Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Mariesii’

lacecap hydrangea

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

Introduced from Japan in 1879, this beautiful hydrangea is still a popular garden plant and one of the best of the lacecap types you can grow. The very lovely and profuse flowers provide one of the longest shows with blooms opening in mid-summer and continuing well into autumn. The large flower heads have numerous, loosely-packed, graceful almost white-to-pale lavender-pink or the palest lavender-blue flowers blue sterile florets with small lacey central fertile flowers of a deeper corresponding color. The bold foliage is a great textural contrast to rhododendrons and azaleas. The lovely pale hues show well with variegated foliage or silver and gray leaves. Shade loving perennials like hostas and epimedium make a great foil around this proven summer bloomer.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: shrub

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 5 ft. 0 in. (1.52 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 5 ft. 0 in. (1.52 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 8 ft. 0 in. (2.44 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 8 ft. 0 in. (2.44 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 9

Flower Color: lavender

Sun/Light Exposure: light to open shade

Water Requirements: regular summer watering

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.