classification
Order: Cornales
Family: Hydrangeaceae
Genus: Hydrangea
Species: H. serrata

HYDRANGEA SERRATA 'Bluebird'

Previously classified as Hydrangea acuminata 'Bluebird', Hydrangea serrata 'Bluebird' is a small robust, ornamental garden plant with stout shoots and abruptly acuminate leaves (hence its precious species name). It is a hardy, deciduous shrub whose natural species is indigenous to the mountainous regions of Korea and Japan. It has dark green, serrated, ovate leaves which can be up to 6 inches long. They also provide an element of autumn colour by turning red when leading up to leaf drop. When grown under favorable condition you can expect Hydrangea serrata 'Bluebird' to achieve an approximately height and width of up to 120 cm.

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The blue fertile blooms appear from June to September and are borne in slightly dome-shaped corymbs surrounded by large ray-florets. The flowers will appear reddish-purple on chalky soils, and can be a gorgeous, cobalt-blue on acid soils. It is reputably a selected form of Hydrangea serrata forma. acuminata, but there is little evidence to prove that there is any difference between the two.

Hydrangea serrata 'Bluebird' will perform well in a rich, moisture, yet well-drained soil. It will do best in partial shade but avoid full sun as this can bleach the flowers and scorch the leaves. If you have no choice other than a sunny position then make sure that soil is consistently moist. If not then water during extended periods of drought.

The flowers occur on old wood, and so little pruning is needed. However should you need to, Hydrangea serrata 'Bluebird'  can be pruned after flowering by cutting back flowering stems to a pair of healthy buds. Overwintered flower-heads, weak or winter-damaged stems can also be removed in early spring.

Hydrangea serrata 'Bluebird' received the Award of Merit (AM) in 1960 and Award of Garden Merit (AGM) in 1984 from the Royal Horticultural Society.

For related articles click onto the following articles:

HYDRANGEA MACROPHYLLA    HYDRANGEA PETIOLARIS   HYDRANGEA QUERCIFOLIA    RHS:HYDRANGEA SERRATA 'Bluebird'    WHY HAS MY BLUE HYDRANGEA TURNED PINK?

About the Author

The 'Seeds of Eaden' website is the brainchild of professional horticulturist and multi-award winning gardener Simon Eade. After six years of study; two years 'Retail Horticulture' at Hadlow College, then four years Commercial Horticulture at Greenwich University, Simon has worked in a number of 'fields' within the industry for over twenty years. Most notably, managing the prestigious Alexandra Palace garden centre in London. Since then he has become an internationally published writer, and author of the popular 'Garden of Eaden' blog.

Simon Eade is also a recipient of the Royal Horticultural Society's Banksian medal

You can contact the 'Seeds of Eaden' at gardenofeaden@gmail.com