H. macrophylla ‘Zorro’

Simple to grow Hydrangeas

Renowned for their remarkable flower heads, which come in a range of pretty colours, these versatile garden staples are now very much on-trend and as simple as ever to grow. Photographs by Andrea Jones.

Hydrangeas are a popular choice to grow in the garden and acclaimed for their attractive pretty colour varieties and large mopheads. Our list includes hydrangea varieties that are simple to grow.

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Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’
© Jason Ingram
1

Hydrangea Paniculata ‘Kyushu’

Hydrangea Paniculata 'Kyushu' is an upright deciduous shrub with slightly glossy ovate leaves and creamy-white sterile florets
© Andrea Jones

A compact hyrdrangea cultivar with shiny leaves and lacy, conical hats of sterile and fertile florets. A good hydrangea choice for pots and ideal for small gardens. Upright in habit.
1.5m. RHS H5, USDA 4a-9b.

2

Hydrangea Paniculata ‘Unique’

Tall and strong, Hydrangea Paniculata 'Unique' has large round cones of mostly sterile florets, creamy-white flushing purple-pink, then green.
© Andrea Jones

A large, strong-growing hydrangea shrub. The flower heads are massive, rounded cones of mostly sterile florets, creamy-white flushing purple-pink, then green. Good autumn leaf colour.
2.4m. RHS H5, USDA 4a-10b.

3

Hydrangea Arborenscens ‘Annabelle’

Hydrangea Arborenscens 'Annabelle' has large meringue like heads in a soft shade of green with large leaves
© Andrea Jones

One of the most popular hydrangeas with soft-green leaves and very large, meringue-like heads of creamy-white flowers. Hard prune in late winter. Lax in habit.
1.5m. RHS H6, USDA 4a-9b.

4

Hydrangea Quercifolia ‘Tennessee clone’

A Hydrange Quercifolia 'Tennessee clone' shrub which has large, irregular flower heads of mostly sterile, cream-flushed green florets, which are full and undulating.
© Andrea Jones

Large, irregular hydrangea flower heads of mostly sterile, cream-flushed green florets, which are full and undulating. Dark-green foliage, which turns bronze in autumn. Upright but arching in habit.
1.5m. RHS H5, USDA 5a-9a.

5

Hydrangea aspera

Hydrangea aspera has soft, velvety, dark-green leaves and large, lacecap flower heads of purple, fertile flowers and pale, lilac-mauve sterile florets
© Andrea Jones

Soft, velvety, dark-green leaves and large, lacecap flower heads of purple, fertile flowers and pale, lilac-mauve sterile florets. A hydrangea best protected from wind and frost, and in light shade.
3m. RHS H5, USDA 6a-9b.

6

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Westfalen’

H. macrophylla ‘Westfalen is a small compact cultivar with shining green leaves and large mophead blooms varying between crimson-purple and rich, violet-blue.
© Andrea Jones

A small compact hydrangea cultivar with shining green leaves and large mophead blooms varying between crimson-purple and rich, violet-blue. A good choice for smaller gardens. 1.2m. AGM. RHS H5, USDA 6a-9b.

7

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Veitchii’

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Veitchii’ is a small, bushy lacecap hydrangea with blueish fertile flowers and large, white, sterile florets that turn pink as they age
© Andrea Jones

Small, bushy lacecap hydrangea with blueish fertile flowers and large, white, sterile florets that turn pink as they age. Very hardy and a good choice for alkaline soils.
1.2m. AGM. RHS H5, USDA 6a-9b.

8

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Pee Wee’

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Pee Wee’ is a large shrub with big, compact heads of sterile and fertile florets, opening white then flushing pink.
© Andrea Jones

A large hydrangea shrub with big, compact heads of sterile and fertile florets, opening white then flushing pink. Supposedly smaller flowers than Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora’ but still spectacular.
1.8m. RHS H5, USDA 4a-10b.

9

Hydrangea paniculata Pinky-Winky (= ‘Dvppinky’)

H. paniculata Pinky-Winky (= ‘Dvppinky’) Rounded shrub carrying elongated white heads of sterile florets that turn pink from the base while those at the top are still white.
© Andrea Jones

Rounded hydrangea shrub carrying elongated white heads of sterile florets that turn pink from the base while those at the top are still white.
1.2m. AGM. RHS H5, USDA 3a-8b.

10

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Le Vasterival’

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Le Vasterival’ is an unusual cultivar with open cones of white, fertile flowers overlaid with large, starry-white sterile florets
© Andrea Jones

An unusual hydrangea cultivar with open cones of white, fertile flowers overlaid with large, starry-white sterile florets, which eventually fade to deep pink. Reliable and showy.
1.8m. RHS H5, USDA 4a-8b.

11

Hydrangea hirta

H. hirta is an nusual hydrangea with nettle-like leaves and heads of tiny, white to purple-blue, fertile florets.
© Andrea Jones

Unusual hydrangea with nettle-like leaves and heads of tiny, white to purple-blue, fertile florets in late spring and early summer. Best in light shade and protected from wind and late frosts.
90cm. RHS H5, USDA 6a-9b.

12

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight' has is an upright variation with large conical heads of sterile florets in soft, lime-green, becoming white and eventually green flushed pink.
© Andrea Jones

The most popular and widely planted hydrangea cultivar with large, conical heads of sterile florets. Soft, lime-green flowers, becoming white, eventually green flushed pink. Upright and vigorous.
1.8m. AGM. RHS H5, USDA 3a-9b.

13

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Phantom’

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Phantom’ is strong with upright stems bearing large heads of mostly white, sterile florets.
© Andrea Jones

Strong, upright stems bearing large heads of mostly white, sterile florets, turning coral pink by autumn. Spectacular and showy; ideal at the back of a perennial border.
1.5m. AGM. RHS H5, USDA 3a-10b.

14

Hydrangea involucrata ‘Hortensis’

Hydrangea involucrata ‘Hortensis’ is a lovely, low-growing shrub with branched stems and soft-green leaves with loose heads of pinkish, fertile florets and double creamy-pink,
© Andrea Jones

Lovely, low-growing hydrangea shrub with branched stems and soft-green leaves. Loose heads of pinkish, fertile florets and double creamy-pink, sterile florets are spectacular in late summer.
75cm. RHS H5, USDA 5a-9b.

15

Hydrangea serrata ‘Fuji-no-taki’

Hydrangea serrata ‘Fuji-no-taki’ is a dainty lacecap hydrangea with white, double, fertile and sterile florets
© Andrea Jones

A dainty lacecap hydrangea with white, double, fertile and sterile florets – the outer ones carried on long stalks creating a sparkling firework effect. Upright and compact.
90cm. RHS H5, USDA 5a-8b.

16

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Greenspire’

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Greenspire’ has upright stems carrying lacy cones of tiny, fertile flowers studded with large, sterile ones, green at first then becoming pink
© Andrea Jones

Upright stems carry lacy cones of tiny, fertile flowers studded with large, sterile ones, green at first then becoming pink. A more open, airy hydrangea shrub than most.
1.5m. RHS H5, USDA 4a-9b.

17

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Ayesha’

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Ayesha’ has domed heads of thick, sepal, lilac-like flowers varying from mauve-pink to sky blue.
© Andrea Jones

Quite unlike other mophead hydrangeas, ‘Ayesha’ has domed heads of thick, sepal, lilac-like flowers varying from mauve-pink to sky blue. Delicately fragrant and excellent for cutting.
1.2m. RHS H5, USDA 6a-9b.

18

Hydrangea quercifolia Snow Queen (= ‘Flemygea’)

Hydrangea quercifolia Snow Queen (= ‘Flemygea’) has upright heads of large, creamy-white, sterile florets, turning pink as they age.
© Andrea Jones

Upright heads of large, creamy-white, sterile florets, turning pink as they age. Dark-green leaves turn bronze-red in autumn. Upright in habit.
1.5m. AGM. RHS H5, USDA 5a-10b.

19

Hydrangea quercifolia Snowflake (= ‘Brido’)

Hydrangea quercifolia Snowflake (= ‘Brido’) with arching branches carry large, conical heads of double, sterile florets, opening creamy-white, blushing pink.
© Andrea Jones

This hydrangea has arching branches carry large, conical heads of double, sterile florets, opening creamy-white, blushing pink. Dark-green leaves. Upright but lax in habit.
1.5m. AGM. RHS H5, USDA 5a-9b.

20

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Zorro’ Vigorous

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Zorro’ has purple-black upright stems with widely spaced, dark-green leaves.

Purple-black upright stems with widely spaced, dark-green leaves. Flattened lacecap flower heads carry ultramarine, sterile florets. This hydrangea is lighter in habit and more open.
1.8m. AGM. RHS H5, USDA 5a-8b.

21

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Quadricolor’

H. macrophylla ‘Quadricolor’ is an attractive shrub with variegated foliage; the leaves edged with pale-green, white and soft yellow with pale lilac-pink or ice blue lacecap heads
© Andrea Jones

An attractive hydrangea shrub with variegated foliage; the leaves edged with pale-green, white and soft yellow. Sparkling lacecap heads are pale lilac-pink or ice blue; dainty against the leaves.
1.5m. AGM. RHS H5, USDA 6a-9b.

22

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Madame Emile Mouillère’

H. macrophylla ‘Madame Emile Mouillère’ has flamboyant large white mopheads with serrated edges to the sepals
© Andrea Jones

The finest white hydrangea mophead with flamboyant heads of large florets with serrated edges to the sepals. The tiny ‘eyes’ vary from pink to blue.
1.8m. AGM. RHS H5, USDA 6a-9b.

23

Hydrangea paniculata Vanille Fraise (= ‘renhy’)

Hydrangea paniculata Vanille Fraise (= ‘renhy’) has large flower heads of sterile florets which are loose and spreading and creamy-white turning pink
© Andrea Jones

A popular hydrangea cultivar with large flower heads of sterile florets, which are creamy-white turning pink. Loose and spreading, it can be spoiled by rain.
1.2m. RHS H5, USDA 4a-8b.

24

Hydrangea involucrata ‘Multiplex’

Hydrangea involucrata ‘Multiplex’ has large, hairy, dark-green leaves and domed heads of pink to purple-blue, fertile flowers surrounded by double, white-pink, sterile florets.
© Andrea Jones

A recent introduction from Japan with large, hairy, dark-green leaves and domed heads of pink to purple-blue, fertile flowers surrounded by double, white-pink, sterile florets. 90cm. RHS H5, USDA 5a-9b.

25

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Rotschwanz’

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Rotschwanz’ is a striking lacecap hydrangea with dark-green leaves flushed red.
© Andrea Jones

Sometimes sold as ‘Red Star’ or ‘Redstart’. A striking lacecap hydrangea with dark-green leaves flushed red. The starry, sterile florets are crimson or red-purple.
1.5m. AGM. RHS H5, USDA 6a-9b.

26

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Jogasaki’

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Jogasaki’ has dainty, double florets carried around a cluster of fertile florets.
© Andrea Jones

Unusual lacecap with dainty, double florets carried around a cluster of fertile florets. Varying from pink to blue, blooms are three-dimensional and less formal than most Hortensias. 1.5m. RHS H5, USDA 6a-9b.

27

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Blaumeise’

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Blaumeise’ has large and bold flower heads dominated by dense rings of large, sterile florets that vary from lilac-purple to deep blue.
© Andrea Jones

Large, vigorous lacecap hydrangea with deep-green foliage. The bold flower heads are dominated by dense rings of large, sterile florets that vary from lilac-purple to deep blue.
1.8m. AGM. RHS H5, USDA 5a-9b.

28

Hydrangea paniculata Bobo (= ‘Ilvobo’)

H. paniculata Bobo (= ‘Ilvobo’) has large rounded conical heads of creamy-white, sterile florets that become pink, then flush green.
© Andrea Jones
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New, neat and compact hydrangea cultivar ideal for containers and small gardens. Large, rounded conical heads of creamy-white, sterile florets that become pink, then flush green.
90cm. USDA 3a-8b.