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Best 10 Full Sun Hydrangea to Grow

Best 10 Full Sun Hydrangeas

Best 10 Full Sun Hydrangea Varieties to Grow 

In contrast to the common sense that hydrangeas are best raised in partial shade, some hydrangea varieties are actually quite hardy, say, the panicle hydrangea. They can grow in full sun without hydrangeas leaves wilting or yellowing. If you are seeking one full sun hydrangea variety, this post will be your guide by listing the top 10 hydrangeas grown in full sun. Let’s have a quick overview here. 

  • Limelight 
  • Little Lamb
  • Grandiflora
  • Pinky Winky
  • Fire Light
  • Quick Fire
  • Bobo
  • Incrediball 
  • Annabelle
  • Tuff Stuff

Table of Contents

Panicle Full Sun Hydrangea Varieties 

Panicle hydrangeas, botanically named hydrangea paniculata, are a versatile and hardy species of hydrangea known for their show-stopping blooms and adaptability to a range of growing conditions. They are the most sun-friendly hydrangeas among all varieties, including the following 7 common shrubs. 

Limelight Hydrangea

Limelight Hydrangea, the true sun lover, is a popular cultivar of Panicle Hydrangea. Renowned for their distinctive, lime-green to creamy-white blooms, these flowers gradually take on pinkish hues as they age, providing a changing color display from late spring to fall. 

full sun hydrangea Limelight

  • Light: Limelights can in general handle full sun with 6 + hours of direct sunlight. They can also thrive in hot climates in zone 8 and 9. 
  • USDA Zone: 3 - 9 
  • Height: 6 - 8 feet 
  • Blooms: From early summer through late fall

Little Lamb 

Known for its petite, white blossoms, Little Lamb stands out for its delicate and graceful appearance. The small, star-like flowers cluster together, creating a gentle, fluffy look reminiscent of a lamb's wool. One fun fact about Little Lamb is that, unlike other hydrangeas that rely on constant watering, this type of full sun hydrangea is very drought-resistant. 

Little Lamb

  • Light: Full sun tolerant 
  • USDA Zone: 3a - 8b
  • Height: 4 - 6 feet
  • Blooms: Mid-summer


Often referred to as "PeeGee," Grandiflora boasts large, conical flower heads that start off white and gradually deepen to a rose pink as the season progresses. As one famous panicle hydrangea variety, Grandiflora can grow quite tall and reach up to 15 feet. Therefore, if you are building a big garden yard, Grandiflora is a good fit to add some color. 

Grandiflora hydrangea

  • Light: Full sun to partial shade.
  • USDA Zone: 3 - 8
  • Height: 10 - 15 feet
  • Blooms: Mid-summer to early fall.

Pinky Winky Hydrangea

Guess you are familiar with Pinky Winky already. Characterized by its two-tone flowers, Pinky Winky offers a dramatic display of white and deep pink blossoms. As the season goes on, the white flowers turn pink, giving a beautiful dual-colored effect. This panicle hydrangea is also drought tolerant. 

Pinky Winky

  • Light: Full sun to partial shade.
  • USDA Zone: 3 - 8
  • Height: 6 - 8 feet
  • Blooms: Mid-late summer to early fall

Fire Light Hydrangea

Aptly named for its vibrant, fiery red blooms, Fire Light sets any garden ablaze with color. As the blossoms mature, they transition from white to a deep, ruby red. It’s worth mentioning that Fire Light is one tree-form hydrangea full sun, and is only 2-3 feet tall, making it perfect for small garden owners to decorate their backyards. 

Fire Light Panicle Hydrangea

  • Light: Prefer 4 + hours of full sun
  • USDA Zone: 3 - 8
  • Height: 2 -3 feet
  • Blooms: Mid-summer to early fall

Quick Fire Hydrangea

One of the first to bloom, Quick Fire showcases white blossoms that turn pinkish-red relatively early in the season, bringing a swift burst of color to any garden. Quick Fire blooms from late spring through late summer, however, unlike the full-sun hydrangeas listed above, Quick Fire flowers can hang on the stem tightly in autumn and even early winter.  

Quick Fire hydrangea

  • Light: Prefer 5 + hours of direct sun
  • USDA Zone: 3 - 8
  • Height: 6 - 8 feet
  • Blooms: Late spring to late summer but flowers stay even in early winter 

Bobo Hydrangea

Bobo is another compact and delicate full sun hydrangea for home gardens or containers. Its white blossoms cover the plant from head to toe and gradually turn a lovely pink hue as they age. However, this hydrangea shrub takes about 2 years to be fully grown, which you might have to take into consideration before purchasing the seeds. 

Bobo hydrangea

  • Light: Full sun to partial shade
  • USDA Zone: 3 - 8
  • Height: 2 - 3 feet
  • Blooms: Early summer to early fall

Smooth Full Sun Hydrangea Varieties 

Smooth Hydrangeas, scientifically known as hydrangea arborescens, are a beloved species native to the eastern United States. Distinguished by their broad, heart-shaped leaves and showy clusters of blooms, these hydrangeas full sun are often recognized for their ability to produce large, round flower heads similar to snowballs. Here we choose two iconic smooth hydrangeas full sun to discuss further. 

Incrediball Hydrangea

Living up to its name, Incrediball boasts enormous, ball-shaped white flowers. Strong stems ensure the blossoms stay upright, even after a heavy rain. The white color and round shape of this hydrangea shrub make it perfect for cut flowers and wedding bouquets.

Incrediball Smooth Hydrangea

  • Light: Full sun to partial shade with at least 4-6 hours of sunlight per day
  • USDA Zone: 3a - 9b
  • Height: 4 - 5 feet
  • Blooms: Mid-summer to early fall.

Annabelle Hydrangea

A classic beauty, Annabelle offers large, round, pure white blossoms. These flowers can be so massive they almost seem to glow in the dusk. One reason why this variety is well-loved by growers is that Annabelle consistently blossoms each year, regardless of harsh pruning or extremely cold winters.

Hydrangea Annabelle

  • Light: Partial sun with at least 5 hours of direct sunlight to full sun
  • USDA Zone: 3 - 8
  • Height: 3 - 5 feet
  • Blooms: Mid-summer to early fall, somewhere between July to September

Mountain Full Sun Hydrangea Varieties 

Here comes the last full sun hydrangea variety. Mountain hydrangeas, scientifically known as Hydrangea serrata, encompass a diverse group of hydrangea varieties that thrive in mountainous regions, particularly in Asia. To name one classic Mountain hydrangea, Tuff Stuff is the one you won’t want to miss. 

Tuff Stuff 

As its name implies, Tuff Stuff is a hardy hydrangea variety that can live in winter coldness. One of the standout features of 'Tuff Stuff' hydrangeas is their profusion of lacecap flowers. These blooms consist of flat clusters of tiny fertile flowers surrounded by larger, showy sterile flowers.

Tuff Stuff

  • Light: Full sun to partial shade 
  • USDA Zone: 5 - 9
  • Height: 2 - 3 feet
  • Blooms: Late spring to early summer

What to Look for When Growing Full Sun Hydrangea

Full sun hydrangeas are often hardy and generally require low maintenance. However, for successful hydrangea planting, there are some tips you should follow when growing hydrangeas in full sun. 

Which USDA Zone Are You In

From all locations listed above, it’s not hard to see most full sun hydrangeas thrive in 3-8 hardiness zones. 

If you are living in northern regions (zone 6 and below), growing hydrangeas in full sun should not be a problem even in hot summers. For indoor hydrangeas growing such as Bobo,  Fire Light, and Littlt Lamb, perhaps you’ll have to think about using plant grow lights in areas with limited natural sunlight, especially during the winter. 

On the other hand, for southern gardeners, the morning sunlight is all you need. And it would be a wise idea to provide afternoon shade to protect hydrangeas from intense sun exposure. 

Ample Watering Is A Must 

Except for certain varieties that are highly drought-tolerant, most hydrangeas in full sun will need more water to thrive. Keep the soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged. Use a soaker hose or drip irrigation to deliver water directly to the base of the plant and avoid wetting the leaves, as wet leaves in direct sun can lead to burn or disease.

Mulch Is Necessary 

Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as wood chips or compost, around the base of the plant. Mulch helps retain soil moisture, regulate soil temperature, and reduce weed competition.

FAQs about Full Sun Hydrangea

  • Can hydrangeas grow in full sun?

Yes. Although most hydrangeas prefer partial sun, particularly the morning sun, or shade. Some hydrangea varieties, such as panicle, incrediball, and pinky winky hydrangeas, are sun tolerant and can grow in full sun as long as enough water is provided. 

  • Do hydrangeas need full sun?

No, hydrangeas do not typically require full sun and generally prefer partial sun or shade. However, specific varieties, such as Panicle, Smooth, and Mountain hydrangeas are highly tolerant of full sun conditions. 

Read Also: Can Hydrangeas Grow in Full Shade


About Ciki

Ciki has been navigating the digital world of SEO for over 3 years, applying her expertise originally in the software sector before turning her attention to indoor gardening. Merging her tech-savvy background with a passion for nature, Ciki offers a unique perspective on gardening, blending modern techniques with time-honored traditions.

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