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 30 DAY GUARANTEE
We guarantee that you will be satisfied with your purchase and that your plants will arrive healthy, free of pests and diseases, and true to name. If for any reason you are dissatisfied, notify us within 30 days of receipt of your order and we will refund you.
FALL GUARANTEE – SHIPPING FROM SEPTEMBER 1 – END OF FALL SEASON
Notify us within 7 days if you have a concern about orders shipped in autumn so we can make a note of it. Warranty on such plants is extended to May 31 of the following year. Our fall guarantee does not cover plants that are not hardy (i.e., able to survive winter) in your area, so please verify your USDA hardiness zone (click ‘Growing Zone’ in the site navigation and enter your zip code) before purchasing. If you have questions about whether a plant can survive winter in your area, please call us before purchasing. See Product Care section below for additional information.
OUR LARGER ROOT SYSTEMS
We ship jumbo size 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.
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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 30 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.