With an old fashion charm that is hard to resist, Hydrangeas are easy to cultivate, thrive in almost any soil and produce flowers right through to autumn.
There is a Hydrangea for everyone with colours ranging from clear blues, vibrant pinks, frosty whites, luscious lavenders and even fresh lime greens.
Our favourites for this month is Hydrangea Zorro, with its inky black stems contrasting light blue flowers and the oak-shaped leaves of Hydrangea quercifolia. The climbers are also useful to grow on shady north walls, with H. petiolaris being deciduous and H. seemanii being evergreen.
Hydrangeas thrive best in a moist but well-drained soil and in a cool, semi-shaded part of the garden. They won’t perform very well in east-facing sites, where cold winds can damage new growth and nor will they do well in dry, sunny spots.
Originating from wooded areas, plant them with plenty of organic matter and give them an annual mulch of well-rotted leaf-mould, garden compost or composted bark.
Pruning is dependent on the type grown. Mopheads and lacecaps flower on previous year’s wood so only prune faded flowering stems, leaving the other stems intact. Climbers, cone shaped flower varieties and tree types such as Anabelle can be pruned at any time.
Hydrangeas look their best when planted with other architectural shade loving plants such as the evergreen Fatsia japonica, deciduous azalea and the perennials Hosta and Astilbe.
• Prune to their type
• Generally disease free, but watch out for vine weevil and scale insect