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Hydrangea Next Generation® Red Sensation

Hydrangea Next Generation® 'Red Sensation'

Blooms change from lime green to red to purple!

Item # 30569

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This compact shrub earns its name with every mophead bloom it sets! Part of the exciting Next Generation™ series of reblooming Hydrangeas, 'Red Sensation' wows with rounded "snowballs" of lime green that turn bright red at maturity . . . then mature to rich antique purple! All this on a shrub just 3 feet high and wide -- compact enough for a patio container!

'Red Sensation' is a powerhouse in a very petite package. Well-branched and bushy, it sets masses of flowers, but you'd never know it from the slender, rounded silhouette it presents! Large, toothy bright green leaves bank the blooms in fresh color from spring through frost, then drop for winter. It never needs trimming or pruning to keep its neat little shape!

The blooms are quite large, packed with florets, and very long-lasting. Expect the first wave in midsummer, long after the final frost (so you don't lose the buds to freak cold spells!), and very abundant. They begin green, then swell and turn red. Cut them at any stage for fresh or dried arrangements indoors; Hydrangea's petals turn papery and may fade a bit, but hold onto the stem and are great for everlastings!

After the first wave of blooms passes, cut or deadhead the remaining flowering stems and let the shrub rest for several weeks. Then, as summer turns to fall, you will notice a second flowering beginning. Just in time for tailgating and back-to-school bouquets for teachers, you have another wave of brilliant red! And be sure to leave as many flowers on the shrub as you can, because they will mature to a rich plummy purple as the weather turns chillier!

Like all Hydrangeas, 'Red Sensation' is a snap to grow. It does best in partial shade or dappled sun in all but the northernmost settings, and loves moist soil. While it thrives in the heat and humidity of southern summers, it is not a drought-tolerant plant; that "hydra" in its name means, "I love water!" If your soil tends to dry out, mulch this shrub in very well and put it on a regular watering schedule throughout the growth season to keep it blooming its best.

That said, few shrubs offer the carefree beauty of Hydrangea. It never needs pruning, and it resists almost all pests and diseases. The flowers remain for a long season (two long seasons in 'Red Sensation's' case!), and the foliage is attractive as well. You can't go wrong with this mainstay of the border, foundation, and accent planting. And now 'Red Sensation' brings its more compact habit to make the shrub available for container plantings, too!

Most Hydrangea blooms are pink or blue, depending upon soil pH, so the pure red of this variety is a rare treat. Enjoy the color changes, vibrant hues, and compact size of this delightful little shrub for decades to come in your shady garden! Zones 5-9.

Hydrangea Incrediball Following just a few simple growing tips for hydrangea will produce healthy plants with fluffy colorful blooms year after year.

Planting Your Hydrangea

Planting your hydrangeas in early spring or in the fall is ideal. When you are planting a hydrangea, remember that the blooms and stems must be protected from strong winds and the hot afternoon sun. Avoid planting in open areas where strong winds could break stems. Planting on the eastern side of a building ensures that, in the afternoon, when the sun is at its hottest, your plants are in the shade.
Make sure your plant has good drainage. If the soil is too wet, the roots might rot, and the plant will die. Incorporate a lot of organic matter and an all-purpose slow-release fertilizer into the soil to give your hydrangea a strong start.

General Hydrangea Care

  • If you plant them in the summer, they need a lot more water in the beginning to establish the root system.
  • Most varieties thrive in full sun to part shade, as long as they are planted in moist, rich soil.
  • Water deeply once a week, and maybe more, if the weather is particularly hot or dry.
  • Hydrangea fertilization needs vary greatly, depending on your intended bloom color. Certain elements of the fertilizer affect the soil pH, which is a major determinant of bloom color in the pink/blue hydrangea varieties.
Hydrangea Planting:

Space according to ultimate size. Choose a good garden soil, high in organic matter that will help keep ample moisture available to the roots. The location should be sunny or partly shaded, the latter being preferable in dry areas.

If the pH of your soil is too high (alkaline), it can be reduced (made more acidic) by the addition of one tablespoon or more of Aluminum Sulfate per plant – this will make your flowers a deeper blue.


An annual mulch of compost is beneficial. In very cold or exposed locations, “hill” up the soil and mulch the base of the plant with pine needles or leaves. Most species require little pruning except the removal of dead flower heads after blooming or in early spring.

For H. arborescens, prune the previous year’s flowering wood to the ground in early spring. For H. macrophylla (H. hortensis) and H. serrata, thin out two- or threeyear- old flowering shoots at ground level to promote vigorous new growth. H.petiolaris should be pruned only for aesthetics.


Zones various

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