Annabelle Hydrangea are the hydrangea that never fail to bloom. They bloom on current growth so the flower buds are never affected by frost or freezing temperatures.
My plants and my cuttings did just fine last winter even though it got down to -21 below zero, so they are tough as nails. The unrooted hardwood cuttings also experienced those same temps and still rooted and grew like crazy.
They won’t give you too much trouble if grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in part shade. The Annabelle Hydrangea can handle full sun only if kept consistently moist. They aren’t very tolerant to drought conditions so the foliage might not grow as well as you’d like.
Bloom occurs on new wood, so prune the plants close to the ground in late winter to encourage stem growth. Weakened and/or damaged stems should be removed in early spring.
Prune anytime between October (or when the blooming is done) and April. Do not prune during the growing season. The plants starts growing like crazy in April, then come July they start making flower buds on the ends of the new branches and start blooming in late July.
Here is a video I made at the nursery for you!
I planted a 3 gallon annabelle last year and have pleased with it’s growth. That is until the deer ate half of it last night. Should I trim the branches with no leaves off? Do you think it will bloom this year? I will make a little barrier around it so the deer can’t get to it. The grasses are dry now so they are in my yard. Ugh! 🙁
Trim it up a bit and it will be fine and will bloom.
I am thinking of planting some annabelle hydrangeas by my cottage in Eagle River, WI. The soil is very sandy, so I know I will need to add mulch. Any suggestions on what to add to the mix? Also any suggestions on where to purchase plants?
Just add some compost or composted cow manure when you plant, they should do fine.
Andrea McGowan says
This seems like a great place to ask this question, but I see the thread is a few years old. Hopefully you still check or get notifications! I tried propagating some Annabelle’s last year and 2 survived 🙂 One even produced a flower last year. This year they both came up, but only one is producing flowers (the same on that produced a flower last year). Why do you think this is? They are planted right next to each other.
Annabelles should flower automatically if you just leave them alone. They put on new growth, stop growing, then make flower buds. I can’t imagine one never flowering.
Andrea McGowan says
Thanks for the reply, Mike. I will try to be patient!
Hello! I have four Annabelle hydrangea that I planted in a row three years ago. Two of them bloom and two do not bloom. The two that do not bloom stay a little shorter than the two that do bloom, but all four are very lush,. There’s no disease on the leaves and they get the same amount of sun and water. I can’t figure it out. Thoughts?
I have no idea, Annabelles almost always bloom.
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My Annabel’s are about 7-8 years old. They grew beautifully until the last 2 years. We have many planted around our patio by our fire pit. 2 years ago the leaves looked like they were turning yellow and shriveled up. We raised moved them back and raised up the flower bed . Last year some died the majority bloomed but not like they have in the past, the blooms were much smaller. Obviously they are just starting to grow now. I miss the beauty of the flowers and the big blooms and wondering if they will ever be like they were before.
If you moved them during the growing season that for sure threw them into shock. They should be better this year. We cut ours back really hard and they grow and bloom beautifully.
Hi – when is suppose be the best time to relocate the Annabelle? I just moved my ‘Annabelle last week which planted 4 years ago. I love my Annabelle and it’s has been very brushy and bloomed so much each year. I am worry that it won’t bloom this year as I have to move it.
Transplanting, which means digging, season runs from Thanksgiving til mid April. Moving plants any other time of the year is very risky.
When planting my Annabelle some stems broke off.
I would like to root these softwood cuttings. Any advice?
Just stick them in some damp soil and place a mason jar over them. Do this in the shade.
jeanita nelson says
how and when doyou change the colores to blue or pink
Annabelle is white and cannot be changed but the macrophyllas like All Summer Beauty and Nikko Blue can be changed if you apply aluminum sulfate around the base of the plant in the spring.
Zone 5b. I waited a long time, struggled with NIkko Blue, but a couple of years ago I got a couple of Annabelles. They grow and bloom like crazy, but the stems are too tall and weak and the heavy blooms all sag too low and the plants do not look good. If I fertilize and/or water less will the stems be shorter and/or thicker and be a bit perkier?
They don’t need fertilizer. None of the plants in my landscape ever get fertilized. Never. They just don’t need it. Fertilizer will make them grow faster and weaker than nature intended. Just let them do what they do and they’ll be fine. Of course when wet those large blooms will get pulled toward the ground, that’s just what happens, but most of the time they will look great.
My Annabelle Hydrangeas used to bloom beautifully. Now the deer eat the buds as soon as they begin. Do you have any remedies for deer?
Just search this site for deer repellents. They work a lot better in summer than they do winter.
Sandra Galloway says
Love your info. I would like to start a Annibell hydrangea. Where do i find information on how to do this correct? Is there a video?
My best success with them has been hardwood cuttings. https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2014/02/winter-time-plant-propagation-techniques/
deb wood says
well the impossible has happened…..my annabelle hydrangeas are not blooming….at all. these are pieces of plant moved last fall….from a huge annabelle. each plant is about 3 1/2 feet tall, nice and greeen, in partial shade (they get am sun)……they look just great EXCEPT for the fact they have not bloomed. my other hydrangea varieities have bloomed. is it typical for this hydrangea to not bloom in its’ first year at new location?
I’d say that your Annabelles are quite happy in their new location and are growing vigorously. I think between now and fall they’ll slow down and bloom. Let me know if I’m wrong about that.
Patsy Conlon says
Love you advise. It has help me a lot in my yard. Thank you so much for your help.
Patsy Conlon – Dallas Texas
Jim Gibson, says
Love the Annabelle but if it only grows on new wood each year, how does it get any size to become big and bushy?
The old wood does not die. It just puts on new growth on the old, then blooms on the new growth. They do become nice and bushy.
Thanks Mike ! Love It ! I have been wondering if that was possible, as I cut mine down every Fall..and have only been ‘Splitting’ them for New Plants..but that just makes ‘Holes’ in the next years bush ! Wish the ‘Blues and reds’ would survive my Zone 3B Winters.. Hydrangea still is one of my Favorite Shrubs in my yard !