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Hydrangeas Demystified

June 7, 2024

Hydrangea field


Hydrangeas are the crown jewels of many Ontario gardens, captivating with their lush foliage and enchanting blooms. At Sheridan Nurseries, we take pride in growing 35 distinct varieties of hydrangeas at our Halton Hills farm, providing gardeners with a wealth of choices. Join us as we delve deeper into the world of hydrangeas, unraveling the mysteries of their different types and offering comprehensive care tips to ensure your plants thrive.  With this guide, you will be able to choose and care for the right hydrangea for your garden.


Hydrangea Varieties Available at Sheridan Nurseries

Bigleaf (Hydrangea macrophylla): Also known as florist’s hydrangea, hortensia, mophead, or lacecap, Bigleaf hydrangeas are a popular choice for their stunning blooms.


  • Blooms on old wood, so avoid pruning and protect in the winter.

Panicle Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata): Also known as peegee hydrangea, Panicle hydrangeas are known for their conical flower clusters.


  • Blooms on new wood, prune in late winter/early spring.

Smooth Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens): Also known as Annabelle hydrangea, Smooth hydrangeas are favoured for their large, round flower heads.


  • On new wood, prune in late winter/early spring.

Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea petiolaris): Climbing hydrangeas are perfect for adding vertical interest to your garden, with their ability to scale walls and trellises.


  • Blooming: On old wood, so avoid pruning.

Mountain Hydrangea (Hydrangea serrata): Mountain hydrangeas are admired for their delicate lacecap blooms.


  • Blooming: On old wood, so avoid pruning.

Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia): Oakleaf hydrangeas stand out with their distinctive oak-shaped leaves and beautiful blooms.


  • Blooming: On old wood, so avoid pruning and protect in winter.
General Care Tips for Hydrangeas

To ensure your hydrangeas thrive and produce abundant blooms, follow these general care guidelines:


Watering: These plants crave water, especially during hot summers and dry spells. Their soil should be evenly moist but not too wet; to prevent waterlogging and root rot.


Soil Conditions: Plant in well-draining soil rich in organic matter to promote healthy and sustainable growth. Improve drainage and fertility by adding compost or manure to the soil.


Sunlight: Hydrangeas prefer morning sun and afternoon shade or dappled sunlight. Too much direct sunlight can cause leaves and blooms to wilt or burn, while limited sunlight can reduce blooming.


Pruning: This all depends on the type of hydrangea. For varieties that bloom on old wood, (last year’s growth), Bigleaf, Climbing, Mountain, and Oakleaf, lightly prune them after flowering to shape them and remove any dead or damaged wood. For varieties like Panicle and Smooth varieties that bloom on new wood from the current year’s growth, prune them back more aggressively in late winter or early spring.


Fertilizing: Hydrangeas benefit from fertilizer to support healthy growth and abundant blooms. Use a balanced slow-release fertilizer in spring or early summer and avoid over-fertilizing. Too much nitrogen can result in more foliage rather than flowers.


Troubleshooting Blooms

Are you having trouble with blooms? Follow this expert guide to grow stunning blooms!

Hydrangeas are not just plants; they are living works of art that enhance the beauty of any garden. By understanding the diverse hydrangea varieties and following these comprehensive care guidelines, you’ll be well-equipped to cultivate a thriving garden oasis.


Visit Sheridan Nurseries to explore our extensive selection of hydrangeas and embark on a journey of botanical delight.