University of Illinois Extension
University of Illinois Extension - Selecting Shrubs for Your Home
http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/shrubselector
Bigleaf Hydrangea
Hydrangea macrophylla
Bigleaf Hydrangea leaves
Size:
Size: small
Small

Medium

Large
Exposure/ Light Requirements:
Full Shade not required.
Full Shade
Full Sun required.
Full Sun
Partial Sun/Shade required.
Partial Sun/Shade
Hardiness Zone: 6 - 9 
Mature Height: 3-6 Feet
Mature Width: 3-6 Feet
Features: Large clusters of flowers (white, pink or blue), in summer; flower form depends on cultivar, some have "lacecap" flowers (small fertile flowers surrounded by showy fertile flowers), others have a globose form (all larger, sterile flowers); summer foliage is a lustrous, bright green.
Culture: Full sun to partial shade; moist, well-drained soil is preferred.
Cultivars:

Numerous cultivars available including

  • 'All Summer Beauty' - Flowers heavily and often reblooms.
  • 'Bailmer' (Endless Summer®)- Blooms on new wood, so even if plant dies to the ground in winter, it will flower the following summer.
  • 'Nikko Blue' - Large globose flowers (blue only in acid soils).
Mature Form: Rounded
Native To: Japan
Soil Conditions:
Dry
Soil condition: Moist, Well-DrainedMoist, Well-Drained
Wet
Tolerance:
Alkaline Soil
Dry Sites
Tolerance: SaltSalt
Soil Compaction
Wet Sites
Wind
Uses:
Barrier
Use for: Border.Border
Foundation
Hedge
Use for: Massing.Massing
Naturalizing
Screen
Use for: Specimen.Specimen
Foliage Color: Green
 
Fall Foliage Color: Green
 
Additional Notes:

Blue flower color will only be produced in acid soils, usually in the 5.0-5.5 range.

This shrubs grows in zone 5, but does not usually flower there. This species flowers on last year's wood and in zone 5 the plant dies down to the ground so there is no old wood. New cultivars are being selected for flowering on new growth (see cultivars).

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