Growing up to five feet in height and presenting a dazzling display of large snowy-white blooms, the Annabelle Hydrangea is considered a mounding shrub because of its expansive spreading at peak growth. The Annabelle Hydrangea is also one of the most popular flowering shrub species cultivated around the world for its beautiful, sensational flowers and ability to accommodate full sun or partial sun conditions.
Planting Annabelle Hydrangeas in spring will provide flowers by mid to late summer. Depending on growing conditions, Annabelle Hydrangeas may flower in early fall as well. After flowering a final time, this plant lies dormant until next spring. It tolerates harsh winters quite well and will bloom for many years with proper care.
You can plant Annabelle Hydrangeas in full sun or partial sun but, as with most plants, excessive direct sunlight may stress them and cause wilting. When planting Annabelle Hydrangeas in the warmer, southern regions of the US, be aware of how much stronger the sun is during the summer months and consider planting them in partial sun or covering plants for a few hours in the afternoon. Annabelle Hydrangeas thrive best when planted in areas that receive full morning sun and partial afternoon sun.
The best way to prune Annabelle Hydrangeas is by removing faded flowers and an inch or two of growth to promote a second round of gorgeous blooms. Don't prune until around the end of September or beginning of October. Always wait until flowers have visibly faded before pruning them. A complete renewal pruning of an Annabelle Hydrangea plant involves removing the oldest stalks down to ground level. Just before spring, prune any stems sticking above the surface of the ground to encourage growth as sunlight strengthens.
Primary causes of non-blooming Annabelle Hydrangeas include:
Plant Annabelles in rich, humus dirt or cover soil with about two or three inches of wood-chip mulch to keep them moist. All Hydrangeas have root systems that are shallow and prone to drying out.
Enrich soil with manure or compost before planting Annabelle hydrangea and test soil for excess nitrogen if plants fail to bloom
Prevent these diseases from harming your Annabelles by planting them in areas where air freely circulates. Watering plants via drip irrigation works better to keep plants disease-free than using overhead sprinklers. Fungicides are available to treat hydrangeas suffering plant diseases such as mildew and leaf spot.
Mites and aphids feed off of plant juices in Annabelle Hydrangea stems and leaves, sucking away nourishment needed by the plant to bloom. A telltale sign of an aphid or mite infestation is the presence of sticky honeydew coating the leaves. Get rid of mites or aphids by treating plants with horticultural oils or insecticidal soap.
Annabelle Hydrangeas start blooming sometime in June and continue blooming until mid to late September. Pruning Annabelles in early spring may cause later blooming than plants that are lightly pruned.
Although deer won't actively hunt out Annabelle Hydrangeas to eat, they will happily munch on flowers, leaves and branches if they happen to find them. Deer repellent spray is available that is safe to use on Annabelles when deer won't leave them alone. However, deer repellent spray should be applied once a month to Annabelle Hydrangeas to optimize its effectiveness.
Fortunately, rabbits tend to avoid Annabelle Hydrangeas
As long as you plant Annabelles at least 3 to 10 feet apart to give them space to grow, you can plant other flowering shrubs with them. Just remember to make sure what you plant with Annabelle Hydrangeas requires the same amount of water, sunlight and fertilizer.
Recommended companion plants include small trees such as Dogwoods that offer afternoon shade to Annabelle Hydrangeas. Low annual or perennial plants that prefer partial shade can also be planted with these easy-to-grow Hydrangeas.
Start planning your Annabelle Hydrangea garden today. Spring is here and it's time to plant Annabelles so you can enjoy these big, pretty, vibrant blooms during summer!