New Hydrangeas for the Midwest
Here are some new varieties and cutting tips for these ever-popular beauties, which like cool, moist, well-drained soil and morning sun.
Three new cultivars
Multicolor Color-changing Everlasting Revolution big leaf hydrangea evolves from green to pink to purple to blue to red. It's a repeat bloomer, so the bevy of hues delights all season. Strong stems and flowers make it tops for bouquets. Burpee (burpee.com).
Everlasting Revolution hydrangeas. Photo courtesy of W. Atlee Burpee and Co.
Smaller size Standard oakleaf hydrangeas reach 8–10 feet tall, but ‘Ruby Slippers' oakleaf hydrangea, developed by the U.S. National Arboretum, reaches just 31⁄2 feet. Flowers turn from white to deep pink, and foliage goes crimson in fall. Monrovia (monrovia.com).
Bloomin' tough Hardy Tuff Stuff reblooming mountain hydrangea flowers on new and old stems for steady blooms all season long. The pink lacecap flowers may look blue in acidic soils and will darken through the growing season. Proven Winners (provenwinners.com).
Make the cut
Jennifer Schultz Nelson, horticultural educator at University of Illinois Extension, says hydrangeas tend to wilt when cut, especially young flowers. Look for mature blooms that feel papery. Cut stems under water, and if blooms look droopy, submerge the cutting (blossoms and all) in cold water for 30 minutes.