Hydrangeas are a sought after addition to the summer garden, and we can understand why. Here are our top five reasons for planting hydrangeas in your garden.

Big Blooms

Hydrangeas provide a burst of color when most other shrubs are not flowering. Blooms range in color, including white, green, pink, and red, and often change throughout the season.

Some pink hydrangea blooms can be turned to a blue-violet color if they are grown in acidic soil (pH lower than 6.0). However, this is sometimes hard to achieve in northern Illinois where the soil is more alkaline (pH 6.0-7.0). Amending your soil with Espoma Soil Acidifier, organic materials such as pine fines, pine needles, decomposed oak leaves, or our Garden Compost Mix can help lower the pH but be patient. It will take time.

Regardless of color, Hydrangeas have some of the longest bloom times among shrubs, with some varieties blooming from early summer to mid-fall.

Winter Interest

We love the winter interest Hydrangeas bring to the garden. Their beautiful papery flower heads add visual and textural interest to the winter landscape. While most varieties can handle our midwestern winters, some Hydrangeas that produce blooms on last year’s wood may need extra protection so the upcoming season’s blooms are not lost.

Pest & Disease Resistance

Hydrangeas generally have a low susceptibility to pest and disease. By planting the right variety in the right place will help prevent unwanted pests and disease. Make certain to allow enough space for it to fully mature and allow proper airflow. Avoid overwatering or underwatering by checking the soil and watering by hand during the first two years. Make certain they are getting adequate light requirements. Not receiving appropriate light could result in smaller blooms or burns on the flower heads and leaves.

Low Maintenance

We love Hydrangeas for their relative ease of care. Their low maintenance makes Hydrangeas a great choice for a beginner gardener but their beauty can be enjoyed by anyone. Knowing the type of Hydrangea you have is key to having prolific blooms year after year. Some Hydrangea varieties bloom on new growth, while other grow on last year’s wood, and some newer cultivars bloom on both new and old wood. Knowing which type of Hydrangea you have will help you know when and how to prune. Read our blog on types of Hydrangeas for more information on pruning.


There really is a Hydrangea for every garden. With varieties adaptable for sun or shade and a range of forms, such as dwarf, climbing, shrub or tree, they work in so many different landscapes. Plant in mass to create a shade border or use one as a specimen plant for a sunny spot in the garden.

Hydrangea Bloomania
Naperville // Saturday, August 5, 2023
Aurora // Sunday, August 6, 2023

Free // No Registration Required

Join us this weekend for informational talks about Hydrangea varieties and care.

11:00am Hydrangea 101

In this one-hour talk, our Trees & Shrubs professionals will introduce the different varieties of these summer beauties and the conditions that will make them flourish.

1:00pm Hydrangea Care: The Secrets Behind Beautiful Hydrangea

All Hydrangea are not cared for equally. The pruning you do for one variety may not be the same for another. Learn how to care for each type in this in-depth discussion. Bring your questions. We’ve got answers.