Hydrangea macrophylla 'Queen of Pearls' (bigleaf hydrangea)
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Queen of Pearls bigleaf hydrangea is another Georgia hydrangea and greatly cherished in this region. It's so hot here, yet we like fancy things, so Queen of Pearls appeals to us because she's tough and snazzy.
The lustrous dark green leaves are significantly darker and better looking than many other bigleaf hydrangeas and the medium-sized flowers are dense with sterile sepals.
Other things we ladies in the south like are green flowers and white flowers for decorating use. The Queen's flowers start out chartreuse green then open pure white, aging cream with green spots and blotches. This is great - so artsy! Thank you Queen of Pearls.
Queen of Pearls hydrangea needs 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 may be 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.