- Partial Sun to Full Sun (At Least 5 Hours of Direct Sunlight)
- Mature Height 3 - 5 Feet
- Mature Spread 4 - 6 Feet
- Growing Zones 3 - 8
Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'
Annabelle is the best known variety of Smooth Hydrangea arborescens. Until recently, this is the only Hydrangea arborescens variety easy to find in garden centers or even recognized by the public.
Annabelle Smooth Hydrangea has stunning white flowers, often producing heads over 10" in diameter. Unlike the better known blue and pink hydrangeas (macrophyllas), Annabelle blooms every year even after severe pruning or intensely cold winters. The huge, white "drumstick" blooms appear in profusion without fail. Some people plant 'Annabelle' as a hedge since it can be cut back severely in the winter for a tidy effect.
'Annabelle' makes a spectacular show in colder regions as well as very warm ones. We've had reports that it is hardy even into Zones 2 and 3 in the United States (officially rated to to Zone 3). Forms of Hydrangea arborescens are actually native to eastern parts of the United States. If your climate is too harsh to grow macrophyllas, 'Annabelle' would make a wonderful alternative.
Annabelle Hydrangea Care
Like most other hydrangeas, they prefer morning sun and afternoon shade or dappled shade all day, especially in the south. In northern areas of the U.S., 'Annabelle' thrives in all day sun. Although some books say it does better than other hydrangeas in heavy shade, I have not found this to be the case. The more morning sun it gets the better it blooms for me. Arborescens will thrive in the deep south as well as cold northern climates. (zones 8-3)
Supporting Annabelle's Heavy, Droopy Bloom Heads
Everyone who grows this beautiful hydrangea is aware of a very important challenge. The blooms on Annabelle are so large that they tend to bend to the ground after a rain. This can become a problem so severe that the entire shrub is flattened. Here are a few tricks one can use with all large blooming arborescens to reduce and even eliminate the problem.
1. Plant Annabelle next to a decorative fence. This is one of the best ideas we've seen for staking the heavy blooms of Hydrangea arborescens.
2. Plant at least three Annabelle shrubs together. As Annabelle's mature they will grow together and support one another somewhat. Plant them three to four feet apart.
3. Prune plants only sparingly. If your hydrangeas tend to flatten in the rain, it may help to prune Annabelle to about 18"-24" tall rather than cutting it to the ground every year. This will allow the stems to thicken a little each year, becoming stouter and better able to support the other branches and blooms. In addition, the heads will be more plentiful but slightly smaller (not so small that you will be disappointed). The slightly smaller heads will be less likely to droop. If you live in a more northern area, you may not be able to use this tip. The Annabelle stems may not survive the winter, and thus they will be new from the ground each year.
4. Put a short wire fence around each plant. If young Annabelle plants are surrounded by wire fencing before they put out new branches in the spring, the blooms will be held up off the ground. Garden centers often sell short (18"), green wire fencing for lining flower beds. Cut these into lengths that would encircle the base of the Annabelle (sort of like a short tomato cage). Then when the Annabelle leafs out, the wire is completely hidden.
Annabelle Hydrangea Pruning
The Annabelle Hydrangea grows blooms on new wood each year. These shrubs are vigorous bloomers, and can handle aggressive pruning. However, as stated above, only prune to 18"-24" if you would like the plant to have stronger limbs. But, you can prune back all the way to the ground each year and these amazing plants will bounce back with beautiful flowers no problem. The only time you should not prune is in the spring, as that is when the shrubs are preparing to bloom.
Annabelle Hydrangea Spacing
If you are planting a hedge, or want the shrubs to connect and help support each other, plant these 3 to 4 feet apart. Otherwise, plant these shrubs 5-6 feet apart.
Annabelle Hydrangea Information
|USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 - 8
|Plant Type: Bushes
|Light Exposure: Partial Sun to Full Sun (At Least 5 Hours of Direct Sunlight)
|Mature Height: 3 - 5 Feet
|Mature Spread: 4 - 6 Feet
|Spacing: 4 - 6 Feet
|Flower Color(s): White
|Bloom Period: June To September
|Foliage Type: Deciduous
|Foliage Color(s): Green
|Seasonal Interest: Summer Flowering, Fall Flowering
|Resists: Rabbit, Disease, Pests & Insects
|Attracts: Bees, Butterflies
|Uses: Wildlife Gardens
|Features: Attracts Pollinators, Low Maintenance, Native to North America
|Common Name: Annabelle Hydrangea
|Scientific Name: HYDRANGEA ARB. `ANNABELLE`
Please Note: The pictures below are to give a general representation of the different container sizes. The actual size/ages of plants are estimates and will vary based on; type of plant, time of year, last pruning & many other factors.
For more detailed information, please click here.
Plant Addict Guarantee (Included On All Plant Orders)
Plant Addicts Warranty - 1 Year (Extra Purchase Required)
Standard Colors: 2-3 business days
Special Order Colors: 8 weeks - this is due to the planter being custom made with the color(s) of your choice
Please Note: On special orders there can not be any cancellations
Time of Order:
- If there is extreme heat we’ll delay shipping.
- We’ll have to review what areas the plants are traveling through along with your location
Once your plant is shipped you’ll receive an email with tracking information. Depending on the above criteria we’ll ship your plant(s) towards beginning of the following week from your order. We put together this helpful guide of what to do when you receive your plants in the mail.
It is important to know that all of our plants are clearly labeled for which growing zones the plant can survive in. The plants are thoroughly trialed and tested in every growing zone before we state the plant can grow in a zone. Again, our #1 priority is to ship the plants to you healthy and ready to thrive in your location. So we will do everything in our power to do so.