The Hydrangea arborescens is native to the eastern part of North America. There this perennial grows on moist or rocky wooded slopes. The Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ is a genus from the Hydrangeaceae family and is commonly known as smooth hydrangea or wild hydrangea.
Bloom occurs on new wood. Hydrangeas are well known because of their beautiful and large flower clusters. The Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ has even larger flower clusters than usual.
At first the flowers are white then they turn light green and eventually they will turn to a tan shade in autumn. The flowers are very suitable as cut flower. You can stimulate the development of large flowers by pruning to about 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm) from the ground in spring.
Because the flower clusters are so big the stems may need some support, especially after rain. The flowers can become so heavy that the stems cannot carry them and may even break without support. If you do not prune smaller flowers clusters are formed. Without pruning the Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ can reach a height and width of about 6 feet (1.7 metre).
The smooth hydrangea can handle quite some sun and warmth but then the soil needs to be more moist than if the perennial is positioned in part shade. In part shade the smooth hydrangea is quite drought tolerant. The Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ is quite tolerant to salt. It is recommended to shelter the smooth hydrangea from the wind because the flowers are already quite a heavy load for the stems.
Exposure: sun/part shade
Foliage colour: green
Flower colour: white
Flowering time: June - September
Hardiness: -30 ºC (-22 ºF)
Height: 6 feet (1.7 m)