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Lawn & Garden

Annabelle hydrangea, Hydrangea arborescens

Common Name: smooth hydrangea,

Type: shrub

Family: Hydrangeaceae

Zone: 3 to 9     Find Your Zone

Height: 3 to 5 feet

Width: 3 to 5 feet

Bloom Time: June to September

Bloom Color: white

Sun exposure: part shade

Soil: well drained, moist

Leaves: deciduous
Fertilizer: Holly-tone and ACR food for acid loving plants

Pruning: Fall or Spring


Annabelle is less tolerant of drought and prefers partial shade. Unlike most Bigleaf hydrangeas, arborescens will bloom off new growth, therefore you can prune it in the fall or spring. In consistently moist areas, arborescens can tolerate full sun.


It grows more erratically, often on slopes or creek banks. Flower heads can get as large as 6 to 12 inches across. It blooms all summer and into the fall.


STEP 1: Digging the hole

  • Find a location that has suitable sun exposure for your particular type of plant.
  • Dig your hole an inch or two shallower than the rootball of the plant.
  • Dig the hole twice the diameter of the rootball.
  • Scuff up the sides of the hole with a shovel to help roots break through the native soil.

STEP 2: Putting plant in hole

  • When removing the plant from the pot, check to see if the roots were circling the pot.
  • If the plant is rootbound, gently break up the roots with your hands until loosened up.
  • Set plant level, in the center of the hole.
  • Make sure the top of the rootball is just above soil level.

STEP 3: Amending the soil and filling in the hole

  • Amend the soil with proper amendments for your soil type. 
  • Incorporate 50% native soil with 50% amendment soils like garden soil, composted manure or soil conditioner.
  • Make sure dirt clods are broken up or removed from hole along with rocks.
  • Fill the hole with soils to the soil level and pack down. Do not cover top of rootball with dirt.
  • Water in thoroughly to remove air pockets.

STEP 4: Mulching and fertilizing

  • Cover the planting site with at least 2 inches of the mulch of your choice (pinestraw, cupress mulch,etc.)
  • High Phosphorus root stimulator fertilizers like Quick Start from Miracle Gro are great to use at time of planting.

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Related Articles:

Why your hydrangeas are not blooming

Limelight hydrangea

Oakleaf hydrangea

Climbing Hydrangea

Types of Hydrangeas

Bigleaf hydrangea

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Posted 2015-12-17T22:16:44+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL Ingar_HD_ATL