Cityline® Venice HydrangeaHydrangea macrophylla ‘Venice Raven'
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Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Venice Raven'
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Cityline® Venice Hydrangea has full-sized mophead flowers, but the plant is small and compact, reaching no more than 3 feet tall, with sturdy stems that mean no flopping and collapsing of the big blooms. The blooms last for weeks and weeks, in July and August, bringing lots of color to summer, a time when flowers can be scarce in the garden. Producing either rich fuchsia-pink flowers, or deep blue ones, depending on your soil and the way you grow them, the blooms are gorgeous, and even when they finally fade they develop attractive greenish and antique tones all fall.
Grow the Cityline® Venice Hydrangea in moist, well-drained soil, and keep well-watered, as hydrangeas have low drought tolerance. In neutral or alkaline soils the flowers will be rich pink, and in acidic ones they will be blue. Planting in containers, with suitable soil and fertilizers, is the easiest and best way to change the color from that in your natural garden soil. This plant is resistant to botrytis, and pests and diseases are rarely a problem. Little or no pruning is needed, so flowers will be abundant.
Summer in the garden without hydrangeas would be a dull experience. With the spring flowers gone, green is on the menu for summer. With hydrangeas in your garden you can change all that and bring weeks and weeks of color in July and August – the months when your garden probably gets the most use. But if you only have a small space, or garden in pots and planters, then most hydrangeas grow too large, making the Cityline® Venice Hydrangea the answer we need. With its compact habit and large, vibrantly colored flowers, summer is now a peak season for color even in the smallest spaces.
The Cityline Venice Hydrangea grows into a rounded, compact bush, just 2 to 3 feet tall and about the same width across. The large, deep-green leaves are handsome, and make this an attractive plant even before the flowers come. They are about 6 inches long and 4 inches wide, rounded ovals tapering to a point, and with a dense texture and toothed edge. This deciduous shrub has many stems rising from the ground, and with its large leaves, the solid form fills those garden spaces well. Of course, it is the flowers we want to see, and these make their first appearance in early summer, as tantalizing tiny chartreuse-green clusters at the ends of the new growing shoots. These expand steadily until they are 5 or 6 inches across, and they are packed with up to 50 buds. They open at first a pale greenish white, and then they become suffused with color from the margins of the petals, inwards, until the large 1½ inch flowers are richly colored throughout. You can expect many heads on a bush after the first year. These lovely flowers remain in bloom for many weeks, and even when they begin to fade, the greenish tones they develop in fall are still beautiful.
As for the color, that depends. Flower color in hydrangeas is related to the acidity or alkalinity of the soil, and the quantity of aluminum ions in it. In neutral to alkaline garden soils, the Cityline Venice Hydrangea will have flowers in a rich, fuchsia-pink, making a wonderful showing wherever you grow it. In acidic soil the color will be instead a deep, vibrant blue, and this versatile plant is easy to have in both colors, with the right treatment. If your garden soil is naturally acidic, and your plants color blue, then grow some in pots, adding a little garden lime to the soil, and, wow, pink flowers. If they are pink in the garden, then plant in potting soil blended for acid-loving plants, and feed with fertilizer created specifically for blue hydrangeas, and hey presto, blue flowers. Your garden can have one color, and your patio planters can be completely different – it’s easy.
Use the Cityline Venice Hydrangea for foreground planting in your garden beds. Grow a row alongside a pathway or drive. Plant under large trees or in wooded areas. For growing in smaller city gardens, these plants are ideal, and they are perfect in planter boxes and pots, brightening a terrace, patio, courtyard or balcony. Its compact size means it never grows large and overpowering, yet it is colorful for many weeks, while leaving room for other plants too. It is easy to have the variety you need to create all year beauty, even in smaller spaces.
The Cityline Venice Hydrangea grows best in full sun in the coolest zones, and in partial shade everywhere else. Morning sun and afternoon shade is ideal, and in warm areas they will grow well in full dappled shade and in the full shade at the foot of a north-facing wall, with clear sky overhead. Rich, moist but well-drained soil is best, and this plant is not very drought tolerant, so keep it well-watered. This variety has been bred to have resistance to botrytis, a disease that damages foliage and blights the blossoms, especially during damp weather. Other pests and diseases are rarely problems. This type of hydrangea blooms on older stems, and with its compact form it needs little or no pruning, so you get maximum blooms. Removing any dead stems and the tip of the stems back to just above the highest buds is all that is needed. Older plants can have a few of the thickest and oldest stems removed after a few years, to encourage new stems to come from the base.
The Cityline Venice Hydrangea was created by Franz-Xaver Rampp and Konrad Rampp at their specialist hydrangea greenhouses, Rampp Jungpflanzen OHG, in Bavaria, Germany. To develop new, extra-compact plants, with sturdy stems and large, vibrant colors, they crossed two older varieties, called `Freudenstein` and `Bottstein`. They collected the seed and grew many seedlings. From among them one stood out for its vibrant fuchsia-pink flowers held up by sturdy stems, on a compact bush. In 1999 the patented it under the name of ‘Venice Raven’. That patent has recently expired, and the plant is now available under the Proven Winners® label, as part of their Cityline® range, of smaller, compact hydrangeas especially useful in small spaces and town gardens. With flowers that can easily be grown to be rich pink or dark blue, this versatile variety is a winner, and our stock will soon be gone. Order now and bring rich colors to your summer garden, no matter how small it is.