Hydrangea macrophylla Information

Hydrangea macrophylla, commonly known as bigleaf hydrangea or French hydrangea, is a species of flowering plant in the family Hydrangeaceae. It is native to Japan, Korea, and China, and has been widely cultivated around the world as an ornamental plant for its large, showy flower heads and lush foliage.

Here are some key characteristics and information about Hydrangea macrophylla:

  • Growth habit: Hydrangea macrophylla is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 6 feet tall and wide, although some cultivars may be smaller or larger.
  • Leaves: The leaves are large and serrated, typically ranging from 4-8 inches in length and 2-6 inches in width. They are dark green and glossy, with a slightly rough texture.
  • Flowers: The flower heads are the most striking feature of Hydrangea macrophylla. They are typically round or domed in shape, and can range in size from 4-12 inches in diameter. The flowers themselves are composed of both sterile and fertile flowers, with the sterile ones typically being larger and showier. The color of the flowers can vary depending on the pH of the soil they are grown in. In acidic soil (pH 5.5 or lower), the flowers will be blue, while in alkaline soil (pH 6.5 or higher), they will be pink. If the soil is neutral (pH 6.0-6.5), the flowers will be a mix of pink and blue. White and purple cultivars are also available.
  • Blooming season: Hydrangea macrophylla typically blooms from mid-summer to early fall, with the peak of blooming occurring in July and August.
  • Growing conditions: Hydrangea macrophylla prefers moist, well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. It also prefers partial shade to full shade, although it can tolerate some morning sun. In areas with hot summers, it may benefit from some afternoon shade to protect it from the intense sun. It is hardy in USDA zones 6-9.
  • Pruning: Hydrangea macrophylla blooms on old wood, meaning that the flower buds are formed on the previous year's growth. To avoid cutting off next year's blooms, it is recommended to prune Hydrangea macrophylla immediately after it finishes blooming, or in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.
  • Varieties: There are many different cultivars of Hydrangea macrophylla available, with a range of flower colors, sizes, and shapes. Some popular cultivars include 'Endless Summer', which has the ability to bloom on both old and new wood, extending its blooming season, and 'Nikko Blue', which has large, deep blue flowers.