Picking the Perfect Hydrangea

Something for every bed, border, woodland, and wall.

The big pom-poms of the popular ‘Nikko Blue’ hydrangea are practically synonymous with summer in the Hamptons, but there are so many other varieties to choose from. Consider the seven beauties featured here.


• As their name suggests, hydrangeas like water. Keep them moist, especially if they are planted in full sun.
• Don’t prune most hydrangeas, except for late-blooming varieties. Removing dead branches is, of course, always okay.
• Adding Holly-Tone in the spring will intensify the blue of some hydrangeas, particularly the popular ‘Nikko Blue’.
Schizophragma hydrangoides (false hydrangea) is a good substitute for H. petiolaris and will stay closer to a wall.
• Cut hydrangeas dry beautifully in a vase. Just let the water evaporate.
The print version of this article appears with the headline: Hot for Hydrangeas.