The Tree Center

Cardinal Red Hydrangea

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Cardinal Red'

2 Reviews
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How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me

The Cardinal Red Hydrangea is a beautiful, medium-sized shrub with enormous heads of blossoms in a rich shade or red or mauve, depending on your soil type. In the center of each bloom is a bright blue eye, and the edges of the petals are fringed. These spectacular domes of color develop gradually from attractive pastel-green young flowers, coloring slowly through the late spring and early summer, so that they are in full glory just when most other flowers in the garden have finished blooming. These bushes are shade tolerant, and they are an ideal way to brighten those shady spots on the north side of your home, or underneath deciduous trees. For months of color and interest in areas you thought were difficult to fill, this plant is the number one choice. It can also be grown in large tubs, to brighten your terrace or patio.

  • Huge domes of sparking red blossoms
  • Blooms in late summer after most other flowers
  • Perfect choice for shady areas
  • Large rounded bushes fill spaces effectively
  • Easily-grown garden classic shrub

Grow the Cardinal Red Hydrangea in a rich soil that is not too dry. These plants do best with plenty of organic material and a regular supply of water. It is reasonably drought resistant once well established in your garden. The exact flower color will vary with your soil. In alkaline soils, it will be a rich pink-red color, and in acidic soils it will become mauve, but whatever your soil, it will be truly beautiful. This shrub has no significant pests or diseases, and it is easy to grow in any partially, or even fully shaded spot in your garden.

Plant Hardiness Zones 6-9
Mature Width 4-5
Mature Height 4 – 5 ft.
Soil Conditions Fertile and moist
Sunlight Light to full shade
Drought Tolerance Fair
Zones 6-9

The Cardinal Red Hydrangea is a garden classic. It grows in a wide range of light conditions, from full sun to full shade, and it brings huge clusters of brilliant red flowers to the summer garden, when most other plants have finished flowering. Even its large, rich-green leaves, and pale pastel-green developing flower clusters are attractive enough to give this plant a welcome place in any garden. It grows into a full-sized shrub, 4 or even 5 feet tall, and as much as 5 or perhaps 6 feet across. Wherever you have shady areas, this plant steps in and brings beauty to those places.

Growing Cardinal Red Hydrangeas

Shade is inevitable in almost every garden, but there are plants that will grow well in it, and hydrangeas are at the top of that list. Along the north side of your home there are going to be areas that never receive sun, but are open to the sky, so they are well-lit. The Cardinal Red Hydrangea is the perfect plant to fill those places, and a line of them planted on that north side will be beautiful for months and months.

In the shade of deciduous trees is another place where hydrangeas will grow well, and in dappled shade they bring strong foliage, rich colors, and beauty throughout the growing season. In cooler areas, this shrub will also grow well in full sun, but a good supply of water will probably be needed during the heat of summer. This plant can also be grown in large tubs or planters, and even moved around to show it off when in full bloom, before returning it to a less conspicuous part of the garden when it finally begins to fade.

Appearance

The Cardinal Red Hydrangea forms full mounds of rich green, and the ends of almost every branch develop large, 8 inch domes of flowers, which are already attractive when they first appear in late spring, as tiny clusters of pastel-green. These slowly expand until by mid-summer they begin to show color, and soon open into spectacular domes of rich red. This color lasts for weeks and weeks, before slowly turning pale brown, but still looking attractive enough to cut and dry, to brighten your home through the dark weeks of winter.

Soil Acidity and Flower Color

Hydrangeas are interesting, because the precise flower color depends on the balance of acid and alkaline in your soil. Each variety responds a little differently, but the Cardinal Red Hydrangea turns a deep pinkish red in alkaline soils, which are common soils in many places. As the soil becomes neutral and then acidic, blue shades begin to enter the picture, and that red slides gradually into a rich and warm mauve.

This hydrangea does not turn dingy purple-brown in acid soils, as some pink hydrangeas do. Whatever your soil type, this hydrangea will be beautiful, so you do not have to follow complex recipes to keep it looking attractive. Whatever your soil type, you will see beautiful color. The edges of the petals of the flowers are fringed, and to really set things off, the center of each flower – and there are dozens in a single cluster – is a bright blue ‘eye’, that holds that sparkling color, whatever your soil.

Soil Conditions

Hydrangeas prefer to grow in rich, moist soil, so prepare your planting spot well with plenty of rich organic material. Mulch in spring with more, and keep up a good supply of water as your plants develop. Once well established, plants will be more self-reliant for water, and they will survive periods of ordinary drought. They will conveniently signal to you when they are thirsty – the leaves will begin to droop a little. That is the time to place a trickling hose pipe at the base of your plant, and let it run for a few hours until the ground is well-soaked.

Pruning

The only annual attention your Cardinal Red Hydrangea will need is a pruning in late winter. Cut back the tall branches to the first pair of healthy buds, and remove any thin and weak branches completely. Sometimes, as the bush becomes more mature, you should remove a few of the oldest branches completely, to encourage new growth. When growth begins, your bush will rapidly fill out, ready for another season of color. Never cut your plant down to the ground, as flowers only appear on shoots from older branches, so you will miss a season of bloom if you cut everything down to the ground.

Buying Cardinal Red Hydrangeas at The Tree Center

With the Cardinal Red Hydrangea, those shady spots become an asset, not a liability, and we have top-grade stock of this popular classic variety. We know that this is one of the most popular and dependable hydrangeas available, so order now, as our stocks will not last long. Be sure to browse other popular varieties of this plant that we have in stock, including the Red Sensation Hydrangea and the Glowing Embers Hydrangea.

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Cardinal Red Hydrangea

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Cardinal Red'

2 Reviews
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