Hydrangeas are excellent for a range of garden sites from group plantings to shrub borders to containers. Varieties abound (every year, it seems, breeders present us with more options!), and gardeners’ expectations of bloom size and color are boundless. To know how your hydrangea will grow, pay attention to the types, defined below. When you know what to expect, delights will be magnified.

“How to change hydrangea flower color” is a common question. Yes, the flowers of Bigleaf hydrangeas can change color based on the soil pH! Blues are best grown in acidic soil; pinks and reds do best in alkaline or neutral soil.

Most hydrangeas thrive in rich, porous, somewhat moist soils. Add compost to enrich poor soil. They prefer full sun in the morning, with some afternoon shade; however, many will grow and bloom in partial shade. This is especially true for the Bigleaf hydrangeas. Plant in spring or fall. Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and 2 to 3 times as wide. Set the plant in the hole and fill it half full with soil. Water. After water is drained, fill the rest of the hole with soil. Water thoroughly. Space multiple hydrangeas about 3 to 10 feet apart.

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