Let's Dance Diva! HydrangeaHydrangea macrophylla 'SMHMLDD' (PP# 25,105)
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Hydrangea macrophylla 'SMHMLDD' (PP# 25,105)
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Let’s Dance® Diva! Hydrangea is a fabulous repeat flowering lace-cap hydrangea, which forms a compact bush smothered with dinner-plate sized blooms. The outer blooms around it are very large, and a clean shell-pink color. The many inner tiny blooms form a darker pink, fluffy center. The look is elegant, graceful and like a ballerina twirling in your garden. It blooms in early summer, lasting for months, and then a whole second blooming starts in late summer and into fall
The Let’s Dance® Diva! Hydrangea grows well even in zone 5, and in all warmer zones. It should be planted in full sun or partial shade, with afternoon shade in warmer zones. The soil should be moist, well-drained and rich, and mulching with organic material will help feed your plant and conserve moisture too. The only pruning needed is to remove dead or damaged stems. Older plants can have some of the oldest branches removed in spring to encourage new shoots from the base.
The lace-cap style of hydrangea is not as well-known to gardeners as the traditional mop-head type, or the conical heads of the PG hydrangeas. It shouldn’t be that way, so make this the season you discover the refined charm and garden value of lace-cap hydrangeas. The flower heads form a flat cluster, with a circle of larger flowers around a center of tiny, fluffy ones. The lighter weight means no flopping and falling, and the elegant style fits perfectly into more natural parts of the garden. They are refined and graceful enough to also be planted in more formal settings, but until recently they were only available in forms that bloomed once a year. Now, with the Let’s Dance® Diva! Hydrangea, we have repeat blooming, so this beauty keeps coming back for another twirl around the garden dance floor.
The Let’s Dance Diva! Hydrangea grows quickly into a rounded bush, with many branches from the base, reaching 2 or 3 feet in height, and spreading 2 to 3 feet wide. The leaves are rounded ovals, almost 7 inches long and 3 inches across, rich dark green, with a matt surface and small serrations around the edges. With its many branches, this plant has leaves right to the ground, and it can be grown at the front of a border, or along a pathway. The flower clusters are very large, 7 inches across, and almost flat. The flower heads have a striking structure of the lace-cap type, with about 15 large flowers forming a ring, filled with about 130 tiny, fluffy flowers in the center. The outer flowers are 2½ inches across, with 4 petals, and they are among the largest seen in any lace-cap hydrangea. The flowers last up to 2 months, so blooms really do come to stay in your garden. The outer flowers are a bright, soft shell-pink, and the inner flowers are a darker, richer pink – the overall effect is stunningly graceful and beautiful.
Not only do the blooms last for months, they come in two waves. In early summer shoots from the older stems bloom. Then as the plant grows new shoots from lower down reach the top, and they too bloom, bringing a whole set of new flowers for late summer and fall. This bush is hardly ever out of bloom, and with the new late flowers it looks as fresh and bright in fall as it did when summer began. If you haven’t grown lace-cap hydrangeas before – and even if you have – you are in for a real treat with this plant, one of the most beautiful blooms of its type we have seen – the size of the outer blossoms must be seen to be believed.
Plant the Let’s Dance Diva! Hydrangea between evergreens around your home, and at the front of your beds. Plant it along a walkway or driveway, where its continuous blooming will always greet you and your visitors. Space plants 18 to 24 inches apar for a continuous row. Use it scattered in woodland gardens, where its more ‘natural’ look fits in better than mop-heads do. Its compact size also makes it perfect for planter boxes and pots, and its continuous blooming rivals annual flowers for color and endurance.
In cooler zones the Let’s Dance Diva! Hydrangea will grow well in full sun. In warmer zones afternoon shade is appreciated, and open shade, such as north-facing walls, is also suitable. The dappled shade beneath trees, especially with a few hours of direct morning sun, is excellent for this bush. It should be planted in rich, moist, well-drained soil, as it is not drought resistant. Soil that is constantly wet can lead to root diseases developing. If you see any hint of the leaves drooping, water deeply immediately. Mulch will help conserve moisture too. Pests and diseases are normally no problems with this plant. In spring, remove any dead wood, but otherwise no pruning is needed – indeed, spring pruning may remove the flower buds at the ends of the older branches, meaning fewer blossoms. Remove flowers when they do finally fade, cutting back to the first full-sized pair of leaves.
The Let’s Dance Diva! Hydrangea was created by Timothy D. Wood, the plant development manager at Spring Meadow Nursery in New Haven, Michigan. He crossed many plants of Hydrangea macrophylla to create the Let’s Dance® series of reblooming plants. One of the early varieties was a lace-cap called ‘Lynn’, and this was the seed parent for a batch of seedlings he created in 2007. Among them was one with large flowers of a pure, light-pink coloring. This was patented in 2014 with the name of `SMHMLDD` and released as Diva! – a part of the Let’s Dance® series. It is released as one of the Proven Winners® great plants developed by Spring Meadow Nursery. We really love this plant, and its lace-cap form is something very different for your garden, and one of the showiest we have ever seen. Order now, because we are sure this plant will be desired by everyone, and our stock will be gone soon.