Star Gazer Hydrangea

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Kompeito' (PP# 20,998)

Star Gazer Hydrangea

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Kompeito' (PP# 20,998)

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How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me


The Star Gazer Hydrangea is a modern variety of lacecap hydrangea bred in Japan. It becomes a broad, spreading bush, covered in large, 9-inch flower heads that have small central flowers and a ring of large flowers around the outside – and all the flowers are double. Blooming begins in June and lasts through into November. The petals of the star-like double flowers are blue or pink, depending on your soil, and they have a bold white margin, giving this plant a truly unique look you will love. Plant it as a special specimen in your beds, in mass planting or as a low hedge. Grow it in a pot or planter box to bring something very special to your patio or terrace.

  • Lacecap variety with double flowers of pink or blue
  • Unique coloring with white edges around colored petals
  • Blooms from June to November with little attention
  • Ideal specimen shrub for that special place in your garden
  • Perfect choice for planters and boxes

The Star Gazer Hydrangea should be planted in partial shade, with morning sun being ideal. It will grow in any rich, moist, well-drained soil, but avoid very dry and very wet ground. It normally isn’t bothered by pests or diseases, and benefits from some fertilizer in spring and summer, especially when growing in pots. To keep the blooming coming and coming, simply remove spent flowers when they begin to turn green. Remove any dead wood in spring, but don’t trim the shoots back, as this will reduce blooming.

Plant Hardiness Zones 5-9
Mature Width 3-5
Mature Height 3-4
Sun Needs Partial Sun
Zones 5-9

The big-leaf hydrangea is a source of endless delight, with so many beautiful varieties. For the most exotic it isn’t surprising we have to go to Japan, where these remarkable plants originally came from. From the hands of renowned breeder Toyokazu Ichie we have a variety of interstellar beauty, for all who love to dream – the Star Gazer Hydrangea, a wonderful lace-cap variety with star-like double flowers, twinkling in blue and white or pink and white, depending on your soil. Both are beautiful, and if you don’t already know the charm of lace-cap hydrangeas, there is no better place to start that with this wonderful plant. It is also repeat-flowering, blooming on both old and new branches, which translates into a stellar display from June to November. For something completely unique and wonderful in your garden, reach for the Star Gazer Hydrangea and make it the star of your shady beds.

Growing the Star Gazer Hydrangea

Size and Appearance

The Star Gazer Hydrangea is a deciduous shrub that forms a wide bush, rising 3 or 4 feet tall but spreading out as much as 5 feet wide. It forms a bushy plant, with many stems rising from the base giving it a dome-shape. The rounded leaves are up to 6½ inches long and 5 inches wide, with serrated edges, a tapering point, and a leathery, wrinkled texture. They are rich, dark green, turning yellow in fall. The first blooms appear in June, forming at the ends of wood carried over from the previous year. Later in summer blooms also form on new shoots that develop from spring, so don’t trim the ends of any branches, old or new.

The flower heads are dome-shaped and up to 8 inches across, with a central zone of up to 200 small flowers, and an outer ring of about 8 large flowers. The small flowers are of two types – many very small single flowers colored blue or pink, mixed with some double flowers that are up to ½ inch across. The large outer flowers are almost 2 inches across, double, with 12 to 15 petals making a double flower. All the double flowers, both large and small, have blue or pink petals with a broad border of white. These unique flowers are stunningly beautiful and very, very different from anything you have seen before in a hydrangea. They are consistent and always as described. Flowers remain attractive for about one month, gradually turning greenish.

Using the Star Gazer Hydrangea in Your Garden

This unique plant is perfect for a stand-out specimen in your beds, planted where its full beauty can be seen up-close – no telescope needed to gaze at these stars. Plant it alone, in groups of 3 or 5, or as a row, spacing plants 3 to 4 feet apart. It is also perfect for a container, placed on a terrace, patio or large balcony, where its special form can be fully appreciated.


This plant will grow reliably from zone 5 to zone 9, although in zone 5 it may not keep all its flower buds through winter, but flower from midsummer on. It can also be grown in zone 4, flowering only from mid-summer, but still worthwhile.

Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions

The ideal spot for the Star Gazer Hydrangea is with morning sun and afternoon shade, which will protect the flowers and foliage from sun-scorch, especially in hotter zones. Avoid deep shade, which will reduce flowering. The soil should be rich in organic materials, moist and well-drained. Avoid areas that are often dry, or places that are always wet. It will grow well in all soil types, and in acidic soils, with a pH below 6.0, the flowers will be blue. In higher pH soils and alkaline soils the flowers will be pink – but always beautiful.

Maintenance and Pruning

Water regularly, as this plant is not drought resistant, and water stress will reduce flowering. Pests and diseases are rare, and this is not a difficult plant to grow, despite its exotic appearance. To maximize bloom production it is best to remove flower heads at the first leaf with a bud at its base, as soon as the color begins to fade or green. Bloom heads at the end of the season can be left through fall and winter, adding unique interest to those seasons. Avoid excessive pruning and don’t trim during summer. In spring simply remove any dead stems back to the first strong growth. You can also devote the first season to growing a strong bush, rather than blooms, by pinching the buds out of the ends of every new shoot, as soon as it is a few inches long. This will develop a better-branched plant for future years. You can

History and Origin of the Star Gazer Hydrangea

Japan sent the first mophead hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) to Europe 150 years ago. They were already well-established in Japanese nurseries, who had several varieties. Ever since then Japan has been a center for breeding, and their varieties are unique and often very different from European and American ones.

The plant breeder Toyokazu Ichie lives in Kakegawa-city, Shizuoka, Japan. He has bred both iris and hydrangeas, and maintains many different varieties for breeding purposes. In 1999 he crossed together two of his own hydrangea varieties and in 2006 he selected a single unique plant from among the seedlings. He named it ‘Kompeito’, and in 2010 he was given a US Plant Patent for it’s unique qualities. We have Ball Ornamentals to thank here in America for making this plant more widely available. They released it with the trademarked name of Star Gazer, part of their Double Delights range of double-flowering hydrangeas of unique beauty.

Buying the Star Gazer Hydrangea at the Tree Center

This unique hydrangea is truly different from anything you have seen before, and truly beautiful. Enjoy a summer and fall of Double Delights with this special plant, but place your order right away, because these kinds of special plants are gone almost as soon as they arrive at our farm.

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Star Gazer Hydrangea

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Kompeito' (PP# 20,998)