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Hydrangea, arborescens ‘Annabelle’

A must for your butterfly garden!
Exceptional and enormous, ‘Annabelle’ is one of the loveliest hydrangeas. It has huge globes of tightly packed, creamy white flower-heads that look like giant snowballs in late summer. As autumn progresses, the flower-heads fade to pale lime and the dark green, pointed leaves turn soft yellow. It has an upright habit and makes a breathtaking feature in a wide, partly shady border, particularly when planted in groups or with other hydrangeas. The flower-heads are a popular choice for dried flower arrangements.

‘Annabelle’ and other arborescens are very versatile. Like most other hydrangeas, they prefer morning sun and afternoon shade or dappled shade all day, especially in the south. In northern areas of the U.S., ‘Annabelle’ thrives in all day sun. Arborescens will thrive in the deep-south as well as cold northern climates.


# Description Qty per Unit Units Available Price/Unit
ZS8HGANT Hydrangea, arborescens 'Annabelle' out of stock $0.00

Plant Details +

Size #1
Height 3-5'
Spacing 4-6'
Hardiness Zones 3-9
Exposure Partial Shade. Hydrangeas benefit from some shade in the middle of the afternoon, especially in hotter regions.
Foliage Rich Green Leaves
Flower White
Bloom 10" Flower-heads
Bloomtime June-August

General Information +

Botanical: Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'

Common: Smooth Hydrangea

Family: Hydrangeaceae

General Characteristics: Annabelle' is a smooth hydrangea cultivar which features much larger flowers than the species. It is a deciduous shrub with a rounded habit which typically grows 3-5' tall. Clusters of sterile, white flowers appear in huge, symmetrical, rounded heads (corymbs) which typically grow 8-12" across. Blooms in June for up to two months, sometimes with a small repeat bloom in the fall. Dark green, serrate leaves (3-8" long).

Tip: Although 'Annabelle' stems are erect and generally considered to be stronger than those of the species, the heaviness of the flower heads, particularly when moistened by rain, can cause the heads to droop to the ground and thus require staking. Everyone who grows this beautiful hydrangea is aware of a very important challenge. The blooms on 'Annabelle' are so large that they tend to bend to the ground after a rain. This can become a problem so severe that the entire shrub is flattened. Pruning stems back to the ground in late winter each year helps promote stem vigor.

Use: Mass in a part shade area of the mixed shrub border for long-lasting and often spectacular summer bloom. Great cut flower. Also a good specimen or accent for protected locations near homes or patios.

Planting/Care Instructions +

Pests or Diseases: No serious insect or disease problems. Many species of hydrangea, including this one, are susceptible to bud blight, bacterial wilt, leaf spot and mildew, however this cultivar seems to have excellent resistance to these diseases.

Moisture: Hydrangeas requires moderate watering during the growing season.

Planting Instructions: Annabelle' should be planted in moist, rich, well drained soil. Dig a hole large enough to encompass the roots without bending or circling. Set the plant in place so the crown (part of the plant where the root meets the stem) is about 1-2 inches below the soil surface. When planting your 'Annabelle' hydrangea, the crown (where the stem meets the roots) should be placed just below ground level. Planting deeper can cause the roots to rot. Cover with soil to the original soil surface and water thoroughly. Once the shrub is placed in the hole, tamp soil down around it and water. It is a good idea to mulch your 'Annabelle' hydrangea to help the soil to retain moisture. It should also be fertilized with a light fertilizer in March, May and July.