Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Ayesha’

mophead hydrangea

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

Once you see the flowers of Hydrangea macrophylla 'Ayesha' you will never forget them. The large mophead blooms begin to open cream-white then shift to a pale, sky blue to light pink, depending on how acidic the soil. The individual florets have unusual cup shaped petal-like sepals reminiscent of old fashioned lilac flowers. The flower heads open over a long period of time giving a soft two-toned coloring of cream and blue, or pink. It is one of the only hydrangeas to have a delicate light fragrance in bloom. This deciduous shrub starts blooming in early-to-mid summer on a densely foliaged frame. White and silver-leaved variegated plants look great with its pale colored flowers. The fresh green foliage and heavy flowering will standout in the summer landscape against dark green conifers and broadleaf evergreens.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: shrub

Foliage Type: deciduous

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

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

Plant Height-Mature: 0 ft. 0 in. (0.00 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 0 ft. 0 in. (0.00 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 9

Flower Color: blue, pink

Sun/Light Exposure: light to open shade

Water Requirements: regular summer watering

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: orange, chartreuse, gold

Great Color Partners: blue, lavender, rose, cream

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 with purple and blue tones. For 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.