Zone 9 Hydrangeas: Growing Hydrangeas In Zone 9 Gardens

Finding the perfect zone 9 hydrangea can be a challenge. That's why we compiled a list of the best hydrangeas for warm climates like zone 9.

Close up of purple and blue mophead hydrangea blooms
(Image credit: Catherine McQueen / Getty Images)

Hydrangeas are extremely popular plants to have in your flower garden, and for good reason. With their big displays of flowers that sometimes change color depending on the pH of the soil, they provide brightness and variety wherever they’re planted.

Can you grow hydrangeas in zone 9 gardens? Yes! It can be challenging to choose a water-loving hydrangea that can handle the heat, but finding the best hydrangea by zone is certainly possible. Keep reading to learn more about finding hydrangeas for zone 9 and caring for hot weather hydrangeas.

Growing Hydrangeas in Zone 9

While there are a few hot weather hydrangeas that can tolerate zone 9 gardens, it doesn’t usually just come down to temperature. Hydrangeas love water-- that’s how they got their name. That means that if you live in a zone 9 that’s especially arid, you’re going to want to plant a hydrangea that’s especially drought tolerant.

If you live in a moister part of zone 9, however, your options are much more open and really only restricted by temperature.

Popular Hydrangeas for Zone 9 Gardens

Oakleaf Hydrangea – If you live in an arid part of zone 9, such as California, the oakleaf hydrangea is a good choice. It has thick leaves that retain water well and help it get through periods of drought without having to be watered all the time.

Climbing Hydrangea – A vining variety of the plant, climbing hydrangeas can grow to be 50 to 80 feet in length (15-24 m.). After the leaves drop in the fall, the peeling bark of the vine is good for winter interest.

Smooth Hydrangea – A shrub that tends to reach 4 feet high by 4 feet wide (1 x 1 m.), smooth hydrangea produces huge clumps of flowers that can reach 1 foot in diameter (31 cm.).

Bigleaf Hydrangea – Known especially for changing color with pH levels, bigleaf hydrangea shrubs bloom in the spring but will keep their flowers through the fall.

Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.