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Blue Bird hydrangea is the blue bird of happiness - we are working on four mountain hydrangeas to offer and this one is by far the most vigorous here in zone 8a. It's shot up and is the first one ready to write about and let fly.
Besides having good vigor here in the heat, the lacecap flowers are robust, plentiful, and free-flowering for months. The sterile showy sepals do the cute flip over after they're pollinated, like Lady in Red and Cherry Explosion, and they antique red like those too.
Leaves are medium green like 99% of all other serratas, but they turn red in autumn. Yes, this mountain hydrangea really does have good fall color most years.
As I'm writing this I realize we don't have one in our hydrangea garden, so I'm going to wrap this up and go pull one out of inventory and plant it! Shall I pull one out for you too?
true blue (or pink) lacecap
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
Bluebird mountain hydrangea, mountain hydrangea
'Blue Bird', 'Aigaku'
USDA Hardiness Zones
flowering shrub, deciduous
pink, blue, lavender
Spring: dark green
Summer: dark 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 Blue Bird 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!