Gardeners everywhere love hydrangeas for the prolific and hefty blooms they offer during summer and fall. In addition to producing beautiful, big blooms, the plants themselves tend to get quite large—some reaching up to more than 10 feet tall and wide. This quality makes some gardeners hesitant to include them if they don’t have the space for such a sizeable plant or don’t want one plant to take up all that space.

IS THERE A DWARF VARIETY OF HYDRANGEA?

Fortunately, there is a plethora of exquisite dwarf hydrangeas available for home gardeners. For those with small spaces or for anyone who wants to try small hydrangeas in their garden or even in containers, here are some of our favorite dwarf hydrangea varieties to try.

Photo by: Proven Winners.

LITTLE LIME®Buy now from Proven Winners
Panicle hydrangea (H. paniculata)

Zones: 3-8
Habit: Mounding bushy habit
Sun/Shade: Part sun to sun
Height/Spread: 3 to 5 feet tall and wide
Bloom time: Summer to fall
Flower color: Soft green to pink then burgundy

This little cutie is a dwarf version of one of the most popular hydrangeas on the market: Limelight Hydrangea. Little Lime is a hardy and compact hydrangea that’s great in either containers or in the garden—anywhere it can show off its blooms that change colors with the season. This dwarf Limelight hydrangea is ideal for cut flowers—they look stunning in an arrangement, whether fresh or dried.

Photo by: Proven Winners.

BOBO®Buy now from Proven Winners
Panicle hydrangea (H. paniculata)

Zones: 3-8
Habit: Mounded
Sun/Shade: Part sun to sun
Height/Spread: 3 feet tall, 3 to 4 feet wide
Bloom time: Summer to fall
Flower color: White flowers age to pink

Large white flowers atop sturdy stems make this a gorgeous addition to any garden, especially for those who love cut flowers. Its compact habit means this dwarf hydrangea is perfect for containers and garden beds. From summer through autumn, gardeners love that blooms almost completely cover this stunner.

Photo by: Proven Winners.

LITTLE QUICK FIRE®Buy now from Proven Winners
Panicle hydrangea (H. paniculata)

Zones: 3-8
Habit: Upright, bushy
Sun/Shade: Part sun to sun
Height/Spread: 3 to 5 feet tall & wide
Bloom time: Early to late summer
Flower color: White flowers age to deep pink

Adding Little Quick Fire to your plant repertoire is a good way to extend the bloom season in your garden, as it typically blooms about four weeks before other hydrangeas. This cultivar dazzles whether it’s in a container or a garden bed, with blooms that emerge as white and slowly turn to a shade of pinkish red as summer progresses.

Photo by: Proven Winners.

FIRE LIGHT TIDBIT®Buy now from Proven Winners
Panicle hydrangea (H. paniculata)

Zones: 3-8
Habit: Mounded
Sun/Shade: Part sun to sun
Height/Spread: 2 to 3 feet tall, 3 feet wide
Bloom time: Early summer to fall
Flower color: White flowers age to pink-red

Though its bloom time is fleeting, Fire Light Tidbit’s dreamy, soft pinkish-white balls of puffy flower heads make this one a worthwhile garden addition. It’s the smallest hydrangea in the Paniculata species, making it a gorgeous addition to containers and garden beds alike.

Photo by: Zoya Pustovoyt / Shutterstock.

'BOMBSHELL'
Panicle hydrangea (H. paniculata)

Zones: 4-8
Habit: Mounded
Sun/Shade: Part sun to sun
Height/Spread: Up to 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide
Bloom time: Midsummer through late Autumn
Flower color: Emerges white and turns a blush pink color as it ages

Though small, this dwarf panicle hydrangea gets attention for its dense flower heads full of flowers that emerge white but slowly turn a blush pink color as the season progresses. Upright stems don’t droop, making this one a fantastic choice for a cut flower garden.

Photo by: Proven Winners.

INVINCIBELLE WEE WHITE®Buy now from Proven Winners
Smooth hydrangea (H. arborescens)

Zones: 3-8
Habit: Mounded
Sun/Shade: Part sun to sun
Height/Spread: 1 to 3 feet tall and wide
Bloom time: Summer to fall
Flower color: Pink flowers age to white

This cutie is the dwarf version of the beloved ‘Annabelle’ hydrangea, providing floriferous balls of blooms atop strong stems. When the blooms first emerge from the flower head, they are a soft, ballet slipper pink. As summer progresses into fall, they gradually turn white.

Invincibelle Mini Mauvette® hydrangea. Photo by: Proven Winners.

INVINCIBELLE MINI MAUVETTE®Buy now from Proven Winners
Smooth hydrangea (H. arborescens)

Habit: Mounded
Sun/Shade: Part sun to sun
Height/Spread: 2.5 to 3 feet tall and wide
Bloom time: Summer to fall
Flower color: Deep pinkish mauve

This rebloomer offers a stunning mauve orb of flowers that brighten gardens from early summer through frost. With strong stems, it’s a favorite for gardeners looking for a compact plant that will provide stunning blooms for the vase (or in dried creations) for months.

Photo by: Proven Winners.

INVINCIBELLE LIMETTA®Buy now from Proven Winners
Smooth hydrangea (H. arborescens)

Zones: 3-8
Habit: Mounded
Sun/Shade: Part sun to sun
Height/Spread: 3 to 4 feet tall and wide
Bloom time: Summer to fall
Flower color: Lime green to soft whitish green, to jade green

Strong stems of Invincibelle Limetta hold spectacular blooms that offer three shades of green throughout their blooming season: they emerge as lime green, gradually becoming a soft, whitish green, and then ultimately a jade green color in autumn.

Photo by: Proven Winners.

LET'S DANCE® RHYTHMIC BLUE®Buy now from Proven Winners
Reblooming hydrangea (H. macrophylla)

Zones: 5-9
Habit: Mounded
Sun/Shade: Part sun to sun
Height/Spread: 3 to 4 feet tall and wide
Bloom time: Midsummer through early fall
Flower color: Blue flowers in acidic soils; pink flowers in alkaline

This striking rebloomer first blossoms in midsummer, in colors that vary depending on the soil pH. Blooms emerge pink when the soil is alkaline and blue when soil is acidic—because of this, sometimes flower heads have a purplish appearance.

Photo by: Gardener's Confidence® Collection.

‘MINI PENNY’
Bigleaf hydrangea (H. macrophylla)

Zones: 5-9
Habit: Mounded
Sun/Shade: Partial shade
Height/Spread: 3 to 4 feet tall and wide
Bloom time: Summer
Flower color: Soil pH affects color. Colors range from pink (low acidity) to blue (higher acidity).

There’s nothing mini about the leaves of ‘Mini Penny’—they can reach up to 8 inches long. Aside from their stunning foliage, their bloom colors change depending on the soil: acidic soil produces more blue blooms while alkaline soil produces pinker blooms.

Photo by: Proven Winners.

TINY TUFF STUFF™Buy now from Proven Winners
Mountain hydrangea (H. serrata)

Zones: 5-9
Habit: Mounded
Sun/Shade: Part sun to sun
Height/Spread: Up to 2 feet tall and wide
Bloom time: Early summer through late summer
Flower color: Typically lavender-pink, but in soil that’s heavy in aluminum, blooms are a lighter blue color.

Aptly named, this mini hydrangea is a reliable and hardy rebloomer with resilient buds. Lacecap flowers with double sepals range in color from white to pink to blue. To encourage blue blooms, add aluminum sulfate to the soil.

Photo by: Spring Meadow Nursery.

‘MUNCHKIN’
Oakleaf hydrangea (H. quercifolia)

Zones: 5-9
Habit: Upright, bushy
Sun/Shade: Part sun to sun
Height/Spread: 3 feet tall and wide
Bloom time: Early to late summer
Flower color: Emerges white and gradually turns pink as flowers age.

Not only does ‘Munchkin’ offer large bloom heads with flowers that initially bloom white and then turn pink, its foliage changes colors, too. All summer, it boasts large green leaves, then when autumn arrives, they eventually turn to a bronzy reddish-purple color, ultimately falling off in midwinter.

Photo by: Spring Meadow Nursery.

‘PEE WEE’
Oakleaf hydrangea (H. quercifolia)

Zones: 5-9
Habit: Upright, rounded
Sun/Shade: Part sun to sun
Height/Spread: 4 to 5 feet tall and wide
Bloom time: Early to late summer
Flower color: White

After its cone-shaped white flower heads expire, the foliage of Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Pee Wee’ offers colors in yellow, orange, red, and purple for the autumn garden. When leaves fall in winter, its peeling, cinnamon-colored bark provides structural interest.

Photo by: Spring Meadow Nursery.

‘RUBY SLIPPERS’
Oakleaf hydrangea (H. quercifolia)

Zones: 5-9
Habit: Upright, bushy
Sun/Shade: Full sun, part sun
Height/Spread: Up to 3.5 feet tall and wide
Bloom time: Summer
Flower color: Flowers emerge white, change to light pink, eventually turning a deep pink shade

Significant flower heads, sometimes reaching as large as 9 inches long, are held upright above equally noteworthy foliage on this stunner. Green in summer, leaves turn a bronzy red color in autumn.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT DWARF HYDRANAGEAS

How tall does a dwarf hydrangea get?

Dwarf hydrangeas are known for being more compact than regular types, but their sizes vary depending on the variety. Each variety’s height and width is noted above, but you’ll find that most varieties don’t get much taller than about 4 feet or wider than 5 feet—compared to regular types that can reach as large as 15 feet tall and 12 feet wide.

Do dwarf hydrangeas like full sun?

Before placing a new hydrangea in your garden, do your research so you know what type of sun exposure your hydrangea plant needs. Too much exposure to hot sun isn’t good for hydrangea plants, but too much shade can prevent the formation of flower buds. Typically, hydrangeas like part sun to full sun conditions. However, there are some that do prefer a little bit of shade. Before placing a new hydrangea in your garden, make sure you know what conditions your hydrangea will thrive in.

MORE ON HYDRANGEAS

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