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Wedding Gown Hydrangea

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Dancing Snow', (PP# 21,052)

Wedding Gown Hydrangea

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Dancing Snow', (PP# 21,052)

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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

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The Wedding Gown Hydrangea is a remarkable and unique variety originating in Japan. It forms a low but wide bush, just 2 or 3 feet tall but up to 5 feet across. The dark green leaves are more pointed and narrower than is normal, and this bush blooms earlier than most hydrangeas. The large ‘Lacecap’ flower heads are over 6 inches across, with a central mass of hundreds of tiny double blooms in greenish-white, surrounded by a circle of larger flowers that are glistening snow white. This variety repeat blooms on new branches by late summer and into the fall. Grow it in the foreground of your shrub beds, along a pathway or by a pond, in planters, and in Asian-style gardens. It is also known as ‘Dancing Snow’, which sums up its beauty perfectly.

  • Special Lacecap variety with double blooms
  • Large nodding pure white outer blossoms
  • Smaller greenish-white inner blossoms
  • Very early blooming, and then repeats in summer and fall
  • Unique low and broad form to the bush

The Wedding Gown Hydrangea grows best with morning sun and afternoon shade, but it will also grow in light full shade. The soil can be either acid or alkaline, and it should be rich, moist and well-drained. This variety is resistant to powdery mildew, and it is normally not bothered by other pests or diseases. Dead-head the first crop of flowers to encourage the second crop, and prune lightly in spring to remove any dead wood.

Plant Hardiness Zones 5-9
Mature Width 3-5
Mature Height 2-3
Soil Conditions Moist, Well-Drained Soil
Sunlight Partial Shade
Drought Tolerance Poor Drought Tolerance
Zones 5-9

Spring and early summer is the time we think about weddings, and if you have one in your family or not, the Wedding Gown Hydrangea is so beautiful all the other plants in your garden will want to marry it. The unique flowers combine fully-double blooms with the flower arrangement of the Lacecap hydrangea, making an open head that has enormous impact. Created by the genius of Japanese taste, it is a plant of refinement and unequalled beauty. When the white petals fell to the ground, the breeder saw them as a carpet of snow, so he named it ‘Dancing Snow’. Whatever you call it, this beauty is sure to win your heart, and its compact growth means even the smallest garden can enjoy it. With a distinctive low but wide form it is perfect for edging beds or filling spaces where you don’t want a lot of height.

Growing the Wedding Gown Hydrangea

Size and Appearance

The Wedding Gown Hydrangea is a broad, low spreading deciduous shrub, growing just 2 to 3 feet tall but spreading up to 5 feet across. It has many sturdy branches rising from the base, forming a dense bush. The leaves are more elongated than seen on most hydrangeas, reaching 5½ inches in length and about 4 inches wide, with a pointed tip and a coarse-toothed margin. The leaves have good substance, with pronounced veins, and they are an excellent dark green, without yellow tones, and normally free of the powdery mildew that can affect hydrangeas during the summer months.

This plant really does have a unique appearance, unlike any hydrangea you have seen, and outstandingly beautiful. Flower buds form both on shoots from older branches and on new stems – those later blooms come in late summer and fall. The early buds develop much sooner than most hydrangeas – they are indeed a spring wedding. Each flower cluster can be as much as 6½ inches across, and packed with about 600 flowers of two distinct types. In the central zone the flowers are very small, but massed together, each with about 12 minute petals. These blooms are greenish white. Around the perimeter of the flower head is a circle of blooms almost 1½ inches across, nodding slightly on long stems. These blooms have 16 larger petals, arranged like a rosebud in a bridal bouquet, and they are a pure, glistening snow-white.

Flower heads stay white for about a month, and then turn greenish but remain attractive for several more weeks. The arrangement of the large and small flowers is of the type called ‘Lacecap’, but with the added twist of the flowers being all double, with many extra petals giving a rich and exotic look. These remarkable blooms really do have to be seen to be believed, and you will love what you are seeing. When the weather turns cold in fall the blooms may take on beautiful red tones – to match the leaves of your fall trees.

Using the Wedding Gown Hydrangea in Your Garden

With its unique charms, plant the Wedding Gown Hydrangea as a specimen shrub at the front of your borders, or as a wonderful edging. Grow it along a lightly-shaded pathway to create a romantic ‘bridal procession’. Use it by water, and its exotic nature makes it perfect for an Asian-style garden, where most modern hydrangeas could look out of place. For group planting you can space bushes 3 or 4 feet apart, meaning just a few cover a good area with low planting – ideal for edging.

Hardiness

For good repeat blooming, grow in zones 5 to 9. It is likely that it would grow also in zone 4, blooming only in late summer.

Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions

Partial shade, with morning sun, is ideal for your Wedding Gown Hydrangea. It will also grow in light full shade, such as on the north side of a wall, or in the shadow of tall trees, with clear sky overhead. The soil should be moist, rich with organic material, and well-drained. It grows just as well in both acidic and alkaline soils. Regular watering without keeping the area flooded will give the best results.

Maintenance and Pruning

Pests and diseases are rare, and this variety shows good resistance to powdery mildew. Fertilize in spring and early summer with fertilizer for flowering shrubs. Dead head those spring blooms as soon as they lose their white color, to re-direct the energy of the bush into making flowers for the second blooming. In spring, simply remove any dead and weak sections of stems – wait until leaves begin to appear and it is easy to see exactly where to cut.

History and Origin of the Wedding Gown Hydrangea

The very first mophead hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) to arrive in Europe 150 years ago were from Japanese nurseries. Breeding has continued there ever since, and because of the different plants used, Japanese varieties are unique and very special. Toyokazu Ichie is a breeder of hydrangeas who lives in Kakegawa-city, Shizuoka, Japan. He has bred many extraordinary bushes, and he created the variety called ‘Dancing Snow’ by crossing plants of his own breeding together. In 2003 he did this, and in 2006 he selected a unique plant from among the seedlings he had raised. He patented ‘Dancing Snow’ in 2010, and marketing in the USA is done by Ball Ornamentals, adding Toyokazu’s plant to their Double Delights™ range of Hydrangeas with double blooms, using the name Wedding Gown Hydrangea.

Buying the Wedding Gown Hydrangea at the Tree Center

We love how special and very different the Wedding Gown or ‘Dancing Snow’ Hydrangea is – it will bring a unique touch to your garden, and be a true conversation piece. But if you want it – and who wouldn’t? – order right away, because we can’t guarantee it will still be available when you return.

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Wedding Gown Hydrangea

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Dancing Snow', (PP# 21,052)