As I promised in my last post of 2021, here is the second installment about new hydrangeas that are coming to local garden centers in 2022. Some are newer than others, but since it takes a while to build up stock, it also takes time to get them out into gardeners’ hands.
BIG LEAF HYDRANGEAS
By far, the most new varieties are big leaf (macrophylla) types. Let me start with our friends Bloomin’ Easy in British Columbia. They have come up with several hydrangeas that are stunners. Kimono™ Hydrangea macrophylla has flowers that are a rich contrast of delicate white inside wine-red margins within each floret. The stunning color is combined with a compact rounded form that at max is 2-3 ft tall and wide. It’s touted as a rebloomer with a hardiness rating down to zones 5.
Then there is Frill Ride™ Hydrangea macrophylla. This rebloomer has rich pink flowers with frilly margins. It’s ideal for containers and small gardens as it is compact at 2-3 ft high and wide at maturity. It also is hardy down to zone 5.
A UNIQUE COLOR COMBO
A unique color combo that is new is seen in Froggie™ Bigleaf Hydrangea macrophylla. The large mophead flowers open green and slowly bring in a heavy splash of pink. It’s a compact rebloomer (3-4 ft. high and wide) and rated down to zone 6. You also get a pop of additional color in the fall when it gets a deep burgundy red.
If you love Endless Summer® Twist ‘n Shout® for its color, reblooming cycle, hardiness, etc., then you will fall hard for the mophead version of this plant. We now have Hydrangea macrophylla Rock-n-Roll™. This time around, it has stiff stems with outstanding red color and deep green foliage. The flowers emerge blue and can deepen to purple shades that nearly cover the plant. Best of all, it is hardy down to zone 4. Be mindful of its mature size of 5 to 6 ft tall and wide.
NEW CLASS OF HYDRANGEA
One of the most unique plants you can get in 2022 is Hydrangea macrophylla FAIRYTRAIL BRIDE™ Cascade™ Hydrangea. Fairytrail Bride™ Cascade Hydrangea is considered a new class of hydrangea that produces long green stems with bouquets of white flowers at every leaf node. It blooms all summer long without requiring deadheading. Note that it is rated for zones 7 and warmer so if you are in colder zones, you need to bring it in for the winter or grow it as an annual.
A HYDRANGEA THAT IS A CROSS
If we weren’t already confused by the myriad types of hydrangeas, we now have to consider a new entry. This one is called Game Changer® and is a species cross. It has attributes of both big leaf (macrophylla) and mountain (serrata) hydrangeas. I can hear you groaning! You might see it as Hydrangea spp. Game Changer®. There are 4 available colors: Pink Picotee, Blue, Pink, and Shell Pink. What separates this series from all others is that there is no chilling period necessary to produce buds/flowers. Add to that its hardiness down to zone 5 and you have a real winner if it lives up to the hype: a plant that flowers continually. How fabulous is that?
HYDRANGEAS I AM TRIALING
I am currently trialing Starfield™ Hydrangea macrophylla. It was drenched in star-shaped flowers last season (but they were “grower flowers”, not ones that I can take credit for). Starfield™ is expected to grow to a max of 2-3 ft high and wide so you can easily protect it in cold weather. It’s a rebloomer, rated hardy to zone 5, and is pH sensitive so it will be pink in alkaline/neutral soil, and blue/mauve in acidic soil.
Let’s talk about the Let’s Dance series of hydrangeas from Proven Winners, specifically, Let’s Dance Can Do™ Hydrangea serrata. I received a trial plant in late 2020 that has stunned me because it flowered 8 short months after it was planted. Then it rebloomed all summer long. It is being advertised as a quick rebloomer (yes!) with strong stems (yes!), and very winter hardy (yes!) down to zone 5. Granted, our winter of 2020-21 was relatively mild but this plant performed like none of my other hydrangeas under the same conditions with very little time in its new home. Its mature size is expected to be 3-4 feet tall, spreading up to 3 feet wide. Depending on the soil, flower color can change. There’s a terrific video on it from PW.
OTHER NEWS IN HYDRANGEA-LAND
Japanese Hydrangea Vine
There’s been a change in the world of climbing hydrangeas. Japanese hydrangea vine (Schizophragma hydrangeoides) has been reclassified into the hydrangea genus. It doesn’t much matter to most of us, but I thought you should know. BTW, this one can be pink as well as creamy white.
Hydrangea Serrata and Weight Loss
The second piece of news is that researchers hail hydrangea leaf extract potential in weight management. The report is from a study in Korea about the impact of hydrangea serrata leaves on weight control. There are lots of caveats and warnings, so this isn’t something you should try on your own. You might want to read the short report.
NEWS ABOUT SUCCESS WITH HYDRANGEAS BOOK
In response to your feedback, I have been working on converting my print book Success With Hydrangeas to an electronic version. We are almost finished with this project (just a few odds and ends to tie up). I hope to be able to have it available for pre-orders in a few short weeks. What this means for you is with an electronic version, you can have the info you need on demand, i.e., when you are in the garden, or at the garden center, etc. So watch this space for updates about this conversion.
If an electronic version is not your preference, don’t fret. This conversion won’t affect the availability of the print version.
UPCOMING PUBLIC TALK
I am pleased to tell you that I will be speaking at the Southeast Connecticut Home and Garden Show at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Sunday, Feb 20 at 11 a.m. The website gives all the details about entry fees, vendors, speakers (aside from me), etc. If you are in the area, stop in for lots of fun and a welcome “day out.” All Covid precautions will be strictly adhered to. And of course, please stop by to see me. I’d love to meet you.
With that I will close this post. I’ll be back soon with the last of the 3 installments detailing some of the newer hydrangeas. By then, some of you may be able to get outside and start looking for places to put a few of these beauties in 2022.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for the book reviews many of you are posting. It helps to sell more books which in turn helps more gardeners enjoy this fabulous plant. Keep ‘em coming!
6 Secrets for Stunning Hydrangea Flowers
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