Hydrangea Size Chart – How Big Do Hydrangeas Get?

Hydrangeas are popular flowering shrubs known for their vibrant blooms. They vary widely in size depending on the type, with some species suited for small gardens while others require more space. Understanding how big different hydrangeas get helps gardeners plan their landscapes accordingly.

red purple blue hydrangea bush

Below you can read about the height and spread of the different types of hydrangeas as well as some tips on how to get your hydrangeas to grow faster or keep the ones that grow too fast, smaller.

The Height & Width of Different Types of Hydrangea

In the table below I’ve summed up the maximum height and width of the six types of hydrangeas that are grown in North America:

Hydrangea Type Height Width
Mountain hydrangeas 48 inches 48 inches
Bigleaf hydrangeas 120 inches 120 inches
Climbing hydrangeas 600 inches 72 inches
Smooth hydrangeas 60 inches 60 inches
Panicle hydrangeas 180 inches 144 inches
Oak-leaf hydrangeas 96 inches 96 inches

hydrangea size chart

As you can notice, most hydrangeas will spread as much as their height is, except for climbing hydrangea varieties and panicle hydrangeas which have a smaller spread compared to their height.

This can give you an idea of the space you need to allocate in your garden to these plants, and which hydrangeas will be most suited for your garden.

What is the Growth Rate of Hydrangeas?

The growth rate of your hydrangeas is contingent upon many factors including climate, sun exposure, watering, and fertilizing.

Hydrangeas are classified as rapid growers, with some varieties growing an average of 25 inches per year until they reach maturity. Other hydrangea varieties, such as the Hydrangea paniculata can grow up to 2 feet per year.

Some paniculata varieties qualify as tree forms, having canopies of 18 to 20 feet wide and reaching heights of 10 to 15 feet.

When you’re planning your garden, it’s important to know ahead of time the size a given hydrangea cultivar can reach, especially that some varieties can quickly fill out the space they’re allocated.

This will allow you to allocate enough space for it in your garden, or simply choose a smaller variety if you don’t have enough space.

How to Speed Up Hydrangea Growth?

Let’s assume that space isn’t an issue in your garden and you welcome hydrangeas reaching their maximum size. If you want your hydrangea to grow faster, there are a few ways to get there.

The tips below will not only speed up growth, but they will also help your hydrangea produce more blooms:

  1. Find the ideal location for your hydrangeas based on light requirements (e.g., plant panicle hydrangeas in full sun or afternoon sun or smooth hydrangeas in partial shade)
  2. Keep hydrangeas well hydrated especially during drought or high heat
  3. Make sure to plant in a location with well-draining soil
  4. Amend soil with compost and organic matter (it adds nutrients to the soil but also helps keep the soil moist for longer)
  5. Fertilize hydrangeas at least 2-3 times a year during the growing season
  6. Prune correctly based on whether the plant blooms from new wood or old wood
  7. Deadhead hydrangea blooms as blooms fade away to promote repeat blooming

As you can see there are no quick rules to make your hydrangeas grow faster. You simply need to offer your hydrangea ideal growing conditions and help it along with watering, compost and fertilizing, so that it can maximize its growth.

What are the Benefits of Pruning Hydrangeas?

I mentioned how you need to be careful when pruning hydrangeas because some will only bloom from old wood and if you snip those down, you may be forced to skip a season of enjoying blooms on your hydrangeas.

Although hydrangeas don’t require annual pruning, there are times when a little pruning is necessary, either to cut back on its size a bit or to reinvigorate a hydrangea bush that is doing poorly.

First, you need to determine whether your hydrangea variety blooms on old wood or new wood.

Here’s a quick recap of hydrangea types based on blooming pattern:

Hydrangea Variety Bloom
Mountain hydrangeas on old wood
Bigleaf hydrangeas on old wood
Climbing hydrangeas on old wood
Smooth hydrangeas on new wood
Panicle hydrangeas on new wood
Oak-leaf hydrangeas on old wood

Now that you know which hydrangea blooms on old wood and which blooms on new wood, the pruning rules are simple:

Hydrangeas that bloom on new wood (i.e., new growths) should be pruned in late winter or early spring or in fall as they enter the dormancy phase.

Hydrangeas that bloom on old growths should be pruned only after flowering. Cutting old woods down in fall or early spring will have you looking at a bloomless season.

How to Keep Hydrangea Bush Small?

Sometimes it’s a challenge to keep hydrangeas at a reasonable size. If conditions are favorable in your garden, hydrangeas will quickly take up all available space until they reach their expected size.

If you may have miscalculated the space allocated for your hydrangeas and moving them is not really an option for you, there are a few things you can do to manage their size.

Hydrangeas that grow on new wood can be pruned back to the ground in late fall or early spring. You can also pinch out the tips of new growths to encourage bushier growth.

With old wood hydrangeas, wait until they’re done flowering in midsummer and simply cut one-third of the longest, thickest stems back to the ground, but do so before they set buds in early fall.

How to Keep Big Hydrangeas Upright?

Keeping big hydrangeas upright means making sure they don’t fall over or slump to the ground. When hydrangeas grow large flowers, sometimes their stems can’t support the weight. To prevent this, gardeners can use a few effective methods:

  • Staking: Push a wooden or metal stake into the ground next to the plant. Then, tie the hydrangea to the stake to help it stand tall.
  • Caging: Place a wire cage around the plant early in the season. As the hydrangea grows, it will fill out the cage, which supports its weight.
  • Pruning: Cut back the hydrangea in the late winter or early spring. This encourages sturdier stems because the plant won’t have to support as many flowers.
  • Watering Wisely: Avoid overwatering, as it can make stems too soft. Water the plant at the base to keep the stems strong.
Hydrangeas   Updated: November 21, 2023
avatar Hi, I'm Amy, a devoted horticulturist and the creator of PlantIndex.com, where I use my expertise to help beginners foster their green thumbs. My blog is a vibrant community where I unravel the complexities of gardening and share my profound love for nature.
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