Inula Royleana
Midwest Gardening
Best Performing Shrubs C-H

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Caryopteris (Blue Mist Shrub):  (Caryopteris)  Blue Mist Shrubs produce  blue flowerspikes from midsummer to fall.  Foliage is aromatic.  They are great for low hedges planted two feet apart,  or create a stunning effect in groups.  They are easy to grow, heat and drought tolerant, and resistant to deer.  Do not overwater!  They grow quickly and thrive in average soil, but do prefer well drained, loose and loamy.  Blue Mist is also loved by butterflies.

Caryopteris Bluebeard1Blue Beard’ also known as ‘Blue Mist Spirea’ (C. x clandonensis ‘Blue Mist’)  Full Sun  Hardy in zones 5-9  Flowering shrub.  ‘Blue Beard’ has a compact mounding growth habit, reaching about 2 1/2 feet high and 2 feet wide, growing at a moderate rate.  Fragrant foliage is silvery blue green, and blooms are misty blue in late summer and early autumn, blooming for a long period.  It is widely adaptable to soil types and conditions, except perpetually moist.

 

Caryopteris Longwood Blue‘Longwood Blue’ (C. x clandonensis)  Full to part sun  Hardy in zones 5-9  Flowering shrub.  This classic variety of blue mist shrubs has a beautiful upright growth habit.  Highly aromatic spicy scented foliage is silvery and sky blue blooms are produced heavily over a long period.  Bloom stems cut for bouquets last a week or longer.  Perfect for hedges, borders, foundation plantings and even containers.  Plant in sunny dry areas, detests wet conditions..  Prune in very early spring.  Grows to at least 2 feet high and wide.

 

Caryopteris Sunshine Blue‘Sunshine Blue’ (C.incana) Full sun to light shade  Hardy in zones 5-8 Flowering shrub.  Foliage is bright yellow, tinged green.  Deep blue flower spikes are 6” tall from midsummer until fall.  Full growth and superior branching for a strong shrub.  Reaches 30” tall and 36” wide.  Prefers well drained soil, does not like moist conditions.  Prune in very early spring.  Will die back north of zone 5, but should regrow readily.

 

Chokeberry: (Aronia melanocarpa ‘Autumn Magic’)  Full sunAronia melanocarpa 'Atumn Magic' to part shade  Hardy in zones 3-7  Flowering shrub.  A large shrub with glossy green foliage that turns fire red in autumn.  White scented flower clusters in spring are followed by large edible berries that mature over summer.  Upright growth reaches 5 feet and 3-5 feet wide.  Chokeberry prefers full sun for best flowering and is very drought tolerant.  Adapts easily to a variety of soils as long as it is well drained. 

 

Aronia melanocarpa elata Black Chokeberry(Aronia malanocarpa elata) ‘Glossy Black Chokeberry  Full sun to part shade  Hardy in zones 3-7  Flowering shrub.  This large landscape shrub has a compact, rounded form.  It is very hardy and adaptable to wet or dry conditions.  White flowers appear in May and are followed by black fruit.  Fall foliage color is brilliant red.  Grows to 4-6 feet high and wide.

 

Daphne: Full sun to part shade  Hardy in zones 4-7Hardy Flowering Shrub DaphneCarolMacki  Flowering shrub.  The striking 'Carol Mackie' is easy to grow in ordinary soil up to zone 4. The dense rounded flowering shrub has unusually variegated leaves, with a golden yellow band around each edge.   Abundant star shaped pale pink flowers in May and June are richly fragrant.  Reblooming may occur, and tiny red fruits replace the blooms in fall.  ‘Carol Mackie’ Daphne requires well drained soil and prefers neutral to slightly acidic soil.  Preferring dry soil conditions, Daphne is drought resistant.  Grows slowly but reliably, reaching a rounded 3’ high and ups to 4 - 6’ wide.  Evergreen in mild regions.  Deer resistance is a bonus.  Daphne requires little or no Hardy flowering shrub Daphne Carol Mackie bloomspruning and little or no fertilizer.  Hardiness is generally listed as up to zone 5, but it has proven to be hardy in zone 4, down to 30 degrees below F.  Hard pruning after a killing frost is suggested where snow cover is heavy to prevent branch damage by heavy wet snows.  The plant usually rebounds quickly the following spring.  Note that Daphne foliage and fruit are poisonous if ingested.  Daphne is also known to inexplicably die, for no apparent reason.  Do avoid disturbing the roots and do not attempt transplant.

 

Daphne 'Briggs Moonlight''Briggs Moonlight' foliage is a reverse variegated version of the 'Carol Mackie'. The leaves have creamy yellow centers with green margins.  Pink buds open to pale pink to white blooms that attract butterflies.  The compact, rounded shrub  grows only to a 2 foot mound. Prefers full sun, neutral sandy soil, minimal watering, and will benefit from winter protection even in zone 4.  Daphne is generally hardy to zone 4.   Soil must be well drained.  Should not be pruned unless necessary or transplanted.  Like other Daphnes, ‘Briggs Moonlight’ may die for no apparent reason.  Many gardeners are so enamored by the gorgeous foliage, that they will plant it over and over nonetheless.  All parts of the plant are poisonous.

 

Daphne aureomarginata by David WinshipAureomarginata’ is a bit more adaptable and easier to grow than other daphnes.  It is the most aromatic.  In early spring, purple buds open to pale pink to white blooms  in April and May.  Long narrow leaves are dark green with bright gold margins.  A rounded form is well branched and upright and grows fairly quickly to 4 or 5 feet tall and spreads to 5 or 6’ wide.  Plant in a cool moist location with rich, well drained soil.  Often referred to as winter daphne, gardners in mild regions have found success with this daphne when grown in light to part shade.  It is not fond of hot, midday sun.  ‘Aureomarginata’ prefers light shade and is only hardy to zone 7, as are several other varieties of Daphne.

 

Daphne retusa‘Retusa’  grows densely mounded reaching only 2 to 3 feet high and wide.  The blooms are fragrant borne in dense clusters of pink with pink tinged centers.  Foliage is leathery and shiny dark green.  This is a very easy to grow daphne requiring full sun to part shade and moist well drained soil.  Bright red drupes attract birds.  Hardy in zones 6 to 9.

 

Daphne susannae 'Lawrence Crocker'‘Lawrence Crocker’ is a dense, compact shrub reaching only about 12” tall and wide.  Blooms are sweetly fragranced and vivid pink, blooming from spring through summer.  Plant in sun to part shade in enriched moist soil, providing regular watering to ensure good health.  Mulch year round to retain moisture and keep roots cool in summer.  Thick leaves are textured bright green.  This is an excellent daphne for rock gardens or the front of a shrub border or foundation planting.  Although hardy to zone 6, ‘Lawrence Crocker’ should be protected from harsh winter exposure. 

 

Dogwood: (Cornus) Full sun to shade  Hardy in zones 2-8  Cornus alba 'Eligantissima' fall colorFlowering shrub.  A staple of the northern landscapes, there is a versatile variety of hardy shrub and tree form available for northern climates. C.alba 'Elegantissima' is probably the most common in the north as a property corner anchor or screen due to it's large size (up to 10 feet). This red twigged dogwood has variegated leaves, providing summer and winter interest and texture. It displays the best fall color in full sun, with shades of gold, apricot and rose, but will do well in part shade. Bright red bark in winter is a bright spot in the landscape. Also tolerates damp soil very well and is hardy to zone 2,

 

Cornus amomum 'Silky Dogwood'C. amomum ‘Silky Dogwood’ is another large dogwood that is excellent for screening, windbreaks and stabilizing stream banks.  For some reason it loves the Great Lake states, but doesn’t do as well outside the area other than some areas of the southeast  Dark green leaves with white flowers grows in an upright, rounded habit, reaching 6-10 feet tall.    It loves moist, poorly drained and slightly acidic soils.  Branches that come in contact with the ground will root and form a thicket. 

 

 

Red twig Dogwood winter colorC. sericia ‘Red Osier’ dogwoods are also hardy to zone 2, reaching 7-10 feet high and wide.  You will find many C. sericia with many different names, including the ‘Red Osier’, ‘Red Twig’, ‘American’, ‘Western’ and ‘Red Stem’.  They are all nearly the same plant, perhaps with minor differences.  Most of the ‘Red Osiers’ are fast growing.  ‘Isanti’ has bright red winter stems, the most colorful of the Red Osiers, and is 5-7 feet tall.  It is slow growing and dense with red twigs.  Fruits heavily to attract birds.

 

Cornus  canadensis, BunchberryC. canadensis 'Bunchberry, Dwarf Cornel' is a creeping species, actually a subshrub that spreads by rhizomes.  ‘Bunchberry’ requires shade to be at its’ best, and prefers moist, well drained, acidic soil.  Soil must be cool, 65 degrees or less.   It is only 2-8” tall.  White flowers in June or July are followed by edible berries.

 

Hardy Flowering Shrub Golden Shadows Pagoda DogwoodC. alternifoilia 'Golden Shadows' displays the graceful habit of a Pogoda, with lime green leaves edged in gold. ‘Golden Shadows’ is a large enough shrub to be trimmed into an ornamental tree.  Fragrant white flowers in June are followed by dark blue fruit.

Most dogwoods do not like a lot of sun, plant in shade to part shade.  Most are also quite tolerant of diverse conditions and are easy to grow with little care required.

 

Silver Leaf DogwoodC. alba ‘Elegantissima’ Silverleaf Dogwood is very commonly grown in the North and Midwest because it is so hardy and adaptable.  Lovely variegated foliage is green with creamy white edges.  Red purple branches stand out against the snow in winter.  Silverleaf will grow well in sun, part shade or shade and is hardy to zone 2.  This is a large shrub, reaching easily 7 feet high and 5 feet wide.  Size is easily controlled by regular pruning.

Silver Leaf Dogwood bloomsSilver Leaf Dogwood red branches

 

 

 

 

Elderberry:  (Sambucus )  European Elderberry are quite large shrubs, larger than our American native Sambucus canadensis, that produce large flat cluster of flowers in spring, and large clusters of black berries in fall.  In general, they like moist, well drained soils, but will tolerate both wet and dry, as well as alkaline soils.  They will also tolerate windy sites.  Elderberry may tend to sucker, and may need occasional pruning to hold a good form.  Aphids problems are common, and occasionally may have trouble with borers, cankers and mildew.

Black Lace ElderberrySambucus nigra ‘Eva’ (Black Lace Elderberry)  Full sun to part shade  Hardy in zones 4-7  Flowering shrub.  ‘Black Lace’ has deep dark purple foliage that is lacy and finely cut.  The effect is a similarity to Japanese Maple. Leaves hold their color well even in the extreme heat of the southern zones.  Pink buds open to lacy white blooms May through June.  Mature size is 8-10 feet tall and wide, or larger in ideal conditions.  Makes an excellent specimen plant, and contrasts pale or bright foliage beautifully.

 

Sutherland Gold ElderberrySambucus ‘Sutherland Gold’ Full Sun  Hardy in zones 3-8  Flowering shrub.    Foliage is bright golden, with deeply cut leaves with a fern-like effect.  New growth starts out bright coppery red, then to golden yellow, and finally mellows to a lime green.  Masses of creamy white star shaped flowers develop into red fruit clusters that attract birds.  This tough plant does well on a southern exposure, standing up well to all day sun and heat.  But it does enjoy some sun protection to avoid leaf scorch in more southern zones.  Deer Resistant.  Mature size is 12 feet high and 8 feet wide.  Growth can be restrained with regular pruning.

 

Forsythia: Full sun  Hardy in zones 4-8Hardy Flowering Shrub Forsythia Flowering shrub.  This shrub is best known for its' showy brilliant yellow flowers in early spring. They need some space, as they can grow quite large, with long arching branches sprawling wildly.  They will prune well to keep in check, but remember never to prune until after they have flowered.  Prune out the oldest wood down to the ground.  Forsythia blooms on old wood, so don’t remove too many branches each pruning to preserve blooms.  Will tolerate severe renewal pruning if necessary.  Forsythia thrives in ordinary soil in full sun or light shade.  Will tolerate alkaline soils, and prefers moist, well drained.   The hybrids are generally hardy to zone 3 or 4.  'Spring Glory' (F. x intermedia) explodes in pale yellow blooms in April, reaching 6-8 feet tall and wide, and is hardy to zone 3. Form is upright with slightly arching branches.  ‘Spring Glory’ is rust resistant.  'Gold Tide' is a dwarf that only reaches 2-3 feet, spreading to 4 feet - excellent for a slope or trailing over a wall. It is compact with a ground hugging habit and is excellent for mass plantings.  Yellow blooms appear in early spring.  It is not tolerant of dry soils and needs good snow cover for consistent spring bloom.  Hardy to zone 4. ‘Northern Gold’ was developed in Canada and is truly northern hardy.  Flower buds are cold hardy and reaches 6-8 feet tall and wide, with an upright habit.  Hardy to zone 4, hardy in zone 3 other than perhaps the most severe winters, and will hold up well even in zone 2 with shelter and adequate snow cover.  ‘Forsythia 'Kumson'Kumson’ is a unique Korean cultivar that has interesting dark green leaves with silver veins, providing season long interest unusual to forsythia.  The leaf patterns are most pronounced on new growth, so frequent pruning will encourage more foliage interest but reduce the flowering.  Yellow flowers appear in early spring like all cultivars.  Will do fine in sun, but does best in shade to part shade.  It grows well in most soils and is drought resistant once established.  ‘Kumson’ reaches 8-10’ tall and 7-9’ wide, and is hardy to zone 4.  Forsythia ovata varieties are hardy to zone 5. Ovata is known as the Early Forsythia, and grows to 4-6 feet.  For best flowering for all forsythia,  severely prune old wood immediately after bloom.

 

Fothergilla:  (Fothergilla gardenia)  ‘Dwarf’Full to part sun  Fothergilla gardeniaFlowering shrub  Hardy in zones 5-8, perhaps 4.  This is a small dense shrub with unusual 1-2” bottlebrush flowers that are creamy white and fragrant.  The multi-stemmed suckering bush is compact and rounded to upright oval.  Foliage is blue green with pale green undersides.  Fall color is inconsistent but generally excellent, ranging from yellow-orange to red-purple.  Fothergilla prefers an acidic, cool, well drained soil.  Mature size is 2-3’ high and wide.

 

Fothergilla 'Mt Airy' flower(Fothergilla major) ‘Mount Airy’ is a much larger shrub, reaching 5-6’ high and 4-5’ wide, but is know to grow even larger in good conditions.  ‘Mount Airy’ prefers full sun, it will tolerate light shade but will not flower as prolifically or produce good fall color.  White bottlebrush blooms in May are somewhat fragrant.  Foliage is dark green and underside is a grayed white.  Fall color is a superior orange to red.  ‘Mount Airy’ is most flattered by a dark evergreen background.  Wonderful alternative to smokebush, used as a foundation planting, shrub border or in open “natural” areas.

 

Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick:  (Corylus avellana contorta)Young plant, Hardy Harry Lauder's Walking Stick  Full sun to part shade  Hardy in zones 4-8. If you are looking for something REALLY unusual, this is it.  Unbelievably contorted branches that go way beyond the term winter interest.  Striking accent especially in a contemporary or oriental landscape.    Spring produces showy yellow 2-3 inch catkins, and inconspicuous red flowers on female plants.  Rarely produces a fruit, but may produce nuts.  Cut branches are a great accent to your fresh, or silk arrangements.  Does well in sun or shade, southern exposure may be best, in average well drained soil.  Will benefit from protection from the hottest afternoon sun.    Can reach 8-10 feet tall.  Thinning will increase the summer interest by exposing more of the contorted branches.  This is the only necessary pruning other than removing suckers if you want to retain the natural beauty of this shrub.  DrMature plant, Hardy shrub Corkscrew Hazely the thinned out branches to use in floral arrangements.  Although the plant seems to be pretty hardy, do try to buy own root in case of die back. They are generally grafted to Corylus colurna, and tends to grow suckers which must be pruned out.  Also known as Corkscrew Hazel and Contorted Filbert.

 

Heavenly Bamboo (nandina domestica)  Heavenly Bamboo 'Nandina'Full sun to part shade  Hardy in zones 6-9  Flowering shrub.  Although completely unrelated to bamboo, the fine lacy foliage growing on cane like stalks does resemble bamboo.  ‘Nandina’ is not fully hardy in the north and midwest, as the canes will die back at around -10 degrees, but does grow back vigorously each spring.  The interesting and colorful foliage provides wonderful color and texture to the garden, with the color becoming most intense in full sun.  More southern climates should plant in late day shade to give it some protection from the most intense heat.  Also protect from harsh winds.  This shrub is very tough and adaptable but does prefer a rich acid soil and moist conditions.  Short periods of drought can be tolerated.    Foliage emerges in spring bronzey red followed by 6 - 12 inch panicles of creamy flowers.  The foliage matures to blue green and finally fades to green.  If left unpruned, berry clusters develop and ripen to bright red.  Foliage color changes to pink and red in autumn, ending in a bright red with the red berries.  The shrub can become quite large in warmer climates reaching up to 8 feet and 4 - 6 feet wide.  Where winter causes die back the shrub remains smaller.  Size is easily controlled by pruning.  Left unpruned, Heavenly Bamboo will create a lovely screen or hedge, attracting bees with it’s blooms and birds with its’ berries.   Prune in spring to control size and increase density.  Renew by pruning the oldest branches and weak growth at ground level.

 

Hibiscus: (syriacus)  Hardy Flowering Shrub Rose of SharonFull sun to part shade  Hardy Flowering Shrub Hibiscus BluebirdHardy in zones 5-8  Flowering shrub.  Here, referring to the woody shrub, is only hardy to zone 5. Also known as the Rose of Sharon, 'Sanchoyo' with deep rose-pink double flowers, or 'Blue Bird', with huge single blue blooms, are absolutely stunning and bloom all summer. They are both a tall, narrow shrub (7-12 feet high and 3-5 feet wide) that is hard to find for filling corners or landscaping with all summer blooms.  There are several cultivars including ‘Diana’ with pure white flowers; ‘JHardy Flowering Shrub Lil Kim Hibiscus Rose of Sharoneanne d’Arc’ with double white flowers; and ‘Lucy’ with double red flowers. None are successful in zone 4 without protection.  Hibiscus and ‘Rose of Sharon’ should be heavily mulched in zone 5 to ensure the roots are protected.  In regions that drop below -38 degrees, further protection is advised, treating the plant almost like a hybrid tea rose.  Mound several inches of soil at the base of the plant, and mulch heavily.  Hibiscus prefers moist well drained soils and is tolerant of alkaline soil.  Annual pruning in early spring will improve flowering.

 

Honeysuckle Bush, dwarf:  (Diervilla Lonicera)  Full sun to Diervilla Lonicera Bush Honeysucklefull shade  Hardy in zones 3-7  Flowering shrub.  This is one tough little shrub.  Excellent for difficult sites such as slopes, or naturalizing and mass planting, or along a wood’s edge.  Foliage is bronze-green.  Small yellow flowers are produced in late spring.  Bees, butterflies and birds are attracted to the blooms.  Tolerates shade.  Fall foliage is red.  Grows to 4’ high and wide. Diervilla sessillifolia ‘Butterfly’  is similar, with a compact growth habit.  Bright green foliage and early summer yellow flowers, prefers full to part sun.  Will adapt to dry shade.  Reaches about 3-5’ high and wide, and is hardy in zones 4-7.   Lonicera ‘Honeyrose’ was introduced by the University of Minnesota, a testament to its’ hardiness, and has rosy red flowers in early to Honeyrose Honeysucklemidsummer.  Foliage is deep blue-green and is resistant to Honeysuckle witches broom aphid.  It makes a wonderful informal hedge or screen.  Good for difficult sites and windbreaks.  Grows well in full sun to part shade, reaching 10’ high and 8-10’ wide.  Hardy in zones 4-7.

 

Hydrangea: Full sun to part shade  Hardiness varies  Flowering shrub.  It seems not that long ago that hydrangea were only found in grandma's garden. With so many new varieties, they are widely used in foundation plantings, landscaping and gardens. They are wonderful singly or in masses, most doing best in shade to part-shade.  But not dense shade, if the grass won’t grow, neither will your hydrangea.  If your hydrangea should fail to flower, it could be due to winter kill of the buds, pruning at the wrong time, too much shade for the variety or excess nitrogen.

Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle''Annabelle' (Hydrangea arborescens) produces enormous white "snowballs" in summer, keeping a mounded shape at about 4 feet. It does best in part to full shade, but will tolerate full sun if it receives enough water.  Unlike the macrophylla hydrangeas, arborescens will bloom every year even after winter dieback (which will happen in the north zones) or severe pruning, because ‘Annabelle’ blooms on new wood. Normally, prune only sparingly to encourage stems to grow sturdy enough to support the heavy blooms and to encourage more, but just slightly smaller blooms.  Grows to 4-5’ high and 3-5’ wide. Hardy to zone 3, perhaps even 2, but will often die back to the ground.  This does not affect flowering since it flowers on new growth. An occassional ‘Annabelle’ is not a good bloomer, so buy yours in bloom to make sure you get one that is not skimpy.

 Macrophyllas are the “mophead” hydrangeas.  Hydrangea macrophylla include the “colored flower” cultivars; Endless Summer and Nikko Blue.  They are really only hardy to zone 6 and typically may not flower in zone 5.  Varieties that flower on old wood - since they often die back to the ground in zones 4 and 5, they will not flower.  Zone 5 hardy Hydrangea should be heavily mulched to ensure the roots are protected.  In regions that drop below -38 degrees, further protection is advised, treating the plant almost like a hybrid tea rose.  Mound several inches of soil at the base of the plant, and mulch heavily may improve the chances of a successful bloom in spring.  The hydrangea with blue and pink flower heads require close attention to soil pH to retain their color.  If you do not have acid soil (pH of  6 or less), it is easiest to control in a container with aluminum sulphate, which is commonly found in gardens centers for the colored hydrangeas.  Mopheads struggle in sandy soils and dry conditions.  Mopheads never need pruning other than to remove dead branches.  They bloom in June or July on old wood, forming their flower buds just afterward in August or September.  (‘Endless Summer’ is an exception, it will bloom on old AND new wood).  Pruning of 1/3 or more of the branch length to reduce size should be done immediately after blooms fade to preserve next years’ bloom, but the shrub grows back so quickly that the pruning is nearly useless.  Simply removing the dead flowerheads (deadheading) can be done at any time.  Up to one third of the old stems may be removed to the ground to rejuvenate an old plant.

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Blushing Bride'Blushing Bride’ (Hydrangea macrophylia) produces 4-8’ flowers with dark green foliage.  It is common to see a broad range of bloom colors on a single plant, from pink blush, to deep pink.  Blooms open pure white and mature to blush pink or deep blue depending on soil pH.  It blooms on old and new wood.  Strong stems and branches keep the blooms upright, and perfect for cutting.  Grows to 3-6’ tall and wide.  Does not like full sun.  Hardy in zones 5-9.

 

Hydrangea Endless Summer‘Endless Summer’ (Hydrangea macrophylia ‘Bailmer’)  This showy mophead blooms on old and new wood, producing blooms even after winter dieback.  However the plant has not been found to be highly reliable in zone 4.  Complete dieback after a zone 4 winter can take the better part of zone 4’s short growing season to regrow.  Blooms come so late that the first frost may be right around the corner.    Try in a container to bring indoors for the winter, or in a very protected microclimate.  In the south, ‘Endless Summer’ will produce two full bloom periods.  Flowers tend to pink but will turn blue in acid conditions (pH of 6 or less).  Grows to 3’ high and wide.  Hardy in zones 4-9.

 

Hydrangea 'Nikko Blue'‘Nikko Blue’ will produce pink blooms in alkaline soil, blue blooms in acid soil (pH of 6 or less) in July and August.  Aluminum sulphate added to the soil in late autumn or early spring will make the blooms bluer, lime will make them pink.  ‘Nikko Blue’ blooms on old wood.  It prefers medium moisture, well drained soil in part shade.  If grown in full sun it requires constant moisture.  Reaches 4-6’ tall and wide.  Hardy in zones 6-9.

 

Macrophylla normalis are the “Lacecap” hydrangeas, and are grown and cared for exactly the same as the mopheads. They are not quite as showy, but can be quite graceful and magnificent in a more subtle way. Lacecaps never need pruning other than to remove dead branches.  They bloom in June or July on old wood, forming their flower buds just afterward in August or September.  Pruning of 1/3 or more of the branch lengths to reduce size should be done immediately after blooms fade to preserve next years’ bloom, but the shrub grows back so quickly that the pruning is nearly useless.  Simply removing the dead flowerheads (deadheading) can be done at any time  Up to one third of the old stems may be removed to the ground to rejuvenate an old plant.

Hardy Flowering Shrub Hydrangea Light O Day Hydrangea ‘Light O Day’ is interesting when out of bloom, with bold variegated leaves.  It is a more reliable bloomer among the variegated varieties.  Inner blooms can be pink or blue, surrounded by white.  It is a lacecap mutation of Endless Summer, but will not rebloom.  For best bloom production, plant in lightn shade, dappled shade, or morning sun with afternoon shade.  Hardy in zones 5-9.

 

Hydrangea Lacecap 'Tokyo Delight'‘Tokyo Delight’ will produce pink blooms in alkaline soil, blue blooms in acid soil (pH of 6 or less) in July and August.  Faded blooms begin to turn shades of burgundy in autumn.  Blooms on old wood.  Prefers part shade in moist, well drained soil.  Grows to 3-6’ high and wide.  Hardy in zones 6-9, perhaps in zone 5.

 

Hydrangea Lacecap 'Mariesii'Mariesii Variegated’  has cream edged foliage and is long blooming in early to midsummer.  The cream variegation is not stable, and will sometimes revert to all green.  Bluish white florets surround bright blue florets.  Grows best in part shade in zones 8 and 9, full sun more north.  Reaches 5’ high and wide, growing in a dome shape.  Pruning should be done right after the blooms fade, as it sets new blooms immediately after flowering.  Blooms best in zones 8 and 9, bloom buds may freeze off in colder zones.  Hardy in zones 5-9.

 

Hydrangea quercifolia,Oakleaf”, are white blooming and are winter hardy further north than the arborescens. The leaves are shaped like oak leaves.  It blooms best where summers are hot, but is hardy further north than the mopheads.  They can survive in dry conditions and with little attention.  They do not like wet feet and must have excellent drainage to avoid root rot.  Oakleaf never need pruning other than to remove dead branches.  They bloom in June or July on old wood, forming their flower buds just afterward in August or September.  Pruning of 1/3 or more of the branch lengths to reduce size should be done immediately after blooms fade to preserve next years’ bloom, but the shrub grows back so quickly that the pruning is nearly useless.  Simply removing the dead flowerheads (deadheading) can be done at any time  Up to one third of the old stems may be removed to the ground to rejuvenate an old plant.

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Snow Queen'‘Snow Queen’ is considered one of the finer shrubs for the landscape and garden.  Large dark green leathery leaves and 12 to 15” pure white upright panicles of blooms make a striking presentation.  Foliage turns burgundy in fall.  It is highly pest and disease resistant, and grows well in either full sun or part shade  Planted 5 feet apart, ‘Snow Queen’ forms a wall of white blooms.  Reaches 10-12’ high and wide.  Hardy in zones 5-8.

 

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Pee Wee'The elegant 'Pee Wee' produces 10” elongated flower heads of white that turn pale pink by fall. ‘Pee Wee’ is a dwarf  ‘Snow Queen’ which will do well in full sun to part shade. Leaves turn burgundy-brown in fall, beautiful with the dried flower heads. Grows to 4 feet high and 3 feet wide.  Hardy in zones 5-9  ‘Sikes Dwarf’ is similar, but will do quite well in mostly shade.

 

 Paniculata are the “PeeGee” hydrangeas. Panicle Hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata) is a much larger shrub, 10-15 feet high and wide, and produces pyramid shaped flowerheads that turn from white, to pinkish, finally to brown in fall.  Panicle hydrangea bloom on the current year’s growth, so they can be pruned in fall, winter or spring.  However they do not need pruning every year.  Prune out only crossing branches and as needed to achieve desired form.  PeeGee hydrangeas need more sun than the mopheads, several hours a day.  They are also hardy to zone 3.

Hydrangea paniculata 'PeeGee'‘Grandiflora’ is the famous ‘PeeGee’.  It is an upright mounded shrub, but is also grown as a small ornamental tree. The pure white conical flowers appear in July and August, and they mature to pinky bronze in fall.  The dried flowerheads are beautiful in arrangements.  Grows to 8’ high and 10-15’ wide.  Full sun to part shade.  Hardy in zones 3-8.

 

Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'‘Limelight’ is a new variety of hydrangea.  It has unique bright lime green flowers that form a rounded panicle.  ‘Limelight’ blooms profusely on new wood in midsummer.  Grows well in full sun to light shade, the lime color will be more pronounced in some shade.  Particularily in more southern zones, will benefit from some light shade.  Reaches 6-8’ tall and wide.  Hardy in zones 3-8.

 

Hydrangea paniculata 'Pink Diamond'Pink Diamond’ develops huge 10 inch pink flower buds that open to white in late summer, then the pink intensifies as the blooms age.  Hot weather and sun may diminish the bloom color.  This hydrangea makes a stunning statement as a specimen plant.   Does best in sun to part shade, and grows to 6-8’ high and wide.  Hardy in zones 3-8.

 

Hydrangea paniculata 'Tardiva'‘Tardiva’ is similar to ‘PeeGee’ but blooms later, in mid August, with larger flower panicles held on thick stems.  With a loose, shrubby growing habit, ‘Tardiva’ reaches 6-8’ high and 8-10’ wide.  Grows well in full sun to part shade.  Hardy in zones 3-8.

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