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Hydrangeas as a family can bloom from May to frost, they come in a wide variety of colors and sizes, and have unparalled color for the shade garden. For these reasons the hydrangea is our July plant of the month.

There are many varieties of hydrangeas; each with unique characteristics. Here are a few of our favorites.

oakleaf hydrangeaOakleaf Hydrangea - Hydrangea Quercifolia

As a Maryland native this plant is well suited to live here. This hydrangea can reach a height of 6 to 10 feet, but there are many cultivars of varying heights. The flowers are in the form of panicles, which bloom white and fade to a pinkish hue. In the fall the leaves will turn a nice red. The panicles will often stay on the plant and dry to a nice tan color, giving the plant some winter interest.




lacecap hydrangeaLacecap Hydrangea - Hydrangea macrophylla normalis

This hydrangea fits nicely into woodland gardens. As with mophead hydrangeas, their flower color varies depended on soil acidity. Flower color ranges from blues in acidic soil to pinks in alkaline soil (purple hues being the mid range). The flowers are more subtle than those of the mophead, but make a magnificent show in the summer.





Shooting Star Hydrangea - Hydrangea macrophylla 'Shooting Star'

This is a cultivar of the Lacecap Hydrangea. It has double white flowers shaped like stars. This hydrangea is hardy in the Washington DC area, but is most often sold as a houseplant. This means it has been grown in a greenhouse and is not acclimated to our climate. However, if you plant it outdoors in a protected loctation there is a good chance it will acclimate itself and survive the winter. It is a very unique and pretty cultivar and worth trying.






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