The Best Large-Leaf Hydrangea Varieties For The Midlands

Today it is hard to believe that just a few decades ago large-leaved hydrangeas in regions with harsh winters were considered a great rarity and almost exotic. One could only dream of the most spectacular and famous of hydrangeas, because they seemed completely unsuitable for the average strip. But over many years of trial and error, not only has the strategy of proper care and protection for the winter emerged, but also quite a few hydrangea varieties that are perfectly adapted to the harsh climate. Today, old varieties are increasingly giving way to delightful new cultivars with improved hardiness.

The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Large Leaf Hydrangeas Magical Series. © magicalfourseasons

Contents:

  • The advantages of large-leaf hydrangeas over other species
  • How to choose "your" large-leaf hydrangea?
  • 15 interesting hardy big-leaf hydrangeas
  • The best series of big-leaf hydrangeas for the middle zone

Benefits of big-leaf hydrangeas in comparison with other species

Large-leaf hydrangeas are still today the most favorite garden species. Even though they are far from always the most decorative and "reliable", the large-leafed beauties have become a kind of benchmark among these shrubs - both in terms of the effect of large caps, and the attractiveness of the bright leaves. And, perhaps, also for the various forms of cultivation and possibilities of use as garden decoration.

One of the main "trump cards" of large-leaf hydrangeas is a great variety of colors. Color even in the same plant varies depending on the composition and characteristics of soil, quantity and quality of fertilizers, the characteristics of water for irrigation and weather.

Changing the acidity of the soil, you can get a pink (but not white) varieties of hydrangeas rare blue and blue colors. But there are thousands of varieties, differing in their very charm of blossoms, the size of the flowers, the change of shades as they bloom or fade ... And every sort of hydrangea is unique. New, improved versions of even the classic varieties offer to the spectacular flowering considerable bonuses:

  • can better withstand severe winters under proper cover (their frost resistance to almost -30 degrees);
  • quick recovery;
  • resistance to pests and diseases.

How to choose "your" large-leaved hydrangea?

But the choice of new varieties is not a simple task at all. And it is only complicated by the situation with the division of varieties into potted and open ground, which is still almost unchanged today: Many hydrangeas are sold as plants which can be planted in the garden, others - only as potted or indoor forms. As a rule, though, there is not much difference between these varieties.

What's more important are the differences in winter hardiness of acclimatized and imported hydrangeas: In order to get a shrub that can successfully survive even the most unpredictable winters, you should choose varieties that were adapted in local nurseries and garden centers, grown in your region or in climatic zones similar in conditions. After all, even the most reliable varieties imported from Europe will have different characteristics from domestic planting material. Therefore, before buying, always check the information about the plant and do not hesitate to ask more about how the seedlings were grown, to what conditions and shelter they are used to.

While individual approach and the choice of regional plants is the best strategy, among the varieties of large-leaf hydrangeas there are cultivars that in regions with harsh winters have proven themselves better than others. Such hydrangeas are considered reliable and are recommended for introductions to large-leaf hydrangeas, creating skeleton plantings, hedges or single beds with a single shrub.

There are fewer problems or difficulties in growing selected varieties in the middle belt, the plants are well studied and tested by dozens of gardeners from different regions.

The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Gortensia large-leaved series Forever&Ever

The selected and tested do not mean boring. Hydrangea varieties, which are suitable for growing in the middle belt, are able to surprise not only the classic palette. Among the best cultivars there are also original colors and remontant stars that bloom repeatedly and especially abundantly.

Let's take a closer look at the best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the middle belt.

15 interesting robust hydrangeas of large-leaf hydrangeas

"Papillon" - a charming terry hydrangea, which changes its bright pink color to reddish green when fading. The compact size of the bush, rather dark leaves and peculiar density of inflorescences only emphasize how rose-like the flowers of this beauty hydrangea are. The Blueberry Cheesecake is a remontant hydrangea with a compact meter-long shrub whose width always exceeds the height. Blueberry Cheesecake" blooms in July but stays in bloom till October. Semi-violet flowers with purple bracts and light yellow midrib looks original, leaves in summer are very dark, in autumn - red.

"Quadricolor" - a sprawling hydrangea variety up to one and a half meters high with very large, to 20 cm leaves of deep green color, decorated with interesting speckles. Its large inflorescences -cups astonish with their pinkish-whitish tint, which can easily be changed to blue tones on sour soils. © vanklaverenplant

The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Large-leaved Hydrangea 'Blueberry Cheesecake'. © Powerscourt
The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Large-leaved Hydrangea 'Quadricolor'. © Barn House Garden

"Spike" - a very beautiful ruffled remontant hydrangea with dark pink, with a slight purple tint, the color of flowers, charming wavy corrugated edges of the petals. The inflorescences are large, spherical, the flowers in them are so densely arranged that they can not open completely. The main color appears only with time, replacing the white-blue-green hues of the young flowers, which appear in July. Its greens are very vivid.

"Green Shadow" is a hydrangea with a stuntingly compact and hardy bush up to 1m tall with a very original flower color combining deep salalas with blood-burgundy petal tips and irregular spots that gradually cover the whole flower, starting from the edges and working up to the middle. It is a fast growing variety with non-fading inflorescences in autumn and with brightly coloured leaves.

"Cotton Candy" is one of the best hybrid hydrangeas, combining an interesting wavy or indented edge of bright pink "candy" petals with a light yellow-salad spot in the center of the flower. The bush is compact, dense, a meter tall and diameter, and surprises with its dark, irregular coloring of the leaves. The inflorescences are not dense but openwork. The stems are strongly branched and are extremely sturdy. This remontant variety seems strikingly openwork and solemnly noble.

The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Gortensia large-leaved "Spike". © gardenersworld
The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Hortensia large-leaved 'Green Shadow'.
The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Large-leaved Hydrangea "Cotton Candy"

"Gerda Steiniger" - a large and very bright variety with spherical caps of flowers of strikingly rich crimson-purple color, which shade changes depending on soil composition, but is equal on the whole inflorescence. The color changes throughout the summer. Straight shoots and bright leaves accentuate the perfect shape of the inflorescences. This large-leaf hydrangea grows very fast and recovers from frost.

"Tricolor" is one of the best hydrangea varieties with upright stiff shoots and stunningly beautiful mottled foliage. The white flower clusters only accentuate the irregular yellow and white patches on the muted green leaves of the plant. The only disadvantage of the variety is its extreme intolerance to alkaline soils.

"Bailmer" series Endless Summer is a legendary remontant hydrangea variety, considered a standard for growing in the middle belt. The color of the flowers varies from delicate shades of pink to blue. But its inflorescences are always large balls up to 20 cm in diameter, which do not appear until the end of July. Its serrated dark-colored leaves and powerful up to two meters tall shrub, along with strong straight stems, make this hydrangea a favorite of not only gardeners but also florists. Today it is considered the most winter-hardy of all large-leaved hydrangeas.

The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Gortensia large-leaved 'Gerda Steiniger'
The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Gortensia large-leaved 'Tricolor'. © rustica
The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Large-leaved Hydrangea "Bailmer" Endless Summer series. ©10> "Blushing Bride" series Endless Summer is a new version of the legendary variety, which is characterized by pastel-pale, tender, watercolor colors. It is a semi-maximum variety with white flowers and light, almost imperceptible pink, lilac and blue, with blurred spots and a dark center. Repeated blossoming starts before the other hydrangeas, the hydrangea is the most resistant to diseases. Strong enough and fast-growing shrubs up to 1.5 m high with dark, richly colored leaves. Its spherical inflorescences look especially heavy.

"Hamburg" is one of the best bright pink hydrangeas with dense inflorescences up to 25 cm in diameter. The petals are decorated with fringes. The bush is one meter long, strong and the leaves are very bright.

The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Hydrangea "Blushing Bride" Endless Summer Series
The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Hydrangea "Hanabi"
The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Hortensia large-leaved "Hamburg". © babopielka

"Lemmenhof" - blooming already in June watercolor hydrangea, forming powerful one and a half meter bushes. The flattened but very large inflorescences amaze with their pink, tender flowers in the center and the leaves captivate with their rich, bright color. A very dense crown of a shrub up to one and a half meters in height is combined with bright green foliage. It is a remontant hydrangea that is sold as a pure blue hydrangea, but it shows its true color only in acidic soils. Its color changes from bright blue to almost white in neutral and alkaline soils. It normally blooms in June.

"Lanarth White" is one of the most beautiful white-flowered large-leaved Hydrangeas. It looks openwork and elegant, especially in the initial stage of flowering. The crown is wide and one meter high; leaves are dark green with a slight reddish patina. Flowering starts in July and the inflorescences are surprising in size, up to 30 cm in diameter. The snow-white tone is combined with almost imperceptible soft pink or soft blue along the edge, but the shades can be seen only up close. © hydrangeaderby

The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Gortensia large-leaved 'Nikko Blue'. © Monrovia
The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Gortensia large-leaved "Lanarth White"

You should also pay attention to other fashionable hydrangea varieties:

  • dark pink variety "Admiration";
  • the unpretentious terry hydrangea variety "Coco" with triangular petals;
  • the variety "Eva Lyon Holmes" with small, but strikingly dense hemispheres of flowers that change to bright blue on acidic soils with a candy-pink color;
  • "Early Sensation" is one of the early flowering varieties with a dense but not austere crown, adorned with a golden border of copper autumn foliage and June blooms in bright pink;
  • "All Summer Beauty" - a dilagent hydrangea variety with a spreading crown, large piles of inflorescences, which combine in different combinations of white, cream, blue and pink colors in different shades (usually on one bush you can count up to 20 halftones depending on the soil);
  • "Madame Emile Mouilliere" - a wide-spreading variety with white and cream flowers, decorated with pink or blue eye;
  • "General Vicomtesse de Vibraye" - a tall variety with large spherical inflorescences and big light pink or light blue flowers with diameter to 5 cm;
  • "Let's Dance Starlight" - remontant hydrangea with cold shade openwork pink inflorescences and dark leaves;
  • "Lilacina" - hydrangea with unique feather-like shape of petals with snow-white edge;
  • "Mini Penny" - soft pink hydrangea with bright leaves and very dense inflorescences;
  • a crimson-red with a light center frost-resistant sort "Maltisse" ;
  • "Bouquet Rose" - not without reason became one of the most widespread sorts in height to 1 m with very large inflorescences of pink or blue color and a squat, "flattened" form of a bush.
The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Gortensia large-leaved 'Early Sensation'. © lubera
The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Large-leaved Hydrangea 'Madame Emile Mouilliere'. © sandrajonas
The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Large-leaved Hydrangea "Maltisse". © Monrovia

The best series of large-leaf hydrangeas for the middle zone

In addition to individual hydrangeas, series uniting plants with similar characteristics, type of inflorescence or change of colors are especially popular. Representatives of certain series have proven themselves better than other plants for growing in regions with harsh winters or can boast of particularly spectacular colors. Four groups of hardy varieties belong to such series.

You&Me is a series of hydrangea varieties, among which there are surprisingly hardy plants. Thanks to their remontaneity, they are perfectly suitable for growing in the middle zone under the condition of standard sheltering. The common feature of the plants is easy care, compact dense bushes, large spherical inflorescences and overall neat appearance. But the main advantage is a long and very abundant flowering, during which there is a change of different shades of color.

The best varieties of the You&Me series belong to:

  • "Love" - one of the most delicate remontant garden hydrangea varieties; with a meter height, the variety conquers with dark foliage up to 15 cm long and a dense spherical crown, delicate rosetted "double" flowers with blurred pink or purple color depending on soil acidity;
  • "Symphony";
  • Expression" - a one-meter variety with pink or purple flowers similar to water lilies (cream flowers at the beginning of blossoming), dark foliage and early blossoming beginning in June;
  • "Passion" - a bright pink hydrangea with globular inflorescences combining several shades;
  • pink variety "Emotion";
  • "Forever" - the variety with the rounded dense bush and terry-pink flowers in dense inflorescences, changing the tone depending on the reaction of soil;
  • "Together" is a Hydrangea variety with dense, openwork, very beautiful, dense flowers in dense inflorescences, which can vary in color from lettuce to pink, purple and blue;
  • "Eternity" with rose-like pale-pale pink flowers;
  • "Romance" - a maroon-pink variety with pointed petals, which gives its flowers similarity to stars.
The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
You&Me large-leaved hydrangea
The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
You&Me large-leaved hydrangea
The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
You&Me large-leaved hydrangea The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands "Together" variety. © baumschule-horstmann
The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Gortensia large-leaved You&Me series variety "Romance". © florini

Forever&Ever is a series of winter-hardy hydrangeas, some plants in which repeat species of the previous series. The variability of colors, the majesty, the density of the shields and the dark leaves are combined with dense squat bushes of perfectly round shape. Among the best varieties of this series belong:

  • "White Ball" with white ball-like, dense inflorescences;
  • "Blue Heaven"one of the most abundantly colored hydrangeas, offering admiring transitions from purple to blue and ultramarine on the appropriate soil;
  • "Peppermint" is a charming hydrangea variety that blooms in July and surprises with the beauty of flat inflorescences up to 25 cm in diameter; the white petals are decorated with delicate pastel pink, purple or blue strokes that give the plant an irregular mottling; This hydrangea seems to be a strikingly large-flowered variety; the beauty of blossoming is emphasized by glossy gloss of leaves;
  • "Fantasia" - remontant variety with unique multicolor from light lettuce to bright green, red, blood red and crimson, with irregular change of mottling to more and more bright shades;
  • "Red Sensation" is a compact hydrangea variety with a dazzling red color of globular inflorescences, changing to rich burgundy and cream colors after drying.
The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Hortensia large-leaved Forever&Ever series of the variety "Peppermint". © baumschule-horstmann
The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Hortensia large-leaved series Forever&Ever variety "Fantasia". © baumschule-horstmann
The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Hortensia large-leaved series Forever&Ever variety "Red Sensation". © buddgardens

Hovaria is a series of large-leaf hydrangeas of remontant varieties, considered one of the most resistant to both frost and disease. It has stunning combinations of pinks, reds and salads, and changes from season to season.

The best hydrangea varieties in this series include:

  • "Sweet Fantasy"a powerful variety with a dense bush and an amazing mottled coloration of flowers, offering admiring dark maroon splashes and dashes against a delicate pink background;
  • "Love You Kiss" - one of the unique varieties showing amazing white flowers with bright pink ruffles;
  • "Hopcorn" - a hydrangea variety with dense inflorescences, whose round flower petals evoke associations with popcorn; Its color is irregular, turning from light green at the beginning of inflorescence to dark shades of pink, purple and violet;
  • "Hobella" - a sort, changing its color from pink to light green, and then to red;
  • "Ripple" - a rather big sort hydrangea with very strong shoots and spherical inflorescences; burgundy shade of dark leaves combines with unique crimson-pink and blurred into white flowers, set very tightly in the center.
The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Hovaria Large Leaf Hydrangea Series variety "Love You Kiss"
The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Hovaria Large Leaf Hydrangea Series variety "Hopcorn". © Andrea Moro
The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Hortensia large-leaved Hovaria series variety "Hobella". © caerhays

The amazing Magical series is also very popular with gardeners. Of course, most of all large-leaved hydrangeas varieties classified in this series are loved for their colors, but they are also famous for their unpretentiousness. All varieties of the series are united by a varied palette of colors, but necessarily including lettuce-green in one of the stages of flowering.

White, salmon, pink, purple, lilac, red, various shades of green color varieties captivate by their multicolor and extraordinary picturesqueness. It's thanks to the constant play of colors that hydrangeas in this series are also called chameleons. © magicalfourseasons

The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Gortensia large-leaved Magical series variety "Noblesse". © magicalfourseasons
The best large-leaf hydrangea varieties for the midlands
Hortensia large-leaved Magical series variety "Greenfire". © magicalfourseasons

The best varieties in this series include: pale pink "Ocean", lettuce-pink "Amethyst", lettuce-cream "Pearl", carmine "Sapphire", white-salad "Noblesse", pink-blue hydrangea "Revolution", white-salad "Wings", pink-orange-salad "Coral", lettuce-carmine "Jade", black stem with lemon at first Black Pearl", creamy pink "Bride">, creamy pink "Topaz">, lemon-scented "Emerald", lettuce-gray-pink with round petals "Robin", Sunny green "Summergreen", ruby red "Ruby Red", white-red "Red Harlequin", bright pink "Garnet", red-green "Greenfire". There is always a series name before the variety name - Magic or Mag.

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