Let's Dance® Rhythmic Blue® HydrangeaHydrangea macrophylla 'SMHMES14' (PP# 25,836)
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Hydrangea macrophylla 'SMHMES14' (PP# 25,836)
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Let’s Dance® Rhythmic Blue® Hydrangea is an improved hardy mop-head hydrangea, with large flower heads that are clear, pure blue in acid soil. It blooms in mid-summer on older wood, and again in late summer and early fall on new growth. With dense, rich green foliage and large leaves, even without blooms it is a beautiful bush. It brings beauty and interest to your foundation planting, garden beds, wooded areas, or in planter boxes. This plant has been selected to be reliably hardy in all of zone 5, making it a great choice for hydrangeas in colder zones.
The Let’s Dance® Rhythmic Blue® Hydrangea will grow best in full sun or partial shade in cooler zones, and in partial shade in hotter ones. It will also grow on the north-side of a wall. Plant in rich, moist, well-drained soil, and keep well-watered, as this plant is not drought resistant. It is normally free of pests and diseases and it needs no special pruning or care. Just remove any dead branches in spring, and clip off spent flower heads as they fade.
Blue hydrangeas hold a special attraction for gardeners, and we never tire of them. Indeed, we often go to great lengths to grow them, with special treatments if our soil is unsuitable. Of course, across most of the eastern states ordinary garden soil is acidic, so they will naturally bloom blue, with little effort. We love them so much that it is always sad when the blooms finish, but with the Let’s Dance® Rhythmic Blue® Hydrangea we get excited when the first blooms finish, because we know that a whole new blooming is coming next. Yes, this repeat-blooming plant gives not one but two crops of blooms, in summer and fall. It has also been bred to cope with colder conditions, and it thrives throughout zone 5. Even if the stems don’t overwinter successfully, the new shoots will bloom, so flowering is virtually guaranteed.
The Let’s Dance® Rhythmic Blue® Hydrangea forms a substantial bush, typically 3 or 4 feet tall and wide. The larger size is usually seen in warmer zones. It has many sturdy shoots rising from the base, with leaves to the ground. The large, dark green leaves are broad ovals, 4 inches long, with a substantial texture, and coarse teeth along the margins. Even for the brief time it is not in bloom this is a handsome bush that will look great anywhere in your garden. As soon as the spring blossoms are finished in your garden, you will start to see blooms on this hydrangea. They begin as tight clusters of pale green buds at the ends of the branches, and they quickly develop into 5-inch diameter rounded balls of almost a thousand flowers. Each individual flower has four fringed petals, and the impact of these grand flower clusters is dramatic and wonderful to see. In acid soils the blooms are a stunning pure blue. In alkaline soils they will be deep pink, and in neutral soil they will be purple-blue to purple-pink. The heads look beautiful for weeks, and by late summer there will be a whole new crop, keeping color going into the fall months.
Plant the Let’s Dance Rhythmic Blue Hydrangea among the foundation plants around your home. The big, bold foliage looks great against the finer texture of evergreen bushes, and the months of blooming really lift your planting. It is especially useful on the north side of your home, since it grows well in the shade at the foot of north-facing walls. Plant it on either side of a doorway for a wonderful entrance. Plant in a row (spaced 2 feet apart) for a gorgeous edging to a path or driveway. Plant single plants, or in clusters of 3 or 5 bushes, depending on the size of the areas you need to fill with color.
Grow the Let’s Dance® Rhythmic Blue® Hydrangea in full sun or partial shade. Afternoon shade, especially in warmer zones, is beneficial, and more sun is tolerated and even desirable in cooler ones. The soil should be rich and moist, but well-drained, and since this plant is not drought tolerant, regular watering is needed during dry spells. If the pH of your soil is below 5.5 you should see pure blue blossoms on your bush. If it is between 6.5 and 5.5, using fertilizers designed for blue hydrangeas will keep the blue color clean and pure, free of purple tones. In more alkaline soils blue is difficult to achieve, but with regular treatment it can still be possible. Since this plant is repeat blooming it is worth growing for the endless display of blooms, and honestly, the deep pink coloring is beautiful too, and a great addition to your summer garden. If you don’t have suitable soil and still want pure blue flowers, grow this plant in a large pot or planter, using soil for acid-loving plants, acidic water, and fertilizer for blue hydrangeas, containing aluminum. This plant is normally free of pests or diseases, but if the soil is badly drained root problems may develop. Little pruning is needed, and too much may reduce the first flowering. Simply remove dead and weak branches, leaving a framework of sturdy upright stems. Remove spent flower heads at the first full-sized pair of leaves to leave buds for next year’s flowers.
The Let’s Dance® Rhythmic Blue® Hydrangea was found in 2005 by Tim Wood, the chief plant developer at Spring Meadow Nursery in New Haven, Michigan. It was among a batch of seedlings grown from seed collected from plants of the well-loved Endless Summer hydrangea (‘Bailmer’). When he saw that this new plant was a cleaner, stronger blue, and more winter hardy than Endless Summer, he patented it in 2015 under the name `SMHMES14`. It is part of the Let’s Dance® series of reblooming hydrangeas, with the trademark name of Rhythmic Blue®. Another Proven Winners® plant from Spring Meadow Nursery, we love the great colors and reliable repeat blooming of this plant, and so will our customers. Order now, because plants of this quality become completely sold out very quickly.