrubs come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and cultivars that come in an amazing array of colors. While some hydrangea varieties won’t do well in the stifling Texas heat, there are undoubtedly those that do well there.
The most common kind of hydrangea in our area is unquestionably the oakleaf variety since it can withstand the heat without becoming overheated. They don’t exactly resemble the common hydrangeas with bloom clusters in the shape of globes that frequently adorn the covers of home and garden publications. Oakleaf hydrangeas have tiny white blooms that grow in panicles that resemble cones and tumble downhill, giving them a hybrid appearance between hydrangeas and lilacs. As you may undoubtedly infer from the name, its lobed leaves resemble oak tree leaves quite a little. Before the plant goes dormant for the winter, the blossoms change as they ripen from milky white to delicate pink and occasionally take on a wine-red hue. Oakleaf hydrangeas can grow up to 7 feet tall when fully grown.
Another magnificent species of hydrangea that thrives in Texas is PeeGee. With huge, cloud-like bunches of blooms reaching heights of up to 15 feet, they are absolute attention-getters. These shrubs are excellent accent plants for the front yard because you can even train them to grow into trees. PeeGees have blooms that start out white with a delicate green tint and gradually grow more pink as they mature, much like oakleaf hydrangeas do.
The traditional variety of French hydrangeas that you frequently find in bridal bouquets. Their mophead-shaped, spherical blossoms appear in a stunning array of white, green, purple, pink, and blue hues. By experimenting with the pH and Aluminum levels in the soil with different amendments, you can even extract a Sleeping Beauty and turn them from pink to blue, or from blue to pink. Although these hydrangeas are extremely popular in more Northern parts of the US, they are obviously more difficult to maintain in Houston, but it is possible with the right care. You may create the garden of your dreams if you take extra care to ensure that the striking, icy blue blossoms receive all they require to thrive.
Do hydrangeas like shade or the sun?
With the ideal balance of morning sun and afternoon shade, hydrangeas flourish. Even the sun-loving Hydrangea paniculata will thrive in some shade. Some hydrangea cultivars may survive complete shadow, though.
The oakleaf hydrangea, also known as hydrangea quercifolia, is a substantial species of hydrangea that may reach heights of up to eight feet. In a shade garden, this big bush makes a beautiful backdrop. The height will provide excellent midsummer seclusion. Oakleaf hydrangeas are summer bloomers with mostly white blooms, elegant oakleaf-shaped leaves, and lovely peeling bark.
Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris is another choice for full shade. This climbing species, which has lacy, white blossoms in the summer, can reach a height of 50 feet if it is given adequate support. The foliage is a rich shade of green and would look wonderful growing up a tree trunk or covering the face of a building. It would also look lovely covering the roof of a garden shed.
Full shade cultivars require the same upkeep as partial shade. In the deeper shade, it will be especially crucial to keep the plants free of leaf litter and with excellent airflow. Water your plant once a week after it has become established. Keep a watch on the leaves, and if you notice any drooping, especially during the hot summer months, water them right away. The importance of this increases in hotter regions.
These leaves’ unique shape would be a lovely complement to Hosta leaves. The white blossoms would contrast nicely with the lighter hues of your shady blooms and provide some brilliant brightness to your shaded locations.
There are a few different hydrangea cultivars that thrive in the shade. Some types can even thrive in zones 3 (which doesn’t warm up until later in the spring), which is one of the coldest growing regions. Let’s examine some of the best shade selections!
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snow queen’
The movie “Snow queen” is stunning. The flowers are stunning, as they are with all hydrangeas. These rose blush-colored blossoms appear in the middle of summer. The foliage of this plant is my favorite component. The leaves begin the season in a very deep green, gradually changing to a deep reddish bronze color, and finally finishing in that shade, offering a stunning splash of color to your fall landscape.
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Alice’
With a height ranging between 12 and 15 feet, this Oakleaf Hydrangea is one among the biggest. In the summer, this plant blooms with incredibly deep cream-colored flowers. A woodland garden would be a truly lovely place for “Alice.” This cultivar would look especially beautiful if it were grown as a bordering hedge.
Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’
‘Annabelle’ enjoys partial shade and has some of the largest flowers in the hydrangea family (12 inches wide!). These enormous blossoms can be supported all season long by the sturdy stalks. This shrub can grow up to five feet tall and five feet broad, so give it plenty of area to expand. These enormous, all-white blossoms bloom for a long time.
In a mass planting, as a specimen shrub, or as a foundation planting, “Annabelle” would look lovely. These bushes should still be included in your cutting garden. Imagine a bunch of flowers that large! Wow!