Hydrangea serrata 'Bluebird'

Nine of the best hydrangeas to grow

Discover nine beautiful hydrangeas to grow, including stunning modern and compact varieties.

Over the past decade, many beautiful and versatile new hydrangeas have been introduced. There are neater varieties for smaller spaces or even containers, gorgeous double-flowered and bi-coloured choices, and varieties that offer a change of colour as the flowers mature.


Newer forms are being bred to flower for longer, or two bloom twice in the same season (on old and new wood).

Not sure how to plant a hydrangea? Just follow our advice on how to plant shrubs.

All hydrangeas are easy to grow – they prefer moist soil but will thrive in shade or sun. They are hardy and easy to prune – discover how to prune hydrangeas.

Here are nine of our favourites.

Over the past decade, many beautiful and versatile new hydrangeas have been introduced.


Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Ayesha’

Mopheads are the hydrangeas to grow if you want bold colour. The blooms last for months, finally ageing to muted tones before drying to brown over the winter. Held in small, silvery lavender flowerheads, the florets of Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Ayesha’ have unusual curled edges.

Height x spread: 1.2m x 1.2m



Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Zebra’

Large, white mophead flowers, near-black stems and rich green leaves give this plant a dramatic look.

Height x spread: 1m x 1m



Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Miss Saori’

You’ll get two flushes of the double pink and white flowers of this Chelsea Plant of the Year winner in 2014.

Height x spread: 1m x 1m



Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Veitchii’

Lacecap varieies are more delicate than mopheads and are generallly very hardy. Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Veitchii’ is a free-flowering lacecap with large white florets that turn pink with age, set around a mass of small blue flowers.

Height x spread: 1.5m x 1.5m



Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Jogasaki’

The ray florets range from palest pink through lilac to icy blue. It offers vibrant autumn leaf colour, too.

Height x spread: 2m x 2m



Hydrangea serrata ‘Bluebird’

As well as pink or blue florets around flat clusters of tiny blue flowers, this lacecap hydrangea offers fiery autumn foliage.

Height x spread: 1.2m x 1.2m



Hydrangea paniculata ‘Phantom’

H. paniculata varieties have large, conical flowerheads that start of white or green, then become clear white, then pink or even red. The large flowerheads of Hydrangea paniculata ‘Phantom’ have  yellow-tinged tips.

Height and spread: 1.5 x 2m



Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’

Hydrangea aborescens varieties have huge domed flowerheads in white or pink. Full of impact, the huge white flowerheads of Hydrangea aborescens ‘Annabelle’ fade to lime green.

Height x spread: 2.5m x 2.5m (shorter with regular pruning)



Hydrangea quercifolia

Hydrangea quercifolia varieties have large, oak-shaped leaves that turn fiery shades in autumn. In addition to large conical heads of double ray florets, the leaves turn fiery shades in autumn.


Height x spread: 2m x 2.5m