Summer White Hydrangeas

Our native oakleaf hydrangea is coming into bloom now

Our native oakleaf hydrangea is coming into bloom now

Snowflake Oakleaf Hydrangea

Flower spike of Snowflake oakleaf hydrangea

The Harmony selection of Oakleaf Hydranges

The Harmony selection of oakleaf hydrangea

Anabelle Hydrangeas in bud

Anabelle hydrangeas in bud

Open blooms of Anabelle Hydrangea

Open blooms of Anabelle hydrangea

Early summer white hydrangeas live in the shadow of the colorful ones you see everywhere now. But, in fact, they are easier to grow and are beautiful additions to the white flowering shrub pallete in the summer garden. Plus their blooms lasts for weeks.

Perhaps the most well known in the metro area is Snowflake hydrangea which is a pattened selection of oakleaf from well known local horticulturist Eddie Aldridge (aka Aldridge Gardens). The native oakleaf grows wild all over the rock outcropping hillsides in our area, but they are excellent garden plants, too. Another lesser know selection is Harmony, which is almost a triangle of tight white blooms. Here is the good news about all of these oakleaf types: they are easy to find at local garden centers in our area, as well as very easy to grow. Mine grow well in part shade in well drained fertile soil. There is one thing you might need to keep in mind. While they look like they will be small plants when you purchase them, they grow rapidly after they are established and become large decidious shrubs.

Now if you want a medium sized hydrangea you might want to try Anabelle, a selection of our native Hydrangea arborescens. It rarely exceed 4 to 5 feet in height, and covers itself with a nice profusion of rounded blooms. I saw huge plants of this at Leaf & Petal this week for sale, so you know again most local garden centers will have them for sale in bloom. Again, they are a selection of a native hydrangea and like conditions similar to the oakleaf types. These like more moisture than the oakleaf types. So if you want to add these to your garden, it is still fine to purchase and plant them now. Just remember, as dry as it is, watering frequently is necessary all suumer and fall to make sure they get well established. They are simply beautiful white early summer flowers.

More About Hydrangeas for Birmingham Area Gardens

native oakleaf hydrangea

harmony hydrangea

Snowflake Oakleaf Hydrangea


John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

2 thoughts on “Summer White Hydrangeas

  1. All my hydrangeas are blooming or beginning to put on bud with the exception of my trailing hydrangea. It has never bloomed since planted. Any suggestions on what I need to do . Thanks

    • The only trailing hydrangea I know is the vine. If that is the case, I have heard it takes years for it to start blooming, and then it does every year.

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