Are you frustrated because your French or mophead (Hydrangea macrophylla) hydrangeas only bloom once? Then the Endless Summer® Hydrangea series is the answer to adding repeat blooming hydrangeas to your landscape. With proper care, they will bloom from early summer to fall. The first flush of flowers in the early summer usually bloom on old wood; therefore, any necessary pruning should be done immediately after blooming. Flower buds will then form on new wood. As these blooms fade, deadheading is recommended to encourage more flower bud production. Flower color is determined by the availability of aluminum in the soil. If the soil is more acid, the flowers will be blue in color, but in alkaline soils, they will turn pink. If the soil pH is neutral (7.0), then the flowers will be purple.
Another advantage to planting these repeat blooming hydrangeas is that if there is a cold winter, it will only kill back the early flower buds. To keep your Endless Summer® hydrangeas blooming all summer, it’s important to keep the plants properly watered. When it gets hot and dry, these cultivars, if not watered correctly, will go into a hot weather hibernation and not repeat bloom. Plant hydrangeas in a location that has morning sun and dappled shade in the afternoon.
At this point, there are five cultivars of Endless Summer® Hydrangeas available. The original cultivar (Hydrangea macrophylla ´Bailmer´ PP15,298) was introduced in 2004 and matures at 3 to 5 feet tall and wide with a mounding growth habit.
Blushing Bride® (Hydrangea macrophylla ´Blushing Bride´ PP17,169) has pure white flowers that mature to a light blush pink or blue, depending on the soil pH. This upright and rounded grower gets 3 to 6 feet tall and wide.
Twist-n-Shout® (Hydrangea macrophylla ´PIIHM-I´ PP20,176) is one of the first re-blooming lacecap hydrangeas. Depending on the soil pH, it will have blue or pink flowers and blooms on strong, red stems. Similar to the original Endless Summer®, it matures at 3 to 5 feet tall and wide.
BloomStruck® (Hydrangea macrophylla ´PIIHM-II´ PP25,566) has rose-pink or purple flowers with red stems and dark green leaves with red veins. It grows 3 to 4 feet tall and 4 to 5 feet wide.
Summer Crush® (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Bailmacfive’ PPAF) is a new cultivar that will be available this year. It has raspberry red or neon purple flowers and a compact growth habit. Maturing to only 18 to 36 inches, it is a perfect selection for a small garden or growing in a container.