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Is Hydrangea Perennial? [Gardening Ideas]

Understanding the zone and nature of Hydrangea before planting lets you enjoy the year-round bloom, as it becomes annual or perennial depending upon the surrounding.

Generally, the Hydrangea is a deciduous perennial, producing bloom clusters when grown in a suitable zone, helping the plant overwinter and return the following year with a new flush.

However, that might not happen if you choose the wrong variety. So, continue with the article to keep the Hydrangea inside your home as a perennial.

Where Does Hydrangea Grow Best?

Hydrangea is a warm climate lovers but can tolerate temperatures as low as 30ºF, while some do better under shade and some under full sun.

But Hydrangea blooms best when grown in USDA zones 3-9, with at least four hours of full sun during winter days (for zone 3-5) and shade during hot days (for zone 6-9) if kept outdoors, depending on the type.

Meanwhile, not all Hydrangeas withstand heat and cold equally. To clarify, the table below indicates the best-growing zone for different types of Hydrangea.

Types of HydrangeaUSDA zone
Bigleaf Hydrangea6-9
Mountain Hydrangea6-9
Smooth Hydrangea3-7
Panicle Hydrangea3-8
Climbing Hydrangea4-9
Oak Leaf Hydrangea5-9

Hydrangea as Annual

Without any doubt, Hydrangeas are all herbaceous or woody perennials, but the way you grow and cater to them can make them annual.

Usually, the Hydrangea that is intolerable to minus temperature cannot withstand the winter frosts, mainly in zone 3-5, making them die the same year they bloom.

And this is most common in the garden Hydrangea that has not been protected with insulators like burlap, polytunnel, or frost blanket in winter.

A blue bloom of hydrangea with green leaves
Any of the Hydrangea can turn out to be an annual if they cannot survive the winter.

The Bigleaf Hydrangea is prone to turn out as an annual in zone 3-5 if not grown in pots and moved indoors during winter.

On the other hand, the greenhouse-bought Hydrangea appears as an annual if brought directly into the harsh climate without initial hardening.

Hydrangea as Perennial

Hydrangea is a perennial shrub with more than 50 years of lifespan that gives out conical, heart-shaped bloom clusters every mid-spring to fall.

Generally, Hydrangea as a shrub tends to complete its lifecycle in two years, where the plant sheds its leaves in winter to enter dormancy and reblooms the following year with new growth.

You can notice similar phenomena in all Hydrangeas, either climbing or early bird Hydrangea.

Also, recently, a new breed of Hydrangea, namely Endless Summer, has appeared, which is said to be the first variety to bloom all season every year.

Moreover, Hydrangea’s sheer quality to return every year as a fully grown bush has made it an ideal choice as a bordering plant.

Some famous hardy perennial Hydrangea are Anabelle (Smooth Hydrangea) and Limelight (Panicle Hydrangea).

From Editorial Team

Extra Tips!

To enjoy the Hydrangea received as a gift, repot the plant in a new large container and let it adapt to the room temperature first.

Meanwhile, some sellers do not reveal the Hydrangea type and its zone requirement.

So better to be safe and protect your Hydrangea by covering it with mulch or insulation cloth.