One of the most well-known hydrangeas is the Hydrangea Annabelle. This popular smooth hydrangea has very large white smooth flowers that bloom on the young wood. The Annabelle is also known as the snowball hydrangea.
The hydrangea arborescens Annabelle likes a light place in your garden. If the sun is too strong in summer, the plant prefers not to stand in full sun. In a place in the semi-shade it feels most at home. The flowers bloom in the months July, August and September. The bloom color is white. Because it is a hydrangea that blooms on the young wood, you should prune it early in the year. About pruning tips for the different Hydrangeas you can read more in the article Prune Hydrangea.
Pruning Hydrangea Annabelle
For the Annabelle it is best to prune it in March or April. You can prune the branches to a height of 15 to 50 centimeters. The more you prune, the harder it will grow. So if you want a compact, sturdy shrub, it is best to prune to 50 centimeters. If you want the plant to grow taller, then prune more rigorously to 15 centimeters.
The same applies to the flowering of the flower. If the plant is pruned back further, it will have longer stems and larger flowers, than if it was pruned less.
Hydrangea Annabelle care
As with any Hydrangea, it is important that you water them sufficiently. Especially in hot dry summers it is best to water every day. Preferably after sunset, or before sunrise. When the drops of water hit the flower or the leaf in the sun, there is a big chance of burning. This will give you brown spots on your flowers or leaves.
The white flowers of the popular Annabelle variety can reach a diameter of up to 25 centimeters. At the beginning of flowering, the color of the flowers is pale green, this turns to white and then lime green. In autumn the flowers turn purplish brown. The leaf of the plant is light green and round in shape.
Support your plant
If your plant grows too fast, for example due to too many nutrients in the soil or heavy pruning, you have a chance of limp stems. The Hydrangea Annabelle then needs some support in the form of a plant support. The flowers of the Annabelle are so large that there is a chance that they will fall over during a shower or in high winds. That would be a shame for your flowering Hydrangea. In the unlikely event that you have a broken branch, cut it off just above the ground. The plant will not suffer from it. The Hydrangea arborescens, Annabelle Strong, is a variety that has thicker stems. This one needs much less support or even none at all.
There is also a pink variant of the Annabelle, namely the Hydrangea arborescens Pink Annabelle also called Hydrangea arborescens Invincibelle.
Hydrangea Annabelle Strong
Hydrangea arborescens Annabelle Strong is the scientific name for this strong Annabelle variety. The strong Annabelle will not grow as big as the Annabelle. The branches are a little firmer. Therefore, this plant is better able to carry the top-heavy large flowers. You can plant them in a ratio of three to five per square meter. The time to plant is throughout the year, unless it is freezing. The bloom color of the Annabelle Strong is white, just like the regular Hydrangea Annabelle.
Another name for the Hydrangea Annabelle Strong is Hydrangea arborescens Incrediball. Because the Annabelle Strong blooms a little earlier, from June through September, it is best to prune in March.
Hydrangea arborescens Pink Annabelle
The pink version of the Annabelle variety blooms from June to September with pink flowers. The Pink Annabelle prefers a spot in the semi-shade or shade. They grow to a height of about 980 centimeters. Another name for the Hydrangea arborescens Pink Annabelle is Hydrangea arborescens Invincibelle.
The Pink Annabelle blooms with somewhat smaller flowers than the regular Annabelle. The advantage of this is that there is therefore less chance of top-heavy flowers and there will therefore be less chance of falling over.
Pruning methods are the same for all Annabelle varieties. The shorter you prune the plant in early spring or late winter, the longer and thinner the stems and the larger the flowers will be. You can leave the spent flowers on the plant, for a nice decorative image in winter. You can also cut them off and dry them so you can enjoy them even longer.