Choosing And Planting Small Hydrangeas (Dwarf Hydrangea)
There are many dwarf hydrangea plants available in the market. Some of them are very popular, while others have not been widely used yet. There are many types of dwarf hydrangeas.
They come from different plant families such as the Asteraceae family or the Poaceae family or even the Fabaceae family. But they all share one thing in common: they’re small! Most dwarf hydrangeas grow to only 1–2 feet tall. That means that if you want to grow one in your home, it will take up a large amount of space. However, there are some dwarf hydrangeas that can reach heights of 5 feet or even 10 feet!
So how do you choose which type of dwarf hydrangea is right for you?
The first step is choosing the size that best suits your needs. You may need to make a decision between two or three dwarf hydrangea species. Then you’ll have to decide whether you want a single plant, a group of plants, or even several plants in the same pot. If you’re looking for something simple to grow, then go with one species; if you’d like something larger than most people are comfortable growing, then consider multiple species. It’s completely up to you!
Let’s begin with the single species. A single dwarf hydrangea would be great for someone who wants a small plant in their garden. Furthermore, a single species is perfect for people who only want one type of color blooming in their garden.
The most popular types of single-species dwarf hydrangeas are the H. arborescens and H. macrophylla species. The former is native to the United States, so it can stand a wider range of temperatures than H. macrophylla (which is native to China). Most people will agree that the leaves of H. arborescens are smaller and a bit rounder than H. macrophylla.
For gardeners who want something a little more colorful, then they should consider H. macrophylla (the species name means ‘big leaf’ in Greek). People who are familiar with this plant know that it’s flowers range in color from pale pink to purple (and sometimes even near-white).
Another popular species is H. x franchetii (the species name was given in honor of a man called Louis Franchet). This species is a hybrid between H.
macrophylla and H. arborescens (similarly, the hybrid was named in honor of a French botanist called Gaston Francisque). Therefore, it is not surprising that H. x franchetii has the flowers of H. macrophylla and the leaves of H. arborescens.
Now, let’s move on to multiple species. A multiple-species garden can be a bit more complicated than a single-species garden. That’s because if you want five different kinds of plants, then you’ll have to plant them all in the same pot.
But why would anyone do that?
Well, if you’re a fan of showing off then it’s a good way to impress your friends! Also, most gardeners only grow multiple-species dwarf hydrangeas for their flowers. Each kind of plant will bloom at a different time, providing a steady supply of flowers all year round. The downside is that you’ll have to water and fertilize the plants more often.
So, which multiple species should you choose?
There are a few species that look good together. The most common combo is H. arborescens and H. macrophylla (in their various colors). This combo looks great because the leaves of both plants match each other well. Also, their flowers come in similar colors. If you want something a bit different, then you could also try H. arborescens and H. x franchetii. These two species look great together because H. x franchetii has flowers that are a similar color to H. arborescens, but they’re much bigger.
There’s one more thing to consider when choosing an evergreen hydrangea: pruning. Most people don’t realize it, but all dwarf hydrangeas need regular pruning. If left untended, the plants will grow into trees over ten feet tall.
For most gardeners, this is far too big. The best way to prune your hydrangeas is to cut them back after they flower. If you want a tree-like appearance for your garden, you can prune them back periodically to keep them small. Just remember to prune back all of the suckers (or sprouts) that grow from the base of the plant. These sprouts are a sign that the plant is trying to grow into a tree. If you don’t prune them back, they will take over your garden very quickly!
Sources & references used in this article:
‘Ruby Slippers’ and ‘Munchkin’Oakleaf Hydrangeas by SM Reed – HortScience, 2010 – journals.ashs.org
Hydrangea virescence: symptom suppression in plants infected with the mycoplasmalike organism (MLO) associated with mild disease challenge infected with the … by RH Lawson, FF Smith – … on Virus diseases of Ornamental Plants 110, 1980 – actahort.org
Hydrangea: A Southern Tradition by M Browne – walterreeves.com
Hydrangea culture at Stephen F. Austin Gardens© by D Creech – … of the International Plant Propagators’ Society 1140, 2015 – actahort.org
Hydrangea production by C Brickell – 2011 – Penguin