7+ Best Hydrangea for Cut Flowers (& Where to Get Plants)

Hydrangeas are one of the most popular flowers among gardeners for their bushy growth habit and perennial blooms. But where hydrangeas really shine is in flower arrangements. They come in many shades, from wedding-bouquet-white to bright sky blue to stunningly vivid, almost burgundy, deep pink. 

Below are seven of the best examples of hydrangea varieties for cut flowers, with additional varieties listed as alternatives if the one you want isn’t in stock. While mophead hydrangeas tend to be the most popular picks for cutting, the list includes lacecap, smooth, and panicled hydrangeas if you want to add more variety to your bouquets and arrangements.

VarietyType*Max. Size**Color(s)Notes
Lady in RedLacecap5 feetBurgundy RoseStems and leaves turn more purple late season
Wee Bit GrumpyMophead3 feetRoyal Blue with PurpleContainer-friendly
IncrediballSmooth5 feetIvory White 
Fire LightPanicled8 feetPomegranate PinkExceptionally hardy, down to Zone 3
Nikko BlueMophead6 feetSky Blue 
Cityline MarsMophead3 feetWhite and Blue or Violet/MagentaContainer-friendly; flowers are bi-color with white fringes
Grateful RedMophead3 feetDeep Pink-RedContainer-friendly

* Size refers to both the max height and max spread of each variety.

** Colors listed are the main or desired colors for each variety. All mophead and lacecap hydrangeas have the potential to produce blue blooms in acidic soil, pink blooms in alkaline soil, and shades of purple in between. However, smooth and panicled hydrangeas will keep a relatively consistent color in different pH ranges.

Note to international readers: Because hydrangeas are sold as live plants, many US-based vendors can’t ship internationally. Some international vendors are included but check local nurseries if no domestic vendors are listed below. 

Best Hydrangea for Cut Flowers

Lady in Red

A prolific, striking lacecap hydrangea which produces deep, rose pink flowers in higher pH soils

Type: Lacecap (Hydrangea macrophylla)
Color(s): Burgundy rose and pinkish-white buds; leaves dark green, turning almost burgundy later in the season 
Plant description: Large, shrub growth habit; up to 5-foot height/spread
Get plants: Hydrangeas Plus (US), Wilson Bros Gardens (US), Sooner Plant Farm (US), Broken Arrow Nursery (US), Silver Lake Garden Center (US), Plant Lust (US), Monrovia Nursery (US), Art’s Nursery (Canada), RHS Nursery List (UK)
Try these alternative lacecap varieties: Tuff Stuff Red, Cherry Explosion, Twist-N-Shout, Blue Billow

If you are looking for a lacecap hydrangea, Lady in Red provides a stunning display all season long. The blooms start off white and pale pink, maturing into a deep rose pink if grown in alkaline soil. Into the fall (or early spring, depending on your climate), the stems and leaves get a more purple hue, almost turning burgundy themselves. Lady in Red also boasts excellent resistance to powdery mildew.

While lacecaps are not as popular for flower arrangements, they offer a unique addition to any bouquet. See the recommended alternative varieties (including some blue lacecap hydrangeas) for other stunning lacecaps.

 

Wee Bit Grumpy

Produces stunning royal blue flowers, ideal for cut flowers or landscaping

Type: Mophead (Hydrangea macrophylla)
Color(s): Royal blue with purple hues; dark foliage
Plant description: Compact growth habit with large flowers; up to 3-foot height/spread
Get plants: Proven Winners (US), Plant Addicts (US), Hydrangea.com (US), Nature Hills Nursery (US), Sooner Plant Farm (US), Veseys (Canada)
Try these alternative blue varieties: Europa, Cityline Venice, Let’s Dance Blue Jangles, Forever & Ever Together, L.A. Dreamin, Cityline Rio, Let’s Dance Rave, 

Wee Bit Grumpy is a compact, prolific bloomer that produces tightly clustered flowers in vivid blue, pink, or purple. This variety was specifically bred for high color saturation, making it ideal for fresh cutting flowers or dried flower arrangements. It also has moderate disease resistance so you can enjoy your blooms all season long.

All hydrangeas can be grown in containers, but Wee Bit Grumpy feels at home in containers with its compact 3-foot spread. This variety can be both the centerpiece of your garden and your bouquets. Highly recommended.

 

Incrediball

Large, ivory white balls of near-perfect flowers up to 12 inches wide

Type: Smooth (Hydrangea arborescens)
Color(s): Ivory white, occasionally light green; dark green foliage
Plant description: Sturdy, bushy growth habit; up to 5-foot height/spread
Get plants: Proven Winners (US), Great Garden Plants (US), Spring Hill Nurseries (US), Home Depot (US), Home Depot (Canada), Veseys (Canada), RHS Plant Shop (UK)
Try these alternative white varieties: Incrediball Blush, Invincibelle Spirit, Invincibelle Wee White, Blushing Bride, Annabelle

We can’t talk about hydrangeas without mentioning weddings. If you’re shopping for white varieties to fill out wedding bouquets or any flower arrangements, Incrediball should be at the top of your list. The flowers themselves are naturally white, although they gradually fade green as the flowers mature. The individual flowers are large, almost like giant clover, and they form large clusters up to 12 inches across.

This variety, technically a smooth hydrangea, produces flowers on new wood, so pruning is easy to keep your plants healthy and producing massive blooms year after year. Highly recommended.

 

Fire Light

Massive, bushy shrub that explodes with vibrant pink panicled flowers

Type: Panicled (Hydrangea paniculata
Color(s): Pomegranate pink flowers that start off white; bright green foliage
Plant description: Strong, sturdy shrub with dense foliage; up to 8-foot height/spread
Get plants: Proven Winners (US), Spring Meadow Nursery (US), Plant Addicts (US), Home Depot (US), Home Depot (Canada), Veseys (Canada), RHS Plant Shop (UK)
Try these alternative panicled varieties: Ruby Slippers, Gatsby Pink, Pinky Winky, Quick Fire Fab, Little Lamb, Vanille Fraise, Sundae Fraise

Hydrangea paniculata fire light 

Fire Light is a panicled hydrangea that will make any flower arrangement pop. Its large flower clusters start off white but gradually mature to a bright pomegranate pink. Fire Light makes a stunning addition to any arrangement, bouquet, or even just a summer kitchen vase.

What makes Fire Light especially desirable for gardeners is how hardy and tough the plant is, surviving frigid Zone 3 winters and blooming just fine the following summer. It also has thick, tough stems to support its large flowers. 

When in full bloom, it looks like a volley of pink rockets emerging from a goliath 8-foot bush. Of course, you can keep Fire Light to a more manageable size with pruning. But this is a must-grow for lovers of panicled hydrangeas. Highly recommended.

 

Nikko Blue

Bright blue flowers with an even brighter center makes for stunning bouquets and arrangements

Type: Mophead (Hydrangea macrophylla)
Color(s): Sky blue with bright green foliage
Plant description: Strong, sturdy shrub full of flower heads; up to 6-foot height/spread
Get plants: Fast Growing Trees (US), Brighter Blooms (US), Nature Hills (US), Sooner Plant Farm (US), American Meadows (US), The Tree Center (US), Bamboo Plants (Canada), Art’s Nursery (Canada), RHS Nursery List (UK)
Try these alternative true blue varieties: Blue Danube, Cityline Vienna, Let’s Dance Rhythmic Blue, Mini Penny, Penny Mac, Big Daddy, Endless Summer

For those who want lighter-colored blooms, Nikko Blue is a very popular variety notable for its bright, sky blue flowers in acidic soil. Its flowers turn a pretty light purple and pink in more alkaline soils. Nikko Blue is ideal for people who want to add color to their flower arrangements but still want light colors, such as flowers for weddings or baby showers. 

This true-blue variety is easy to take care of, thriving in shade (but still preferring full sun), and makes a marvelous border shrub that blooms all season long. Nikko Blue is fairly hardy, down to Zone 5, and it grows fast, easily reaching full size, if you let it, within a few years. Highly recommended.

 

Cityline Mars

Super compact hydrangea with unique bi-color flowers with white fringes, perfect for containers

Type: Mophead (Hydrangea macrophylla)
Color(s): Blue or violet/magenta flowers with white fringes; glossy green foliage
Plant description: Highly compact shrub; up to 3-foot height/spread
Get plants: Plant Addicts (US), Great Garden Plants (US), Spring Meadow Nursery (US), Home Depot (US), Home Depot (Canada), Plant Central (Canada)
Try these alternative bi-color varieties: Cocktail, Light My Fire, Glam Rock, Sweet Fantasy, Let’s Dance Big Easy, Cityline Paris, Vintage Blush, Forever & Ever Peppermint

For bicolor hydrangeas, there are too many varieties with brilliant visual appeal, but the contrast between blue or violet/magenta and white fringes in Cityline Mars makes for an excellent choice if you want people to notice your cut flowers from a distance. Other varieties, like Cocktail, tend to have thin white fringes which you can only appreciate up close. The slightly glossy green foliage is also a bonus.

Cityline Mars produces blooms on old wood, so fall/winter pruning will reduce the number of blooms the following year. However, this grows as a compact, sturdy shrub which only reaches up to 3 feet tall and wide, so pruning is not necessary. Its size also makes it ideal for container gardening as well. 

 

Grateful Red

Prolific, vibrant red flower heads on a short shrubby bush

Type: Mophead (Hydrangea macrophylla)
Color(s): Red with pink hues; bright green foliage
Plant description: Highly compact shrub; up to 3-foot height/spread
Get plants: Nature Hills Nursery (US), Sooner Plant Farm (US), New Blooms (US), McKay Nursery (US)
Try these alternative red varieties: Glowing Embers, Leuchtfeuer, Red Beauty, Merritt’s Supreme Pink, Everlasting Crimson, Summer Crush

If you want a mophead hydrangea that’s less pink and more red, Grateful Red is one of a few varieties which fits the bill. These flowers look more red than the traditional pink, and have a deep vivid color that is sure to impress. 

As always, ensuring your hydrangea is grown in alkaline soil (add lime if necessary) will guarantee red blooms, otherwise, you could end up with light lavender flowers, which are still beautiful on this variety. 

Grateful Red blooms on new wood, so feel free to prune in fall or early spring. Grateful Red will bloom even in partial shade, but for more prolific blooms, it prefers full sun. One of the best “red” hydrangea varieties available. Highly recommended.

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