Best Hydrangeas for Northern Fairfield County and Litchfield County Connecticut.

One of the most common question I receive on a regular basis is why didn’t my Hydrangea flower. The answer is easy, you have the wrong Hydrangea. There is a large marketing campaign that push Hydrangea macrophylla’s such as Blushing Bride, Endless Summer and the newest varieties that are entering the market. Just because someone pushes a certain Hydrangea with flashy ads, it doesn’t mean it is the best Hydrangea for your landscape. After many years of trying many different macrophylla varieties, I’ve written them off forever. Why? Because there are so many other types of Hydrangeas that provide consistent flower power, there really is no reason to purchase any more marketing promises only to be disappointed. This is hard to say this year. I never remember Hydrangea macrophylla’s having such a successful season. I guess it proves that a good flower season is possible but in Litchfield County, they are far and few between.

As a landscape designer, I’m looking for consistency, workhorses and low maintenance. I’m also trying to minimize surprises. Surprise, your Hydrangea macrophylla produced 3 flowers over the last 2 seasons. The old macrophylla varieties flowered on old wood meaning flower buds are set before winter. Those buds have to survive a Connecticut winter to be able to flower. That rarely happens. The newer varieties of Macrophylla, the ones that are heavily touted in national marketing campaigns, were improved through hybridization to flower on both old and new wood. A plant that flowers on new wood means the bud will be set in the spring and flower during that season so no winter damage to the buds can occur. I’m not really sure how it works but if you have a plant that flowers on old and new wood, some stems will have buds that could be damaged through winter and some that will form in the spring. It’s my guess, based on under performance in this part of CT, that most of the flower buds on these new and improved varieties are still set in the fall and very few are set in the spring.

The Hydrangeas we recommend are Hydrangeas that only flower on new wood. Hydrangeas serrata’s, paniculata’s and arborescens. We’re only interesting in flowering stars. Below are some of the varieties doing their thing.

Share this:
Picture of Richard Schipul
Richard Schipul

For the last 30 years, I have owned the landscape company Designing Eden LLC based in New Milford, CT. We offer landscape designs, landscape installations and garden maintenance services in Fairfield and Litchfield County Connecticut. I am currently the only Nationally Certified Landscape Designer in Litchfield County and sit on the board of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers and Mad Gardeners.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *