Bigleaf Hydrangea, French hydrangea 'Royal Purple'

Hydrangea macrophylla

Family: Hydrangeaceae (hy-drain-jee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hydrangea (hy-DRAIN-juh) (Info)
Species: macrophylla (mak-roh-FIL-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Royal Purple
» View all varieties of Hydrangeas


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


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

Light Shade


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Dark Blue




Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

Flowers are good for drying and preserving

Water Requirements:

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

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Ithaca, New York

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 30, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

I was given two of these hydrangea as "liners" by a friend, in fall 2003 along with two Nikko blue, when they were about 6" high and pretty much single stemmed. Other than the name "Royal Purple," I did not have much information on theses two and could not find much on the internet, other than pictures of a fully developed bush.

Because they were so small, I covered the two "bushlets" with our discarded Christmas tree at the end of December, and this was fortuitous as we had one of the most severe winters here in zone 5 in a number of years - extended periods of -25 to -20 degree weather. But the two small hydrangea came through it unscathed and tripled their size this summer, while the two Nikko blue that were also mulched well, but not covered completely, died. Note: ... read more

Update August 10, 2005

Extreme hot conditions this year, less than 1" of rain in July. Pictures added show Hyd. Royal Purple to have deep magenta blooms in unamended soil. Next year will try acidifying soil slightly to see change in colors. Very slow growing variety, but tolerating dry conditions very well compared to All Summer Beauty and Penny Mac!!!