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'Ami Pasquier' is one of those mopheads with a wide variation of highly saturated colors - crimson in alkaline and a correspondingly saturated purple-wine to blue as the soils go down the scale toward acidic.
I realized I thought crimson meant red, so I double-checked with Google, "what color is crimson" and got back "of a rich deep red color inclining to purple." Yes! That's it. I agree, she is indeed often crimson in high pH soils.
She also tends to flower for a really long time, what's called "free flowering."
Fall color can be excellent. There's a picture, if you scroll through them, that shows the true red fall color.
At 3-4' in size, Ami Pasquier bigleaf hydrangea tends toward a little smaller than others, so keep that in mind when placing her in the garden - you don't need to give this cultivar quite as much room as the others.
deeply saturated mophead
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
long flowering period
Ami Pasquier bigleaf hydrangea, bigleaf hydrangea, french hydrangea, mophead hydrangea, hydrangea, hortensia
USDA Hardiness Zones
flowering shrub, deciduous
pink, crimson, blue, purple
Spring: medium green
Summer: medium green
Fall Leaf Color Quality
Native to USA?
Soil Moisture Requirements
moist-but-draining, no standing water
Soil pH Requirements
acid, neutral, alkaline
sun, part shade, shade
To Make It Thrive
Give Ami Pasquier mophead hydrangea 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.
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!