Botanical: Hydrangea macrophylla 'Glowing Embers'
Common: Bigleaf Hydrangea
Family: Hydrangeaceae (hydrangea family)
General Characteristics: Hydrangeas are best grown in rich, medium moisture, well-drained soil in part shade. Tolerates full sun only if grown with constant moisture. Soil pH affects flower color (blue color in highly acidic soils and lilac to pink color in slightly acidic to alkaline soils). Add aluminum sulfate to the soil to make flowers bluer or add lime to the soil to make flowers pinker (add any such soil amendments to plant root zone in late autumn or early spring). If you do attempt to change the color of your blooms by adding these minerals, dilute them well, and add sparingly. Prune out weak or winter-damaged stems in early spring. Winter hardy to USDA Zone 5.
Expect 'Glowing Embers' to reach 3 feet high and 3 to 5 feet wide. You can put it in a big container if you like, where it will grow a bit smaller. It's also terrific in the foundation, because even though it's deciduous, the branchy upright silhouette in winter is interesting, and the flowers last forever in summer. It needs partial shade in the south but does well in full sun farther north. Make sure you keep it watered well, but with good soil drainage! This big leaf hydrangea cultivar is part of the Hortensia or mophead group (large sterile florets arranged in globular or "mophead"-like panicles). It is a deciduous shrub with a rounded habit. They feature clusters of pink or blue florets in large, rounded panicles. Large, lustrous, medium green foliage. Group or mass in a sheltered location of the shrub border. Great cut flower. Also a good specimen or accent for protected locations near homes or patios.