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Best hydrangeas for shade – 4 top types to choose from
Last Updated on January 21, 2020 by John
Hydrangeas are a beautiful shrub for any garden and there are so many varieties from which to choose that you can effectively select the type of leaves, flowers, and sizes you prefer without having to compromise. More importantly, hydrangeas are available in so many varieties that you won’t have to miss out just because you have a garden with more shade than sunlight.
There are plenty of shade-loving hydrangeas out there that come in all forms with the popular mophead varieties which the ability to change the colour of the flowers and grow well in pots to climbing varieties ideal for a shady wall.
Which varieties love shade?
The 4 types below will all grow in a more shadier spot than most other types of hydrangeas.
- Hydrangea aspera
- Climbing hydrangea
- Mophead hydrangea
- Lacecap hydrangea
The hydrangea Aspera is the first shade loving hydrangea and it is known for the dark green leaves end of velvety flowers. There are so many varieties of Aspera hydrangea out there that you aren’t limited. If you want something that is more iridescent and brings bees to your garden, the villosa variety is perfect. If instead, you want something that is a slightly different colour, the plum passion variety has purple leaves and green-purple foliage that is ideal for shaded regions of your garden.
Climbing Hydrangeas (hydrangea petiolaris)
If there is an area of your garden where you want some privacy, perhaps natural growth that creates a privacy screen or you simply want to cover up an unsightly garden shed, climbing hydrangeas are the best solution. Many climbing hydrangeas can reach up to 10m in height if allowed. Climbing hydrangeas bring about lacecap style flowers with green foliage but they do require a sturdy structure against which to climb. These varieties offer many shades of flowers such as white flowers that are edged in gold or gold and cream flowers that are juxtaposed by richly green leaves. In any case, the climbing hydrangea does take about three or four years to establish itself. That said it might take some time for you to see all of these blooms in their full glory but you can reduce the amount of time it takes by purchasing a Climbing Hydrangea that is already a few years old.
Mophead Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)
The classic mophead hydrangeas are of course the quintessence of the hydrangea family and if you have a shaded area in your garden rest assured there are mophead hydrangea varieties that will thrive in the shade. These are the varieties whose colour you can control in most cases by changing the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. That said some of the most common varieties for shaded areas include the Big Daddy, Cityline Venice, and others. If you don’t want to change the flower from Blue to Pink and you want something that stands out on its own, the Lemon Daddy variety gives you golden yellow foliage against which the flower stand while the colour fantasy variety gives you rich, red flowers on top of dark green leaves.
Similar to the mop head, lacecap varieties are still part of the macrophylla family and can be altered but rather than having the large puffy balls of flowers they have larger blooms with smaller blooms in the centre. There are plenty of shade-loving varieties here whose colour can be altered based on the pH level of your soil. Regardless of the shade, you select, you will see the larger blooms that encompass a tiny ring of blooms that brings something unique to your garden. One such variety is called the bits of lace and it has rich burgundy stems with purple-red flour sprinkled in between. Of course, not everyone wants the classic red and green colour combination and for those gardeners, the lemon wave brings about light blue flowers and foliage edged in yellow and cream.
Regardless of the option that you select understand that shade-loving hydrangeas prefer to have their roots in shade at all times and will do well with shade in the afternoon. The richness of the flowers might be diminished if they are grown in an area with very little sunlight but so long as they get access to some morning sunlight these varieties will thrive.