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5 Late-Blooming Hydrangea Varieties for Your Fall Garden

A botany graduate, Nithya Venkat enjoys writing about plants that sustain life on Earth.

Hydrangea flowers

Hydrangea flowers

Add color to your garden during the dreary fall season with these popular hydrangea varieties with a long blooming period.

Late-flowering hydrangeas add color to your fall garden until the arrival of the first frost in autumn.

Below are some of the popular late-blooming hydrangea varieties.

  1. Tardiva Hydrangeas
  2. Bobo Dwarf Hydrangeas
  3. Tuff Stuff Hydrangeas
  4. Limelight Hydrangeas
  5. Berry White Hydrangeas
Tardiva hydrangeas

Tardiva hydrangeas

1. Tardiva Hydrangeas

The "Tardiva" hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata) is a late-flowering cold-hardy plant with loosely packed, sharply pointed white flower heads that turn purplish-pink with age. These plants are 8–10 feet tall, multi-stemmed, vigorous, fast-growing deciduous shrubs.

Tardiva hydrangeas bloom in terminal panicles that are upright pyramidal and sharply pointed with mostly sterile flowers.

The showy white sterile flowers are somewhat loosely packed and slowly turn purplish-pink with age. The much smaller fluffy, fertile flowers are partially visible beneath the sterile ones. The flowers bloom from late summer well into September.

The “Tardiva” hydrangeas flourish in well-draining soil in full sun to partial shade with organically rich, medium moisture soils. This variety is one of the most winter hardy among hydrangeas.

Prune these plants as needed in late winter to early spring. Large flower panicles can be obtained by thinning the plants to 5–10 primary shoots. When this plant is in full bloom, the weight of the flower panicles can pull the branches to arch downwards.

The "Tardiva" hydrangeas are great for city gardens, cottage gardens, or containers. Panicles may be cut for fresh floral arrangements or for drying.

Bobo hydrangea

Bobo hydrangea

2. Bobo Dwarf Hydrangeas

The "Bobo" dwarf hydrangeas are late-blooming dwarf plants that are an excellent choice for small gardens.

These hydrangeas produce masses of large, bright white blooms. As the weather cools, each flower fades to varying shades of light pink. This "Bobo" hydrangea plant will produce flowers on new growth each season.

The "Bobo" hydrangeas are deciduous shrubs that grow in an upright rounded mound to heights of 2–3 feet. The flowers are white and turn red to purple as they age. They flourish in organically rich, medium moisture, well-draining soils in full sun to part shade.

This plant is the product of open pollination in a controlled breeding program in Melle, Belgium, in 20003 between Hydrangea paniculate (Pink Diamond) acting as the female parent and an unknown Hydrangea paniculate as the male parent.

The "Bobo" hydrangea is well-known for its dwarf compact mounded shape, free branching habit, early flowering strong stems, and conical flowering habit.

Abundant sterile white flowers bloom early and profusely in large panicles, each measuring about 11 inches. Strong, stiff stems hold the panicles upright with no drooping.

Flowers gradually change pink to purple tones as they mature. Flowers typically bloom from July into September. Flower panicles can be cut for fresh floral arrangements or potpourri.

Tuff Stuff hydrangea

Tuff Stuff hydrangea

3. Tuff Stuff Hydrangeas

Tuff Stuff (Hydrangea serrate) hydrangea is a compact rounded, deciduous mountain shrub that blooms yearly with delicate lace-cap flowers in summer and early fall. The flower heads are large with showy sterile sepals radiating around a central cluster of tiny fertile florets.

The florets are bright pink or deep purple-blue, depending on the soil's acidity. The leaves are dark green ovate with serrated margins; they turn shades of red and purple during fall.

The flowering begins for about four weeks in early summer and returns to rebloom again in late summer to early fall. These hydrangeas are cold-hardy, up to minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit. They are famous for their cold tolerance and ability to repeat flowers on new wood.

These plants grow to about 2 to 3 feet in height; they flourish in moist, well-draining soil in areas with at least 6 hours of sunlight. Adding a layer of mulch will help retain moisture and protect the roots during cold winter.

Pruning the "Tuff Stuff" hydrangea is unnecessary because the shrub is compact. It blooms on old and new wood and produces flowers through the growing season. Fertilize the plant in early spring before the growth starts.

These hydrangeas are excellent for landscapes, small gardens, beds and borders, patios, and containers.

Limelight hydrangea

Limelight hydrangea

4. Limelight Hydrangeas

Limelight hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculate “Limelight”) are upright deciduous shrubs that are the largest of late summer blooming hydrangea varieties.

This plant grows to about 6–8 feet. The leaves are yellow-green, and the stems are grey-green with pink flushes.

Limelight hydrangeas bear massive pale lime flower clusters. They are mounded with clustered flowers that start as deep lime buds that open to delicate green and progress to lime-tinged cream.

When fall begins, the flowers take on striking shades of pink, red, burgundy, and bronze. They are long-lasting as cut flowers. The blooms persist through frost into winter when left to dry on the plant. The flowers bloom on new stems that grow each year.

Flowering from summer to late autumn, these hydrangeas are excellent for small gardens, and the large blooms make good flowers for cutting.

These hydrangeas are great for planting near property borders or to use as living privacy screens. They flourish in moist, well-draining soil in full sun to partial shade and bloom yearly.

Berry White hydrangeas

Berry White hydrangeas

5. Berry White Hydrangeas

“Berry White” hydrangeas are winter hardy plants growing to about 6 to 7 feet tall.

These hydrangeas start blooming in mid-summer and last into the fall. The cone-shaped cluster of flowers is white when they first bloom, then they slowly turn dark pink starting at the base of each cluster.

As the season progresses, the leaves turn into a tow-tone cluster of pink and white. When summer ends and winter begins, all the blooms turn from a stunning deep pink to a near red. The stems of the “Berry White” hydrangea are strong and hold the flowers upright throughout the season.

Fertilize the plant with a balanced, slow-release NPK fertilizer in late winter or early spring, as this will help the hydrangeas produce more flowers. Pruning encourages these plants to produce new stems and more flowers. They flourish in full sun (six to eight hours of direct sunlight) or part shade in well-draining soil.

References

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Nithya Venkat