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Selecting Hydrangea type

Posted by captainobvious 6a Pennsylvania (My Page) on
Thu, May 20, 10 at 13:28

Im looking to plant some Hydrangea in my back yard and would like some of your expertise in selecting which type(s) would be best suited for me. The location gets full sun from all directions.The area gets decent drainage as there is a slight pitch toward the street from the yard. Im planning on planting a Japanese Maple nearby which will offer at least a small amount of shade from the South. I'd like the Hydrangea to have nice thick foliage and grow to a height of around 6 feet. My house and yard reside on the corner of a block so I'd like to plant a few things for some privacy from the street and to make the backyard feel like more of an enclosed private area.
Some of the species I have looked at online are:
-Hydrangea macrophylla "Endless Summer"
-Hydrangea serrata , although these are listed as 3-4' growers
-Hydrangea macrophylla 'Kluis Superba' (H)

Which species do you recommend, and what spacing should I leave between plants?

Thank you in advance for any help offered.

PS- I will snap a couple of pics of the area later this evening to give you a better idea of what Im working with. Perhaps you can offer even more suggestions for other plants/shrubs and deco grasses to accompany...?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Selecting Hydrangea type

with that height requirement, I'd reco against Endless Summer (will take some time to get even that high..I have a 5-yr old ES, only 4.5 X 4)..also your sun may have too much sun for ES or most of the macrophylla mopheads...HOWEVER..with that sun exposure, with that height requirement, and you want thick foliage, and privacy - try to consider the likes of Limelight, QuickFire, Pinky-Winky or the new one (and I have not tried it myself - Vanilla-Strawberry)...these guys will get tall, grow real fast, huge bloomheads, interesting colors (except no Blue ones), reliable bloomer (blooms on new wood), superhardy...look at the specs of these guys, and you should give them space to grow...really, Limelight is a very popular landscaping hydrangea...tough as nails, reliable as rain in spring...really one of the best Hydras out there..


RE: Selecting Hydrangea type

Yes, with that much sun, the paniculata hydrangeas are the way to go--Pinky Winky, Vanilla Strawberry, etc. However, they may not leaf out as early in the year as you might wish--at least the one I had for years in my garden was a bit slow waking up in the spring and wasn't anything special to look at going into summer--but once it started blooming--mid-summer into fall--it was WOW! time.

All plants have their strong and weak points--just wanted to make sure you understood that the paniculatas may not give you a spring show. Other than that, they are terrific!


RE: Selecting Hydrangea type

Below are some pics of the back yard. Between the garage and the sidewalk is about 8' wide. From the garage corner to the walkway (before hitting the back of the house) is about 40' long, not including the 8' x appx 15' section next to the garage. Im thinking I can make a decent length of foliage to block of a good portion of that street view by mixing a few things together out there.
I picked up a couple Hydrangea's and a few other pieces today. I think it will look better if I have a few varying height pieces to give it some depth and varying shape/color. Im also going to end up putting in a few taller things to plant the hydrangeas around, perhaps a pair of smaller foliage/shade trees like a japanese maple...any other suggestions?

Here is what I picked up today:

Hydrangea "Endless Summer"
Hydrangea M Glory Blue mophead
Purpleleaf Sand Cherry "Prunus Cistena"
Japanese Spirea Goldflame "spirea japonica"
(2) Golden Vicary Privet Ligustrum





RE: Selecting Hydrangea type

captain~I envy your proverbial "blank slate", looks like an interesting neighborhood, hope the pizza parlor is a good one!

I suggest you plant other trees instead of a Japanese maple, they really prefer more shade. Serviceberry is one I would highly recommend. Other choice trees are redbuds, maybe fruitless honeylocust for dappled shade. Not sure what you're doing with the privets, making a hedge?

RE: Selecting Hydrangea type

Its a great neighborhood, thanks.

Exactly, a sort of mixed hedge.
Hmm, I didnt realize the Japanese Maples needed more shade. We have a bunch of them all over this area and they seem to do very well. (Southeast Pennsylvania)

The one stipulation for the tree(s) would be that they not get very tall (15ft or so). What other smaller trees can you recommend for the 6a zone?

Thanks !!

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