Every time Blue Bunny hydrangea (H. involucrata) blooms in our display gardens, we ask ourselves - why doesn't everyone grow this incredible plant?! This truly special hydrangea has so much going for it: large, fuzzy leaves that are a delight to touch, a tidy, low habit that never needs pruning, big, round flower buds that look more like they belong to a peony than a hydrangea, and the flowers. Ah, the flowers! These large lacecap beauties are a confection of lacy white sterile florets surrounding a burst of violet-blue fertile florets. Yes, you have to wait until well into summer for this show to occur (it's usually in mid-late August for us here in Michigan), but is it worth it! This is one hydrangea that even the most jaded gardener will ask about.
What makes Blue Bunny hydrangea different?
- One of the only hydrangeas with blue lacecap flowers, regardless of soil chemistry
- Unique texture on foliage is irresistibly touchable
- Low growing habit never needs pruning
Name: Hydrangea involucrata 'Wim Rutten' pp#21,991
Hardiness: USDA zones 6-9
Height + width: 2-4'
Light: Full to part sun
Soil: Any well-drained soil will do. Though dry conditions are unlikely to harm an established plant, prolonged drought will severely limit floral life.
Pruning: Blooms on new wood; rarely needs pruning, though dead wood can be removed as needed in spring.
Water: Average water needs. Does not tolerate wet conditions.
Fertilizer: Fertilize once in early spring with a rose fertilizer if desired.
Bloom time: Late summer
Bloom color: White and blue
Uses: This low-growing hydrangea is ideally suited to landscaping (especially under windows) and flower gardens. It is very at home in woodland settings.
Though they are far from the best-known type of hydrangea, bracted hydrangeas (H. involucrata) like Blue Bunny are easy to grow and beautiful. Whenever anyone sees this plant in bud or in bloom in our trial garden, they immediately want one, and we're pleased to be able to make that dream a reality! The unusual name "bracted hydrangea" refers to the bracts, or petal-like structures, that surround the cluster of florets that burst forth from the buds. All you really need to know, though, is that this is one special hydrangea that will set your collection apart from the rest.
Native to Japan and Taiwan, bracted hydrangeas likewise like warm, humid, moist conditions. They are hardy to USDA zone 6 (possibly zone 5 with protection), and because they bloom on new wood, winter damage is less of a threat to their flowering than with bigleaf hydrangeas that bloom on old wood.
Bracted hydrangeas tend to have a spreading habit that grows into a wide, handsome clump as they mature. Their height can range from 2-4', with the lower end more common in cold climates and the higher in mild climates.
Filtered light all day is ideal, though it would be safe to say that they can grow in full to part sun, especially if they are mulched and watered regularly.
Moist, well-drained soil will provide the best-looking foliage and flowers, as it most closely approximates the conditions where bracted hydrangeas grow in the wild. This is a plant that is very at home in woodland gardens where shade helps keep soil moist.
Blue Bunny is the rare hydrangea that keeps its purple-blue color in all soil conditions. However, it is best grown in acidic to only slightly alkaline soils.
Regular fertilizing isn't necessary, but if you live in the colder end of its range, you may wish to fertilize in early and late spring to help it recover from any winter damage that occurs. We recommend a granular (not liquid) rose fertilizer.
The flowers of Blue Bunny are extremely unusual in that they keep their blue-lavender color regardless of soil chemistry. The white portions also stay white in all conditions as well.
Bracted hydrangeas do not need or benefit from yearly pruning as other new wood blooming hydrangeas do. If you find that your plant has a lot of winter damage, you can remove any dead portions once the new growth begins and it's clear where any damage occurred.
Bracted hydrangea problemsAnother great feature of bracted hydrangeas is that they are truly trouble-free. They are even a bit less attractive to deer because of their soft, fuzzy foliage, and their late bloom time also helps make them less appealing, as food sources are so abundant at that point in the season. However, if you do have serious deer browsing, we do recommend protecting the flower buds with a repellent or netting.
NO RISK 60 DAY GUARANTEE
We've got you covered with our 60-day guarantee. We guarantee that your plants will arrive healthy, free of pests and diseases, and true to name.
Have a problem with your plant? We make it easy to place a claim via email or use the chat bubble. Simply send us a photo of your plant, your order number, and a brief description of the problem within 60 days of receipt of your order. Orders from US are eligible for refund or replacement; Canadian orders are eligible only for refunds. All refunds are based on the plant cost and do not include shipping charges. Allow up to 2 weeks for processing refunds.
After 60 days, we cannot be responsible for the plants in your care and will not cover problems with overwintering, animals, insects, diseases, improper planting, drought, flooding, poor drainage, etc. Our goal is that you are successful with our plants (and gardening in general), so our expert staff is here to assist you with any problem you may experience.
Any plant shipped dormant in spring is guaranteed to break dormancy, even if it takes longer than 60 days.
Please note: our guarantee does not cover plants grown outside of their recommended growing zones. Verify your USDA zone by clicking 'Growing Zone' in the site navigation and entering your zip code before purchasing.
FALL GUARANTEE – SHIPPING FROM SEPTEMBER 1 – END OF FALL SEASON
Did you receive an order after September 1? If so, it falls under our fall guarantee. We want to ensure your plants establish in your garden and return the following spring. Therefore, the warranty on your plants is extended to May 31 the next year. Ensure you contact us with images, your order number, and a description of the problem before May 31.
OUR ROBUST PLANTS
We ship plants with hefty root systems that outperform smaller plants obtained from other mail-order nurseries.
We take great pride in our packaging. Please contact us immediately for any damaged boxes or shortages. (Please note: multiple boxes shipped by Fed Ex might not always arrive the same day)
Any plant shipped dormant in the spring is guaranteed to break dormancy even if it takes more than one month. Call us directly if you have any concerns.
Photos of the plant(s) will be required so that we may provide the best assistance possible
A plant refund is based on the plant cost less discounts and shipping charges. Allow up to 2 weeks for processing. We reserve the right to request a return of an item.
After 60 days, we cannot be responsible for product that is in your care. This includes overwintering, animals, insects, diseases, poor planting, plants beyond their hardiness zone, drought, flooding, etc. Our expert staff is here to assist you with any problem you may be experiencing. Our goal is that you are successful with our product.
Fed-X did not deliver my hydrangeas however I spoke with customer service and my replacement plants are being mailed out again. I really appreciate their quick response and great customer service. Looking forward to my new hydrangeas.
I ordered 2 for a friend and they looked pretty rough when they arrived. Weeks later after planting they are not thriving. I’m very disappointed.
Hello! We apologize you received your plants not up to our standards. As we try our best to provide exceptional service, some factors like shipping and handling are outside of our control, and issues like this can sometimes happen. Please email pictures of the plant to email@example.com, making sure to put your order number and name in the subject line so that we may provide the best assistance possible. Rest assured, we do have a 60-day guarantee on all of our plants. If you received your plants within that timeframe, we will be happy to apply your warranty once we receive the pictures. Happy Gardening!
The little plant arrived in excellent condition. Very good shipping. It has transplanted well and looks well adjusted us a bright but protected location. I hope it survives a Wisconsin winter and late Spring and next year grows and maybe blooms in a year or two.
Th plant arrived dessicated and my attempts to revive it failed. I tried to contact you through your website email asking for a refund or a new plant. I have not heard back.