Deciduous Shrubs under 4 ft.

Hydrangea

Landscape Significance

This plant is primary an accent plant. 

Hydrangeas offer a long span of color and texture during a time in the growing season when color is often absent, and they are showy when the flowering azaleas and rhododendrons are finished.

Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)
This photo was taken on Fort Sumter Dr., Charleston, SC.

Hydrangea macrophylla is also called bigleaf or French hydrangea. It has either pink or blue flowers, indirectly depending on the ph of the soil.  The color variation has been proved to be related to the amount of aluminum available to the plant.  A lower ph (5.0 to 5.5) makes more aluminum available to the plant, thus the blue color.  Pink flowers will develop if the soil is higher than 6.0. Flower buds are usuallly set on the previous year's wood, except for new cultivars which also bloom on new wood.

This deciduous plant prefers morning sun and afternoon shade.  Hydrangeas are susceptible to leaf spots and powdery mildew. Insect pests on hydrangea include aphids, leaf tiers, rose chafers and red spiders.

Identifying characteristics

The leaves are broadly ovate, 4-6 inches long and 2.75-4 inches wide with coarse serrations, and generally fresh green in color.  The flower heads are a compact globe (often described as a mophead) of 6' or larger, formed by many individual florets (4-5 petal-like sepals per flower). 

More information is available at the Clemson Home & Garden Informaton Center: Clemson HGIC - hydrangea

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