Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bigleaf Hydrangea Lacecap
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Lady in Red'

Family: Hydrangeaceae (hy-drain-jee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hydrangea (hy-DRAIN-juh) (Info)
Species: macrophylla (mak-roh-FIL-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Lady in Red
Additional cultivar information: (PP15175)
Hybridized by Dirr; Year of Registration or Introduction: 2002

» View all varieties of Hydrangeas

One vendor has this plant for sale.

27 members have or want this plant for trade.

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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)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)
Scarlet (Dark Red)
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring

Good Fall Color

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From softwood cuttings

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 28 photos.
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9 positives
6 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral KariGrows On Jun 1, 2014, KariGrows from New Lisbon, WI (Zone 4b) wrote:

I posted this plant growing in my zone 4 woodland garden, yes, it took 3 yrs to bloom and after our brutal winter I am amazed it is leafing out. I bought it when a website declared it a zone 5 as I often try to push it , I am on the border.
But later found it listed as zone 6. I would not recommend it to anyone in m y zone 4, just want to say it is interesting it is still growing . It is surrounded by astilbe, woodland geraniums and hostas, so perhaps somewhat protected.

Positive coriaceous On May 23, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This is a great cultivar. The red veins and stems, and the reddish tones the leaves acquire as the summer progresses, add distinction. No mildew here, though mildew isn't generally a problem with macrophyllas in my area.

As with most macrophyllas, flower color depends on the soil pH---it can be a good blue on acid soil. If you acidify, use sulfur rather than aluminum sulfate.

Last winter was colder than average here (Southborough MA Z6a). Almost all the macrophyllas in this area died back to the ground, but not the Lady in Red. It's clearly a bit hardier than most cultivars. It gets about 4-5' tall here.

Positive pbtxlady On May 26, 2013, pbtxlady from Garland, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I love my Lady in Red. It grows in bright but full shade, getting only a little dappled sun before 9 a.m. It is very compact and keeps its form pretty well, so I only ever snip off wood that's obviously dead. I've had it since 2005, and it has bloomed reliably for me every year until this year (when it seemed to do a bit of self-pruning. It's my only hydrangea, so I don't know if that's normal or not, but my dad's did the same thing.). Normally beautiful light pink lacecap flowers start about the first of May. They turn red with age and last until fall. Even without the flowers this year, it's a beautiful hydrangea and brightens up my shade garden.

Neutral fleurish On Mar 27, 2011, fleurish from Raleigh, NC wrote:

does this plant revert to all green?! the first year I had beautiful red leaves and veining, subsequent years the leaves are completely green- no red at all... is it my soil? It is otherwise VERY, incredibly, almost rampantly happy in its spot.

Neutral suentommy On Sep 7, 2010, suentommy from Souderton, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I love the flowers of this plant. They are beautiful. I do have trouble keeping them going in the summer however. It has been in the nineties all summer and these plants wilt in the heat. I find that to keep them looking good - I have three of them, I have to go out and water every morning and then sometimes again after dinner or they show signs of stress. They are planted in the shade of oak and crape myrtle trees and are not in full sun but they do require a lot of water. They have been in the ground for two years. I am hoping that as they mature the watering needs won't be as great.

Neutral aloha0982 On Aug 18, 2010, aloha0982 from Westerville, OH wrote:

I have a question about my hydrangea. My flowers are dead should I just prune the dead flowers or do I leave them???? This is the first year they have bloomed and I am really not a big gardner yet.

Positive nancybeth888 On Jun 29, 2010, nancybeth888 from Naperville, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

I ordered this plant not knowing it should not grow in my zone (5b). Planted it anyway in a protected corner of my patio. Five years later, it is thriving! It filled the corner and is presently (late June) covered with pink lace-top blooms. I love it.

Positive DMgardener On Oct 2, 2009, DMgardener from (Daniel) Mount Orab, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

I bought this plant from a very nice greenhouse near me on Fall sale.
The plant is not as hardy as advertised, dying back to the ground in zone 6b. It took until May 12 to see any regrowth. But the leaves have a nice red blush, as that is the only thing that I got from them is leaves.

Will update this comment when, if ever, they bloom.

Neutral gardenlady123 On Sep 13, 2008, gardenlady123 from Plainwell, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

I like this hydrangea but, we have to cover for the winter. I do not get to many flowers which is what I want. The flower I get are pretty. But there are very few. If anyone wants some I can do some cutting if you walk me thru it.

Positive stormyla On May 14, 2008, stormyla from Norristown, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I planted a one gallon plant 2 years ago in a 4' x 4' bed that gets mid to late afternoon sun. A rain spout empties directly into this small plot. It has grown to 3' x 3' and is now covered in buds. The first fall was iffy. It definately looked like it wasn't going to make it. Now it is just the picture of health. We had a severe draught last summer and it flowered like a champ. It never shows signs of duress, however, mine blooms in mid to late summer.

Positive armymom05 On Sep 10, 2007, armymom05 from Crofton, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

Hi ..This plant is very pretty,And I would like to get a start,if anyone has one.I have never heard of the L I R,Hydrange until I saw it on a garden show,Will it grow in central Tex.I hope not to many questions.LOL.And sounds like it grows in the same place as my green and varigated do.Thank you so much for all the information..I really appreciate it
Thanks Linda

Positive sterhill On Aug 7, 2006, sterhill from Atlanta, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I have 5 of these and each plant is different, except for the distinctive red veining. Some have bigger leaves, some are more compact and some are sprawling - all were bought at the same time. The one thing they do have in common is a distaste for any afternoon sun. They will wilt and flatten and look miserable with even a little afternoon sun. I've had to move them around to find the right spots and now they are looking pretty good.

I did have to prune some that were just too leggy so I can only hope for blooms next year. A pretty plant when happily situated.

They like a lot of water.

Neutral AnniesWeePlot On Aug 6, 2006, AnniesWeePlot from Pennsauken, NJ (Zone 6b) wrote:

Pruning is not necessary, especially since Lady in Red is a compact form. If you want to prune to improve the shape of the plant, be careful to prune shortly AFTER flowering because flower buds are formed on the previous seasons growth. Prune these hydrangeas only in the summer before July/August to be sure that you are not cutting off the stems that hold the flower buds for the next season. This hydrangea blooms on OLD WOOD, stems that have been on the hydrangea for at least 9-10 months, and sets its flower buds in late summer/early fall for blooms the following spring.

Sometimes some hydrangeas will defy this general rule, but for Lady in Red, be careful of your time of pruning to ensure blooms in the next year.

For older plants, older than 4-6 years old, the general rule is to remove about a third of the old wood by cutting them down at ground level during the summer. This allows for more light into the plant and it helps revitalize the plants new growth.

Positive featherjan On May 1, 2005, featherjan from Hiawassee, GA (Zone 6b) wrote:

'Lady in Red' has lacecap flowers that open as pinkish white to bluish-white, depending on soil pH and turn a lush burgundy rose as they mature. The foliage is rich reddish-purple in the fall with distinctive red stems and veins throughout the growing season.

Positive lmelling On Dec 7, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Selection from Michael A. Dirr and reported to be bred for mildew resistance, which is a problem with the species. Dull dark green leaves with red veins, petioles, stems, and fall color. Highly mildew resistant. Sincle row of 5 to 10 pinkish white to light blue ray-flowers held on long stems that age to burgundy-rose. Sepals are rounded and overlapping. Heads are 4" across with blue-purple fertile flowers.


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

Little Rock, Arkansas
Paradise, California
San Bernardino, California
Atlanta, Georgia
Hiawassee, Georgia
Marietta, Georgia
Naperville, Illinois
Baldwin City, Kansas
Barbourville, Kentucky
Lafayette, Louisiana
Easton, Maryland
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Silver Spring, Maryland
Takoma Park, Maryland
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Plainwell, Michigan
Sterling Heights, Michigan
Madison, Mississippi
Raymond, Mississippi
Pennsauken, New Jersey
Tuckerton, New Jersey
Southold, New York
Emerald Isle, North Carolina
Norwood, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Mount Orab, Ohio
Westerville, Ohio
Portland, Oregon
Glenside, Pennsylvania
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Souderton, Pennsylvania
West Chester, Pennsylvania
North Augusta, South Carolina
Culleoka, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Borger, Texas
Garland, Texas
Willis, Texas
Disputanta, Virginia
Hampton, Virginia
Lexington, Virginia
Urbanna, Virginia
New Lisbon, Wisconsin

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