When gardeners look through magazines, they'll often see beautiful bouquets of hydrangeas. But, can you grow hydrangeas in Kansas? The answer is "yes", if you select the right type for your location. In this segment, you'll learn about four different types of hydrangeas that work well in Kansas.

Produced by K-State Research and Extension. For more information, visit our website at: http://www.kansasgreenyards.org

Hydrangea - Choose the Best Type for Your Location

In Kansas, we can grow about four different types of hydrangeas. We can grow what we sometimes call the Macrophylla hydrangeas; which are the big pink and blue ones. One of the main problems is that the flower buds are not winter hardy. The branches or the stems may be winter hardy. But the way that the plant blooms is that the terminal bud has the flower. And if it’s winter killed, we’ll lose the bloom.

But, there are several other types that are for us. Unfortunately, they all flower in white – but are much more adaptable to our Kansas climate. They’ll take more drought. They’ll take more wind. They’ll take more harsh sun, and are more tolerant of our soil conditions.

One of those is a variety called Oakleaf hydrangea. The Oakleaf hydrangea is prized for it’s large, showy, white flowers that sometimes turn to a very soft pink or brown color. They’ll last into the fall to give us a really nice show. One of my favorite features about Oakleaf hydrangea is it’s fall color – it will turn a very vivid purple to red fall color, and last for several weeks.

Another great hydrangea variety for us is one commonly called the Annabelle hydrangea. This has the large, mop-head type flower of the showy blue and pinks, but this one comes in white. The nice advantage to the Annabelle hydrangea is that it blooms in what we call new wood. So, we cut it down to the ground every year in the spring. It comes up, and in late may or June, it provides us with this beautiful, white show. It then turns to a soft green, and then brown that will last through the rest of the season.

Another easy type of hydrangea for us to grow is sometimes referred to as the Pee Gee hydrangea. Or, other people call them Paniculata hydrangeas. The reason that both the Annabelle and the Paniculata’s do so well for us is that they bloom on the new wood – the growth that comes up in the spring set the flower bud.

The Oakleaf hydrangea blooms on old wood, but it’s very winter hardy. For most gardeners, you’ll have much better luck if you’ll choose the Paniculata, the Annabelle, or the Oakleaf types.

This feature story prepared with Dennis Patton, Kansas State University Research and Extension Horticulture Agent, Johnson County. For more information, visit your local county extension office or visit our website at KansasGreenYards.org.

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