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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

Hydrangea Invincibelle Spirit: New from North America

Posted by Graham Rice on 25 Aug 2011 at 08:03 PM

Hydrangea Invincibelle Spirit. Photo courtesy of Proven Winners - www.provenwinners.comAfter a long time out of fashion, hydrangeas are again proving popular with many new varieties introduced in recent years. And not just new forms of the old favourites, the mophead and lacecap Hortensia types. Other species are being developed as well.

Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' has been around for many years. It's a superb Award of Garden Merit winning shrub with spherical white flowerheads up to 13in/32cm across. Invincibelle Spirit ('Ncha1)' is, essentially, a pink flowered version.

Reaching about 4ft/1.2m in height, this bushy shrub produces rounded heads of flowers up to 8in/20cm across from mid summer until the first frosts. Dark pink in bud, the impressive heads open in bright pink and then fade to pale pink. Expect up to a hundred flower heads over one summer on a mature plant, with up to 1200 florets in each head.

Happy in sun or partial shade, and in any reasonable soil, Invincibelle Spirit flowers on new shoots so can be pruned hard in spring. In some situations, especially in shade, the flowers may prove too heavy for the stems and may lean over after heavy rain. In that case prune less severely and the result will be more flower heads but they will all be smaller and less heavy after the rain.

Invincibelle Spirit ('Ncha1) was developed over many years by Dr Tom Ranney at North Carolina State University.

You can order buy plants of Hydrangea arborescens Invincibelle Spirit ('Ncha1) from these RHS Plant Finder nurseries.

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