Annabelle hydrangeas are among the most unique and vibrant midsummer hydrangeas—so, how can you keep them looking their best? Hydrangeas can be a bit tricky, but Annabelles are relatively easy care, with little pre-bloom maintenance or overwintering prep work. In late winter, prune your Annabelle hydrangeas—since they bloom on new wood, you can prune fairly close to the ground. After the blooming season, you can deadhead your hydrangeas and spread a thick layer of mulch for overwinter protection. Other than those easy tasks, you'll really only need to tend to your Annabelle hydrangeas during the growing season, giving them plenty of water and checking for issues with insects.
Annabelle hydrangeas are fairly thirsty plants, and can benefit from a soaker hose or a good morning watering throughout the warmer months. Make sure not to soak them all day, however. Annabelles don't like to sit in standing water, so you're aiming for moist, but not soggy. If you choose to water with a hose or watering can, be sure to water at the base of the plants, avoiding the leaves and florets. Keeping the flowers dry prevents wilt and mold outbreaks. Plus, too much water can weigh down the heads of the hydrangeas and cause breakage. Despite your best watering efforts, don't be surprised if your Annabelles' leaves wilt during hot summer afternoons. They should perk up by the evening.
Many gardeners wonder whether you should fertilize Annabelle hydrangeas—the answer depends upon your plant. Overfertilization can cause hydrangeas to focus their energies on leaf growth, to the detriment of the flowers. However, if the plant has small leaves, it may be nutrient deficient. If your Annabelle shows signs of such frailty, apply a light sprinkling of slow release, potassium-rich fertilizer around the hydrangea's base.
Other troubleshooting may include periodic checks for fungus or insect infestations. Annabelle is one of the more pest-resistant hydrangeas, but aphids or mites may try and make homes on these plants. A treatment with insecticidal soap, neem oil, or related commercial products can discourage bugs from settling in on the plants. To mitigate the risk of fungus, powder milder, or leaf spots, avoid overhead watering and clip dead leaves and flowers regularly.When to prune Annabelle hydrangea?
Annabelle hydrangeas can be pruned in late winter or early spring, before growth begins. Leaving the branches on the plants over winter keeps the plants from expending energy on healing—plus, hydrangeas provide lovely wintertime texture in the garden. The plant may actually die back to the ground over winter if you are gardening in a cold climate. Because it blooms on new wood, you won't need to fret about preventing damage to the stems from last season. Before the growing season, prune the hydrangeas' remaining stems to just above the ground.How to prune Annabelle hydrangea?
Annabelle hydrangea doesn't bloom on old growth, only on new branches that sprout each spring. This growth habit is the reason for this hydrangea's tidy and compact shape. In late winter or early spring, before new growth appears, you can prune your Annabelle all the way to the ground. Use a clean pair of shears or snips—we recommend sanitizing your blades with rubbing alcohol to avoid transferring any mold, mildew, or other contaminants to the fresh-cut plant. Trim the branches all the way down to the ground, leaving just a few inches above the soil.When do Annabelle hydrangeas bloom?
These gorgeous white-to-green hydrangeas bloom in mid-summer, and can hold their flowers for months. In most climates, Annabelle hydrangeas bloom between June and September, and their flowers frequently last for eight weeks or more. In some climates, you may see a repeat blooming session in the fall.How big does an Annabelle hydrangea get?
Annabelle hydrangeas are compact, re-growing each spring from the ground, but these shrubs aren't tiny. Annabelle hydrangeas usually grow between four and six feet in height and width, with a delightfully round shape and white corymbs measuring two to six inches in diameter.
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