When the first reliable re-blooming hydrangea, called Endless Summer, hit the market, it was unique, and a sensation. Now that popular plant has produced an amazing child, the only white hydrangea that re-blooms, bringing flowers to your garden from late spring to fall in warmer zones, and from late summer to fall in zone 5. Now, clad in pure white, and slowly turning to blush pink or pale blue in late summer, we offer you the Blushing Bride Hydrangea. This is the perfect way to bring glowing light to your shady beds, for months and months, on a disease-resistant and reliable plant that is unique.
White hydrangeas are a garden classic, bringing brightness and elegance to the shady spots in your garden, and blending perfectly with all other colors. Planted as a specimen, or as a row along the foot of a shady wall, or in drifts beneath trees, the Blushing Bride Hydrangea will win your heart, and lift your garden to another level of beauty.
Growing Blushing Bride Hydrangea
The Blushing Bride Hydrangea grows into a bush 3 to 6 feet tall and wide, depending on where you live and how you prune your bush. The plant has many stems arising from the base, and the first flush of flowers grows from side-shoots of the older stems that grew in the previous year. In spring new buds at the base of the plant begin to grow, sending up new shoots which end in a flower cluster. The large leaves are almost 4 inches long, and oval with a soft ‘saw-tooth’ edge.
The veins are prominent, creating a richly-textured leaf that is beautiful even when you bush has not started to bloom yet. And there is more. Most hydrangea bushes do not have colored leaves in fall, they simply turn yellow or brown, and drop. Not the Blushing Bride. Its leaves turn vibrant colors of yellow, orange and red, adding to your fall display, and making this plant attractive in fall too.
The bloom clusters of the Blushing Bride Hydrangea are large, as much as 6 inches across, and thickly packed with large florets. Unlike most hydrangeas, where the florets have 4 petals, this variety is semi-double, and the florets have up to 8 petals, in two rings. This makes the flowers and the flower head far lusher and richer than in other hydrangeas. The overall effect is magnificent. When the blooms first open they are pure white, and remain that way for weeks. Gradually they will take on a delicate blush, turning pale pink in neutral or alkaline soil, and pale blue to purple in acid soil, depending on the exact pH of the soil. Because it flowers on older stems, the flowers first appear in late spring and early summer, and again in late summer and early fall from the new shoots. Since the flower clusters are effective for 16 weeks – yes, that’s right – this means that your bush will be in bloom continuously from spring to fall.
Planting and Initial Care
The Blushing Bride Hydrangea is easy to grow in moist, well-drained soil. Enrich the planting area with compost, and mulch each spring with organic material, making sure it doesn’t touch the developing shoots at the base. This will conserve moisture, control weeds and feed your plants too. Water new plants once or twice a week for the first season or two, and after that, water whenever the soil is dry. Good moisture is important for lush growth and plenty of large flower clusters. Powdery mildew is a common ailment of older types of hydrangeas, covering the leaves in a gray-white powder in summer, and making them look dusty and tired. The Blushing Bride Hydrangea is very resistant to this disease, so it always looks great all summer – another bonus to growing this fabulous variety.
History and Origins of the Blushing Bride Hydrangea
The Blushing Bride Hydrangea is a very special form of Hydrangea macrophylla, the mophead hydrangea, which comes from China and Japan, where it has been grown and selected for centuries. It arrived in America about 150 years ago. Because they bloom best in milder climates, plant breeders have been working hard to create re-blooming plants, for colder zones. ‘Blushing Bride’ was created by the hydrangea authority and plant professor Dr. Michael Dirr. In 2001 he took the first genuine re-blooming hydrangea, Endless Summer, which he had created, and used pollen from it to fertilize an old Japanese hydrangea variety called ‘Veitchii’, which has white, lace-cap blooms, with tiny pink or blue flowers in the center of a circle of larger white flowers. Among the many seedlings produced he found one that was very special and that plant became ‘Blushing Bride’. He patented it in 2006.
Bailey Nurseries, under license from Dr. Dirr, produce our plants as part of their Endless Summer series, and they are guaranteed to be true to the original plant. This plant combines re-blooming with beautiful double, pure-white blooms and great resistance to powdery mildew, plus fall color, and it is always in high demand. Order now while our limited stock of this superb variety remains available – it won’t be with us long.