Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ is a mounding shrub that grows 3–5′ high with a wider spread. In July, it produces huge (8–12″) round heads of pure white blooms that remain attractive into September and can be cut for fresh or dried arrangements.
Its small scale and summer flowering make it a good choice for the mixed border. ‘Annabelle’ Hydrangea is most at home in partial shade and evenly moist but well-drained soil; she’ll grow in full sun if moisture is ample. Because she flowers heavily on the current season’s growth (“new wood”), most gardeners cut the stems to the ground in late winter. New shoots emerge from the base and bloom the same summer. Not a good choice for gardeners in the desert Southwest. Blooms on new wood.
Hydrangea is a valuable genus of some 100 species of shrubs and vines grown for their large and very showy flower heads. Hydrangeas are at their best in summer and fall—a quiet time for most woody plants—and are worth having for that reason alone.
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