First Editions® Vanilla Strawberry™ Hydrangea

(update 2014. This hydrangea has grown very slowly for me. It has never had this strong beautiful color as shown here. It will get a slight pink hue but many of the blooms remain white to off white and have brown spots. I attribute this to how hot our NC summers are. Follow my blog and I will update with a photo for the last week of June 2014. ) See the new post HERE

I have this new hydrangea. Are you surprised? I’m just nuts about these cultivars so I bring you, First Editions® Vanilla Strawberry™ Hydrangea. Now I’ve not seen it bloom yet and it was given to me by Bailey Nursery when I attended the Garden Writer’s Symposium in Raleigh, NC back in September of 2009. But they had one there blooming–and well—I just had to have it—and write to tell you about it.

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First Editions® Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Renhy’ (PPAF)
Full sun
Height: 6-7’
Spread: 4-5’
Zone: 4-8
Foliage: Medium green

It did well for me and is getting established in my zone 7 garden. I hope it will bloom this summer. It has very strong stems.

DESCRIPTION: A delicious new creation from France. The enormous flower panicles are a blend of vanilla and strawberry, held upright on red stems. They emerge creamy white in mid summer, change to pink and finally to strawberry red. New blooms gives the plant a multicolored effect in late summer and early fall. The red coloration persists for at least 3-4 weeks. The habit is upright becoming cascading later in the season. Comparable to ‘Pinky Winky’, however the habit is more upright and the red flower color persists longer. Excellent for fresh cut and dried flower arrangements. Introduced by Bailey Nurseries.

Well aren’t you nuts about it too? Now call your retail nursery and ask for it! Tell them Flowergardengirl sent you. I don’t recommend anything I don’t grow.

Pictures used with permission by Bailey Nursery.

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63 comments on “First Editions® Vanilla Strawberry™ Hydrangea

  1. Does it change color according to Ph in the soil? I purchased a beautiful pink hydrangea and now it blooms blue. I know how to change the Ph to change the color, but want to know will the new vanilla-strawberry be susceptible to this difference in soils also?

    • It is not ph sensitive but with all these new hydrangea cultivars—You may not get as much burgundy in the heat and humidity. I found this to be true with 5 different varieties and they all came from different propagators. Our southern heat just doesn’t produce the deeper colors. The trade off here in NC is that we get larger plants and more blooms. This is opinion but it’s what I’ve observed reading other blogs too. I highly recommend Vanilla Strawberry but it takes a good three years before it shows a steady growth spurt–and stems get strong enough to keep from bending under the large blooms. So I suggest getting a more mature specimen from the start.

  2. Does anyone know where I can purchase the vanilla stawberry hydrangea in Iowa? I must have it. Please help, Thanks

  3. Hi FlowerGardenGirl,
    I realy love Hydrangea and I think I can’t live w/o it and Azeleas in my garden. I’m going to buy this Strawberry Hydrangea this year to plant it. It’s so gorgeous!

  4. I bought two of these from Jung’s last year and gave them as gifts. They both planted in the shade, with limited sun time and they did great. Had several good size blooms the first year. I live in a condo or I would have one for myself. They are goreous. They start out white, then start turning strawberry color. The underside of the bloom turned last, the side toward the light turned color first. They are heavy and make the stems droop, so I would suggest a wire fence to keep them upright. Just lovely

  5. Am wanting to plant in a part/dappled sun spot with sun to continuing to be even more dappled as the Rose of Sharon growing beside will get a little bigger (plan to keep pruned). Do you think that is a mistake. I’m in Zone 5 so mid-day sun will be pretty intense in August. Thank you.

    • Angela, it will be hard to know if that is enough sun. I have it in a similar place and it’s a bit leggy. I think it will do best in good morning sun and afternoon shade. It is one of those perennial shrubs that sleeps, creeps, then leaps. So expect the first year in the ground to be slow going.

  6. Anna, I purchased one of these at my local nursery this summer and planted it just a week or so ago. it looked good the 1st few days but then we had very hot weather-90-95 degrees for 2 days and it went limp-even with watering-do you have any suggestions? I am in zone 5 and it is planted in full sun.

    • Water deeply once a day until the temps go back down. Several of my hydrangeas have done that just after they are planted. Takes awhile for this plant to get established if it’s a dry area—I know cause I have it in the same spot. I’m sure it’s not dead or harmed. It may go ahead and lose its leaves and it will be one of the first to start leafing out in spring. Let me know how it does but expect it to be a slow grower the first year.

      • Anna-sure enough, it lost all its leaves last fall and looked pitiful, even up to a week or so ago. However during all this rain we have had in the Cleveland area I walked around my house and was given a big surprise…it is starting to bud now (or leaf). There is green all over the thin brown branches. I can’t wait to see what it does as I was sure it was a goner. I will keep you posted on it’s growth.

        • Same here Char and this looks to be its best year yet. I cut it back at the end of the last bloom cycle in 2010. It’s already grown about foot this season and is leafed out nicely. I spoke with a local organic professional gardener about the weak limbs—and he told me to put a small amount of phosphate down on all my hydrangeas just before they leafed out. Using phosphate irresponsibly is a big no no—but when used in small amounts that the plant cau use–it does produce nice strong stems. Doing both the cutting and adding phosphate has sure seemed to get this shrub on track.

  7. I ordered 2 of these from Jung’s last fall and they shipped them this spring . I gave both as gifts. They are both blooming, but the blooms are small and all white. I am hoping the second year they will look better. They are so beautiful. I live in Iowa and they are just now blooming.

    Love your site.

  8. I purchased two of these early this Spring! I am so grateful I got them while I could. However, I was hoping to see some action starting now that it is early June in MN, but nothing yet. Have you seen any buds on yours yet? My Annabelles and Lamb’s Ears are already starting! I hope I don’t have to wait a season to see a blossom! Interested in how yours are taking!?

    • Taryn, I’ll go out tomorrow and look. I don’t think there are any blooms/blooms forming yet. I don’t have blooms on several of my other hydrangeas either so I don’t think it’s time. Mine looks healthy. I’ll give you an update soon when I get a closer look at it—I’ve got company coming over the next couple of days. Will get back to you though—promise.

  9. Beautiful I tried to purchase this. It was in Jungs new cataloge. It said unavailable when I tried to order it. I sent an e-mail to find out when it would be availible and they said they were all out for this season and would not be getting any more. What a dissapointment.

  10. Absolutely gorgeous!! My new favorites I do believe. Once my exterior gets redone (don’t think these lovely beauties go with drab yellow and brown) I will definitely be planting!

  11. just luscious—all those deep pinks and whites. I’m getting excited about seeing your spring garden and getting inspired for my own. I have one little pansy survivor, out of the 50 I planted last fall. Do you think my green thumb is more like gangrene?

  12. I have seen these in a few gardening catalogs this spring, and I was smitten with them immediately. I love all hydrangeas, but this one is especially gorgeous! Glad to hear it has done well in your garden. Now I just need to figure out the perfect spot for one:)

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