The New Incrediball Hydrangea


Update for April 2010 and you can read the original post below. All my ‘Incrediball’ hydrangeas are leafing out stronger than last year. Some have formed buds already. I’ll post when it HAPPENS. The buds are about 2 inches across right now–but this is going to be a huge event don’t you think. I mean look at those blooms!!

***, First posted in 2009—-This hydrangea is on my must have list. You know there is a want list and then a must have—well this is a must have!

With 12″ blooms, it’s incredible.  It’s a Proven Winners variety. It blooms on new wood so the blooms are not going to get nipped by the cold.  I’m looking forward to growing it and seeing people’s reaction. Incrediball has very strong stems and will not droop or break under the weight of the blooms.

*****Starting this week…May 23, 2010. I’m doing a series of post on this shrub blooming in my garden. HERE.. and HERE are  posts of what the blooms look like today/this month. Please join me in my garden and follow the updates.




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Hydrangea arborescens
Smooth Hydrangea
This adaptable native plant produces huge flowers (as much as 12″ across) is reliable and beautiful. Very cold hardy Incrediball blooms on new growth so even very cold winters won’t keep it from blooming. The flowers are held upright on very sturdy stems, so they don’t flop like ‘Annabelle’ will. Available in garden centers Spring 2010.
May be pruned back in late winter to encourage strong new growth and flowering. Flower color is not affected by soil pH.

Plant in sun or partial shade



Hardy Temp
-40°F (-40°C)

Landscapes, naturalizing, perennial gardens.

Massive flowers bloom in summer. Very hardy and reliable. Sturdy stems don’t flop. Native.

30 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    I purchased two Incrediballs in late May. They were beautiful and in bloom when I purchased them in pots. After they were planted, one has turned completely brownish black(but when I scrap the stem it is still green underneath with a couple new green leaves of growth), and the other is brown mostly with more new growth and even a couple green blooms. They both look pretty sad, dead and embarrassing, but I am holding out hope that they are in shock and may come back next year. What do you think? Should I be doing anything else? I planned on cutting it back in late fall as I thought I heard to not cut off the dead blooms in order not to mess with the next year’s growth. Also, just so you know they are in mostly shade with a few hours of sun all day. Please help!:)


    1. They will come back. I had one that I moved and ignored it all summer and winter. It was in a dry location too. Came back just fine. You’ll know next summer which branches made it and which did not. They do best about their 4th year in the ground. Cut them back this year but leave them alone for the next two years. Fertilize them with Espoma Holly Tone in February. Good luck.


  2. Darlene says:

    I just purchased two Incrediball Hydrangeas and planted them in May. They have some small blooms on them but I noticed that everytime it rains or when I water them, the stems fall over. I thought that they were supposed to be sturdy plants. Is this just because they are still young and need more time to mature? What should I be doing now to encourage stronger stems? Any advice would be welcome. Thanks.


    1. Darlene—I’ve had mine for 3-4 years and they still fall over from the weight of the blooms. The bigger the plant–the better–but they still droop. I have cut them back before but that did not seem to help. Leaving them alone gives them a better chance I’ve noticed. Use Espoma Holly Tone on them the first of March. Also–this winter–stick 4 metal fence post–the skinny ones–in the ground and weave string around and then back and forth to give the stems support for next season. I don’t do this–and have let my bushes get big enough so that the center stems are now supported just by the sheer size of the bush. So in time—the bush gets big enough to support itself even if the outside stems droop. Like all perennials–the first year they sleep, 2nd year creep, and third year leap. You do not have to cut off old blooms.


  3. Marili says:

    Hello Anne,
    I just purchased an Incrediball hydrangea and after the initial blooms it came with -white-
    the rest are coming in green. What can I do about this? I was looking forward to
    those beautiful white flowers.


    1. Marill–that is their nature. They are white for about a month and then green–then they’ll eventually turn brown with the first frost.


  4. Sandy says:

    I need BLUE colored Hydrangea’s for a Summer 2012-13 Wedding; I live in Winchester VA; where the soil is very filled with rocks; what Hydrangea should I purchase for the Bridal Party and Reception tables; and where should they be planted; in full or partial sun/shade?
    But most of all; how do I made the soil acid so that I get the Blue and not pink or white color?
    As you can tell; I’ve never grown a Hydrangea B4


    1. You ask a very difficult question that requires a lot of answers. Here is a good site on changing the PH of the soil:

      Endless Summer hydrangea is a repeat bloomer and is PH sensitive–but there is no guarantee it will be blooming for the wedding.

      Most hydrangeas need morning sun and afternoon shade before they can thrive. They won’t bloom with too much shade but will fry with too much sun.

      ‘Limelight’ by Proven Winners Plants blooms from now till frost. They only bloom in white….you could spray paint them for the occasion. Lightly sprayed they would be beautiful but I doubt the blooms would last very long after that—I don’t know–have not tried that.

      Hydrangeas like loose soil which is moist but not wet. This will be difficult to do with such rocky soil and you’ll need to amend heavily. They grow slowly the first year so you’ll have to buy very mature plants in about a 3 gallon size.

      My Nikko blues bloomed quite awhile ago and my tri-color hydrangeas are out of season–so you are limited. My Limelights are just coming in to bloom but will be better in a few weeks. For your conditions–assuming this is full sun in that rocky condition–I suggest painted Limelights or Endless Summer brands.

      For your tables— a light blue and white gingham ribbon overlaid on burlap tied around a mason jar–with a gathering of ‘Incrediball’ hydrangea blooms. The Incrediball blooms are lime green at this point in their life. So the three colors in the wedding are–Blue, White, lime green, and a little tiny pink ribbon meandering around.

      Potted arrangements sitting around with ‘Dresden Blue’ angelonias and ‘Apple Blossom’ pink cleome.

      I can try and take one of my Limelight blooms and see if it will take the spray paint–and then see how long it lasts.

      I’ll be glad to help you but at this point—you’d need to compensate some of my cost.

      Good luck to you,


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