Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’

smooth hydrangea

Outstanding Qualities

This hydrangea is an exceptional selection of an Eastern US species. It is one of the best white mophead hydrangeas for our area. In summer huge rounded flower heads appear and mature to a gleaming cream and white. As the flowers age in late summer they turn a glowing pale lime green. It is a very easy shrub to grow and will reliably flower every year.

Colors & Combos

Great Plant Combinations: Berberis x ottawensis ‘Royal Cloak’, Hibiscus syriacus ‘Diana’, Rosa ‘Darlow’s Enigma’, Betula utilis var. jacquemontii, Eupatorium maculatum ‘Gateway’

Great Color Contrasts: burgundy, pink, purple

Great Color Partners: lavender, white

Culture Notes

This hydrangea grows best in full sun to light or open shade. A location protected from hot sun will keep the flowers from prematurely fading or scorching. A rich moist to well-drained soil produces the best growth, although this hydrangea will grow well in sand or clay. It does not like to dry out in summer and will benefit from regular summer watering. In sunny locations or in sandy soil frequent watering during dry weather may be necessary. The flower color of this plant will not change with the acidity of the soil, it will always be white. Pruning to the ground in winter will create lush growth in the spring for the largest blooms. The large flowers are spectacular, but can flop in rain or with overhead watering. Minimal pruning will give more and smaller blooms that are less likely to flop.

© Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Quick Facts

Plant Type: mounding shrub

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 4 ft. 0 in. (1.22 m.)

Plant Width/Spread: 6 ft. 0 in. (1.83 m.)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 3 to 9

Flower Color: white

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun, light to open shade

Water Requirements: regular watering