Everyone loves hydrangeas for their late flowering, beautiful coloring and shade tolerance. The most common are the mophead hydrangeas, but beautiful as they are, some people see them as ‘old-fashioned’, and they do not always look appropriate in modern or informal gardens. But there are many kinds of hydrangeas, and for a more informal look, and for something different to the solid, dense heads of traditional forms, the Tiny Tuff Stuff® Mountain Hydrangea is the perfect choice.
This beautiful plant combines a delicate look with a tough plant – hardy and reliable in a wide range of garden conditions. The highlight is undoubtedly the flowers. Each stem is topped with a flat flower head a full 8 inches across. The center of this head is filled with as many as 200 small, fluffy flowers, and these are surrounded by eight larger flowers, each 1 ½ inches across, with numerous petals, looking almost like a miniature rose.
Growing Tiny Tuff Stuff® Mountain Hydrangeas
The exact color of the flowers varies with your soil, as it does with almost all varieties of hydrangea. In acidic soils the central flowers will be a deep blue, and the outer ones a paler shade of blue. In neutral or more alkaline soils the blue will change into an attractive lavender-pink. Whatever the exact coloring, these flowers are beautiful, and much lighter in appearance than the heavy mop-heads of many other hydrangeas. Throughout their development, life, and even when they fade, the changes in the soft, complex colorings of these flowers are a delight.
Size and Appearance
The Tiny Tuff Stuff® Mountain Hydrangea grows into a low, mounding plant, up to 2 feet tall and 2 feet across, but never taller. This makes it an ideal choice for a smaller garden, or for planting as an edging in front of taller plants. A border of this beauty along a pathway would be wonderful. To plant as a row, space the plants 18 inches apart, and they will grow together into a continuous, flowing ribbon.
Flowering begins from buds on older wood in June, and continues through summer into early fall, with flowers developing on the ends of new shoots, as they grow. This is a dramatic breakthrough for this type of hydrangea, which normally only flowers on older wood, once in June. The flower clusters last for months. The inner, fluffy flowers last a month, and the outer flowers last for 3 months, remaining on the plant as they gradually arching over elegantly.
The leaves of the Tiny Tuff Stuff® Mountain Hydrangea are rich green, almost 6 inches long, and a little narrower than the leaves of other hydrangeas. They are deciduous and turn yellow to brown before dropping in fall. The bush itself is vigorous, with about 20 sturdy stems. These grow outwards and upwards to create a full mound of green, topped by those beautiful flower clusters. Unlike other hydrangeas, that can sometimes grow but never flower, this plant is a reliable flowerer, and never misses a season.
The Tiny Tuff Stuff® Mountain Hydrangea grows easily in any well-drained soil that is not dry. It does best in richer soils, with plenty of organic material, so prepare your planting bed well. Keep young plants well-watered, and don’t let mature plants remain dry for too long. The only care needed is to remove any weak or dead stems in winter, and trim back the stems to the first pair of fat buds, once the flowers have faded.
History and Origins of the Tiny Tuff Stuff® Mountain Hydrangea
There are many different species of hydrangeas, at least 70 at last count. Several are grown in gardens, besides the popular mophead varieties. The Mountain Hydrangea (hydrangea serrata) grows in high wooded areas on the mountains of Japan and Korea, so it is hardier than other species from lower-lying areas. In nature it grows into a bush about 4 feet tall, with clusters of fluffy flowers, often white, surrounded by a few larger flowers with petals. It was introduced into America in 1843 by the famous plant collector Ernest Wilson, but it has taken the skills of plant breeders in recent decades to turn this plant into a garden beauty, from the ‘plain Jane’ it used to be.
Timothy D. Wood, from Spring Lake, Michigan, is a prominent breeder who has worked with Hydrangeas, producing many of the most popular newer varieties. He carries out his breeding at the Spring Meadow Nursery, in Grand Haven, Michigan. He found the Tiny Tuff Stuff® Mountain Hydrangea in 2007 among a batch of seedlings he had produced by crossing a variety called ‘Maiko’ with another of his seedlings. He tested this promising seedling, and in 2104 he was granted a patent on it, under the name, ‘MAKD’.
Buying Tiny Tuff Stuff® Mountain Hydrangeas
Our plants are produced under license from that original plant and are guaranteed to have its exact properties. Other mountain hydrangeas will not have this unique combination of size, flower color, and double outer flowers. Avoid cheaper substitutes and go for the best. Our other customers will, and our stocks will not last long, so order now to enjoy this pick of the ‘new generation’ of hydrangeas.