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Sale Hydrangea macrophylla 'Ayesha' (bigleaf hydrangea)

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Ayesha' (bigleaf hydrangea)

Next available Monday or Tuesday

Unavailable Available Only few left Out of Stock Pre-order
Deciduous shrub

Ayesha is not your typical hydrangea with big flouncy sepals. The distinguishing characteristic is that the sepals are cupped, but they can also be described as:

  • small
  • sturdy
  • thick and waxy looking
  • perky
  • unusual
  • mauve

Mauve? Yes - Ayesha has the unique potential for mauve-colored mopheads! When grown in neutral soils or a soil with less aluminum (you know it's a sliding scale) Ayesha's flowers turn this smoky mauve like I've never seen on another hydrangea.

What about pinks and blues? Indeed, this cultivar has typical pink flowers in high pH soil and blue flowers in low pH soil.

Ayesha is a distinctive "is-this-a-hydrangea?" specimen for your garden. Meaning, curiosity will stop your garden guests in their tracks as they marvel and ask you "what's this?!" Those trickster cupped sepals will cause a hint of doubt in their internal plant ID games, and that hint of doubt is fun.

Stand back and give Ayesha ample room to grow. Over time this bigleaf hydrangea can definitely get big and grow up to 7' tall and wide. So, if you want to minimize future garden tasks (i.e. hydrangea pruning), plant Ayesha with 3 to 4' of empty space on either side.

More will be available fall 2020. 🌱

  • mophead with distinctive cupped sepals (as shown in the pics)
  • single specimen and accent use
  • large container use
  • grouping and massing - large swaths
  • flower and shrub borders
  • tolerant of salt spray so great for maritime climates
  • heat tolerant
cut flowers
Common Name
Ayesha bigleaf hydrangea, bigleaf hydrangea, mophead hydrangea, hydrangea, hortensia
Other Names
'Uzu Ajisai', 'Silver Slipper', 'Flieder'
USDA Hardiness Zones
flowering shrub, deciduous
Growth Rate
Flower Color
pink, mauve, blue
Showy Flower?
Flower Season
Leaf Colors
  • Spring: medium green
  • Summer: medium green
Fall Leaf Color Quality
Native to USA?
Native To
Soil Moisture Requirements
moist-but-draining, no standing water
Soil pH Requirements
acid, neutral, alkaline
Light Requirements
sun, part shade, shade
To Make It Thrive
Ayesa hydrangea likes rich soil plus consistent moisture in a soil that drains. It may require extra watering, but avoid standing water. Grow it in full shade or afternoon shade in the deep south (zones 8 and 9), not only for the foliage, but so the flowers don't get sun scald. Full sun is okay farther north. For flowering in cold climates, situate it in a warm, sheltered location. During the ups and downs of spring temps here in Zone 8a - we cover to protect flower buds.
Plant Patent
The flower color is not as you described, it's paler.
Yes, I've come to the conclusion that Hydrangeas don't like to have their flower color profiled and clinically categorized like we humans try to do to everyone and everything. Please keep in mind that flower color varies widly and wildly depending on soil pH and the amount of aluminum actually in your soil, the amount of time aluminum has been availalbe to the plant (did you add Al only last month?), the unique propensity of how each cultivar reacts to Al, and if the flower heads get a touch of sunshine as they age.

The flower color is not as you described, it seems darker to me.
Same issues as when it's paler; say after me, "a-lum-i-num-a-vail-a-bil-i-ty plus time plus cultivar plus a touch of sunshine."

This is science for sure, but also a whole lot of art. Enjoy the outcome Mother Nature deals!

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