Top 5 Hydrangeas Worth the Hype

Top 5 Hydrangeas Worth the Hype

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Get high performance, desirable features and showy blooms

People love Hydrangeas for their incredible, long-lasting summer blooms…which is why they consistently appear on our Top Bestsellers list. Create the landscape of your dreams with Hydrangeas!

At, you're sure to find a special Hydrangea cultivar that will achieve your garden goals. It doesn't matter whether you have a tiny balcony to decorate; or want to augment the eye appeal of a country acreage!

So…which Hydrangea cultivars have captured the hearts of the team? After all, we have a huge catalog of these reliable flowering shrubs, including many types of Hydrangea:

  • Bigleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)
  • Panicle Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata)
  • Smooth Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens)
  • Mountain Hydrangea (Hydrangea serrata)
  • Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)

Some—like Little Hottie®—are a red-hot new cultivar from First Editions®. Others on the list feature special growth habits, such as trailing bushes and even vines that reach lofty heights. 

Several of our Hydrangeas can really handle the heat and full sun. Some even offer additional beauty with beautiful leaves that turn fiery color in fall.

Hydrangea shrubs can bloom on old wood, new wood or both. Some species have flowers that can display blue to pink depending on soil pH.

Let's find out which Hydrangea cultivars are consistently rated as "excellent" by growers, gardeners, industry press and influencers. We asked our Horticulture Team for a list of their favorite Hydrangeas!

Do they really match up to the hype? Here's the short list of the Hydrangea varieties that earn a resounding "yes" from our #ProPlantTips team! 


Compact Little Hottie® Hydrangea Makes Big Flower Heads Little hottie

Displaying serious flower power, sun-loving Little Hottie® Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata 'Bailpanone') makes the list! This extremely reliable offering from First Editions® is an esteemed woody Panicle Hydrangea that stays much smaller than old-fashioned selections.

Even though its tightly rounded outline stays within bounds…you'll get to enjoy a ton of full-size flowers every year. The flower buds start off green, grow sparkling white and finally age to soft pink (without you having to mess with soil pH!)

Developed in Georgia, heat-tolerant Little Hottie is destined to be a very popular Hydrangea. The field-tested blooms don't turn brown in the sun, and they are held up high on strong, well-branched stems.

You won't regret adding Little Hottie Hydrangea to your landscape this season as far south as Zone 8. It also performs like a dream in cold winters down to Zone 3!

Buy your exemplary Little Hottie® First Editions® Hydrangea at!

Incredible Spiller Fairytrail Bride® Cascade Hydrangea Fairytrail Bride

Plant experts have totally fallen for the hybrid lacecap Fairytrail Bride® Cascade Hydrangea® (Hydrangea x 'USHYD0405') and you will, too! This breeding breakthrough is the first-ever weeping Hydrangea and produces delicate lacecap flowers at every leaf joint.

You can imagine the many years of scientific field-testing it took to launch this incredible achievement in North America. First introduced in Europe, this Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year award-winner certainly lives up to the fanfare.

Fairytrail Bride Hydrangea grows downward in a phenomenal cascade of textured, healthy green foliage. At every leaf joint, green buds open into a spectacular showing of frilly, pure white deckle-edged flower petals.

Put their wildly floriferous, graceful trailing stems to work in your garden containers. You can also let Fairytrail Bride drip over your retaining walls for a soft, pretty look.

Fairytrail Bride Hydrangea stays small…without needing to be pruned. This game-changing, cascading plant offers a unique look that you'll be proud to show off!

Give it morning sun and afternoon shade in Zones 6 - 9 for the best results. It does best in well-drained soil that stays consistently moist without getting too soggy.

Buy your award-winning Fairytrail Bride® Proven Winners® Hydrangea at!

Miniature, Hardy Firelight Tidbit® Hydrangea Has Bold Fall Color Firelight Tidbit

In small space gardens, every season counts! Include pint-sized Fire Light Tidbit® Dwarf Panicle Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata 'SMNHPK') for superlative heat tolerance and showy fall color.

If you are looking for a bulletproof option for your foundation planting, you've got to consider Fire Light Tidbit® Hydrangea. These well-behaved shrubs are the tiniest Panicle Hydrangea yet…they simply won't outgrow their allotted space!

Fire Light Tidbit is a field-tested Proven Winners® that shows off high performance. Each year, you'll enjoy dozens of big, lush conical panicles held on strong stems.

You won't believe the flower power of this petite Panicle Hydrangea. Starting off white, the big blooms develop rich, saturated tones of pink and red as they age.

Of course, Fire Light Tidbit is very easy to care for. This sun-loving selection also takes the extreme cold…perfect in Zones 3 - 8.

Fire Light Tidbit also offers a wonderful fall color foliage display when the temperatures are just right. Watch for their flamboyant purple and orange tones to enliven your autumn.

Our plant experts love Fire Light Tidbit, which is a high-ranking, diminutive selection. But if you need something bigger to fill your lot, our team recommends that you layer in Tidbit's big brother…Fire Light® Hydrangea.

This standard size Panicle Hydrangea develops the most incredible white flowers that age into rich, dark pink. The showy flower display on the plants in the landscape lasts for months.

Buy your petite powerhouse Fire Light Tidbit® Hydrangea from!

Buy showy Fire Light® Hydrangea if you have more room to fill.

Stunning, Super-Sized Oakleaf Alice Hydrangea Alice Oakleaf

Robust Alice Oakleaf (Hydrangea quercifolia 'Alice') easily grows into a handsome, stately queen for your woodland garden. She is one of the largest Oakleaf cultivars and truly lives up to her bold reputation in larger-scale landscapes.

Count on Alice to provide an informal backdrop to your favorite native perennials or spring-flowering shrubs like Azaleas and Rhododendrons. Alice's enormous flower spikes are over a foot long, and they are composed of dozens of true flowers. 

Each season, you'll be tempted to harvest some of the huge, pointed panicles for cut flowers and to dry for winter arrangements. There will be plenty for local pollinators to visit these large shrubs time and again to gather the nectar.

This top choice even performs in shadier conditions than other Hydrangeas. Plant Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea at the same time as landscape trees, and they'll all grow up together.

As temperatures drop for autumn, Alice even offers a long-lasting, late-holding fall color display on those huge, Oak-shaped leaves. When the crimson, red and purple leaves finally drop, they expose fascinating, papery bark on the coarse-textured stems for additional winter interest! 

Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea is a great choice for a garden statement across several seasons. Slightly acidic soils and cool, moist soils are best to keep her happy.

Buy your esteemed Alice Oakleaf Hydrangea at!

Fragrant, Shade-Loving Climbing Hydrangea Vine climbing

Grow a standout garden feature with unique lacecap flowers of Climbing Hydrangea Vine (Hydrangea petiolaris or Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris). All parts of this woody deciduous vine are fragrant, including the flowers, stems and leaves.

Climbing Hydrangea is loved by many people around the country for very good reason. Starting in July, flat clusters of small, lacy white flowers start "popping" against the glossy green leaves.

Climbing Hydrangea vine grows fast, but over the first few seasons it must get its roots established into your soil. It then uses tiny aerial rootlets to climb up a wall, trellis or other support, such as concrete blocks or brick.

Cover a building, retaining wall or a slope in full shade or partial sun. Many times, Climbing Hydrangea are grown as a robust groundcover…a much safer option than mowing lawn on steep ground. 

Where they are happy, Climbing Hydrangea can lengthen to reach 80 feet or more. Like a Wisteria vine, you'll want to plan ahead with a support that is sturdy enough to hold the weight. 

Enjoy this magnificent vine on your property. Vines provide a large amount of privacy and interest…but only require a few feet as a footprint.

Buy your Climbing Hydrangea from…but hurry, we sell out quickly.

Don't Forget These Superior, Ground-Breaking Hydrangeas

If you adore intense, cherry red flowers in your summer garden…you'll be thrilled by the Grateful Red Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla 'McKRed'). We sell out of our limited inventory each year, and no wonder!Grateful Red

There are no other Hydrangeas that achieve the depth of color of Grateful Red. The vivid blooms ensure their spot as a focal point in your landscape in Zones 4 - 9.

Order Grateful Red Hydrangea from…they aren't sold in garden stores!

Big, beloved Limelight Hydrangea was the precursor to the many Paniculata types that have exploded on the market recently. It was a reliable, revolutionary cultivar with immense flowers that didn't droop.limelight

The huge blooms start out as lime green buds that open a crisp white and age to light pink. They turn tan and stay showy all winter long in Zones 3 - 9.

We offer Limelight as a beautiful shrub and as a very noteworthy tree-form grafted onto a sturdy standard. Garden designers across the country believe that Limelight is one of the most incredible Hydrangeas on the market today.

Order ground-breaking Limelight Hydrangea shrubs at!

Buy a high-quality Limelight Hydrangea tree-form from the artisans at

Enjoy the elegance and style of Hydrangeas. It's no wonder why these innovative flowering plants are so popular for hedges, containers, cut flowers and foundation plantings.

We have over 135 different Hydrangea selections in production. Find your favorite Hydrangea variety at before it sells out!!

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