White Hydrangea

(Question)

Can you suggest a white hydrangea with conical flowers that will grow in a partly shaded location on a slight slope (soil tends to be on the dry side).
I have planted Tardivia and have not had many blooms from this hydrangea. I live in zone 5a.
thanks

(Answer)

Tardivia is botanically a variety of Hydrangea paniculata which all have conical white flowers.  Hydrangeas like an organically rich, moisture retentive soil to grow well. You need to add several inches of compost every year to improve the organic content of the soil. This will assist in keeping the soil more moist as well. If it is possible to moving your plant to the bottom of the slope where moisture will more likely accumulate might help also. It will need watering at least every week and more often during hot, dry weather.  You should be aware that the flowers are borne on wood that is produced during this growing season so if you prune the shrub, it should be done in late winter or early spring to avoid cutting off flower buds. Tardivia normally blooms in August so hopefully our wet summer has given it the boost it needs to bloom next month.  Other varieties of Hydrangea paniculata to consider are Limelight, Graniflora, Pinky Winky and Pink Diamond.