It’s the classic garden flower. Whether you grow just one or a drift with dozens, hydrangeas add an element of elegance and style to any garden. Each year there are so many hydrangeas among the top new plants on the market that we decided these are worthy of their own top 10 list. Here are some of our favorites.
Tilt-a-Swirl (Hydrangea mcarophylla)
This hydrangea will immediately become a main attraction in your garden with its red and green bi-color show stopping blooms that perform non-stop from summer into fall. The bright red and green flowers swirl together, then transform into new variations into fall. It’s no wonder it won a gold medal at the prestigious Plantarium horticulture event in Holland. Plant this where you can enjoy seeing the blooms. Grows 3 to 4 feet tall and wide in a mounding display.
Miss Saori (Hydrangea macrophylla)
A beauty winner as the Plant of the Year at the 2014 Chelsea Flower Show in England, this hydrangea is sure to wow the American market now that it is available on this side of the pond. The double-petal flowers have deep rose edges that soften to white in the center, giving a delicate, frothy look to the plant. Its long growing period starts in spring with burgundy-hued foliage, followed by blooms in June that continue into fall when the green summer foliage turns back to burgundy. Try it in borders or in a container. This hydrangea will remain the same color regardless of soil type. Grows 3 to 4 feet tall and wide.
Seaside Serenade (Hydrangea macrophylla)
The coastal sounding name and range of colors in the Seaside Collection caught our attention. Fire Island and Cape Cod are two we love. The long-lasting, white blooms of Fire Island are edged in rich, rosy red atop tough stems. This compact mophead is perfect for massing or growing in pots. It has excellent cut flowers. Grows 3.5 feet tall by 3 feet wide. Cape Cod is a new classic for small spaces. Hardy, repeat blooming with big, mophead flowers, extra-dark green leaves, and a neat, mounded form. Perfect for foundations and borders. Its fast growth quickly reaches 4 feet tall and wide.
Incrediball Blush (Hydrangea arborescens)
This beauty has big and bodacious blush-pink blooms that change to an attractive green color as they age. A very hardy and dependable variety, it blooms every year, even after harsh winters. We’re sure the huge pink blooms helped it win a bronze award at Plantarium in 2016. Grows 4 to 5 feet tall.
Magical Galaxy (Hydrangea macrophylla)
The magical combination of green and rusty-red flowers gives this stunning new hydrangea the look of a ball of bright, small stars. A persistent bloomer, it starts flowering even as a very young plant and continues to brighten the landscape with months of amazing color in spring and summer. The flowers emerge rusty-red with tinges of green then mature to more saturated tones of the same colors. Grows 3 to 4 feet tall and wide.
Felicity (Hydrangea macrophylla)
This hydrangea is actually a modified lacecap that acts like a mophead. No matter how it acts, it’s a winner with flowers that open a rose-pink and then turn an exceptional combination of lavender and greens. The double individual florets give extra drama and fullness to the flower. The plant is vigorous and the flowers last throughout the season. Grows 4 to 5 feet tall and 5 feet wide.
Invincibelle Ruby (Hydrangea arborescens)
The first red-flowered Hydrangea arborescens makes this a must-have for the garden. The dark burgundy-red flower buds open to a two-toned combination of bright ruby red and silvery pink. The foliage is extra dark and the stems are strong, making this new hydrangea a gem in the container as well as in the garden. An added benefit – it’s a strong rebloomer. Grows 2 to 3 feet tall.
White Wedding (Hydrangea paniculata)
This beauty dazzles in the garden whether used as an accent or in a mass planting. Gracefully arching branches support oversized clusters of creamy flowers, all in a compact habit. It’s a perfect “bride” for the summer garden. Grows 4 to 6 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet tall.
Diamond Rogue (Hydrangea paniculata)
A spectacular new specimen with abundant 12 to 15-inch long panicles of flowers starts in July with creamy white blooms that gradually darken to pink then a rich red that lasts well into the fall. Some say it’s the reddest H. paniculata on the market. A compact bloomer with sturdy stems, it is ideal for cut flowers. Grows 4 to 5 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide.
Cherry Explosion (Hydrangea macrophylla)
Cherry Explosion is a new macrophylla type with large deep pink lacecap blooms. The cherry red florets around tiny star like pink flowers make this plant dramatically stand out whether in a container or in the landscape. The green foliage turns burgundy in the fall. More acidic soil makes the flowers lavender. Grows 3 feet tall and wide.
Featured image – Tilt-a-Swirl (Hydrangea mcarophylla) / Van Belle Nursery