Hydrangea aspera 'Hot Chocolate'
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: moist, well-drained, moderately fertile, humus-rich soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: May to October
- Hardiness: fully hardy
One of the new breed of hydrangeas, this handsome deciduous shrub has a long flowering period and mouthwatering colouring. When it first appears the foliage has a chocolate flush to its upper surface, while the reverse is a rich shade of burgundy. The lacecap-like flowers are made up of a violet-blue heart, with soft pink outer florets. A resilient and easy to grow shrub, it is suitable for adding a bit of colour to both borders and pots.
- 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.
- CAUTION toxic if eaten/skin & eye irritant