Two Hydrangea Looks Blooming Now

Mass planting of Annabelle Hydrangeas

Close-up of flower size of Annabelle Hydrangea

Note the various sizes of blooms which are typical on Annabelle Hydrangeas.

Lacecap Hydrangeas have unique blooms and are in full bloom now.

A single stem of Lacecap Hydrangea in full bloom

It is hydrangea time across Birmingham. And while the florist types are beautiful in blues and pinks and often colors in between, there are others that we might want to consider adding to the landscape. The two shown here are winners in my book. Anabelle hydrangeas have been around, but for some reason they have not gotten much play by the nurseries in our area. And the unique look of the lacecap blooms are almost a counter to the massiveness of the florist types. So as you start hydrangea shopping, and I like to buy them in bloom, if you see one of these types, try it in your garden too.
Anabelle grows rapidly in spring, and like all hydrangeas prefers well drained soil and part sun. Good drainage and fertilization is necessary to get the blooms the size of the ones shown in the pictures above. Another characteristic is that there seems to be a high degree of variability of bloom size (see image above). There are selections of Annabelle, but I am not familiar enough with the selection to recommend one over another.
Lacecap hydrangeas have graced our church grounds for many years and love their mostly filtered shade location with the roots being in good organic soil and fertilized once a year in late Spring. Note I said shade. The one in the photo would have much better foliage color if it had more shade than it is currently getting, but the amount of sun it gets (about 4 hours a day) really encourages a heavier bloom set than the ones in deeper shade. This in all ways looks and grows like the florist hydrangea, except for the bloom. Again there are selections of these available, but I have not grown them, only the common one shown above.
Both of these plants are great additions to the garden, and containerized ones can be planted into your garden now.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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