Move over oakleaves.

By Grace Haynes

Hydrangeas are synonymous with summer in the South. Gardeners are hard-pressed to find a more beautiful bloom that can also stand up to the season's infamous heat and humidity. These flowering shrubs bring scorched lawns back to life with their bright green foliage and lush flowers in vibrant shades ranging from blue to pink to white. Oakleaf hydrangeas are top pick for summer planting. As natives of the southeastern U.S., these shrubs produce huge clusters of snowy white flowers that inherently have what it takes to perform well in our region. But these crowd favorites aren't the only species of hydrangeas that show off during the summer. Give your garden an update this season by planting a brand-new selection, with big white flowers that will rival the popular oakleaves.

The  ‘White Wedding' hydrangea from the Southern Living Plant Collection flaunts huge, pillowy white blooms that won't flop in our region's stifling summer heat. The shrub's branches are sturdy enough to support the conical heads and continue to keep them upright when sweltering temperatures set in. You can enhance this selection's wow factor by planting a grouping of them in your yard. Because it's drought tolerant and deer resistant, this particular hydrangea is a low-maintenance, high-reward choice for any gardener in any setting. You can find this flower at your local garden center.

White Wedding Hydrangea
Move over oakleaves.
| Credit: Courtesy of Southern Living Plant Collection

Help your ‘White Wedding' hydrangeas bloom all summer long by planting them in moist, well-drained, fertile soil. (If you're short on ground space, you can plant this shrub in a container. Just make sure it's large enough for the roots to grow.) Place them in a spot that receives full sun to part shade, and water them regularly. Snip mature hydrangea blooms for a longer-lasting cut arrangement.