Macrophylla hydrangeas are some of the most popular hydrangeas because they have large leaves, large blooms that are often very colorful. But they can also be less hardy than those in the Hydrangea paniculata family which are mostly white, off white, lime green.
The Macrophyllas come in all kinds of beautiful colors.
As growers or propagators we have to be concerned about which ones are patented and which ones are not because many of the newer introductions are patented and that means it’s illegal to propagate them unless you have a legal agreement with the patent holder.
I make it part of my job to point out which plants are in Public Domain and free for us to propagate. Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Nigra’ is a public domain plant and you and I are free to propagate it all we want.
Nigra hydrangea is special because it has stems that appear to be almost black and color. It is hardy to zone 6 and will do okay in zone 5 if in a protected area.
Nigra blooms on old wood which means that the flower buds are formed in the fall for next summers flowers. That means that some times the buds can get damaged in a harsh winter and you won’t have flowers the next year. But the three that I have here in northern Ohio have bloomed really well for me.
Hydrangeas that bloom on new and old wood are awesome and one of my favorites, a public domain plant is All Summer Beauty.
Another public domain Hydrangea that I really like and blooms really well for me here in northern Ohio is another macrophylla, ‘Forever Pink’.
While I’m at it I might as well give a shout out to Hydrangea Annabelle which is a public domain plant and is like a blooming machine!
The flower color of Hydrangea ‘Nigra’ will range from pink to blue depending on the acidity of the soil. You can add aluminum sulfate to the soil in the spring to bring out the blue color.
Nigra gets as large as 4′ wide and tall.
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