Hydrangeas for American Gardens
by Michael A. Dirr

Amazingly, this is the first book on the culture of hydrangeas to be written by a contemporary American author (2004). University of Georgia horticulture professor, Michael Dirr, is passionate about hydrangeas and writes in an engaging, personal manner. Dr. Dirr includes material from this site ( on drying hydrangeas.

Gardeners will appreciate his clear description of the different species of hydrangeas - from the popular "mopheads" and native Oakleaf hydrangeas to those hydrangeas rarely grown in a home garden.

He provides illustrated lists and descriptions of varieties and cultivars one can use in the landscape. Chapters on care and culture, propagation, pests and diseases, drying, and breeding will be of interest to the home gardener as well as the horticultural community. The book contains 197 color photos.

A companion CD of Hydrangea photographs is also available. Hydrangeas for American Gardens

Encyclopedia of Hydrangeas
by C. J. Van Gelderen, D. M. Van Gelderen

This book is written by a father and son team who are the owner-operators of a 140-year-old nursery specializing in woody plants in the Netherlands. The photographs are beautiful and all species are covered. The book contains hundreds of pictures of hydrangeas many of which I have never seen. It covers both Hydrangea macrophylla and Hydrangea serrata extrememly well. The sections on pruning, disease control and other cultural matters are rather short and general.

Hydrangeas: A Gardener's Guide
by Toni Lawson-Hall, Brian Rothera

This is an excellent book by English authors. I find myself checking this book for the general size to which hydrangeas will grow and for other characteristics. The pictures are beautiful and the plant descriptions are very easy to understand and straight forward.

This book was revised in 2005 and has a new cover (not shown here, but the link to will show it)


Hydrangeas and Complete Hydrangeas
by Glyn Church (Photos by Greenfield)

Complete Hydrangeas

These are excellent books on hydrangeas. They are written by a New Zealand horticulturist. The pictures are luscious and most are labeled with specific variety names. However, these are not just coffee table books. They contain easy to understand information on growing hydrangeas. The chapters in both books on pruning are excellent and "Hydrangeas" includes a section on pruning tree-form hydrangeas (paniculata trees). I would highly recommend these book. (Disclosure: Several of my own pictures were used in "Complete Hydrangeas.")

Hydrangeas, Species and Cultivars,
Vol. 1 &; 2

by Corinne Mallet

Book: Hydrangeas, Species and Cultivars Book: Hydrangeas, Species and Cultivars, Vol 2

These two books are translated from the French. They are nicely illustrated with pictures of most of the well known hydrangeas of Europe. Some of the names of the plants are used in the U.S., but many of them are not.

These books may be out of print. This is our loss, as they contain excellent descriptions of many hydrangeas. Occasionally they may be purchased used.

  Book: The Hydrangeas
The Hydrangeas
by Michael Haworth-Booth

First published in 1950, this is the first western book written on hydrangeas and one of the very few written in English. It is now out of print, but is fascinating as a historical reference. It is also the basis for most nomenclature used today for hydrangeas. Copies can be obtained by using BookFinder's to search for out-of-print books.


GardenWeb Forum for discussing hydrangeas.

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