PNW Landscape Plant Guide

brought to you by the plant geeks at Calendula Farm

Variegated Hydrangea ‘Mariesii’ (Hydrangea macrophylla)

Once this Hydrangea grabs your attention you will find it hard to stop staring. Huge leaves (hence the name macrophylla) drape gracefully and look like they have been artfully marbleized with dark green, light green, and creamy white paint.

Ok, so that’s cool but starting in early summer it begins forming buds in tight clusters at all the branch tips. They look like little bluish white bb’s. Then as they open to a more intense blue, a halo of larger white sterile flowers open, encircling the cluster of fertile blooms. The whole effect looks like a firework in mid explosion. This goes on through summer. Colors might be more purple or pinkish depending on your soil.

Autumn brings a session of soft reds, deep pinks, and rusty colors to the foliage. Then it’s done till next year. Gets about 4 feet tall and 4-6 feet wide. Like most Hydrangeas, it loves a good amount of shade or bright ambient light, but can easily take a half day of direct sun. What is bright ambient light? Think – up against a house or fence which blocks direct sun but is open and bright. Under the canopy of a large tree where it feels dark or dark-ish, that’s shade.