Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bigleaf Hydrangea, French Hydrangea
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Homigo'

Family: Hydrangeaceae (hy-drain-jee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hydrangea (hy-DRAIN-juh) (Info)
Species: macrophylla (mak-roh-FIL-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Homigo
Additional cultivar information: (aka Hovaria Homigo, Kaleidoscope series)
Hybridized by Hofstede; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1996

» View all varieties of Hydrangeas

2 members have or want this plant for trade.

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

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)
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)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)
Light Blue
Medium Blue

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Flowers are good for cutting
Flowers are good for drying and preserving
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
By serpentine layering
By stooling or mound layering

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

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There are a total of 11 photos.
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2 positives
6 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral june14 On Jul 3, 2013, june14 from Sebastopol, CA wrote:

It started out as a very pretty blue hydrangea. It has changed now to a blue pink and isn't as pretty. I know it has to do with the acid in the soil but only a few feet away I have two gorgeous blue hydrangeas so I think it has something to do with the plant also.

Neutral patsotr On Jul 23, 2009, patsotr from Milwaukee, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have had both the homigo and hobella hydrangea's for three years. I bought them from QVC. They have beautiful leaves, but since the first year, no more blooms. At the time, the QVC/Cottage Gardens salespeople on the TV really praised these hydrangeas and said that they were hardy to zone 5. Hardy, but don't flourish. They have a tendency for the wood to die down during our winters, they come back in the spring with new wood, but they do not flower on new wood. I decided to look this up again as our local Steins Garden centers in the area are selling the homigo Hydrangea 50% off and advertising them as"Blooms on current season's growth providing more blooms and longer bloom time. I wish this was true! I have tried putting one in a pot and bringing it in for the winter and out for the summer. This is a pain in the neck, and doing this I can get some blooms. I guess I will chalk it up to experience, and not believe everything I see on TV or in garden center adds! So if you are in Zone 5, beware!

Neutral RipKo97 On May 9, 2006, RipKo97 from Toluca, IL wrote:

I bought two Homigo Hydrangeas last year. They were large with the most beautiful pink flowers.

Unfortunately, I didn't have time to plant them properly. I planted one on the west side of the house. I took off the top layer of grass and dug a hole. The other was planted on the north side of the house at the very edge of an existing flower bed. We had an extremely dry summer and I wasn't able to water them like I should have. Both plants appeard to have died from the transplant shock and drought. The plant on the west side of the house did not over winter. However, the plant on the north side of the house made it through. It's not very big, but I will give it the extra pampering it deserves and hope for the best.

The tag that came with the hydrangeas states the blooms will be be either pink (high pH) or blue (low pH) for the first 2-3 months, then green for the next 1-2 months, and then cherry red until frost.

Neutral DreamOfSpring On Jul 19, 2005, DreamOfSpring from Charleston, SC (Zone 9a) wrote:

If you are having trouble getting your plant to produce 3 distinct colors, read this:

Blooms are supposed to start out blue (or maybe pink depending on ph - literature varies as to whether this plant is ph sensitive), change to green as they age, and finally dry rosy red.

The 1st year mine went from blue to green but browned and withered before turning red. This year we experienced a drought during spring and early summer - with only 1/5 the normal rain fall. I was shocked to see the blooms begin to turn a lovely bright rose. Apparently, if the plant receives too much water or humidity, the blooms brown before they have a chance to "dry" to the rose hue.

Soon after the 1st blooms turned red, the hurricanes brought torrential rains. Almost overnight all of the remaining blooms began to turn brown and wither.

Positive ky_gardener On Jun 26, 2005, ky_gardener from Louisville, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

I bought this two years ago at our local Meijer store. It sounded different so I thought I would give it a try. I'm glad I did. It has really filled in nicely and the blooms this year are profuse. I am definitely going back for more as this is a showstopper in my yard.

Neutral braun06 On May 13, 2005, braun06 from Peoria Heights, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

I was walking through a nursery passing by the hydrangea not expecting anything out of the ordinary beside the normal Nikko Blue which has not shown to bloom here in central Illinois. I passed by this big flower im not accustomed to seeing. It said on the tag Homigo. I looked at plant closely to inspect and noticed that it had pretty much been all new wood with the biggest flower appearing to be coming directly out of the soil. I purchased the plant but thinking that maybe it could flower here but the next year provided nothing. So as Endless Summer became more available I decided to dig up the Homigo and replace it but upon my digging I noticed that there was one flower bud, thinking this was just a small thing It wasnt worth my while still keeping it so I dug it out. After digging it out I noticed I broke a branch and it too had a flower bud. So maybe this one is a bit tougher than I thought. I dont beleive that much of the old wood survived beyond the first few buds of each branch but the plant is too thick for me to tell if it was old or new that it was blooming on. There is a possibility that this one can bloom on new wood. Even if it isnt it does make a good shrub to try on that off chance of flowers. The flowers are much different than other macrophyllas, they arrange themselves in a more flat manner than most.

Positive Maylith On Apr 7, 2005, Maylith from Manassas, VA wrote:

I apologize if I use any incorrect terms, I am a beginning gardener. I live in Manassas, Virginia, USA, very close to Washington D.C.

I bought a "Homigo" hydrangea from Springhill Nurseries last year (I just called them literally 5 minutes ago, and they no longer carry it), with the intention that it should become a focal point in the rather small yard of my townhome. The yard is shaded in the morning (as the townhouse faces north) and gets fairly strong afternoon sun.

When it arrived it had just one bloom, and I planted it in a container. It did very well there by my doorstep. The foliage is green, a slightly toothy oval shape, and it developed a very pretty bronze tinge all along the edge of the leaves -- not black/burnt, it seems to be a normal coloration of the plant. The bronze darkened as the air grew colder. I did not notice any of the color changes in the bloom I was expecting to see -- the bloom is supposed to change color through the season even if the pH doesn't -- but all in all I was quite satisfied.

I am currently working in a home improvement store, and when fall approached, I asked the department head of outside garden what to do about my hydrangea. She told me that if I left it in the container over the winter, it would die because the mass of the container would be too small to prevent freezing of the roots and stems and so forth. (We do get hard freezes and snows here.) She told me to plant it in the ground anywhere I could, and bury it in bark mulch. So, that's what I did. In very late autumn, I planted it, and then literally buried it in a mounded-up pile of pine bark mulch until only a few tiny stem tips showed. I did not cut off the single blossom.

A few weeks ago, I carefully pulled the mulch away with my fingers and clipped off the one dead bloom, and left it alone. There are now many strong baby leaves and/or leaf buds showing on all stems. Funny thing is, most of this new growth is at ground level, or very low down on the stems. Nothing lifelike at the tips of the stems yet. There are buds on the very stem tips, but I can't tell whether they are old and dead (that's what it looks like) or just haven't opened yet.

Neutral lmelling On Nov 15, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is one of the Hovaria series (called Kaleidoscope in the US). According to Michael A. Dirr in Hydrangeas for American Gardens, "Although the flowers are magnificent, they lack of cold hardiness and/or high mildew susceptibility are garden liabilities."

I have scoured the internet trying to find a zone hardiness for these plants but have come up empty-handed (or empty-zoned). None of the sites that sell this plant list a zone range for it. Several have suggested that it be grown as a container plant. Even the Hovaria site ( does not list a zone hardiness for this plant, they simply say, "Most Hydrangeas are hardy. This means that the branches and the buds that still are not opened will not be killed by frostbite. It may happen (especially with container plants) that the soil in which the roots are, will totally freeze. When there is lasting, severe, bleak, drying, frosty cold weather (with much wind), the branches and buds can dry up because no supply of moisture from the roots will be possible. We can avoid this by covering the plants in a proper way during severe frost, for instance with bubble plastic..."

It would be nice to hear from other gardeners who have successfully overwintered this hydrangea, and during what conditions.


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

Malvern, Arkansas
Sebastopol, California
Hanna City, Illinois
Louisville, Kentucky
Ford City, Pennsylvania
Charleston, South Carolina
Conway, South Carolina
Sweetwater, Tennessee
Fort Worth, Texas
Manassas, Virginia
Reston, Virginia

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