Bigleaf Hydrangea, French Hydrangea, Mophead 'Glowing Embers'

Hydrangea macrophylla

Family: Hydrangeaceae (hy-drain-jee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hydrangea (hy-DRAIN-juh) (Info)
Species: macrophylla (mak-roh-FIL-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Glowing Embers
» View all varieties of Hydrangeas


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Magenta (Pink-Purple)


Bloom Time:

Mid Summer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From leaf cuttings

From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Ferment seeds before storing

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for drying and preserving

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Occidental, California

Orangevale, California

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Iowa City, Iowa

Olathe, Kansas

New Iberia, Louisiana

Slidell, Louisiana

Baltimore, Maryland

Silver Spring, Maryland

Danvers, Massachusetts

Constantine, Michigan

Auburn, New Hampshire

Ithaca, New York

Winston Salem, North Carolina

Mogadore, Ohio

Kingston, Oklahoma

Yukon, Oklahoma

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Newport, Rhode Island

Collierville, Tennessee

Dallas, Texas

Montgomery, Texas

Shoreline, Washington

Vancouver, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 11, 2011, pointgarden from Newport, RI wrote:

Alpengluhen, glowing embers same plant.


On Jul 20, 2010, Broadview_Hosta from Seattle, WA (Zone 7b) wrote:

This hydrangea is planted on the northeast corner of my house, acid soils -- and is thriving in that location. Big, beautiful, dark purple blooms that continue throughout the summer. My neighbor's deck overlooks this part of my yard -- and I hear comments from them and their guests on this hydrangea. 'Glowing Embers' has quite a bit of autumn interest too -- the blooms lose their blue, and slowly turn maroon. They do well once dried too.


On May 22, 2007, peeryje from Kingston, OK (Zone 7b) wrote:

This plant requires alot of water we live in a place on Lake Texoma with very sandy soil. I put a 5 gal. bucket behind the plant, I drilled a small hole in the side of the bucket next to the bottom of the bucket and everyday I fill it with water. This seems to keep the plant happy. The water pours out slower than I could with a hose.


On Feb 17, 2005, woodsplantlady from Chesterton, IN wrote:

I used several 'glowing embers' as foundation plantings on the north side of the house in almost total shade in clay loam soil with a high PH in zone 5. The first year their roots stayed within the amended soil I planted them in and their bloom color was pinkish-red. The second year their roots escaped into the clay, the blooms were 5-to-7 inches in diameter and the color was a deep cranberry red! Quite striking. My plants are flourishing. I highly recommend this cultivar.

They dry beautifully and retain most of their color if the stems are kept in water, but lose a lot of color if air dried.


On Dec 1, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

The authors, C.J. and D.M. Van Gelderen, in the book "Encyclopedia of Hydrangeas" describe 'Glowing Embers' as having flowerheads very compact and rounded, a glowing deep pink, with 3 sepals of 1 inch. It is a compact shrub to 3.5 feet, free flowering; and the flowers should last a long time. This cultivar was bred in the USA or Canada before 1987. It is NOT the same cultivar as Alpengluen, which online nurseries sometimes tag it - Alpengluen is a separate cultivar bred in Germany in 1950. 'Glowing Embers' can also be easily confused with the cultivar 'Forever Pink,' according to the Van Gelderens'.

I purchased a 'Glowing Embers' (wrongly called Alpengluen) in 2001 from an online nursery. It did not do well for me in its original location, never flowered, and was move... read more