Smooth Hydrangea, Wild Hydrangea, Sevenbark 'Invincibelle Spirit'

Hydrangea arborescens

Family: Hydrangeaceae (hy-drain-jee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hydrangea (hy-DRAIN-juh) (Info)
Species: arborescens (ar-bo-RES-senz) (Info)
Cultivar: Invincibelle Spirit
Additional cultivar information:(Invincibelle series; aka NCHA1)
Hybridized by Ranney
Registered or introduced: 2009
» View all varieties of Hydrangeas


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

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)

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:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:



Fuchsia (red-purple)

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:

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

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for drying and preserving

Water Requirements:

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

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Can be grown as an annual


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Visalia, California

Littleton, Colorado

Bear, Delaware

Berwyn, Illinois

Carol Stream, Illinois

Normal, Illinois

Iowa City, Iowa

Marshalltown, Iowa

Louisville, Kentucky

Garden City, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Spring Lake, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Natchez, Mississippi

Easton, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Conroe, Texas

Keller, Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 25, 2016, maudie400 from Normal, IL wrote:

This Annabelle is not nearly as hardy as the native. For the past two years in my Zone 5 garden, it has bloomed well in late June, but by mid-July, the stems completely die back to the ground, regardless of whether it's been watered or not.


On Jul 11, 2014, sladeofsky from Louisville, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

I don't know if I am just unlucky, but mine exhibits the worst branching structure of any plant I have ever grown. The flowers are huge and beautiful but almost always borne on tiny week stems that lie flat to the ground and often break under their own weight. As a flower, it's very nice. As a shrub, it's pathetic. I purchased mine from a Stark Brothers, but it was in a Proven Winners pot. Hopefully it will firm up with age. I wouldn't say "don't plant it" but be warned of its problems.


On Sep 19, 2013, gammaneetz from Garden City, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:

I totally love this plant! It is planted in front of the picket fence surrounding my veggie garden and it fits there just perfectly. Yes, I do need to tie it up a couple of times a season, but that's alright with me. The blooms on the plant are wonderful.


On Jun 14, 2013, holly_grower from Bear, DE wrote:

I agree with the other reviewers - this plant is slow to get established and is best thought of as a perennial which should be supported while in bloom and deadheaded afterwards. Gets a little ragged looking after best not to site it near the front of a bed. But the color is dramatic and can't be beat for this species!


On Jan 13, 2013, stewardess from Easton, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have Invincibelle planted under a Thundercloud Plum tree, where it receives morning sun. The first couple of years, it produced ugly clusters of non-uniform dark pink flowers interspersed with brown, quickly-declining blooms. I almost removed it, but everything in my garden gets a 3-year trial period. The third year, the plant flourished and is now one of the prettiest in my yard. The blooms are fluffy, cotton-candy-colored balls of healthy flowers. Heavy with blooms, the branches must be supported. Blooms slowly decline into attractive dried clusters, which look really pretty in the fall. I cut the stalks down to the ground in early winter, and by spring the shrub is full and covered with blooms again!


On May 16, 2010, kTalia from Littleton, CO (Zone 5a) wrote:

Description from Proven Winners says the following:

"Rick pink flowers bloom from early summer to frost. Very hardy. Reliable bloomer. Reblooms without deheading. Cut to the ground in late winter and fertilize lightly."


On Oct 14, 2009, hortusthird from Spring Lake, MI wrote:

Finally a pink annabelle! Yeah.