Tall Hydrangea for Zone 5 in Deep Shade

lynnsdogwood(5)May 5, 2010

I would like a tall shrub (about 6' tall) to screen off my bedroom window from my neighbor's window 20' away!! yowza! This is along the north side of my house.

The first one or two plants (at the east end) would receive some morning sun but the rest (moving toward the west) wouldn't get much sun. I've heard/read lots of great things about Annabelles including the lady at the garden shop who said she has annabelles that are 6' tall and she had to reach over her head to cut the flowers. she also said hers are on the north side of house, no sun, etc. and are great every year. I was sold on them (haven't bought yet) but came home and since reading more on the web, am afraid they would all flop over. The tags all say 4' tall or so. anyone else with 6' tall annabelle's?

Have also read Limelight would get tall enough but sounds like it wouldn't be happy in my shady north side.

I think the macrophylla types are not hardy enough for my zone. i planted them at my old house 5 miles away and they had only 2 or 3 blooms, disappointing.

I guess I'm really wanting to hear how tall your annabelles get. Is my garden shop lady right and they get bigger than the "directions" say or does she have some kind of H.freak-abelle and they mostly follow the stated height?

Also, how does the flop factor play in? I don't care if some of them splat on the ground as long as some of them remain standing enough to provide privacy.

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I just planted 8 limelights on my north side after much deliberation (and talking to several knowledgable people.) I think they will do fine after all the research I did. Will let you know in August for sure :)

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 4:59PM
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I am in NE Ohio I have never seen in my neck of the woods an Annabelle get quite that tall. I think you will be disappointed with a 4.5 or 5 foot tall mature shrub if you are lucky. Plus Annabelle's will flop as a single specimen! Some people in hedge lines have luck with them not flopping or use other items to hold them up. Your best bet I think would be a Limelight Hydrangea and my I have seen some PG's that did pretty good in shade, but other PG's that have not. If you must have a hydrangea, along with the 6 foot requirement.

I have four Limelights. Three are in full sun and one is in about three hours or less of direct sun going on their 3rd season. The three in full sun were three gallon plants and the other was a one gallon, planted a month or so after the other three. It is catching up to the other three in size and has just as large flowers as the other three. Just is a little more floppy (but nothing like Annabelles) and stayed in the green/white stage for most of the time. Hardly anytime of the pink/red stage before the first hard frost. Also the others started blooming before it, but was only a week or so behind the other three. I enjoy having one in the shade to keep the lime flowers for a very long period.

My mother has three Limelights. Two in full sun and one in full shade. No direct sun light at all! It is going on it's fourth season. It's is almost 6 foot tall and wide. They light prune it every Spring along with the other two in the sun. I on the other hand, hard prune mine and get larger flowers than her Limelights in general. The two of hers in the sun get larger blooms than the one in full shade with the same kind of pruning. Also the one in the shade never turns pink at all!

I don't think you will be disappointed to badly with a Limelight. But if you do not have another one somewhere else in the sun to enjoy, you will be envious of your neighbors one in sun. Why aren't you interested in a evergreen for year round privacy? If it is for the flowers? A Rhododendron will have a nice flower display and stay semi evergreen at least. Just a thought.....Hope this helps and Good Luck!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 12:41AM
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sue36(Z5 Maine)

If it is truly deep shade I don't think a hydrangea will grow there.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 12:02PM
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I have an Annabelle in deep shade in front of my lge. blue spruce, and it comes up every year, and blooms away. Southern Ontario.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 6:54PM
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