Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Plant Profile: Smooth Hydrangea

Smooth Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) is a native shrub that blooms from late spring through summer.  Typically, the flowers emerge green in color then turn white before they fade to brown.

Newer introductions have added shades of pink to the color selections available. These include ‘Invincibelle Ruby’, ‘Invincibelle Mini Mauvette’, and 'Invincibelle Spirit'.

Some favorite new varieties include the Invincibelle Wee White® Hydrangea, a dwarf selection that gets only about 2-feet-tall.

The best known Smooth Hydrangea is ‘Annabelle’ with its enormous blooms, but it does tend to droop from the heavy flowers, so look instead for the improved ‘Incrediball’ at your local garden centers.

They are deciduous and unlike the Mophead Hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) you cannot change their flower color by adjusting the soil pH.

They prefer part-sun to full sun locations. It is a good idea though to give them protection from the harshest afternoon rays.  These plants need well-drained, but moist soil. Add mulch around their root zones to help keep the soil moist during dry periods.

Fertilize in early spring, before new growth starts to appear, with a slow-release fertilizer that is designed for woody plants. You should then prune them by trimming back one-third of the total length of the branches. As these shrubs bloom on new wood, this will serve to strengthen the plant’s stems and encourage lots of blooming in the growing season.

Smooth Hydrangea - You Can Grow That!

The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine.
Visuals by Taylor Calavetinos
Audio by Kathy Jentz

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