New in the Nursery: Hydrangea + Buddleia


This week, two flowering favorites showed up in our nurseries, bursting with summer color and ready for the garden. We have a wide selection of both hydrangea and buddleia in a fun mix of different varieties that look great on their own in small spaces or combined in larger plots. We asked Kerry Ann McLean from our green goods team to give us a few basic pointers on how to care for each. Read on to hear her expert tips on these two beauties!

1: Buddleia X ‘Asian Moon’ 2: Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Tilt a Swirl’ 3: Buddleia Lo + Behold ‘Ice Chip’ 4: Hydrangea paniculata ‘Jane’ Little Lime 5: Assorted hydrangea 6: Buddleia X ‘Miss Molly’

Hydrangea: Forever calling to mind coastal New England, the blue mophead or big leaf (macrophylla) hydrangea is a classic must-have for any dappled shade border. Older mophead varieties bud in fall on wood generated that year and then bloom in late spring of the next year. Prune just after flowering and not too late into the season or you risk removing next year’s flowers, or do not prune at all except for broken, diseased, or dead wood. Oakleaf hydrangea bloom just a little later than mopheads but should be treated the same. They have the amazing extra virtue of stunning red and burgundy leaves in fall and exfoliating bark in winter. Oakleaf hydrangea are tough as nails and can be sited in full sun as long as they’re supplied with enough water and humus-rich soil to weather heat stress (siting hydrangeas is all about heat stress).

Buddleia (Buddleja): The flowering, full sun counterpart to hydrangea is the butterfly-laden buddleia. A flower powerhouse, buddleia needs full sun to thrive, can tolerate nutrient poor soils, and weather drier conditions better than any hydrangea can. Flowering on new wood, buddleia can be hard pruned in late winter to control size and nipped back in season to promote reflowering to fall. But every garden superhero has a few weaknesses: buddleia primary weaknesses are extreme cold and wet winters, so site new plants where drainage is ample and radiant heat can raise the winter temperature a few degrees (think rock outcrops and masonry). Where hydrangeas are formal, buddleias are wild and whimsical. And both have a place in most gardens!

Ready to add some color and fun into your summer gardens? Visit your local terrain nursery to find your favorite varieties of hydrangea, buddleia, and more!

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