Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'
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Cool-green, level heads open to cool-white in summer before gently fading to lime-green -then winter reduces them to a radiating set of tiny umbrella spokes upended
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: moist, well-drained, moderately fertile, humus-rich soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: July to September
- Hardiness: fully hardy
One of the loveliest hydrangeas, this has huge globes of tightly packed, creamy white bracts that look like giant snowballs in late summer. As autumn progresses, the blowsy flowerheads fade to pale lime and the dark green, pointed leaves turn soft yellow. It has an upright habit and makes a breathtaking feature in a wide, partly shady border, particularly when planted in groups or with other hydrangeas. The flowerheads are a popular choice for dried flower arrangements. These beautiful flowers are heavy which means the stems on young plant can struggle to support the weight. The stems will strenghten as the plant matures but in the early years it is best to use plant supports. Contact with the foliage may aggrevate skin allergies.
- Garden care: Hydrangeas do not like to dry out. In dry weather, soak the roots with a hose and the plant will usually recover. Remove faded flowerheads in spring after the danger of frosts, cutting back the flowered stems to a strong pair of buds. Take out misplaced or diseased shoots. Mulch young plants with a well-rotted manure or compost in spring. Once established, remove a quarter to a third of the shoots to the base of the plant.
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Comments about Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle':
This plant is lovely. It produced large flower heads in the first year. Easy plant to grow.
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Comments about Crocus Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle':
I planted this next to a north-facing fence, so it gets sunlight only for a limited period each day. It has doubled in size and has about 50 blooms this year, the second summer since and autumn planting.
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Do you want to ask a question about this?If so, click on the button and fill in the box below. We will post the question on the website, together with your alias (bunnykins, digger1, plantdotty etc etc) and where you are from (Sunningdale/Glasgow etc). We'll also post the answer to your question!
I was told not to feed my annabelle hydrangea as this weakens the stem for holding the flower head through out summer is this true .
Many thanksAsked on 29/9/2016 by Planter from Brighton
Usually feeding hydrangeas annually in the spring is sufficient, except if you have a very sandy light soil, then you might need to feed more often.
If you feed too often you are likely to have masses of softer foliage.Answered on 3/10/2016 by Anonymous from crocus
Q:I have a lovely Annabelle in the garden which is now about a metre high. There are loads of new shoots developing around the main part of the base but which are almost separate plants. Should these be allowed to grow - I haven't seen this in hydrangeas before. Many thanksAsked on 22/4/2016 by jennywren from Poole, Dorset
These plants can send up new shoots from the rootstock, so if you have room for them, then I would them to develop.Answered on 25/4/2016 by Helen from crocus
I love hydrangea annabelle and would like to put it down the side of the driveway which has a 70cm width border. If pruned back each year would this plant grow too big for the border?
ThanksAsked on 26/5/2015 by Total ameteur from Tenterden, kent
Yes, I think it would be too big, but there is a more compact form called strong Annabelle, which if you don't mind it spilling over the edges of the driveway should be OK. Please click on the following link to go straight to it.
http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/hydrangea-arborescens-strong-annabelle--abetwo/classid.2000014460/Answered on 27/5/2015 by Helen from crocus
Q:I am having some work done in the garden and need to move this plant. Will it survive being moved in the spring?Asked on 5/5/2015 by frumpy from Southampton
It really depends on how mature the plant is and how much of the rootball you can lift. Ideally though, this should be done when the plant is completely dormant.Answered on 15/5/2015 by Helen from crocus
Q:Is Hydrangea Annabelle ok to plant in Scotland?
I wonder if you could help me please. I am looking for a plant or shrub with the name 'Annabelle' in it, in recognition and memory of a wonderful cousin called Annabelle who has just passed away. I live in Glasgow, Scotland and I am looking for something which would survive our climate here, how successful is the Hydrangea 'Annabelle'? Thank you for your time RegardsAsked on 10/1/2010 by Elizabeth Jackson
A:Hello there, I am sorry to hear of your sad loss, but the Hydrangea 'Annebelle' are lovely plants - and they are fully hardy too, so they shouldn't have a problem with the cold weather. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 11/1/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Specimen Ceanothus or another large bushy shrub....
Good afternoon, When I was first looking for a Ceanothus to replace the one we have in our front garden, I looked on your website, but you only had small ones. Our once lovely Ceanothus has been pruned out of all recognition again this year, as I planted it a bit too near our boundary when it was a baby. I know it may come back, but it is getting ridiculous as every time it grows back it has to be cut back again severely and then ooks a mess for most of the year. Have you got a nice, tall, bushy Ceanothus to replace it? I love my Ceanothus but perhaps if you don't have a big one, do you have another large, flowering shrub as an alternative? Hope you can help Regards MargaretAsked on 5/12/2009 by D DRAKETT
A:Hello Margaret, it is rare to find larger sized Ceanothus as they are usually quite short-lived and don't normally live longer than 6 - 8 years. We do have a selection of larger shrubs on our site like Hamamelis, Hydrangeas, Magnolias, Acer, Cornus, Cotinus, Philadelphus, Syringa and Viburnum, so you may find something of interest. They will be listed in this section. http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/ I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 8/12/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Hydrangea Annabelle with some stems still not flowering?
I have a lovely Hydrangea Annabelle.But this was its second summer with a number of strong stems having no flowers. Shall I cut the stems back to the base? If so at what time of the year? Do I cut the stems with the flowers back to the base? If so at what time of the year? What is the best time to purchase and plant another one? Regards MartinAsked on 23/10/2009 by Martin Finch
A:Hello Martin, These shrubs flower on the current seasons growth, but don't really require pruning. If however you feel it is too big, you can cut it back to a woody framework in early spring. Ideally you should cut it to around 25cm if it is in an exposed position, or to 60cm if it is tucked into the back of a border. In each subsequent spring, you can cut it back to the lowest pair of buds just above this framework. To encourage flowers to form, you should make sure it is kept well watered during summer and feed it with Sulphate of Potash following the instructions on the box. As for buying and planting, the best time is autumn or spring. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 26/10/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
A:Hi Helen, Thanks for your answer. What about the healthy stems but have no flowers shall I cut these back? Regards MartinAnswered on 26/10/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
A:Hello again Martin, It doesn't matter if they have flowered or not, the same rules apply for all. Best regards, Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 26/10/2009 by Martin Finch
Hello there, I have a wonderful Hydrangea 'Tricolor' which has just finished flowering for this year. However it is now getting too big for its space and I would like to move it. I am wondering if this is possible and if so if now is the best time to do this or if it would be better to wait till the spring. Hope you can help as it is a lovely plant and I do not want to lose it but it is definitely beginning to look unhappy in its current place, although the aspect is appropriate. Thanking you in advance for your time with this. LizAsked on 23/10/2009 by ldavidson
A:Dear Helen Thank you so much for your prompt and helpful reply to my
email about moving my Hydrangea. I will do as you say as I am very
keen for it to survive! Thanks again LizAnswered on 26/10/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
A:Hello Liz, The best time to move established shrubs is in the autumn when the soil is still warm but the plant isn't in full active growth - so now is perfect. Begin by marking a circle around the shrub, as wide as the widest branch. Dig a trench along the line of this circle. Use a fork to loosen the soil around the root ball as you go to reduce its
size and weight so that it becomes manageable. When the root ball looks about the right size that you can still move it but there are still a lot of roots intact, begin to under cut the root ball with a sharp spade to sever the biggest woody roots. Roll up the root ball in sacking or plastic to protect the roots from damage and drying out. Move the shrub to a pre determined position. It is important to have the site ready so that you can transplant the shrub at once and it isn't left for hours (or worse!) drying out. Remove the sacking and plant the shrub in the new hole, at the depth at which it was previously planted. Firm well, water well and mulch with a good thick layer of well rotted farmyard manure. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 26/10/2009 by ldavidson
Q:Hydrangea not flowering
Hi I have a Hydrangea in my garden. For a few years it was in a pot but for some reason, it only ever seem to flower every other year. The autumn before last, I planted it in the border as it was getting too big to leave in a pot. It didn't flower last year so I was expecting it to bloom this year but it hasn't got a single flower. Around the beginning of the year I noticed the slugs had had a go at it as it was looking poorly. However, I sorted that problem and the foliage is looking really healthy but it still hasn't got a single flower. Any ideas about what could have gone wrong, please? Thanks SylviaAsked on 29/7/2009 by Sylvia Styles
A:Hello Sylvia, There are a number of reasons why plants don't flower, but the most likely cause of your problems are either a late frost killing off the buds, or it could be pruning at the wrong time of the year. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 30/7/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'
Dear Crocus I bought a Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle; from Crocus in May. I have had Hydrangeas before and compared to these the leaves on this plant were thin, papery and yellowish, not the usual strong and dark green leaf. The stems seemed thin and fragile but there were budding blooms so I planted it and hoped it would improve. It has bloomed and the flowers are beautiful, but the plant itself still seems weak and the stems don't seem able to support the flowers. Any ideas why and what can I do to save it apart from feeding it, which I have been doing? Help! It's too nice to loose! Regards NoreenAsked on 26/7/2009 by Noreen McGowan
A:Hello Noreen, These Hydrangeas are quite different to the mopeheads or lacecaps and it is quite normal for their stems to be thin and their foliage to be lighter in colour. Until they become better established, the flowerheads do weigh the stems down and they do need to be staked with bamboo canes to keep them upright. I would not be too concerned, but you should continue to feed it (according to the instructions on the packet of fertiliser you are using, and make sure it gets plenty of water throughout the summer. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 27/7/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
The following notes can be used as a guide when pruning trees, shrubs and climbers in your garden during the month of March. It's timely advice if you have any of the following in your garden. Abeliophyllum, Artemesia, Brachyglottis, Brunfelsia, BuddlejaRead full article
Hydrangeas come in many guises, but the blue and pink mopheads and lacecaps that flower in summer are generally forms of Hydrangea macrophylla, an Asian species that prefers lots of summer rainfall and drier winters. This can be tricky in drier gardens, bRead full article