Hydrangea Tuff Stuff™ Description
Tuff Stuff™ mountain hydrangea (Hydrangea serrata) is truly an exceptional plant – in fact, our horticulturist says she’s rarely been more impressed by a plant’s performance! Tuff Stuff hydrangeas offer colorful pink or blue flowers like bigleaf hydrangeas, but perform better in cold climates. This means even folks in USDA zones 5 and 6 can rely on seeing these neat, compact plants positively covered with pink or purple mophead flowers all summer and beyond, since Tuff Stuff is a rebloomer. Compact plants are tidy and space-saving, making them perfect for the garden or the landscape.
About the Tuff Stuff™ series: Tuff Stuff are mountain hydrangeas. They are closely related to the popular bigleaf hydrangeas but they are native to chilly mountainous areas, which allowed them to naturally develop better tolerance to cold conditions. Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs developed the Tuff Stuff series with an eye toward increased reliability in zones 5 and 6 as well as longer bloom in warmer areas. If you have not had success with bigleaf hydrangeas, we encourage you to give the award-winning Tuff Stuff series a try!
Special features: Long blooming, Attracts pollinators, No prune, Reblooming
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- Botanical name: Hydrangea serrata 'MAK20'
- Common name:
Reblooming hydrangea, Mountain hydrangea
- Sun exposure:
Sun in cool areas; part shade in warm climates.
- Ship form:
- Soil type:
Any well-drained but moist soil.
- Soil moisture:
- Height x width:
2-3' tall and wide
- Flower color:
Pink or purple, depending on conditions (see below for more info)
- Foliage color:
- Season of interest:
Flower gardens, Landscaping, Specimen, Flowering hedge
- Patent:USPP 24,820
- Cannot ship to:
More Info, How-To's, Videos and more
Soil: Mountain hydrangeas require well-drained but moist soil. A good layer of mulch is very helpful for minimizing drought stress and conserving moisture..
Light: plants can take full sun (6+ hrs/day) in cooler areas, but afternoon shade is recommended in warm climates. If your plant frequently wilts in the afternoon even though it was recently watered, that may indicate the spot is too sunny for it.
Water: Average to abundant (as long as soil is well drained).
Space: min. 3' apart
Fertilizing: Fertilize in early spring, once the ground has thawed, with a granular rose fertilizer. Make an additional application in late spring/early summer to boost reblooming ability, particularly in colder areas.
Winterizing: Do not cut plants back for winter! Doing so will cut off all of the flower buds for the following season. If plants show a lot of dieback in spring, consider moving them, as this indicates the spot may be too cold for the plant.
Maintenance: Even though Tuff Stuff hydrangeas are reblooming and capable of flowering on old and new wood, for best bloom, it is best to avoid pruning, trimming, or cutting them back. Any dead wood can be pruned out in early spring, once the new growth has begun to emerge and its clear where any winter damage occurred. If plants do not flower reliably, move them to a more protected spot in your yard; early spring is an excellent time to do that. For best reblooming performance, keep plants free of stress so they grow vigorously. New growth is key to a good rebloom! Notes on flower color: The flowers of bigleaf hydrangeas can vary from pink to purple to blue, depending on soil chemistry. You must have both an acidic soil and the presence of aluminum (a naturally occurring soil element) in order for blue/purple color to develop. Get a soil test from your local Cooperative Extension before applying any color change treatment to be certain that it will be effective.
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