How Long Do Hydrangeas Bloom Each Season?

Are your hydrangeas starting to flower, and you've become curious how long their blooms are going to stick around? In this article, gardening expert Jill Drago examines how long most hydrangeas will bloom, depending on the type of species you are growing, and the hardiness zone t hey are grown in.

Beautiful blooming hydrangea with pink and purple flowers in the garden.

Are you wishing to fill your garden with hydrangeas but want to make sure they will bloom all summer long? These flowering shrubs are long bloomers, but exactly how long does each plant bloom for? Lucky for us, there is a hydrangea for every spot in our gardens and every part of the growing season. 

Six species of hydrangeas are commonly grown in home gardens, and each one has its own set of rules for its plant care regimen.

Here we’ll explore hydrangea bloom time and which type may flower the longest in your garden, plus some tips and tricks to get the most out of your hydrangea flowers. 

Contents

The Short Answer

Under ideal conditions, hydrangeas will bloom all summer long. The flowers will start appearing in your garden in mid to late spring, and can last until the first frost. If you would like to keep the blooms from mid-spring until the frost hits, you can plant a few different varieties to overlap the flowering periods.

The Long Answer

A vibrant display of Hydrangeas showcases their exquisite beauty. Delicate petals in shades of blue and pink gracefully bloom, adorning the sturdy stems. Lush green leaves provide a lush backdrop, accentuating the flowers' captivating colors.
Each species operates on its own timetable, resulting in variations in bloom times, bloom duration, and general maintenance.

Each hydrangea species is on its own schedule. With that schedule comes differences with bloom times, bloom length, general maintenance, and plant care.

Let’s take a deeper look at the six main species of hydrangeas to learn when we can expect them to bloom and how we can support them to be their best.

Bigleaf and Mountain Hydrangeas

Clusters of majestic Bigleaf and Mountain Hydrangeas are shown. Their abundant flowers come in various hues, from radiant pinks to dreamy blues, and their leaves form a verdant backdrop, offering a striking contrast to the blossoms.
These stunning hydrangeas thrive in shaded areas and start blooming in early summer, continuing until fall.

Bigleaf hydrangeas are the species that is known best for their blue flowers. Mountain hydrangeas used to be considered bigleaf varieties, but have been broken out into their own species.

Both of these hydrangea species are famous for blue flowers, but also come in pinks, reds, purples and whites. These beautiful shade-loving varieties will begin blooming in the early summer, and last all the way into the fall.

The blossoms are beautiful if they are cut for arrangements or if they are left to age on the shrub. Flowers left to age will take on an antiqued look with some browning mixed with the flower’s summer color.

Climbing Hydrangeas

Climbing Hydrangeas feature flowers that cascade gracefully with their delicate petals and soft colors. Their leaves provide a lush green carpet, accentuating the natural charm of these magnificent climbers.
Their remarkable lacecap flowers are a sight to behold and can remain in bloom for up to two months.

Climbing hydrangeas are a treasure in a garden. They will grow up tree trunks, fences, stone walls, or even as a ground cover. These vines have large lacecap flowers reaching up to eight inches wide.

Flowers can last for two months. When the flowers have passed, deadhead them off the shrub and enjoy the pretty yellow fall foliage.

Oakleaf Hydrangeas

A close-up of Oakleaf Hydrangeas featuring flowers showcasing a remarkable complexity, with delicate petals and an ethereal charm. Their leaves, resembling the elegant foliage of oak trees, frame the blossoms with their distinctive shape and rich green color.
Planting them en masse along a shady wall of your home creates a visually pleasing effect.

The flowers of oakleaf hydrangeas are long-lasting. Blooming on oakleaf types can begin in the late spring in warmer climates or mid-summer in cooler climates, and will last you into the fall.

They will bloom white and slowly age to pink and finally to red in the fall. Unlike some other species, the leaves also add beautiful fall interest to your garden.

Oakleaf varieties make a gorgeous mass planting along a shady wall of your home. You will be pleasantly surprised with the early blooms and an extended flowering season. 

Panicle Hydrangeas

A close-up of Panicle Hydrangeas are shown. Flowers steal the spotlight, boasting elongated clusters of delicate petals that create an exquisite display. Their sturdy stems proudly hold the blossoms, accentuated by the backdrop of vibrant green leaves.
The hydrangea family includes sun-loving plants that are both beautiful and low-maintenance.

Ah, the sun lovers of the hydrangea family. These beautifully easy-to-care-for shrubs are very long bloomers. Their giant football shaped flowers will bloom in early summer and last well into the fall.

Panicle hydrangea flowers will stay on the stems of the shrubs well into the winter, unless you trim them off. If you cut them, save them and use them inside to decorate for the holidays.

Smooth Hydrangeas

Smooth Hydrangeas feature flowers blooming in clusters, showcasing their intricate petals that are creamy white in color. The green leaves, with their serrated edges, provide a lush backdrop, while sturdy stems gracefully support the vibrant blooms.
Smooth hydrangeas are reliable plants with large dome-shaped flowers that can cause the branches to droop.

These are among the most dependable species. Smooth hydrangeas have large dome-shaped flowers that often weigh down the weak hydrangea branches. Luckily the latest hybridizations have improved on these weak branches.

These cultivars will start blooming in the late springtime and last into fall. Flowers are produced on new season’s wood, be sure to prune for stronger stems while leaving a few old wood stems for support.

Tips for Dazzling Floral Displays

Use these tips and tricks to maximize your floral displays in the garden!

Choose Reblooming Varieties

A close-up of the enchanting allure of Hydrangeas in full bloom. The pink flowers, with their captivating hues, radiate joy and elegance. Nestled among them are the new blooming buds, promising a future burst of color. The leaves, rich and verdant, provide a lush canvas for the floral spectacle.
Prune them right after the flowers fade to avoid cutting off new buds.

Popular collections, such as Endless Summer, include hydrangeas that bloom on both old wood as well as new wood. This reblooming ability will extend your bloom period drastically- anywhere from 10-12 weeks longer than your average hydrangea!

You will need to take extra care when you are pruning reblooming varieties. You will want to do any pruning immediately after the blooms have passed to ensure that you aren’t removing any newly formed flower buds.

Luckily, many of the reblooming varieties are smaller and do not need too much in terms of major pruning; most likely, just a small shape-up is needed each season.

Keep Spent Flowers for Winter Interest

A man with white gloves precisely trims dried Hydrangea blooms using sharp pruning shears. The withered flowers and stems showcase shades of brown, indicating their age and natural transition.
If left to dry, the blossoms of hydrangea shrubs can provide enjoyment throughout the entire season.

Don’t count those dried hydrangeas out! If you have left your hydrangea blossoms on your shrubs to dry, you will be in for a treat all winter. If you do not prune or deadhead the spent blossoms, the flowers will slowly brown and dry out. They usually stay attached to the plant for quite a long time. 

Once the flowers have dried out, you may snip the blossoms off and use them in dried arrangements in your home. They make nice accents for fall and winter arrangements.

Modify Your Technique in Warm Climates

A blue watering can spray water onto the vibrant Hydrangeas flowers. The pink and purple blooms, resplendent in their colors, drink in the refreshing shower. Nestled among the petals, green leaves sway with each droplet, their verdant hue contrasting beautifully with the floral display.
In warmer climates, your partial shade hydrangea may require full shade to preserve the freshness of the flowers.

If you live in warmer climates, such as zones 8 or 9, your hydrangea schedule may be a bit different. Blooming usually begins in mid-to-late spring and ends a short bit earlier if you get heat waves.

Plant location needs may be different as well. For example, a partial shade-loving variety may need more shade to combat the heat and keep your flowers fresh.

Depending on your climate, you may also need to water a bit more frequently. Despite these differences, growing in warm climates and enjoying a long blooming display is still very achievable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I extend my blooms?

If you are looking to lengthen the bloom time in your garden, I would highly recommend planting some reblooming varieties. Unlike many perennials, deadheading will not cause the shrubs to produce new flowers in the same season. However, if you choose a reblooming hydrangea, you essentially get two blooms in a season: one bloom on old wood, and the second bloom on new wood.

Proper watering will help preserve the flowers and prevent them from becoming crispy and dried out. It will also help them to dry nicely once the weather cools down. The blossoms will likely hold on to a hint of their color as they head into the winter.

How can I get the best blooms?

To get the most out of your hydrangea bloom period, watch how you fertilize. Hydrangeas benefit from fertilization in the spring, however if you give your hydrangea too much nitrogen you will inhibit some of your flowers. Fertilizing with a higher phosphorus fertilizer will help promote strong flowers while keeping your plant healthy.

Which hydrangeas bloom the longest?

This is a tie between smooth hydrangeas and panicles. These two species tend to bloom the longest of all the species. Panicles love full sun and sport massive flowers. Where smooth hydrangeas love the shade, are native to the United States, and also have massive dome-shaped flowers.

Some smooth varieties I love:

  • ‘Incrediball’
  • ‘Seaside Serenade Bar Harbor’
  • ‘White Dome’

Some panicle varieties I love:

  • Limelight
  • ‘Pinky Winky’
  • ‘Tiny Quick Fire

Final Thoughts 

The best way to enjoy extended blooms from your hydrangea shrubs is to make sure they are planted in their ideal location and receive appropriate care all year long. Proper sunlight, water, fertilizer, and pruning are key to helping these flowering shrubs along. This is also the easiest way to keep diseases and pests at bay. A healthy, well-loved plant is a happy plant. Happy digging!

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