Small, flower-packed Hydrangeas are the rage! There has been an explosion of new hydrangeas that are much more compact than their bigger brothers. These flower-packed, miniaturized versions are perfect for small spaces and containers. Most of the new introductions are in the paniculata species (commonly called panicle or hardy hydrangeas).
‘Bobo’ has been getting a lot of attention and rightly so. It has airy, ball-shaped white flowers that turn a soft pink in fall. Bobo’ tops out at 3’ tall and 3’ wide. ‘Bombshell’ is another looker with lacey, white dome-shaped flowers that also turn pink. It can get a bit larger, between 3’ and 4’ tall.
‘Little Lime’ is a tiny version of the highly popular ‘Limelight’. ‘Little Lime’ has dense greenish-white, dome-shaped flowers that age to a pale pink. It gets 3’-5’ tall.
My personal favorite is ‘Little Quickfire’, at 3’ – 5’ tall, with feathery white, dome-shaped blooms that quickly change to a rosy-pink.
There are also petite choices in the macrophylla (big-leaf, mophead) group. Most of the pink and blue, ball-shaped flowering beauties (soil pH can affect color) in the Cityline series are 3’ or shorter. The Let’s Dance line also has great ‘minis’. Mountain hydrangeas (those in the serrata species) are stopping traffic with their winter-hardy flower buds that tend to show less die-back than those on the macrophylla team. ‘Little Tuff Stuff’ has lacecap blue or pink flowers and only gets about 2’ tall.
Finally, there are a few handsome picks in the quercifolia species (commonly called oakleaf hydrangea). ‘Ruby Slippers’ sports lacy, long white flowers that age to a stunning ruby-pink. It gets 3.5’-5’ tall. ‘Munchkin’ is even smaller, topping out at 3’! All hydrangeas in this group have leaves resembling those of oak trees, which turn a burgundy-red in fall. Exfoliating bark for winter interest is icing on the cake!
The hardiness of hydrangeas vary based on the species. Many panicle hydrangeas are hardy to Zone 3 while most bigleaf and oakleaf hydrangeas are hardy only to Zone 5.