'Annabelle' Smooth Hydrangea (4' POT) LIVE PLANT,STARTER PLANT
- Perennial, SHRUB
- Reliably blooms every year, even in cold climates!
- Pure white flowers resemble snowballs.
- Long-lasting cut flowers.
- Old-fashioned and charming.
The refined, pure white flowers of ‘Annabelle’ Smooth Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) look stunning in landscapes. The large, puffy blooms look like they’re floating among the foliage. Even in cold climates, this hydrangea is a reliable bloomer!
This cultivar was discovered in Anna, Illinois in the 1960s and has been a garden favorite ever since. Gardeners love it for the old-fashioned charm! Summer storms tend to flop the flowers over, so pruning can help build stronger stems.
Insider tip: newer hydrangeas in the Invincibelle® and Incrediball® series offer improvements over this classic with stronger stems, colorful blooms, and reblooming ability.
Hydrangea will grow at least one foot a year, until it reaches a height of 6 to 8 feet tall, and as much across. The height can be controlled and your plants kept smaller by pruning a little harder each spring. It is a tough plant, resistant to pests and having few if any diseases. It is normally not eaten by deer. Hydrangeas do need water since they are not drought tolerant and they should not be planted in dry places, or in hot sunny ones. Some morning sun is beneficial but not necessary, but the hot afternoon sun will cause all hydrangeas to wilt and need a lot of watering.
Size and Appearance
Hydrangea grows into a shrub about 6 to 8 feet tall, and as much across. The height can be controlled and your plants kept smaller by pruning a little harder each spring. It has rounded deep-green leaves 8 or more inches long, which clothe the plant right to the ground, making a rounded mound that will shade the ground beneath it and prevent weed growing. In summer it is covered in huge balls of rich-blue flowers which last and last. Even when they eventually fade to a light-brown color they stay on the plants into fall and give an elegant appearance. With Nikko Blue Hydrangea you will need no other plants around it, as it will be interesting all season long.
Hydrangea is hardy from zone 6 to zone 9. So it will grow all across America except for the tip of Florida and the coldest central and eastern states. It will also grow in zone 5, but fewer flowers will be produced, especially after more severe winters. These plants do extremely well in areas with good rainfall and mild winters, so are especially admired and loved throughout the South.
Planting as a Hedge or Screen Hydrangea should be planted 3 feet apart to make a dense informal hedge or screen. So dig a hole or a trench, two or three times wider than the pot and add plenty of organic material, like peat-moss, compost, rotted leaves or rotted manure to the soil. Place your plants in the hole or trench, replace most of the soil and firm it well down. Then water thoroughly and when the water has drained away replace the rest of the soil, being careful not to cover the roots with any extra soil. Keep well watered and apply mulch each spring to retain moisture.
Hydrangea is the ideal shrub for shady areas. It will do well in the shade from homes and buildings but will also be happy with some sun in the early parts of the day. Do not plant in hot, dry areas or in the afternoon sun. Each spring removes any weak, thin branches and cut back the tip of the stems to the first pair of healthy, fat buds. If you want to retain a lower height, cut back to buds one or two feet lower than the height you want your Nikko Blue Hydrangea hedge to be. If your plants get too large, cut back further, just leaving a few strong branches low down, but you may get fewer flowers the first year after doing this.