Expert Advice

Hydrangea: An American Classic (video)

Posted on March 12, 2017

Endless Summer Hydrangea


Hydrangeas are one of the most recognizable summer flowering plants on Long Island. 

Click here to watch “Hydrangea: A Long Island Classic” presented by Dan Vorbeck at Hicks Nurseries’ Flower & Garden Show on Sunday, March 12th, 2017. This seminar delves into the many varieties available at hicks as well as how and when to prune for best flower production.

Hydrangeas are one of the most popular landscape plants around.  They are known, grown and loved worldwide and continue to gain popularity every year.  While one species may be more popular than another, they all bring ornamental value to the garden for months of enjoyment each growing season. From groundcovers and vines to large shrubs or small trees, there is definitely a Hydrangea for every garden.

Here on Long Island the most common species of Hydrangeas are:

  • Climbing Hydrangea – H. anomala subsp. petiolaris
  • Smooth Hydrangea – H. arborescens
  • Big Leaf Hydrangea – H. macrophylla
  • Panicle Hydrangea – H. paniculata
  • Oakleaf Hydrangea – H. quercifolia
  • Mountain Hydrangea – H. serrate

Climbing Hydrangea


Climbing Hydrangea is a vine or groundcover that can grow upwards of 40’ (provided it has something to climb on).  The creamy white lace-cap flowers occur in late spring/early summer.  Moist, well-drained, organic rich soil is best.  Climbing Hydrangea will grow well from full sun to deep shade, but will do best in a bright, filtered light, that is protected from the hot afternoon sun.



‘Annabelle’ is a Smooth Hydrangea


Smooth Hydrangea is a mounding shrub growing 3-5’ tall and wide.  The abundant summer flowers are borne from the current season’s growth, and are available in creamy white or light pink.  Moist, well-drained, organic rich soil is best.  Best grown in partial shade, but is considered the most shade tolerant Hydrangea available.  Avoid direct, hot afternoon sun.





‘Endless Summer’ is a Big Leaf Hydrangea


Big Leaf Hydrangea is considered the most popular Hydrangea on the market.  With many cultivars (hundreds) available ranging in size of 2’ to 6’+.  Flowers can be mop head or lace cap and the colors range from white to pink, purple, and blue and are the result of soil chemistry paired with the particular cultivar.   Filtered light is best and a moist, well-drained, organic soil will produce the best results.




Panicle Hydrangea is also comprised of many cultivars ranging in size from 3’ to 12’.  This large shrub also makes a great candidate as a small tree with some formative pruning.  The mostly creamy white flowers peak later in summer and most varieties fade russet pink before completely drying.  This species can handle full sun to part shade, and will also perform best in a moist, well-drained, organic rich soil.

Oakleaf Hydrangea

Oakleaf Hydrangea features large foliage that resembles the mighty Oak, and large panicles of creamy white flowers that fade russet pink providing visual excitement all summer long.  The rich green foliage turns to magnificent tones of wine-red, orange and yellow in fall.  Oakleaf Hydrangeas will handle sun or shade and prefer a moist, well-drained, organic rich soil.

Mountain or Serrated Hydrangeas are very similar to the Big Leaf Hydrangea in size, form, habit and have very similar cultural requirements as well.  The foliage tends to be smaller and is more deeply serrated.  Most varieties are lace cap, but ‘Preziosa’ is a mop head type that is almost always pink regardless of soil chemistry.



There is a Hydrangea for every garden. Visit the nursery yard at Hicks Nurseries to view our entire selection. 


Additional Information:
Pruning with Purpose


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“Best selection on LI. Helpful staff. Great displays for inspiration.” – C. Mazza. 


“Beautiful flowers, beautiful shrubs, beautiful everything!” –Kevin M.                                         



“I wish my backyard was bigger so I can keep buying awesome stuff from Hicks!” –Jeanne S.


“I love taking my granddaughter to see hicks beautiful christmas, Halloween, and Easter displays! Thanks for a job well done!” –Mary Ellen S.


“I would like to commend you on the wonderful staff you have. A garden center should be a happy place. Everyone at Hicks had a smile and a pleasant word and I will continue to come back year after year.” Joan H.


“I just got home from a trip to Hicks Nursery. I was in awe of how many varieties of tomatoes are there! Actually, there is a huge selection of everything!! One stop shopping at its best!”  -Cathy A.


“Thank you for carrying such a large selection of organic herbs. I got behind in some of my seeds and really focus on an all organic garden. I was pleasantly surprised today by how big the selection was in all herbs. Got all the herbs I wanted.”  –Sophie L


“I love Hick’s for all the beautiful flower’s I plant in our yard every Spring. They have great quality and friendly service.”  – Erika M.


“I won’t shop anywhere else. Best plants in Nassau County. Great selection and the staff is both knowledgeable & helpful.” – Patricia M.


“You get everything right, knowledgeable & friendly staff, great quality plants, the gorgeous flower show, Otto and Santa.” –Pat B.


“I shop at Hicks and bring the flats back to our home in CT. I will always be a Long Island Girl.” –Lisa D.


“Hicks has always been a leader in the Green Industry; even during trying times. I hope the people appreciate just how wonderful Hicks Nursery truly is!” Erik F.


“Beautiful! We’ve been twice and will visit again. The show is always a LI spring highlight – great work! BTW, love the new landscape design center more visible and accessible – had a great consultation!”          – Jacqueline S.


“I so enjoy going to Hicks. It is a beautiful place and I feel refreshed when I leave there. Hicks offers so much more besides flowers. I usually meet old friends there every time I go.” –Anne D.


“You have a great selection of plants, some of which I have never seen!! The blue orchids are out of this world!!” – Rae K.