My last two posts covered several new hydrangeas you are likely to meet this year. Here is part 3 with details on a few more. I also provide some links: one is for a new study on woodland/smooth hydrangeas that you may find useful. The second link will take you to an excellent article on how to plan/design your garden.
NEW BIG LEAF (MACROPHYLLA) HYDRANGEAS
Bloomin’ Easy has introduced Cherry-Go-Round™ Hydrangea macrophylla. This is being marketed as a rebloomer with deep red mop head blooms. Stems are promised to be sturdy on a plant that will be 2-3’ high and wide. It’s perfectly sized for containers and small spaces and hardy down to zone 5.
If you want deep pink flowers in a newer plant, look for Akadama® Hydrangea macrophylla. This rebloomer is medium sized at about 4-5′ high and wide. It has an interesting color palette: flowers will be deep pink in alkaline or neutral soils and deep purple in acidic soils. It’s a heavy bloomer and rated down to zone 5.
Let’s stay with pink. How about a double flowered mophead variety? Hydrangea macrophylla Double Down® can fit those criteria. It’s a rebloomer with luscious, fully double mophead flowers. This mid-size plant matures at about 3-4’ high and wide in zones 6 and above. Flowers are typically pink in alkaline soil and blue in acidic soil.
If you want a deeper pink flower, seek out Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Ruby Blossom’. Not only are the flowers a deeper pink, they are also fully double on a heavily blooming plant with sturdy stems. This is a medium size zone 6 plant that will grow to 3-4’ high and wide.
NEW MOUNTAIN (SERRATA) HYDRANGEAS
A newer mountain hydrangea is Pink Dynamo™ Hydrangea serrata. Vibrant, hot pink lace-cap flowers rebloom over silky black foliage throughout the season. It’s small enough for containers at a full size of 2-3’ high and wide. It can handle Zones 5-9.
NEW WOODLAND/SMOOTH (ARBORESCENS) HYDRANGEAS
There are some exciting new woodland hydrangeas to consider. Invincibelle Lace™ Hydrangea arborescens subsp. Radiata has gorgeous plum-purple lacecap flowers and dark ruby hued stems. It will grow to 4-5’ high and wide and is hardy down to zone 3. Its plum purple lacecap flowers are both pretty AND beneficial to pollinators.
Another pink woodland hydrangea is Hydrangea arborescens Pinky Pollen Ring™. The stiff, upright stems support the clouds of pastel pink, lacecap flowers that attract pollinators all day long. It will grow to a height and spread of 4-5’ and is hardy down to zone 3.
A nice small woodland hydrangea for your garden is Hydrangea arborescens Candybelle® Marshmallow. It produces large light salmon-pink flowers on very sturdy stems. You don’t need a big space for this one as it will grow only to about 32″ high and 36″ wide. It is rated down to zone 5.
NEW PANICLE (PANICULATA) HYDRANGEAS
If you are looking for newer panicle hydrangeas, consider Berry White® Hydrangea paniculata. This zone 3 plant will grow to 6’ high and wide in full sun. Like other panicle hydrangeas, it has cone-shaped flowers that start out white in July. They then morph into dark pink on strong, upright stems.
A compact panicle hydrangea that may work for you is Confetti Hydrangea paniculata. Confetti has lightly scented flowers with a beautiful, fine flower structure. Its flower panicles are a mix of white and pink with slight green on top. This hydrangea is compact (47″ high x 30″ wide), has a bushy growth habit and strong branches, and is rated down to zone 4.
A pure white-flowering hydrangea paniculata can be a superb garden addition and provide magnificent cut flowers. Moon Dance® Hydrangea paniculata fits that bill with dazzling white conical panicles on sturdy stems. Expect its mature size to be about 7’ high and 5’ wide. It’s hardy down to zone 4.
NEW OAK LEAF (QUERCIFOLIA) HYDRANGEAS
If you love the foliage and flowers of oak leaf hydrangeas, then seek out Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowcicle‘. Clusters of white florets form large panicles that cover the 4-6’ shrub all summer long. The florets age to soft rose-red, then change to a light green hue as the season goes on. At times, your plant will be awash in all three colors at once as the flowers age. It’s hardy down to zone 5.
Dazzling double white panicles distinguish Tara® Hydrangea quercifolia. Like all oak leaf hydrangeas, colorful fall foliage of rich, red hues offer a nice addition to the landscape. Flowers age to dusty pink and have a lovely scent. This variety grows to 6′ high and wide and is hardy down to zone 5.
SOME CONCLUSIONS ABOUT NEW HYDRANGEAS
After reviewing over 2 dozen of these newer hydrangeas, here are my takeaways:
- First, the hot new color for big leaf hydrangeas is definitely red;
- Second, there are many more options if you want a compact plant. That’s terrific for small spaces and/or containers;
- Third, stems are getting stronger to hold up larger flowers;
- Fourth, some new intros are more tolerant of warmer temps, i.e., southern gardens.
But how do you manage to get some of these plants into your garden? An excellent article on how to plan your garden/design is available here.
OTHER HYDRANGEA NEWS
Mt. Cuba Center in the Delaware Valley has just published a report on a trial of woodland/smooth hydrangeas (arborescens). You can read the report and download it from their site here.
It will give you lots of ideas about which plants to use in your garden design.
NEWS ABOUT SUCCESS WITH HYDRANGEAS, A GARDENER’S GUIDE
Some new developments to share…
- I told you in my last post that I was working on converting my best selling hydrangea book to an electronic version. I am somewhat saddened to tell you I have to walk that back. It just didn’t work out.
- BUT, I might consider an update to my 4 year old book. Who is better than you, my readers, to help me do that? Pls use the “Contact Me” link to let me know what you would like to see/have added to an updated version of my book if I decide to go that route.
- Lastly, thank you for the book reviews you have been posting. Please keep them coming as they really help get more books into the hands of gardeners like you.
MY UPCOMING PUBLIC TALKS
Here are two public presentations that may interest you:
Feb 20, 11 a.m.: Success With Hydrangeas, The Southeastern Connecticut Home and Garden Show. Format: In person. Cost: Free with admission to the show which is a fun day out.
March 12, 10.30-12.30, Weatherproof Hydrangeas, New York Botanical Garden. Format: Virtual. Cost: Member – $55; Non-member – $59.
I look forward to seeing you. Tell/bring your friends.
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