All Summer Beauty Hydrangea

All Summer Beauty Hydrangea

Magnificent 6-inch Blooms!

All Summer Beauty, a delightful new Bigleaf mophead, is hardy right through zone 5 in the north. And because the super-floriferous shrub blooms on both old and new wood, it won't be damaged by a late frost or freak cold snap!

This compact, deciduous shrub is among the most free-flowering Hydrangeas we have ever grown, and that's not just because its season is so long. Well-branched and vigorous, it sets masses of big round "snowballs" of pink (in alkaline or lime soil) or blue (in acid soil) among its toothy, bright green leaves. The larger blooms reach 6 inches in diameter, the smaller about 4 inches, but each is magnificent in fresh or dried bouquets as well as on the plant. Very long-lasting, All Summer Beauty flowers lose their color gradually, so you can leave them on the shrub through autumn if you like.

The flowers begin to bloom in early summer in most climates (sometimes late spring in hotter areas), and that's as far as it goes for most Hydrangeas -- one big bumper crop and it's done. That's because Hydrangea traditionally blooms on "old wood." But All Summer Beauty reblooms on the current year's growth as well! So ideally you get your usual heavy show in early summer, followed by a big encore in late summer!

Where this rebloom really comes in handy is in the north, where late frosts can freeze all the flower buds on the old wood. Even if this happens, you're guaranteed at least one good showing on the current year's growth!

All Summer Beauty has one more trick up its sleeve: its foliage turns bright yellow before dropping in late fall. This is nice. It's not the breathtaking show that some plants put on, but it's more than most Hydrangeas can muster, and you'll love the look of these big, serrated leaves turning buttery yellow in the cool days of early fall.

Expect All Summer Beauty to reach 3 to 4 feet high and 3 to 5 feet wide. You can put it in a big container, if you like, where it will grow a bit smaller. It's also terrific in the foundation, because even though it's deciduous, the branchy upright silhouette in winter is interesting, and the flowers last forever in summer. It needs partial shade in the south, but does well in full sun farther north. Zones 5-9.