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:
- thick and waxy looking
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.
Ayesha is available for pre-order; more will be available this May 2020. 🌱
Ayesha bigleaf hydrangea, bigleaf hydrangea, mophead hydrangea, hydrangea, hortensia
'Uzu Ajisai', 'Silver Slipper', 'Flieder'
USDA Hardiness Zones
flowering shrub, deciduous
pink, mauve, blue
- Spring: medium green
- Summer: medium green
Fall Leaf Color Quality
Soil Moisture Requirements
moist-but-draining, no standing water
Soil pH Requirements
acid, neutral, alkaline
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.