Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hydrangea Arborescens

I am a HUGE fan of hydrangeas and wish I had enough room in my garden for ALL of the varieties but alas I only possess enough space for a few well chosen favorites....kind of like your friends :) Hydrangea Arborescens is one of those favorites, also known as the Smooth Hydrangea, the "Annabelle" variety being the most widely known and popular. I have added it to my shade garden for obvious reasons but there are many other reasons to have it in your garden as well:
~easiest hydrangea to grow
~fast rate of growth
~adaptable ph
~long flowering period (June-September)
~in general, trouble-free

This hydrangea grows 3-5 ft. in height and 3 to 5 ft. and larger in spread. It multiplies by suckers from the roots which means it is very easy to share with your friends :) It is hardy from zone 4 thru 9 but the further south you are the more afternoon shade and moisture it will require. It transplants well and will reward you if you provide it with a rich, well-drained, moist soil. The hydrangeas favorite position...NO, not that kind... is a site with morning sun and afternoon shade. It will definitely let you know when it requires a drink of H2O, the leaves will not only droop but they will develop a dog-earred look over a period of time. There is a list of possible diseases and insects that bother it but I don't like negativity so we won't go there. The truth is, I have never experienced any of the problems the "experts" list and I have been growing this hydrangea somewhere in the United States for 15 years. This shrub flowers on new wood so you can prune it back hard in the spring or you can let it go then prune it after it's initial flowering and you should get another bloom cycle in September.

The disappointing characteristic of this particular hydrangea is the fall palette....basically, there is none. The leaves turn yellow, the flowerheads brown and it just looks like a very unattractive mess...do you know anyone like that? I might suggest that you harvest the flowers while they are that beautiful shade of light apple green and dry them for a nice winter bouquet or even a wreath. I still have my dried Annabelles in a vase from last season....still beautiful I might add! If you have a spot in your garden for this flowering shrub I would HIGHLY recommend that you add it now and you will surely be rewarded. Happy Gardening!!

ANGELO

3 comments:

TICKLEBEAR said...

i know i've made myself rare these days, but i'll take just a moment to say that i share also a love for this plant. unfortunately, being a renter, faraway from ground level, i can only admire the occasional plant i see here & there in the distirct. i like hydrangeas, & peonies as well.
roses i've had, when i had a terrasse, but had to give them away at the end of each summer... kind of frustrating, isn't it?!?
:D~
anyway,
that's all i'll say for now.keep well!!
:)~
HUGZ

Angelo de Gioia said...

Heh...Ticklebear...I hope you are well :) It's nice to know we share a love of hydrangeas. I didn't realize you were into flowers that much. I am lucky to be able to garden downstairs even though my friends think I am crazy..lol. I will be posting b4 and after pics of my garden soon. Let me know what you think.

Hugs back to you~
Angelo

TICKLEBEAR said...

looking forward to this.
i've always loved flowers & other green stuff (!!), but living in concrete, up in the sky, kinda limit my ambitions. i love to see what those who can do with their piece of land, so,
talk to you soon!!
:)~
HUGZ