Hydrangea serrata 'Bluebird'
Hydrangea serrata 'Bluebird'
Previously classified as Hydrangea acuminata 'Bluebird', Hydrangea serrata 'Bluebird' is a small robust, ornamental garden plant with stout shoots and abruptly acuminate leaves (hence its precious species name). It is a hardy, deciduous shrub whose species is native to the mountainous regions of Korea and Japan. It has dark green, serrated, ovate leaves which can be up to 6 inches long. They also provide an element of autumn colour by turning red when leading up to leaf drop. When grown under favourable condition you can expect to achieve an approximately height and width of up to 120 cm.

The blue fertile blooms appear from June to September and are borne in slightly dome-shaped corymbs surrounded by large ray-florets. The flowers will appear reddish-purple on chalky soils, and a gorgeous, cobalt-blue on acid soils. It is reputably a selected form of Hydrangea serrata forma. acuminata, but there is little evidence to prove that there is any difference between the two.

Hydrangea serrata 'Bluebird' will perform well in a rich, moisture, yet well-drained soil. It will do best in partial shade but avoid full sun as this can bleach the flowers and scorch the leaves. If you have no choice other than a sunny position then make sure that soil is consistently moist. If not then water during extended periods of drought.

The flowers occur on old wood, and so little pruning is needed. Hydrangea serrata 'Bluebird'  can be pruned after flowering by cutting back flowering stems to a pair of healthy buds. Overwintered flowerheads, weak or winter-damaged stems can be pruned in early spring.

Hydrangea serrata 'Bluebird' received the Award of Merit (AM) in 1960 and Award of Garden Merit (AGM) in 1984 from the Royal Horticultural Society.

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