Miss Saori bigleaf hydrangea has created quite a stir amongst hydrangea lovers because of not-one-but-two beautiful features.
In the spring new growth on Miss Saori is burgundy and that's sensational, but then the "different" mophead flowers open and we swoon.
The sterile florets have double rows of sepals. These sepals are cream/white with a bright pink rim.
However, suspend that description because Miss Saori's flowers are like hair - they change a lot. While never remotely having a bad hair day, they vary depending on climate and age. In warmer climates there is more cream; in cooler climates there is more pink.
Then, with age, the pink rim bleeds further into the sepals. The final flower pic shows an antiquing Miss Saori flower.
To complicate matters, here in the bona fide heat of zone 8a, while the first leaf flush in spring is burgundy, consecutive flushes are suppressed to green with a burgundy leaf margin (the second leaf pic shows this). Our unrelenting heat and high nighttime temps are just too hot to maintain the vivid leaf color throughout the growing season.
However, the summer foliage does maintain a nice dark green color in zone 8a, if not the purple y'all will get in cooler climates (zone 7a and cooler).
In the autumn, the foliage turns red. Red! It's lovely. The last two pictures exhibit the red fall color.
We're told this is cold hardy to 6a, but Miss Saori is so new that we don't know from our own experience. We would love to hear from you about this matter.
Miss Saori bigleaf hydrangea, bigleaf hydrangea, mophead hydrangea, hydrangea, hortensia
USDA Hardiness Zones
flowering shrub, deciduous
pink, purple, blue
- Spring: burgundy
- Summer: burgundy in climates with cooler nights; dark green in climates with warmer nights, such as in zone 8a and warmer
- Fall: red or burgundy-red
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
Give Miss Saori 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.