New Hydrangeas for 2011

Big Beautiful White Blossoms of the Annabelle Hydrangea
Big Beautiful White Blossoms of the Annabelle Hydrangea

Hydrangeas have become one of my favorite perennials for many reasons.  The large white blooms of the Annabelle remind me of my Grandmother’s large flower garden which was always bursting with color and heavenly scents.  I loved to pick a bouquet to decorate the dinner table.

The range of blue, violet, and pink hues that are available in newer hybrid varieties are breathtakingly beautiful.  If you don’t like the color, add a little aluminum sulfate to the soil for a deeper blue, or add dolomitic lime for a pink flower.

Hydrangeas are hardy and fairly easy to grow given the right conditions. There are new varieties available each year.  2011 varieties include Hydrangea Macrophylla Konigstein which is a deep red; Hydrangea Macrophylla Lemmonhoff, a pink to blue variety depending on acidic level of the soil; Hydrangea Paniculata Phantom, which will produce beautiful creamy white blossoms all through the summer and into fall; and Schizophragma Brookside Little Leaf which is a climbing variety that will bloom all summer long as well.

There are literally hundreds of different types of Hydrangeas so it’s not hard to find a type that works well for any growing conditions.

For a complete guide to growing Hydrangeas, check out the Encylopedia of Hydrangeas.

Endless Summer Hydrangea – Twist and Shout Growing Tips

Twist and Shout Endless Summer Hydrangea
Twist and Shout Endless Summer Hydrangea

Twist and Shout Hydrangea is a very popular member of the Endless Summer Hydrangea family, and for good reason.  This newest member of the family was introduced in North America in 2009, and was developed at the University of Georgia, combining the best traits of Penny Mac and Lady in Red.

The blossoms vary in color depending on the acidity of the soil.  The bountiful blooms are unique with centers of lacy pink caps, surrounded by petals of varying shades of pink and periwinkle blue.

The Endless Summer family of Hydrangeas are easy to care for and are winter hardy in zones 4-9.   They bloom on both old and new wood, providing gorgeous large blossoms of color throughout the summer.

Twist and Shout Hydrangea Endless Summer do well in partial shade (morning sun and afternoon shade seem to work best) and soil that is kept moist, but not wet.  The stems of the shrubs turn red, and the foliage burgundy-red in the fall.

Shrubs grow to 3′-5′ in height and width and work well as a focal point in a garden, or as a backdrop for other perennials and annuals.
To plant your Twist and Shout Hydrangea:
1) Locate an area that receives approximately 1/2 day of morning sun where the shrub will have room to grow to its full size of 3′-5′ in diameter and height.
2) Dig a hole that is 1 1/2 times the size of the pot that the plant is in.
3) Tipping the plant upside down, remove it from the pot and loosen the root ball.
4) Center the root ball in the middle of the hole and add enough soil back in so that the top of the root ball is even with the top of the hole.
5) Fill the hole with water until it is 1/2 full.
6) Fill in the remaining hole with dirt and pack down securely.
7) Water around the base of the plant, then cover with mulch.
8) Keep the soil moist, but well drained.
9) Fertilizer can be added in the spring, but should not be applied after August.
10) Foliage can be trimmed back in the fall after a killing frost, but may also be left for winter accent in the garden.

Twist and Shout Hydrangea is a wonderful addition to a landscape, providing four-season beauty in the garden, with very little maintenance.