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.

43 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I just bought a one gallon (little) one of these vanilla strawberry hydrangeas. Since you’ve had yours for three years, are the branches, leaves and flowers thick enough to be used as a privacy type of hedge/bush. I was going to put it by a chain link fence to hide my neighbor’s garbage cans.


    1. I would not use it as a privacy hedge. It’s a real slow grower for me and has been sparse.


  2. Sherry Jones Aynor SC says:

    I just purchased 3 of those lovely vanilla strawberry hydrangeas, and I am worried about using pine straw as mulch, I don’t want them to turn blue. Some sites say they will, others say no…should I or shouldn’t I use pine straw mulch? I have not planted them yet because the mulch issue will determine where they go.


    1. Hi Sherry. I use pine straw mulch and have not noticed it affect the color. In warmer climates such as yours and mine–you won’t see the deeper rose color of this variety. They grow slowly but I did notice a big change in growth after using Espoma Holly Tone. That is the best fertilizer I have ever used on my hydrangeas. It is acidic so keep that in mind. I have about 10 different varieties of hydrangeas and they all love Holly Tone. I do not have ph sensitive hydrangeas and I’ve had Vanilla Strawberry for 3 years and they have not been affected by the pine mulch or the Holly Tone.


  3. Fran says:

    I just purchased one that was left over from last year at a garden center. It is leafing and still has some old dried heads on the end of branches should I just cuts heads off and trim branches now in April or wait till fall to trim stems. I love this hydrangea don’t wan to kill it!!!!


    1. Anna says:

      Hi Fran,

      I trim mine in Jan or February and fertilize them in early March with Espoma Holly Tone.


  4. s42alt says:

    I requested one of these for Mothers Day. I received to from my daughter.
    It bloomed well, but with the hot days in North Georgia this summer, the flowers only
    turned brown (no pink).
    I kept it well watered and it was planted in full sun in front of my dining room windows.
    this was near the concrete driveway. I think maybe the heat from the driveway and the 95 degree heat was just too much. As soon as it cools and fall sets in, I am going to move it to a little less sunny location.


  5. jodie green says:

    I live in zone 4/5 in New Brunswick, Canada and saw this bush in the Birds and Bloom Magazine and had to hunt one down!!! I went to my local Nursery and ask if “she” could locate one for me….SHE FOUND IT!! It is now waiting to be planted, I cant wait till it blooms, which may not be untill next year…but its worth the wait…:o)


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