Hydrangea, Smooth

Scientific Name:  Hydrangea arborescens

Light:  Part Sun to Shade

Zone:  3 to 9

Height:  3 to 6 feet

Width:  3 to 5 feet

Flowers:  June to August, white or pink, showy

Fruit/Seed:  October to January, brown capsule, not showy

Fall Color:  yellow

Butterflies:  Flowers are attractive to butterflies.

Birds:  Songbirds eat the seeds


Deer Resistant:  Occasionally severely damaged

Insects/Pollinators:  Midsummer flowers provide pollen and nectar to pollinators.  Hosts dozen of caterpillars.

Native:  In the mountain and piedmont of Maryland

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The midsummer flowers are attractive to butterflies and other insects.  They provide pollen and nectar for pollinators.  It also hosts dozen of caterpillars.

They are best grouped in part shade areas of the mixed shrub border, woodland garden or as background for a perennial border. They can be naturalized in woodland or native plant gardens. Named cultivars often make showy specimens.

They transplant well from containers.  Our post, Pruning Hydrangeas, has excellent information.


‘Annabelle’ – Flowers up to 12″ wide.  Sterile, does not supply pollen or nectar.

‘Dardom’ (‘White Dome’) – 6-10″ flower

‘Grandiflora’ – 6″-8″ flowers

‘NCHA1’ (Invincible Spirit) – 3-4 feet, pink flowers 6-8″

‘Samanantha’ – cultivar of H. arborescens ssp radiata

‘Sterilis’ similar to ‘Grandiflora’, bloom heads flatter and as dense.


Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping: Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Smooth Hydrangea – USDA

Smooth Hydrangea – Missouri Botanical Garden

Smooth Hydrangea – University of Connecticut Plant Database

Landscape Plants Rated by Deer Resistance – Rutgers

Smooth Hydrangea – North Carolina Extension


Recommended for Wildlife by

Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping: Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Bringing Nature Home by Tallamy

Essential Native Trees and Shrubs for the Eastern United States by Dove & Woolridge

Additional information


Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8


Part Sun, Shade


Loam, Moist

Flower Color

Pink, White

Flower Season


Fruit Season

Fall, Winter

Wildlife Value

Beneficial Insects, Food for Birds, Nectar

Notable Features

Cut Flowers, Hedge, Long Blooming, Salt Tolerant, Winter Interest

Local Availability

Available, Widely Available


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