The Red Sensation Hydrangea is a top-choice shrub, which grows vigorously in partial or full shade. It flowers from mid-summer through fall, just when other plants are finishing their bloom. This specially-selected variety will bloom even on new shoots from the base, as well as on older wood, so it is a great choice for gardeners in colder areas. Plant it under trees to fill awkward spaces with dense foliage and bright flowers. The exact flower color will depend on your soil type. In acidic soil (below pH 5.5) they will be blue-violet, but in other soils they will be red-violet. In either case, the unique rich coloring is a terrific contrast to the lighter, more typical blue or pink flowers. This plant will enrich your garden, on the north side of your home, in shady beds, or along a shady path or driveway.
- Flowers on new wood, so blooms in cold areas
- Huge mophead domes of flowers
- Red-violet to blue-violet flowers, depending on your soil
- Grows in partial to full shade
- Vigorous low and wide growth covers large garden spaces
Plant your Red Sensation Hydrangea in partial or full shade anywhere in your garden. Prepare the soil well, as hydrangeas do best in rich, moist soil. Water regularly and frequently during hot weather, as these plants are not drought-resistant. Prune in early spring, just as new growth is seen. These plants are usually pest and disease free, and easy to grow with simple care. Bring color and bold foliage to the shady parts of your garden with a colorful but low-maintenance shrub.
Everyone loves pink or blue hydrangeas, not only for their color, but also for their ability to grow in shady places and their late blooming. But as the saying goes; ‘change is good’ and adding color variety to your garden display is a wonderful way to lift it to the next level. The Red Sensation Hydrangea is a color breakthrough, and so is this plants ability to flower on both older branches and new growth. This ability has several advantages, depending on where you live.
In warmer areas, where most of the branches pass through winter undamaged, there will be an early crop of flowers from those branches, followed by a later crop from new shoots that grow from the base of the plant. Hydrangeas already have a long bloom season, and now it just got a whole lot longer. In colder areas where you have not been able to grow Mophead Hydrangeas well before, now you will have plenty of late blooms from the new growth that will come from you plants in spring. No longer will it just be leaves, now it will be huge, colorful blooms.
Growing Red Sensation Hydrangeas
The Red Sensation Hydrangea forms a medium-sized spreading bush 2 to 3 feet tall, but between 3 and 5 feet wide. This makes it ideal for the foreground of your shady shrub beds, with taller plants behind. This wide-spreading shrub can be spaced 3 feet apart and will give full ground coverage – so a few plants go a long way. Every plant will have many stems, each one ending in a large flower-head more than 8 inches across.
Each flower-head is made up of many flat flowers, creating a striking dome shape with huge visual impact. The color of the flowers varies. In most soils it begins pink and quickly becomes a deep, rich red-violet color. In acidic soils, with a pH below 5.5, the color will be blue-violet. No matter what soil you have, the unique coloring of this plant will hold your attention and add a whole new dimension to the flowers colors of your shady garden.
The number of flowering plants that will grow in shade is limited, but Mophead Hydrangeas are a major exception to this. They thrive in all kinds of shade, and only in the darkest corners will they not grow vigorously. This makes the Red Sensation Hydrangea the ideal choice for those inevitable shady spots that are found in every garden. It will grow best if you prepare the soil well by digging plenty of organic material into it and keeping your plants well-watered.
Care and Maintenance
Hydrangeas need plenty of water to thrive, especially during hot summer months. Beside this, the only care needed is an annual pruning in early spring. In mild areas, remove stems more than 2-years old at the base. Remove any thin, weak stems, and trim back the remaining stems to about 12 inches above the ground, cutting just above a pair of strong buds. In colder climates you may find all the branches have died. Do not worry, just cut them back to the ground, and the new growth of this special hydrangea will produce flowers by late summer.
Uses in Your Garden
Use the Red Sensation Hydrangea in your shady flower beds, among other shade loving plants. Its flowers late in the season will keep color in these beds for months and months. Plant them on the north side of your home, around the foundations, where they will thrive and soften the transition into your garden. Use them to make a low hedge or line a shady path or driveway. All around your house and garden, there are places where this hydrangea is the ideal choice.
History and Origins of the Red Sensation Hydrangea
The Red Sensation Hydrangea is a selected variety of the Mophead Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla). Although this plant originated in China and Japan, it has been developed and bred for a long time in Europe and America. In the Netherlands, large numbers of these plants are grown in pots for sale. ‘Red Sensation’ began its life there, where it was discovered as a unique branch growing on another variety.
The Red Sensation variety was discovered in 2001 by Gert van Buren, at a greenhouse in Hillegom, a town in the center of the bulb and plant growing area of the Netherlands. The plant was awarded a patent in 2007, because of its flower color, vigorous growth, and its ability to flower on new stems. Since then it has become a hot favorite for gardeners looking for new colors in their gardens.