Plant of the Week: Incrediball® X 2


We introduced Incrediball® hydrangea a few years ago, and it has proven to be one of our most popular plants. A souped-up 'Annabelle'-type hydrangea, it has huge flowers and very sturdy stems. A mass planting of these is a real showstopper! Even a single specimen will wow the neighbors.

So we were very excited to add Incrediball® Blush to our hydrangea collection. It has the same large flowers and sturdy stems as the original, but the blooms are a soft, refined pink.

Like all Hydrangea arborescens, these plants are quite hardy (USDA Zone 3), and bloom on new wood. Although they will grow in both full sun and partial shade we find that the flowering on H. arborescens is better in full sun. This is especially true the further north you are. Both of these hydrangeas grow 4-5' tall and wide. 


Here's the thing about H. arborescens: they aren't H. macrophylla.

 

That's obvious, but what does it mean? There's the good: H. arborescens are hardier and bloom on new wood so there's no tricky pruning or overwintering to worry about. They are also more durable. Established plants will tolerate some water stress. Although flowering may be compromised, the plant will be OK.

Then there's the not-so-good. H. arborescens aren't going to present as well in a container as H. macrophylla. Bigleaf hydrangeas make cute little two- or even one-gallon sized containers. Smooth hydrangeas don't really look their best until they are at least a three-gallon sized container.  The plants will need a few seasons in the ground to really come into their own, too. You will see more and bigger flowers on mature, established plants.
 
If you need smaller options try our new dwarf varieties, like Invincibelle Wee White™ or Mini Mauvette™. These little plants have great container presentation and are also a good fit for smaller yards. Here's a handy chart showing the color and size options for smooth hydrangeas.



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