It can take a little looking to find smaller shrubs for city gardens, or for planter boxes and pots on a terrace. They need to be compact, while many flowering shrubs are large, and after a couple of years in a container they have outgrown the limited space available. In larger gardens too, there is a need for smaller shrubs, for the fronts of borders and edging, which won’t obscure the plants behind them. Hydrangeas are no exception, yet these are vital plants for flowering continuity through the summer months. The answer is the Cityline® series of hydrangea bushes, which are all no more than 3 feet tall, and come in a wide range of beautiful colors. For the perfect pink – not too light and not too dark – the Cityline® Berlin Hydrangea is ideal, and a great choice from this premium range.
Growing Cityline Berlin Hydrangeas
The Cityline® Berlin Hydrangea is the smallest of all the Cityline® hydrangeas, often growing just one or two feet tall, so it has to be the top choice for planter boxes and for those awkward small empty spots in your beds. It quickly grows into a dense bush, with many sturdy upright stems that are plenty strong enough to support the large flower heads without flopping. The large oval leaves – 6 inches long and 4 inches across – are thick and deep green, with prominent veins and a toothed margin. This plant has been carefully bred and selected to strongly resist powdery mildew. This common disease covers the foliage of many older types of hydrangea in grey, dusty powder, making them unsightly and tired looking. It often strikes during hot and humid weather, just when the flowers are at their best, but with the Cityline Berlin Hydrangea you can take it easy, knowing that they leaves will look healthy and green all summer long.
The flower heads of the Cityline Berlin Hydrangea are large, 5 to 6 inches across, and dome shaped. They are packed with up to 50 showy flowers, each one with 4 flat petals, making a flower a full 1½ inches across. They first appear as tiny chartreuse-green buds on the tips of the new shoots, and gradually the cluster expands until the flowers are half-open. At this stage they are a beautiful soft, pale-green to white, and a delicate pink hue develops around the edges of the petals, gradually spreading inwards until the flower is totally pink, except for the tiny white ball in the center. The color is a perfect Easter pink, although the flowers, which form on older stems, color in July, and continue flowering for weeks right up to the beginning of September. Even when they fade, they don’t go brown and unsightly, but instead they turn green, making a lovely muted and elegant fall display. With this plant it is months of interest and color, not the few fleeting days a year some shrubs give us.
The color of hydrangeas is affected by the acidity or alkalinity of the soil they are in, and the Cityline Berlin Hydrangea is its brightest pink in neutral to alkaline soils. In acidic soils the flowers are a subtle deep lilac, just as beautiful, but different. Some garden lime around the roots, or mixed into the potting soil, will give you the Easter pink coloring, if that is what you prefer.
The Cityline Berlin Hydrangea grows best in partial shade, although it will tolerate full sun in cooler zones, as long as there is an ample water supply. Afternoon shade is ideal, or light dappled shade from overhead trees, or the shadow along the foot of a north-facing wall is also a good location for this plant. Grow it in woodland areas, or in the front of taller shrubs in semi-shade beds. Its small size makes it ideal for planter boxes or pots in courtyards, or on terraces and balconies. Make sure the containers have drainage holes, use a regular potting soil with a little lime added for the best pink coloring, and liquid fertilizer blended for flowering plants, as directed on the label. Water thoroughly once the top inch of soil is dry, and always water until some flows from the drainage holes. Never leave your plant standing in a saucer of water.
The Cityline Berlin Hydrangea is resistant to mildew, as already mentioned, and it is rarely bothered by other pests or diseases. It doesn’t need much if any pruning, just the removal of old flowers back to the first buds, and also take out any dead wood in spring. This plant flowers on older stems, which need to live through the winter, and in zone 5 some winter protection may be necessary to ensure this.
History and Origins of Cityline Berlin Hydrangea Shrubs
The Cityline Berlin Hydrangea is the result of a careful breeding program carried out by Franz-Xaver Rampp and Konrad Rampp, specialist hydrangea growers and breeders, at their greenhouses, Rampp Jungpflanzen OHG, in Bavaria, Germany. They crossed many varieties and raised hundreds of seedlings, selecting only the best to develop further. The variety called ‘Berlin Rabe’ was picked out for its wonderful color, disease resistance, and compact form in 1994, and after testing further it was patented in 1999. That patent has just expired, and this plant is made available today by Proven Winners®, as part of their Cityline® series, as the Berlin Hydrangea. Hydrangeas are so important for summer flowering, and they always sell out fast. Order now while our stocks remain available – you won’t regret it when you see those lovely blooms.