This is the famous Vanilla Strawberry hydrangea. Such a beautiful transition in colors from light cream to pretty pink. But the shape is like an octopus, reaching it’s tentacles out, searching for food. Maybe Vanilla Strawberry is looking for sun? Nitrogen? Hydration? Space? It doesn’t seem to have found what it needs. Not on this land. Not in this pot. I’ve had this plant for two years. When I first saw it at the nursery it was the last one left. I watched the colors transform over a month and brought it home for the flower. Such sweet colors. The first year our dog chewed a few stems off. The second year it was dug up and moved to a pot. Now it has become an octopus. The solution will possibly be pruning and staking. No more tentacles, no suction cups.
Invincibelle Spirit hydrangea, new in 2010, is pink, no matter the soil type. Invincibelle comes from the smooth leaf hydrangea, or Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ which is native to Eastern side of North America. One of my favorite things about these is that they bloom on new wood, so prune away! No worries about cutting off next year’s flowers. The flowers appear early summer until frost and are a welcome contrast to the blues and whites of other hydrangeas. For every Invincibelle sold, $1 is donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (plants helping people, again). Growing 3-4 feet tall, this hydrangea prefers part sun to sun. Go Pink!
Even though plant lovers crave green, they are always intrigued with the absence of green. The outer white streaks on the leaves of this Hydrangea macrophylla look like pure white ice cream on a hot summer day. It’s a refreshing contrast, similar to the beautiful variegation of the Japanese Maple Ukigumo. This lacecap hydrangea will accent any planting. The outer ring of flowers are white and the inner blooms will be pink or blue depending on soil type. Some of the reading I did state that it blooms on old and new wood like an Endless Summer hydrangea, but I haven’t observed this yet. Also, even though it can take full sun, it will need plenty of water to keep this hydrangea hydrated. Little pruning is required, keep the old wood for next years flowers. Height and width are both 3-5 feet with a rounded shape and Light -O-Day grows best in zones 5-9. Happy hydrangeas!