Note: We currently no longer offer the Annabelle Hydrangea but we do offer a newer improved version called the Incrediball® Hydrangea by Proven Winners Plants. The Incrediball has large blooms on very strong stems, that are able to hold the flowers upright, which is a common complaint of Annabelle hydrangeas.
Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' Plant Facts
|USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-9|
|Height: 3-5 Feet|
|Spread: 4-6 Feet|
|Sun: Full Sun - Partial Shade|
|Flower Color: White|
|Bloom Time: June to September|
|Scientific Name: Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'|
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 vigirous 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.
Click here for more information on plant container sizes.
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Plant Addicts guarantees your plant(s) will arrive happy and healthy, but the plant(s) are being shipped through the mail and accidents happen. If the plant is dead, has dried out roots or the incorrect item was shipped just notify Plant Addicts within 3 days upon delivery. We may ask for pictures but will try to make it as easy as possible for you. Please note plant(s) with damaged branches or wilted leaves will not qualify for this guarantee. Plants are very resilient and will rebound quickly when cared for correctly.
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We encourage all plant lovers to purchase the Plant Addicts Warranty whether you’re new or an expert. There are many variables outside our control and yours that can cause the demise of your plant(s). Examples would be hungry animals, drought, poor soil conditions, over watering, disease, insects & many other factors. The Plant Addicts Warranty is a 1 year warranty protecting you from all the unknowns and will replace your plant if it moves on to the plant afterlife.
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(Updated: 7/22/20) Please Note: There are some shipping delays of plants due to the heat. The delays on dependant on temps & distances from shipping location. The plants tend not to do the best with no light & water for a few days combined with this heat. We want to get you your plants shipped out but we also want them to arrive to you good condition. Ordering now will reserve the plant for you and we'll ship when it's safe. Please reach out to email@example.com if you would like more information.
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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.
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