Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Silver Leaf Hydrangea
Hydrangea arborescens subsp. radiata 'Samantha'

Family: Hydrangeaceae (hy-drain-jee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hydrangea (hy-DRAIN-juh) (Info)
Species: arborescens subsp. radiata
Cultivar: Samantha

» View all varieties of Hydrangeas

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36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive vangoct On Jun 1, 2014, vangoct from Portland, CT wrote:

This plant is not only lovely but also tough as nails. Mine sat in a pot in the shade for two and a half years, was transplanted mid-summer last year. Promptly lost all it leaves and continued to die rest of summer. I ignored it, went out May 31 this year, and there was a gorgeous rosette of silver-backed leaves. How it survived its neglect, almost plant-abuse, I don't know...but I'm on the lookout for another to plant near it!

Positive lmelling On Dec 9, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

In "Hydrangeas for American Gardens," by Michael A. Dirr (2004), it says:

Subspecies radiata 'Samantha' is a sterile-flowered form with the flowerhead shape somewhere in between 'Annabelle' and 'Grandiflora'. Flowerheads are 4" to 6" in diameter, emerge green, mature white, fading to green and finally parchment. Sepals in (3s) 4s(5s), 1 to 1-1/2 inches across, and each sepal broad-ovate to rounded, entire, slightly overlapping, and 3/8" to 5/8" wide and 1/2" to 3/4" long. Leaves are silver-whitish backed.

This subspecies requires cooler day/night temperatures than are available in zone 7 and 8, so are better for more northern gardens.


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

Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut
Portland, Connecticut

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