McKay Nursery Company

3 Hydrangeas You're Sure to Love

Mar 20, 2019 8:01:00 AM

Written by

McKay Staff

in Plants & Flowers

Hydrangeas have charmed gardeners and floral designers for many, many years. We understand the attraction; it’s hard to resist their luxurious, romantic blooms. But not all hydrangeas are created equal, and we have three special ones we want to share with you.


Unlike other bigleaf hydrangeas that bloom early and call it quits for the year, these three fill your garden and home with gorgeous flowers through summer months. With two of our exclusive McKay introductions and a beloved addition from not too far away, we’re sure these three spectacular hydrangeas will win your heart:


Grateful Red Hydrangea


If you (or the hydrangea lover on your gift list) don’t own this rare hydrangea yet, you’ll want to get it while it’s still in stock. A McKay Nursery introduction, Grateful Red Hydrangea offers magnificent, uncommon red blooms. Because this shrub flowers on new wood, you don’t need to worry about buds lost to winter cold. It blooms reliably on new stems from July to September each year.


Give Grateful Red full to partial sun in northern areas. In southerly zones, provide more protection from harsh midday rays. The red blooms age to lavender, forming a striking combination when the foliage takes on burgundy fall color. As with other bigleaf hydrangeas, soil pH affects flower color. In acidic soil, Grateful Red’s flowers carry elegant purple hues. (Hardiness zones 4 through 9)


Cherry Explosion Hydrangea


A McKay Nursery exclusive, Cherry Explosion Hydrangea delivers striking lacecap flowers through the summer months. Large, cherry-red florets encircle small, starry, pink florets to form delicate, irresistible blossoms that cover this hydrangea from top to bottom. As cool weather approaches, the leaves slowly take on burgundy tones.


Like Grateful Red, this hydrangea flowers reliably on new wood, so don’t fret about winter damage. If it dies back, you’ll enjoy summer flowers just the same. Give Cherry Explosion plentiful sun, but protect it from intense afternoon rays. In acidic soils, expect lovely lavender blooms. (Hardiness zones 4 through 9)


Endless Summer Hydrangea


Not long ago, the idea of a bigleaf hydrangea flowering on new stems seemed like a dream. Then Endless Summer Hydrangea, from our Minnesota neighbors at Bailey Nurseries, changed that. This hydrangea produces stunning 8-inch, pink blooms in June on old stems that survived winter, then it blooms until frost on new stems.


To protect flower buds through winter, mound soil around the stems like you would a tender northern rose, then expose the stems and buds again come spring. In acidic soil, Endless Summer’s flowers are a beautiful blue. Remove spent flowers to encourage more lavish blooms through the season. (Hardiness zones 4 through 9)


To get the most from your hydrangeas, give them rich, well-drained soil and plenty of water, especially when rainfall is low. And be sure and follow our guidelines to time your pruning right.


Add these special hydrangea varieties to your landscape now for years of summer enjoyment. Shop our plants online for FedEx home delivery anywhere in the continental United States. If you’re in the neighborhood, visit Winterland Nursery, our new retail garden center near Madison, Wisconsin, and experience these outstanding hydrangeas and more firsthand.


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