Big leaf hydrangeas are deciduous shrubs with a rounded habit featuring dark green leaves and large clusters of long-blooming summer flowers in either lacecap form (flattened flower clusters of small fertile florets with scattered showy sterile florets around the edge) or mophead form (spherical flower clusters of mostly showy sterile florets). Avoid pruning bigleaf hydrangeas, except to remove any dead wood. These hydrangeas cannot be cut back or trimmed at any time of the year without impacting the bloom for either the current season or the next. To minimize the risk of loss of flower buds and possible die-back to the ground in an extremely harsh winter, site in a sheltered location and consider additional winter protection (burlap wrap or leaves in chicken wire cage). Prefers moist but well drained soils.
The Let’s Dance® series of reblooming hydrangeas produce flowers on both new and old wood resulting in blooms each year even if buds on the old wood do not survive the winter. They are upright, mounding shrubs with sturdy stems and dark green leaves.
‘Let’s Dance Starlight’ was developed in Michigan for improved cold tolerance and outstanding reblooming ability, and is the first reblooming lace-cap hydrangea. Mophead flowers are pink in alkaline soils and a fabulous blue in acidic conditions. Add aluminum sulfate to the soil to make the flowers bluer or add lime to the soil to make the flowers pinker. Begin soil treatments well in advance of flowering, as in late autumn or early spring.
Height: 2-3 ft.
Spread: 2-3 ft.
Bloom time: July to September
Sun: full sun to part shade
According to Rutgers University, hydrangeas are in the category “occasionally severely damaged by deer.”
photo credit: Proven Winners
a Proven Winners plant