Hydrangeas for a full sun north facing garden


Hello! I live in the east end of Toronto and and I’m looking to plant my very first garden. I would like to plant a bunch of white hydrangea in the front garden of my house. The garden gets afternoon sun but quite a lot. What type of white hydrangea should I buy? Also, any tips if I should plant it alone or with another type of flower? Thanks so much!



Thanks for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.  Many hydrangeas grow well in the sun. The key thing to know is how dry your front garden gets because hydrangeas like moist soils.  These hydrangeas are tolerant of full sun if they are kept moist: Smooth hydrangea (H. Arborescens), Bigleaf hydrangea (H. macrophylla), Panicle Hydrangea Hydrangea paniculata and Oakleaf hydrangea (H. quercifolia).   To retain moisture in your soil it would help to add organic soil to your garden and add a layer of mulch on top.  You will need to water more frequently during heat waves.  Also to help establish new shrub, you can occasionally turn your hose on a slow drip and leave it positioned close to the roots of the shrub for an hour.  Please refer to these resources for shrubs and perennials that do well in full sun.

To review ornamental shrubs for the sun click here

To review drought tolerant plants click here

To review perennials for full sun click here

To help you get a sense of what kind of look you would like for your garden consider looking at some garden books that focus on front gardens.  Some examples include:

Front yard gardens: Growing more than grass. (2003). by Liz Primeau. Toronto: Firefly books.

Gardening your front yard: Projects and ideas for big and small places – includes, vegetable gardening, pollinator plants, rain gardens and more! (2020). by Tara Nolan.  Beverly, M.A. Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc.