Hydrangea plants are native to China and Japan. There are eight varieties of hydrangea plants, a dozen different species and several hundred varieties. Garden centers and nurseries carry only five species. Anomala is a climbing hydrangea with white flowers. Quercifolia is often called oakleaf hydrangea, its blooms are typically white. Paniculata or PeeGee hydrangea also has white flowers. Macrophylla is often described by the type of blue or pink flowers that bloom, mopheads (blooms are in solid masses) and lacecaps (flat, open, rounded blooms resembling lace). Smooth hydrangeas with white to pink blooms are arborescens. With the exception of anomala variety the rest are deciduous shrubs. All hydrangeas enjoy sunny locations with well drained, acidic soil, they will not thrive in shady locations.
Dig a hole that is approximately 3-feet wide and 1-foot deep. Mix the soil from the hole with pine bark, aluminum sulfate, lime and compost using a ratio of 2 parts soil, 1 part pine bark. ¼ part aluminum sulphate, ¼ part lime and 1 part compost.
Place the hydrangea plant in the hole with the root ball resting on the bottom. Fill in the hole with soil mixture.
Water thoroughly. Keep the soil wet throughout spring and summer. Fertilize hydrangeas in the spring with a slow release fertilizer.
Prune hydrangeas in the late winter. Remove the previous years growth. This will stimulate new growth in the spring.
Remove deadheads (spent blooms) in the spring. Keeping deadheads over winter protects the next year's blooms.