Hydrangea arborescens and paniculata can grow well in full sun and may become leggy if grown in dense shade. However, both use large quantities of water when grown in full sun and should not be allowed to wilt. As a result, some growers produce these plants in light shade or in areas where plants will receive natural afternoon shade.
Annabelle is the best known variety of Hydrangea arborescens. Similiar to most other hydrangeas, they prefer morning sun and afternoon shade or dappled shade all day, especially in the south.
prune Annabelle to about 18"-24" tall rather than cutting it to the ground every year. This will allow the stems to thicken a little each year,and thus better able to support the other branches and blooms. In addition, the heads will be more plentiful but slightly smaller. This plant blooms on new wood and can be pruned back during fall/winter or anytime except during spring when it is preparing to bloom. In the heat of our summers even in partial shade most of these plants require extra water or they wilt in the afternoon heat.
Big leaf hydrangea is the most popular hydrangea. Flowers open white in panicles up to 12 inches long and 4 inches wide. Individual flowers within the cluster are about 1 inch. The fragrant flowers are present in May and June. Flower color changes from white to pink with some purple then brown. Propagation of Hydrangea's is easily accomplished by taking cuttings or purchase your plants in containers at a local nursery.
Pests and Diseases
Hydrangeas are susceptible to:
leaf spots, blights, wilts and powdery mildew. Insect pests on hydrangea include aphids, leaf tiers, rose chafers, oyster scale and red spider mites.
Choosing a Hydrangea known to do well in your area and giving it the right requirements are extremely important to have a happy and healthy plant.