Consider these old favorites and new beauties, but always read the plant tag and consult with your local nursery to select the best type for your hardiness zone.
Hydrangeas in full bloom are lush, eye-catching shrubs that need surprisingly little care. Best of all, they thrive in a variety of conditions. “A common misconception is that hydrangeas are shade only plants,” says Stacey Hirvela, horticulturalist with Spring Meadow Nursery. “While they do prefer afternoon shade in hot climates, they need a few hours of sun to flower and look their best.” To help them flourish, keep hydrangeas well-watered as they get established. They do fine without fertilizing, but you can feed with general-purpose flowering shrub granules in the spring, if you like. To avoid removing flower buds, wait to trim off anything that appears dead until after the plant leafs out so you can see what’s what.