Hydrangeas have long been a garden favorite.  Their status in the garden is second to none.  Today’s varieties of hydrangea are stronger and hardier than the ones your grandmother planted. Tonkadale selects the best varieties for this region.

Pruning for maximum bloom

Macrophylla type hydrangeas do not need to be pruned back unless they are more than 5 years old. Removing dead stems is the only pruning needed for plant health. Dead blooms can be removed at any time.

After the plant’s 5th birthday, remove to the ground about 1/3 of the older living stems each summer.  This is called renewal pruning.  June and July are the best months to trim.

As a rule, these type of hydrangea set buds for next year’s blooms during August and September. Ever Blooming and Endless Summer are exceptions to the rule.

Paniculata and Arborescens hydrangea can be pruned at almost any time.

To be safe, do not trim Annabelle, Summer or Pee Gee in the spring when they are preparing to bloom. They are determined, and will bloom every single year no mater how they are treated.

Drying hydrangea blooms

The secret is to not cut them at the height of their color. Fresh, recently opened blooms rarely dry well. Harvest during September through October after the blooms take on a vintage look. Remove leaves and air dry.

Zone 4 winter protection for macrophylla

The macrophylla hydrangea are at the northern limits of their capabilities here 
in the Twin Cities/Metro Area. To maximize the summer bloom, do not trim after July. After the first hard freeze, wire cage and cover the entire plant branches with marsh hay or leaves.

Full sun/part shade: paniculata

Limelight

Limelight

Blooms: 6-8″ across
Height: 6-8 feet
Spread: 7-9 feet

Quick Fire

Quick Fire

Blooms: Pink, lace cap
Height: 6-8 feet
Spread: 4-6 feet

Pee Gee

Pee Gee

Blooms: Large
Height: 8 feet
Spread: 8-10 feet

Vanilla Strawberry

Vanilla Strawberry

Stunning blooms
Height: 6-7 feet
Spread: 4-5 feet

Pinky Winky

Pinky Winky

Blooms: Bi-color, lace cap
Height: 6-8 feet
Spread: 4-6 feet

White Diamonds

White Diamonds

Dwarf plant
Height: 4 feet
Spread: 5 feet

Part sun/part shade: macrophylla

Endless Summer

Endless Summer

Blue on acidic soils
Pink on alkaline soils
Height: 3 feet
Spread: 3 feet

Endless Summer Twist & Shout

Endless Summer
Twist & Shout

Lace cap
Pink or periwinkle blue
Height: 3 feet
Spread: 3 feet

Morning sun/shade: arborescens

Annabelle

Anabelle

Stunning white
Blooms: 9″
Height: 4-5 feet
Spread: 3-5 feet

Invincibelle Spirit

Invincibelle Spirit

Bright pink
Height: 3-4 feet
Spread: 3 feet