PNW Landscape Plant Guide

brought to you by the plant geeks at Calendula Farm

Hydrangea ‘Preziosa’ (Hydrangea serrata)

In the Pacific Northwest we are blessed with a climate that makes Hydrangeas very, very happy with our abundance of shady places and mild winter temperatures. A lot of Hydrangeas’ bloom color can range from pink or red to light or dark blue depending on the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. You can alter this but it takes a couple of years before the changed soil starts affecting the flower color.

Hydrangea ‘Preziosa’ doesn’t follow any of these rules. It is one of the few Hydrangeas that will grow happily in full sun. Or shade. Whatever. Unlike its other relatives in the ‘serrata’ species which form flat discs of blooms (called Lacecaps), ‘Preziosa’ forms big round ball-shaped flower clusters made up of 1 inch individual florets. It starts flowering by June and keeps pumping out new flowers for two or three months.

Regardless of soil acidity, the blooms follow this sequence of color change: young blooms are green, transition to pale yellow, then ivory white. Changes keep happening as the white takes on pink tones. The pink keeps deepening to raspberry, cherry, then, by autumn they are rich wine red. The extra super duper cool thing is all those stages will be present on the plant at the same time toward late summer. Any of it, all of it, makes great cut fresh flowers, and hold up well for drying as well.