Medium to large, mainly deciduous shrubs, all doing best in a rich, retentive soil. Some of the larger, soft leaved species need shelter from wind and full sun although other species are successful in less sheltered sites. The colour of the mop-head and lace-cap varieties is influenced by the soil.

Acid soil, rich in metallic salts enhances the colour of blue varieties whilst the red and pink varieties are more reliable on alkaline soils.

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