Zone 5 Hydrangea Varieties and Care | Platt Hill Nursery

Hydrangeas are an old-fashioned flowering shrub, often found in gardens and yards throughout the Chicago area. If you enjoy the long-lived blossoms and beautiful colors on hydrangea bushes, it’s good to know that you have many options. The team members at Platt Hill Nursery can help you find the best Zone 5 hydrangeas for your landscape garden.

Hydrangeas come in many types, from hardy mountain hydrangeas to climbing hydrangeas to the familiar big leaf hydrangeas. 


Zone 5 Hydrangea Varieties

We’ve broken this list down into different types of hydrangeas, so you can decide which varieties are best for you. If you’re having a hard time finding any of your preferred types of hydrangeas, contact Platt Hill Nursery for assistance.


Big Leaf Hydrangeas

Big leaf hydrangeas are some of the most common hydrangea types found in yards around the country. These hydrangeas feature pink, purple, blue, or mophead-style flowers depending on the soil acidity.

To change the color of the blossoms, amend the soil. In acidic soil, these hydrangeas produce blue blossoms. In alkaline soil, they produce pink blossoms. The soil throughout the Chicagoland area is very alkaline, which means you will have pink flowers without adding any amendments. If you prefer blue or lavender flowers, you will need to acidify the soil with a sulfur-based product such as Espoma’s Soil Acidifier.

These shrubs can get to be about 3 to 5 feet tall. Some of the big leaf varieties that bloom in Zone 5 include:

  • Endless Summer Summer Crush– one of our best sellers with gorgeous hot pink flowers
  • Endless Summer The Original– includes pale pink flowers or if acidified a lovely sky blue.
  • Endless Summer Pop Star– a new lace cap type of big leaf hydrangea that only gets about 2-3 feet tall.


Climbing Hydrangeas

Climbing hydrangeas have sticky aerial roots that can climb up to 20-30 feet tall. Climbing hydrangeas are hardy to zone 4 and produce white blossoms.


Panicle Hydrangeas

Panicle hydrangeas are the easiest of all the hydrangeas to grow; making them great for beginner gardeners. These hydrangeas are sometimes grown in a tree shape and are thus called tree hydrangeas. Panicle hydrangeas have flowers that bloom in a cluster that’s shaped like a cone, giving these shrubs an interesting visual appeal.


  • Pinky Winky – Pinky Winky hydrangeas have blossoms that are white at first, and as the season goes on, blossoms at the base of the cluster turn pink. This gives Pinky Winky hydrangeas an unusual appearance.


  • Little Lime – Little Lime hydrangeas start off with lime green blossom clusters that eventually turn pink.


  • White Diamond – These early bloomers are some of the first Panicle hydrangeas to bloom in the garden. Their blossoms are white at first and turn to a dark rosy color as the season goes on.
digging the gardenbed for planting hydrangeas
  • Fire Light – Fire Light hydrangeas can get as large as 6 to 8 feet tall and thus need a lot of space. These easy-to-grow shrubs produce beautiful large blooms that darken to a deep reddish pink. Fire Light is so low maintenance that it’s a great shrub for someone with no time for gardening or bad luck with plants.


Mountain Hydrangeas


Mountain hydrangeas, such as the series called Tuff Stuff Hydrangeas, are a very hardy shrub that produces beautiful showy blooms in pink or purple. These hydrangeas grow in the wild in the mountainous regions of Japan and have good cold tolerance.


Best Hydrangea Shrubs for Zone 5


Not sure which are the best zone 5 hydrangeas? Stop in at Platt Hill Nursery to see our selection. We carry some of the most popular hydrangeas for homeowners in the area and can advise you on the best varieties for your yard.

What’s best for one yard isn’t always best for the other, as you’ll need to have sufficient space and light for your hydrangea. Come describe your growing conditions, and we’ll recommend a variety that’s good for your home.


How to Care for Hydrangeas in Zone 5

Caring for hydrangeas is relatively easy. These shrubs don’t require a lot of maintenance, but knowing where to plant them and when to prune them is important. Hydrangeas also need consistent watering. Here’s what to know about caring for hydrangeas.


placing pink hydrangeas in Zone 5 soil

Planting Location

The amount of sunlight you have will help you decide which type of hydrangea to plant. Panicle hydrangeas prefer sunny areas which receive a minimum of 5 to 6 hours of sunlight, whereas bigleaf hydrangeas prefer cooler shadier areas, with maybe a little morning sun, but shade during the heat of the afternoon sun.

Some hydrangea varieties can grow very large (over 6 feet), and if pruned too much or at the wrong time, will not produce blooms, so it’s important to plant them where they have sufficient space to grow.


Watering Habits

All hydrangeas need to be kept properly moist.

Newly planted hydrangeas need to be watered three times weekly throughout the summer, while established hydrangeas can go longer between waterings.



Fertilize your hydrangeas with a slow-release all-purpose fertilizer in early spring and again in early August.

Want to Plant Hydrangeas? Stop In At Platt Hill Nursery


At Platt Hill Nursery serving the Chicago area, we sell a variety of zone 5 hydrangeas and other beautiful blooming shrubs! If you’re interested in growing attractive, healthy hydrangea shrubs for your home, stop in at our Bloomingdale or Carpentersville locations. Contact us today.

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