(Truly) New hydrangeas for 2016?

Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

Is it just me or are there no/few "real" introductions this year? The ones I have seen advertised as 'new' for 2016 in plant nurseries or wholesalers have really been out a year or so. Has anyone found any 'truly' new ones for 2016?

This message was edited Mar 11, 2016 5:15 AM

Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

This growing season is lacking new introductions similar to prior years. Only a few. Below is a list of new ones that I have seen on the Internet. Feel free to add others that you are aware of.

Smooth hydrangea (aka, Annabelle or H. arborescens) had some sports that developed around the Gulf of Mexico and these cousins attracted attention because they were sports of Invincibelle and Incredibelle that had pink blooms. The original Invincibelle and Incrediball had white blooms. The pink cousins never tripped my trigger when I saw them side by side at a nursery. I ended buying a regular Annabelle that day. Well, skip to Chapter 2. We now have new-er version of these pink ones. So be on the lookout for Invincibelle Blush, Incredibelle Spirit and Incredibelle Spirit II. So look for burgundy-pink shades of pink; or look for a richer shade of pink. I have not seen these new shades so I cannot comment. A smaller growing Annabelle appeared too, called Lime Rickey. About 3-4’ high they advertised. Probably competition for Little Lime, which is a small Limelight, which is a paniculata. Probably not really “new”. I would swear I have seen it before but ehhh, can’t tell for sure. A few these new Annabelle cousins were released early last year so I am not sure whether to call them new 2016 introductions or not.

Gatsby Pink is an addition to the Gatsby Series. The Gatsbys are all oakleaf hydrangeas (H. quercifolia). Pink’s claim to fame is that the blooms turn pink quickly. Burgundy-red leaf colors in Autumn are "included free of charge". It is a tall shrub though 6-8’. This feature (blooms turn pink quickly) may be useful in places where 100-degree temps turn the blooms brown. Vanilla Strawberry has been pretty bad under such conditions and you do not get the VS pink colors, let alone VS magenta after VS pink.

Let’s Dance Rave is a new mophead in this series. Its claim to fame is unclear. I think they introduced it because it resists turning blue and stays purple-ish. But it certainly is not the only mophead that does that. The advertising I have seen talks about how nice its purple color looks on acidic soils but, on the same line, it adds that the color is influenced by soil pH levels. So it will not be "useful" in alkaline soils (turns pink), unless you amend the soil to make it acidic. As you can probably expect, it re-blooms like many or all the ones in the Let’s Dance Series and is supposed to be salt-tolerant. If you need a hydrangea for coastal areas, this compact shrub (2-3’) may be worth considering.

Dear Dolores is another odd new introduction, whose claim to fame is that it is "tough"? maybe? They advertise the usual things about hydrangeas and do not specify why we should by yet another re-bloomer (ie, they said that it blooms in Spring; re-blooms; color is blue or pink depending on the soil, etc) but not anything clear and special. May not be patent protected. I got the story by researching some stuff. Hybridizer Wyatt LeFevere discovered it in the house where he moved into in 1966. The original plant lasted many years, including recently being literally covered by a new porch. Surprisingly, the shrub “appeared” two years later so he decided to propagate it and named it in honor of his wife; his wife was called Dolores LeFever. A Southern Living Plant Collection Shrub.


This message was edited Apr 26, 2016 5:17 AM

This message was edited Apr 26, 2016 5:19 AM

This message was edited Apr 26, 2016 5:27 AM

(Zone 4b)


- Hydrangea angustipetala Golden Crane ("MonLongShou")

- Hydrangea macrophylla "Miss Saori" (New last year but now much more readily available)

A bit rare?:

- Hydrangea serrata 'O-amacha Nishiki' - Mountain Hydrangea

- Hydrangea serrata 'Kiyosumi' - Mountain Hydrangea


Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

A local nursery brought into stock Golden Crane and Miss Saori. GC had a scent that I could not describe... seemed nice but I was in the middle of an allergies so I could not breath well/ I tried to inhale the scent to see what it was like but I never did categorize it. Only that at least it was not bad. Hee hee hee.

They also had MS but the bloom distribution seemed haphazard, not lots of flowers thru the whole plant. Reminds me of Little Quickfire that has sparse bloomage in the few years it has been out. Just a heads up. Hopefully, MS may bloom more profusely once established.

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