Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Mariesii Lilacina’

lacecap hydrangea

Outstanding Qualities

This old French cultivar is a strong vigorous grower, but still has a compact habit. The lacecap flowers can be sparse on young plants, but as it settles into the garden, the show becomes well worth the wait. The delicate flowers open with sterile florets, a very pale lilac surrounding the mid-blue (acid soils) to pink (sweet soils) small fertile flower in the center of the bloom. As the blossom ages the large outer floret take on tones of deep-lilac to plum. Flowers will occur on both last year's wood and the current season of growth giving a very long season of bloom from mid summer well into autumn. The aged flowers are excellent for drying holding their color well. The bold foliage is a great textural contrast to rhododendrons and azaleas. The lovely mauves and plumy 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. This cultivar is often sold under the name 'Lilacina'.

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.

© Joy Creek Nursery

Quick Facts

Plant Type: shrub

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 6 ft. 0 in. (1.83 m.)

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

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 9

Flower Color: lavender

Sun/Light Exposure: light to open shade

Water Requirements: regular summer watering