Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Mariesii Perfecta’

blue wave lacecap hydrangea

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Outstanding Qualities

An outstanding seedling of the well known and popular cultivar 'Mariesii' this old French selection is truly the perfect and classic lacecap hydrangea. A profusion of flowers are well-spaced over the shrub starting in early summer. Each flower is pale lilac-blue to light pink depending on the acidity of the soil with the small central fertile flowers of a deeper corresponding color. It is an excellent variety for drying, retaining color well and often drying to a silvery blue. The light, bright green foliage frames the flowers showing them to their best advantage. The bold foliage is a great textural contrast to rhododendrons and azaleas. The lovely pale hues look great with variegated foliage or silver and gray leaves. Shade loving perennials like hostas and epimedium make a great foil around this proven summer bloomer. Hydrangea macrophylla 'Mariesii Perfecta' is often sold under the invalid name of 'Blue Wave'.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: shrub

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 7 ft. 0 in. (2.13 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 7 ft. 0 in. (2.13 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 10 ft. 0 in. (3.05 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 10 ft. 0 in. (3.05 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 9

Flower Color: lavender

Sun/Light Exposure: light to open shade

Water Requirements: regular summer watering

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: silver, variegated, gold

Great Color Partners: blue, purple, rose

Culture Notes
This hydrangea grows best in light to open shade. A location protected from hot sun will keep the foliage and flowers from prematurely fading or scorching. A rich moist to well-drained soil produces the best growth and flowering. Hydrangeas are not drought tolerant and will grow and flower more prolifically with regular summer watering. The typically acidic soils of the Pacific Northwest will cause the variable flowers to bloom in pale purple and blue tones. For light pink flowers, add lime to raise the pH and sweeten the soil. Have a soil test done to determine the amount of lime. Changing the color can often take a few years to accomplish with more than one application of lime. Remove a few old twiggy branches to the ground yearly or prune lightly to improve the overall shape. Heavy pruning can ruin the flowering for the following year. Consult an experienced pruner or take local classes before attempting substantial pruning.
Geek Notes
Haworth-Booth renamed this cultivar 'Blue Wave' (Van Gelderen says this is an illegitimate name, although one that is in general use and firmly established). Blue flowering plants sold are called 'Blue Wave' or 'Bluewave', and pink ones go under the original name 'Mariesii Perfecta', but it is certain that they are otherwise identical. Selected by Victor Lemoine of France in 1904. The name Blue Wave was applied by Haworth-Booth in the 1950's, but it was first introduced in 1904, one of three original seedlings of the old Japanese cultivar Mariesii that were raised by the French nurseryman Lemoine. Lemoine called it Hydrangea Mariesii Perfecta, and Haworth-Booth renamed it to accord with international rules of horticultural nomenclature.