hydrangea and camelia bushes - Knowledgebase Question

chicago, Il
Question by neverendingb
March 25, 2010
I heard there are certain Hydrangeas that do better in this climate zone than others and some that bloom more frequent but never see them classified in more detail other than Hydrangea. Any pointers? Also do Camelia bushes grow here? I am from the south and need some help with this climate.

Answer from NGA
March 25, 2010


It's true. The big leaf hydrangeas that you are familiar with will not bloom reliably in Chicago because they flower on new growth that develops on old wood. Your climate is such that hydrangeas will die down to ground level each winter. No old wood equals no blooms. So, stick with the following types of hydrangeas. They bloom on new growth - so it doesn't matter if they die down to ground level each winter. Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' - Large white flower clusters. Or Hydrangea paniculata 'Grandiflora' - Large (12-18 inch) clusters of white flowers (often sold as PeeGee hydrangea); 'Kyushu' - Flowers heavily, even at an early age;
'Pink Diamond' - Large clusters (12 inch) of white flowers turning to a good pink;
'Tardiva' - Flowers late (September); 'Unique' - Large (16 inch long) pure white flower clusters; 'Zwijnenburg' ('Limelight'?) - Lime green flowers change to white, then pink.

I'm afraid camellias won't grow well in your area so you'll have to find a replacement. The nursery is filled with lots of options. Best wishes with your new garden!

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