Department of Horticulture New York State Horticulture Study Guide for Youth 4-H Logo


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Cornell University

Hydrangea sp.

Hydrangea flower  Hydrangea bush
Click on thumbnails for larger image.

What about it?

The hydrangea is a deciduous plant with green, coarse textured foliage. In mid-July the hydrangea produces white flowers. In the fall the foliage of the hydrangea becomes purplish-red. Hydrangeas grow to a height of 4-5 feet, and can be equally as wide.

What is it used for?

The foliage of the hydrangea is excellent and adds greatly to its ornamental qualities. Flowering occurs on new wood, so out-of-scale plants can be cut to the ground in winter. Other uses of the hydrangea include foundation, border, and specimen plantings.

Where does it grow? How do we grow it?

The hydrangea prefers moist, well-drained, fertile soil. In order to grow best, it also needs protection.

Hydrangeas should be planted 6 feet apart. They will grow rapidly if given the space.

What are its primary problems?

The hydrangea can suffer from twig kill in severe winters. They tend to react quickly to drought by wilting. Gray mold and powdery mildew are common disease problems.

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Copyright, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.