Hydrangea season generally occurs during warm months, from mid-spring to late summer or early fall. The plant’s propensity for warm weather makes it bloom earlier and longer in warmer climates, such as the southern United States. Blooming periods also depend on the exact type of hydrangea.
There are many different types of hydrangeas. Five popular species include Mophead, Lacecap, Annabelle, Oakleaf, and PeeGee. These types are differentiated by their flower colors and shapes. Mopheads are the common type of hydrangea and are usually blue or pink. The Annabelle variety has large, white blooms and is a very hardy plant.
Hydrangeas are perennial plants, which means that they will bloom year after year during hydrangea season provided they are given proper care. The plants are shrub-like and quite large, and therefore should only be grown outdoors or in a greenhouse. They should be planted in a place that has morning sunlight and afternoon shade. More sunlight is needed throughout the day in northern, cooler climates.
Hydrangea season can last well into late autumn in hot climates. The PeeGee variety of hydrangea thrives best in a hot environment, so it may be the best-suited variety of the plant for southern locations. The Mophead and Lacecap breeds do not fare as well in hot weather. No species of hydrangea will do well in full shade, even during the height of hydrangea season.
Care and maintenance for hydrangeas is relatively minimal. The shrubs do not require regular pruning unless dead stalks are present. Pruning dead stalks can be beneficial for producing new flowers the following year, as some types of hydrangeas bloom best in the “old wood” from the previous hydrangea season. Pruning should be done in mid- to late summer, not at the end of hydrangea season, as new blooms for the next year may have already formed and could be inadvertently snipped off when pruning.
A professional at a garden center can help determine which types of hydrangeas will thrive best in the climate in which one lives. Using fertilizer once or twice during hydrangea season can help keep the plant healthy. The plants need moist soil and can be grown from seedlings indoors then transferred outside in the spring when the seeds begin to take root. Most packages of hydrangea seeds include detailed growing instructions, and again, a professional at a garden center can offer advice on when and how to start a new hydrangea plant.