If you haven’t heard about the Everlasting®Series of Hydrangeas, you are in for a treat. This is a super tough line of Hydrangea macrophylla (big leaf hydrangeas) from our wonderful friends at Kolster BV in The Netherlands.
These stellar new selections were bred for the cut flower market, so they have amazingly tough stems, strong, deeply colored, think leathery foliage and the strongest, longest lasting mop head blooms we’ve ever seen.
You can seriously bang someone over the head with these and they will not loose one floret. We’ve done it – trust us.
Everyone is searching for the next re-blooming hydrangea, but what about a hydrangea that grows three feet tall and has blooms that start one color and take a journey to maturity that may involve three or more color changes along the way?
These are better than re-blooming, they’re Everlasting®!
A fairytale like journey starting with various shades of green and aging to multiple shades of green, pink, purple, blue and red and then finally back to green with a hint of the previous color. They’ll satisfy even the most demanding princess with their mélange of colors.
What’s more, they were bred to be sturdy and well branched, so they make the prefect pot crop for the gift plant market AND they are all hardy to zone 5, so this could truly be the very first successful Gift-to-Garden line that also cross markets into the cut flower trade.
Can you tell we’re excited about these new hydrangeas?
Everlasting™ Amethyst, Coral, Garnet, Harmony and Ocean combine the bold blooms of cut flowers with the long lasting qualities of a gift item and the hardiness of a shade-loving garden plant all in one. This is an extremely versatile series that honestly goes from gift to garden. Shiny, dark green foliage complements the flowers and makes a lovely foil for all other plants. Each selection is breathtaking while flowering in the spring, and all dry to lovely shades, whether you cut the blooms for enjoyment inside or leave them to dry naturally on the plants in the garden.
Gardeners will love the mop heads of the Everlasting™ Series with their variety of colors, handsome foliage, and sturdy habits. Each stem is a bouquet, and even a young plant makes a show worthy of a Mother’s Day bouquet. Be sure to create a display of Everlasting hydrangeas as a gift, or perhaps in a planter ready to adorn the doorstep. On the other hand, one stem in a pretty vase at checkout will send customers back to the nursery wanting more. These hydrangeas got their start as strong-stemmed cut flowers, but they have proven to be outstanding plants overall and garden hardy.
Size: 3-4′ tall by 3-4′ wide
USDA hardiness zones: 5-9
Sun/shade: full sun to part shade
Soil: average garden soil
Moisture: moist, but well drained
Diseases and pests: none known
Landscape use: foundations, cutting gardens, wildlife gardens, borders, foundations, small urban gardens
Floral use: pot crops and cut flowers
Market appeal/Uniqueness: Strong, sturdy stems on garden hardy plants that support large mop head blooms that age to a series of lovely shades.
Propagation methods: vegetative cuttings
Date of introduction: 2011
Bloom time: May-June
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Hokomac’ PPAF
Everlasting Coral is a brand new selection with saturated colors and a fascinating aging sequence. Sturdy, mop head blooms on thick, upright stems emerge coral pink, and then over a few weeks time mature to a deep pink with violet edges, giving the bloom lots of dimension. The final aging stage of this colorful new selection is lime green with white edges. A clever, colorful addition to any garden with cut flowers that last for weeks and weeks
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Hokomathyst’ PPAF
Everlasting Amethyst is a brand new selection with amazing potential for the gift, the garden and the cut flower industry. Sturdy, mop head blooms held high on thick, upright stems emerge bright, fuchsia pink or violet blue, depending on the acidity of the soil, aging to a reddish pink with lime green markings. The blooms remain strong and sturdy as a cut flower as the plant ages to it’s final shade, lime green, a new favorites of many brides. You’ll want the beautiful new selection in your garden for viewing and for cutting year after year.
NEW! Everlasting® Bride
What happens when a bride walks into the room…all eyes are upon her! And this new Everlasting hydrangea is no different. The blooms of this stunning variety remind us of lace and pearls. Yes, perfect for a summer wedding, pure white flowers with hard blooms and strong stems for cuts. As the flowers mature, they turn to mint green, adding yet another nuance to this promising new selection.
Cherry-red flowers on a compact plant. Crimson is a super red, hard flower with the quintessential everlasting seasonal color change, ideal for container plantings and garden paths.
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Hortmagreclo’ PPAF
Green Cloud lives up to its name by opening with celery-green flowers, each with a white eye-zone and turns ablaze with red and green tones as it matures. Strong stems, hard flowers and classic, antique colors are all signature attributes of the Everlasting Series. Plant Green Cloud in a special container to show off its amazing green flowers, or place in the garden with some of the other Everlasting varieties, but don’t forget to harvest the stems – they’ll add flair to any arrangement with their incredible colors and will last in a vase for over a month!
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Hortmahar’ PPAF
Everlasting Harmony is a sought after new selection adorned in soft pink and cream mop head blooms. Strong, yet compact and covered with large, sturdy blooms, you’ll want to display this plant in your mixed border or foundation and then bring some blooms in everyday to enjoy their soft, feminine color as the blooms mature. In a harmonious parade of color, the blooms first develop a deeper pink or blue tone with green edges, and then fade to a lovely, soft celery green, yet remain strong and sturdy as a cut flower for weeks.
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Hortmoc’ PPAF
Everlasting Ocean is the perfect plant to give to someone who has just welcomed a brand new baby girl into his or her life. Many bright pink, cupped florets make up the sturdy mop head blooms giving the appearance of a bundle of bumbershoots tied in a bow held high on strong, sturdy green stems. As the blooms mature, they settle into darker shade pink and develop creamy edges. The final aging stage is lime green with darker pink margins and as the blooms ages, the blooms remain strong and sturdy as a cut flower for weeks.
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Kolmgarip’PPAF
Hydrangea Everlasting Garnet is a brand new selection with amazing potential. Sturdy, mop head blooms on thick, upright stems emerge bright, reddish-pink. As the blooms mature, they change to lime green and develop pink picotee markings, but remain strong and sturdy as a cut flower. The final aging stage of this grand and stately beauty is total lime green, a favorite of mine and many brides too. This is one plant you’ll want in your garden for viewing and for cutting year after year.
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Hortmaja’ PPAF
Everlasting Jade is as lovely in the garden as it is in a vase or as a potted plant on your brunch table. Flowers open the softest lime green and age to a saturated deep green with fire engine red tips. The parade of colors is as long lasting as the blooms and they hold their shape and form, giving the garden and your table months of joy.
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Hokomarevo’ PPAF
Repeat flowering hydrangeas often disappoint because they bloom so sporadically. Buy this plant and enlighten your garden with a blooming revolution. Revolution not only flowers on new and old wood, making it sure to bloom for everyone, but the flowers fade to magical color combinations of deep pink, maroon and true blue, adding green highlights as they age over a long period of time. This is the most attractive re-blooming hydrangea ever. Not only is it a gorgeous, tough, long-lasting flower, it’s a blooming machine that is certain to please.
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Xian’ PP# 20483
Hydrangea Everlasting Opal is a brand new selection with amazing potential. Sturdy, mop head blooms on thick, upright stems emerge bright, lavender-pink. As the blooms mature, they change to lime green and develop pink picotee markings, but remain strong and sturdy as a cut flower. The final aging stage of this grand and stately beauty is celadon green, a favorite of mine and many brides too. This is one plant you’ll want in your garden for viewing and for cutting year after year.
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Hokomano’ PP#22696
Hydrangea Everlasting Noblesse is one of the newest selections from this amazing line of great performers. Crisp, celery green flowers are brightened by white centers with complimentary purple eyes. As the blooms mature, the white is not as prominent, turning a more saturated green. A strong grower, with remarkable flower power, Noblesse is a lovely choice for a garden setting, while doubling as the perfect cut flower for weddings and other important events.One of the most commonly asked questions at garden centers worldwide is – How do I prune my hydrangeas?
One of the most often asked questions about hydrangeas – How and When do I prune them?
It’s easy, really!
First, some definitions:
There are three ways in which hydrangeas flower– those that flower on new wood, those that flower on old wood, and now there are some newer selections that flower on new and old wood and therefore they require little or no pruning each year.
Old Wood means branches that have been on the hydrangea since the summer before the current season.
New wood means branches that will develop on the plant during the current growing season.
Old wood means last year’s stems. If your area has a mild winter, you will see leaves on stems. If your area has a harsh winter, you will see brown, dead stems and leaves coming only from the base – this is new wood – or new growth and if a variety blooms on old wood only – you will have no flowers after a hard winter or late frost because they form their flower buds in the winter. If they bloom on new wood, they form their flower buds as they regrow from the base of the plant, but that means they will not flower until later in the summer.
Method I is for hydrangea types that bloom on old wood (last year’s branches). Prune these hydrangeas only in the summer before August, before they set their bloom buds for the next year. This group of hydrangeas produce flower buds on hydrangea stems around August, September or October for the following summer’s blooms. If those stems are removed (pruned) in the fall, winter, or spring, the bloom buds will be removed, and there may be little or no bloom the following summer (usually June/July for the northern hemisphere).
Method II is for hydrangeas that flower on new wood (new branches). This type of hydrangea is determined to flower every single year, no matter how they are treated. Prune these plants in the late summer after they have bloomed. They cannot be pruned is in the spring when they are preparing to flower, because you will cut off the flower buds.
Method III is for hydrangeas that flower on both new and old wood. Prune these hydrangeas only if they are getting too large for the space or if you want to remove old flowers. The best time to prune them is after they flower in the late summer. If you prune them much beyond late summer, you will risk removing the flower buds that are developing on the current branches.
The next most commonly asked question is – How do I change the color of the flowers?
To change the flower from Blue to Pink:
For hydrangea flowers to be pink, the plants must not take up aluminum from the soil. If the soil naturally contains aluminum, you must try to keep it away from the hydrangea’s system. Try this if you would rather have pink flowers:
- Add dolomitic lime several times a year. This will help to raise the pH. Shoot for a pH of about 6.0 to 6.2 (If it goes above 6.4 hydrangeas may experience an iron deficiency, which will make their leaves turn yellow). Since hydrangeas take up aluminum best at lower pH levels, raising the pH will help to keep the bluing effect of aluminum out of the hydrangea’s system.
- Use a fertilizer with high levels of phosphorus. Phosphorus helps to prevent aluminum from creeping into the system of the hydrangea. Choose a fertilizer close to the ratio of 25/10/10 (Phosphorus is the middle number)
- In areas that naturally produce blue hydrangeas (soils with aluminum), consider growing pink hydrangeas in large pots. If hydrangeas are grown in pots, it would be best to use potting soil, not garden or top soil, since these mixes should not have aluminum in them. In a pot, it will be much easier to control the requirements for growing pink hydrangeas.
To change the flower from Pink to Blue:
To make hydrangea flowers blue, aluminum must be present in the soil. To ensure that aluminum is present, aluminum sulfate may be added to the soil around the hydrangeas.
We recommend that a solution of 1/2 oz (1 Tbsp) aluminum sulfate per gallon of water be applied to plants throughout the growing season. Important: Make sure your soil is a little wet before you do this because the mixture can burn dried out roots.
To make the aluminum available to the plant, the pH of the soil should be low (5.2-5.5). Adding aluminum sulfate will lower the pH of the soil. Another method for lowering the pH is to add organic matter to the soil such as coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peels, grass clippings etc.
If the soil naturally contains aluminum and is acidic (low pH) the color of the hydrangea will automatically be blue and/or purple.
The choice of fertilizer will also affect the color change. A fertilizer low in phosphorus and high in potassium is helpful in producing a good blue color (25/5/30 is good). Potassium is the last number). Super-phosphates and bone meal should be avoided when trying to produce blue.
Note 1: Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible to turn a hydrangea blue forever if it is planted in soil with no aluminum and that is highly alkaline (chalky). You have to be very diligent in keeping the soil properly conditioned on a continual basis as stated above.
Perhaps the best idea for growing blue hydrangeas in an area with alkaline soil is to grow them in very large pots using lots of compost to bring the pH down. Our recommendations for bluing also work for a potted plant. Reduce the strength of the Aluminum sulfate to 1/4 oz per gallon of water. In a pot, it is much easier to control the requirements for bluing and since these are hardy to USDA zone 5, most of you should be able to grow the Everlasting™ Series in a pot outside and leave it outside all winter.
Note 2: Planting hydrangeas near a concrete foundation or sidewalk will often affect the color since the pH of the soil may be raised considerably by lime leaching out of these structures, making it difficult to obtain blue.