North or south, there is a ‘perfect’ hydrangea…
It handles heat, sun, shade, and drought beautifully.
If you’re a seasoned gardener, you’re no doubt familiar with finicky demands of the beloved hydrangea. In the north, getting a reliable bloom is like finding a mosquito in the dark. In the south, keeping this long beloved blooming shrub in enough water to keep it happy can drive you crazy. New Haas’ Halo Hydrangea will give you beauty and relief from the madness at both ends of the hardiness range, and everywhere in between.
It doesn’t take much to get any gardener obsessed with being able to enjoy the sensational flowers of any type of hydrangea. They come ball shapes, cone shapes, and flat lacy domes, but in the world of highly desirable ornamental plants, these are some of the most elusive to giving even the most experienced gardener the heady success they seek. Where the bloom buds aren’t going to freeze in late frosts leaving you with nothing by rich greenery, the heat of summer and the dryness it brings can cut off your floral headiness plans just as quickly as a late May frost… except for cultivars from the uber-hardy Hydrangea arborescens family. A group of bloomers, which until just the past few years, were not much more than an old-fashioned disappointment in deportment.
The problem with straight species H. arborescens is that the huge ball blooms immediately flop to the ground under the weight of the first rain. The long-loved ‘Annabelle’ can deal with just about anything nature sends it’s way, but apart from the blooms, the plant is not much more than a scrub shrub. Large, dense flowers and weak stems don’t a great plant make. Breeding has changed all of that lately with the release of the stronger stemmed ‘Incrediball’ variety, still they are those massive ball-shaped flowers that are more masculine than some people want in their garden… and yes, after a heavy rainstorm, the stems still flop under the incredible weight of the huge blooms.
Then there are the lace-cap hydrangeas, that have a much stronger constitution in warmer climes than the north. The allure is almost irresistible for gardeners in the top-tier states, all assuming that a plant that hails from the mountains will surely be hardy in the cold climate. And it is, but still the immature flower buds forming in early spring are no match for the late frosts the region is prone too. In the south, if you don’t have a lovely thickets of pines to deliver nicely filtered shade and consistent moisture, even these will fall short of delight.
This is where the new Haas’ Halo Hydrangea arborescens becomes a valuable garden player to those from zones 3-9. The blooms are massive, but not the easily weighted down and bent over by rain ball style flowers everyone is so familiar with from this type of shrub. Instead, Haas’ Halo creates a bridge between the lace cap varieties and that rugged constitution of Grandma’s Annabelle that will live through anything, but isn’t much to write home about after that first late summer rainy day.
Massive 15-inch wide blooms are flat and openly lacy on the Haas’ Halo. No, they don’t come in blue, pink, or violet, but white is always a staple in any garden, no matter what the theme colors are. Plus their open and minimalistic bloom composition is highly unlikely to droop because it rained. The foliage is a rich blue-green, making it stand out from most garden perennials and flowering shrubs. You never need to prune it. Give the young plant a year or two to develop a good root system and Nature will create a nice shape for you. The only time you have to do any clipping on a hydrangea is removing last year’s spent and dried blooms in spring. An occasional severe winter or late season frigid spell might kill off a branch or two you’ll have to cut out, but aside from that, water and fertilization is all the maintenance these gorgeous ornamental plants require.
Plant one Haas’ Halo Hydrangea as a specimen in the garden or a natural looking hedge or foundation planting. They mature to 3′-5′ tall and wide, with the eventual size being determined by your zone and the shelter provided from winter’s effects where you choose to plant them. As with any other plant, consistent moisture will also increase the size and handsomeness of the shrub itself, and allow it to produce flowers in more abundance.
Added benefits are the lovely dried flowers that any hydrangea gives you. But with blooms this large and their open, lacy formation, this is beauty in dried flowers you’ve never seen before. Tally up all of it’s attributes, and it won’t take much for you to start hunting down retail availability on the new Haas’ Halo Hydrangea introduced by Plants Nouveau.
Trademark & Nomenclature
Hydrangea arborescens ‘Haas’ Halo’ PPAF
For more information, visit www.plantsnouveau.com