Magical Ruby Red HydrangeaHydrangea macrophylla 'Kolmaru' (PP# 25,104)
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Hydrangea macrophylla 'Kolmaru' (PP# 25,104)
Outdoor Growing zone
The Magical® Ruby Red Hydrangea is the reddest hydrangea on the market, and a wonderful choice for semi-shaded areas of your garden. This repeat-blooming variety flowers continuously from May to September, with huge mop-head blooms in a deep, glowing pink-red color you will adore. The blooms last 6 weeks, and then fade to a delicious dusky burgundy, still looking beautiful for many more weeks. On a compact bush that is 3-foot tall and wide, it can be used alone in smaller beds for summer color, and mass-planted in larger beds. The dark green foliage turns deep red in fall, adding further interest from this remarkable hydrangea.
Locations with morning sun and afternoon shade are ideal for the Magical® Ruby Red Hydrangea, which is hardy to zone 5. The ideal soil is rich and moist, but well-drained, and this plant does not grow well in dry soil, or in constantly wet soil. Some fertilizer will increase blooming, and alkaline and neutral soils will preserve the red flower color. In very acid soils it will be more purple, but just as gorgeous and always in bloom.
For summer blooming, nothing beats hydrangeas, and their long-lasting blooms make a great show in semi-shaded parts of the garden, where blooms are so hard to come by. But many gardeners find it hard to produce many flower-heads on their plants, and so they are disappointed. For good blooming it’s important to choose good garden varieties, and for continuous blooming from spring to the end of summer, you can’t beat the Magical® Ruby Red Hydrangea. Its large heads of intense pink-red blooms keep on coming continuously, and this compact plant is ideal for mass planting in light shade, as individual plants in smaller gardens, and in pots and planters too. The flowers fade to an elegant wine-red, and as an added bonus the foliage turns rich burgundy in fall, instead of the sad yellow typical of most hydrangea bushes.
The Magical Ruby Red Hydrangea grows rapidly into a compact, multi-stem bush, with many stems sprouting from the base. It grows to around 3 feet tall, and 3 or 4 feet wide, with a broad, spreading form that really fills the spaces in your beds. The large leaves are exceptionally dark green, making a lush display even before the flowers emerge. They cover the plant right to the ground, and vigorous new stems keep sprouting from the base. The large leaves have a solid texture, and they are nearly round, with a short, pointed tip and a bold serrated edge. They are a little more than 3 inches long, and a little less than 3 inches wide, with a glossy surface and attractive venation.
You won’t be waiting long for the blooms to appear, and they keep coming, from May to September. Each stem ends in a flower bud, which develops at first into a greenish-white cluster of blooms that gradually transform into a rich pink-red – the reddest hydrangea bloom ever created. The heads of blooms are huge, almost 7 inches across, and packed with over 85 large florets, each with 4 flat petals and a tiny lighter-pink center. The florets last about 6 weeks and they remain beautiful after that, turning a gorgeous dusky burgundy, as beautiful in their own way as the bright red they were. The range of colors, from green-white through pink and red and into purple-red will keep you entranced – it’s pure magic.
Use the Magical Ruby Red Hydrangea in semi-shaded beds for summer color. It’s sturdy stems hold up the flowers well, and the dark green foliage looks good as soon as it appears in spring. Plant it on the north side of a building or wall, or in places with morning sun and afternoon shade. Its compact size makes it perfect for tubs and planter boxes too, where the months of color are sure to please. Use it as part of the foundation planting around your home, where it will bring brightness and quality to that important section of your garden. Plant it among spring-blooming shrubs in mixed beds to keep those beds colorful through summer.
The reason that the Magical Ruby Red Hydrangea is always in bloom is that its flowers form both at the ends of stems formed the previous year and on new stems that come from the base over the summer. The first blooms are on older stems, and the later ones are on new stems. This means that the only pruning you should do it to remove any dead wood in spring, as further trimming will remove potential flower buds. That makes this plant easy to care for, as well as beautiful. You don’t even need to remove the spent flower heads until spring, as they remain attractive all winter.
The best location for the Magical Ruby Red Hydrangea will have morning sun and afternoon shade. Too much shade will reduce blooming, and too much sun could cause dryness in summer, which will reduce later blooms. The soil should be rich and moist, but well-drained, and hydrangeas are not drought resistant, so water regularly. This hydrangea may become more purplish if grown in very acidic soils, but it holds its red coloring well in alkaline and neutral soils. Pests and diseases are not normally problems, unless the soil is wet and poorly drained. A fertilizer program, preferably using fertilizer blended for pink hydrangeas or flowering shrubs, will encourage maximum blooming, healthy foliage and large blossom heads.
The mop-head hydrangea, Hydrangea macrophylla, is a native plant of China and Japan, but wild plants have flowers that are not very colorful, with tiny blooms. Chinese and Japanese gardeners developed the first varieties that were brought to Europe and America. These had large, colorful flower heads, but they only flowered on side shoots from old growth. This meant flowering just once in late summer. Plant breeders have worked hard to develop new, reblooming varieties, and one important program belongs to Peter Kolster, a breeder in Boskoop, the Netherlands. He has been developing sturdy, repeat-blooming plants with strong stems and large flower heads, in vibrant colors.
In 2006 Kolster took pollen from one of his own plants (#06-099-01) and used it to fertilize blooms on an older variety called `Glowing Alps`, which has purple-pink blooms. Two years later he saw his seedlings in flower, and he selected one with rich, pink-red flowers, which he named ‘Kolmaru’. He released it as part of his Magical® range of new plants, with the name Ruby Red. The breeders’ agent Plants Nouveau arranged for his plant to be patented in America and released through Star® Roses and Plants, who specialize in bringing the best new plants to gardeners across the country. This hydrangea must be seen in your garden to be believed, it is so good, so order now – you will love it.