White Hydrangea: Discover The Smooth Hydrangea And Why You Should Grow It

smooth hydrangea

White hydrangeas are beautiful to grow, giving a crisp-clean look to any garden. Not only do these flowers look beautiful alone, but also with other flowers in your garden!

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The most common white hydrangea variety is the smooth hydrangea. This plant can grow to bush size, and even act as a hedge depending on how much you allow it to grow/what you’d prefer!

Grow this smooth hydrangea as a shrub because of it’s size, or just as a big show-stopping part of your garden. There are other hydrangeas that are white, but this is one of the easiest to grow!

The smooth hydrangea, also known as the wild hydrangea can be found in nature in the Eastern states of the USA. Find it near streams covered in bees and other insects during the summer months.

Trying to tell white hydrangeas apart? You can also tell these white hydrangeas apart by the leaves, as the smooth hydrangea leaves will be heart shaped. The flower head will also be round (as opposed to conical).

Water Requirements

watering can

Hydrangeas like water, and the white hydrangea is no exception. Water when it’s a hot summer day, or else you may see it drooping. Keep in mind that where you live will determine how much you need to water it, and if it’ll be easy to keep alive in your garden. More humid, and places that rain more often will see this plant likely to thrive better.

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The flip side is that this plant is also prone to root rot, so be careful not to overwater the plant (keep reading for soil requirements). It will also start to wilt or sag when it is in root rot stages.

If you’re in a dryer climate, this might not be the plant to grow, or you may have to water it often.

Soil Requirements

rake in soil
Image by Dean Moriarty from Pixabay

Hydrangeas can succumb to root rot, so it’s really important when planting your smooth hydrangea to have it in well draining soil. If you’re planting this in a garden that mostly has clay soil, be sure to add well draining soil, or even use drainage pipes.

Try to avoid adding fertilizer or specific soil right in with the newly grown plant, or it may become a part of the soil where the water doesn’t easily drain and then the roots are just sitting in water, even though it may not seem it from the surface.

These plants like slightly acidic soil, which you can always test with a pH testing kit. If the soil is more alkaline or neutral, there are some ways to keep it acidic, like using Canadian Sphagnum peat moss as a way to make it more acidic.

They also prefer to be fertilized with phosphorous over any other nutrients.

Sun Requirements

white hydrangeas

The smooth hydrangea’s sun requirements varies depending on how hot the summers are where this is getting planted. This plant prefers a sunny spot, and occasionally tolerates some shade.

Keep in mind that this plant does like to stay moist, so if you are thinking of planting this in a hot dry climate, choose a shadier spot to grow.


This hydrangea variety is one that the flowers grow from new wood, so it’s best to prune it in late winter/early spring for the best blooming season possible. These blooms come from new growth on the plant, so avoid pruning once you start seeing new growth, as you may accidentally keep it from blooming all season.

You can prune this down a lot, and that especially helps with creating new growth. Cut it almost down to the base of the plant for optimal regrowth.

Other Things To Think About

Some things to keep in mind when growing these white hydrangeas is that hydrangeas are poisonous when consumed, so it’s best not to grow them if you have pets that like to eat plants or young children!

Although this plant is poisonous to some animals, it’s not to deer, and deer will eat it if there are limited options.

When properly cared for, this beautiful white hydrangea will flower throughout summer and into autumn.

Thinking about transplanting your hydrangea? Read how to transplant your hydrangea in 5 easy steps!

Similar Plant

Hydrangeas aren’t for everyone, depending on where you live. These are plants who like to stay moist and have the correct sun requirements. Another similar flower for your garden if you are unable to grow a white hydrangea is the snowball bush. The flowers look slightly different, but are still a beautiful white flower to grow in your garden!

limelight hydrangea
Limelight Hydrangea Image by Foto_und_Pinsel from Pixabay

There are other white hydrangea varieties including the limelight hydrangea, and some lacecap varieties as well as some other varieties that don’t fit in with the smooth wood!

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Looking for information specific to Colorado? Check out Naturalist Perspective!

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