Hydrangea Annabelle: Care and cutting of the snowball hydrangea

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Hydrangea Annabelle: Care and cutting of the snowball hydrangea: annabelle

The snowball hydrangea is a real eye-catcher in the garden and enjoys great popularity. Rightly so, because from the end of June to September the Hydrangea Annabelle flowers and adorns the garden with its large, white flowers. However, their flower splendor only shows if it is expertly cared for. Because both the optimal location and the care measures are essential for flower formation.


The snowball hydrangea is also called a forest hydrangea, as it grows in the wild on sparse forest cookies. If the Schnellball hydrangea grown in the garden, they should be looking for a location that is half shady as possible. For both a too shady and a too sunny location do the decorative plant not good: Too much sun shortens the flowering period and can cause a sunburn on the existing flowers. However, if the snowball hydrangea is too shady, the flower formation is delayed. A half-shady spot with sun in the morning and in the evening is therefore ideal for her. The following should also be considered when choosing a location:
  • as wind protected
  • leave enough planting distance
  • as a hedge: about 35-85 cm distance
  • in the group: 80-150 cm distance


Snowball hydrangea are especially good at less green areas under trees. Here, the hydrangea is not only particularly effective, but can also benefit from the tree: For this not only gives the decorative plant shade, but at the same time protects it in heavy rain, by reducing the rainfall. The natural rain protection is beneficial for the hydrangea, because by heavy rainfall, the flowers are increasingly causing the flower stems could bend over. However, the hydrangea does not necessarily have to be planted next to a tree. In a sheltered place, it also harmonizes very well with large-leaved foliage perennials and various ferns:
  • monkshood
  • globe thistle
  • hostas
  • Lupien
  • daylilies
  • boxwood
  • Japanese dwarf spars
  • dark-leaved fan maples

Soil / substrate

Snowball Hydrangea - Annabelle - Hydrangea arborescens

The Hydrangea Annabelle thrives best in a soil that has the same characteristics as a typical forest floor. This contains about 5 to 10 percent humus and about 50 percent mineral soil particles, which are caused by the weathering of rocks. The snowball hydrangea benefits in particular from the humus substances, as they ensure that the air and water in the soil are penetrated. This promotes plant growth, because it binds moisture in the soil and provides more nutrients. The snowball hydrangea also thrives best when the soil meets the following conditions:
  • humus rich and easy
  • sufficiently moist
  • pH neutral to acidic
  • optimal is a pH of 5.5-6.0
  • lowest possible lime content
If the snowball hydrangea is cultivated in the pot, it should preferably be placed in a mixture of rhododendron earth with humus soil. Alternatively, however, peat bog is also suitable.


The hydrangea Annabelle is considered to be completely hardy, which is why it does not necessarily have to be planted in the spring. Although the planting time is throughout the year, the best time for planting is still early spring. Because this allows the experienced hobby gardener to enjoy the decorative flower splendor already in the first year. Before the snowball hydrangea is planted, it is advisable to first prepare the soil thoroughly and, if necessary, to improve it. If necessary, for example, sand or Laubhumus be incorporated into the soil. Subsequently, the best way to plant is as follows:
  • Dig out the planting hole
  • this should be about twice the size of the planter
  • Dip the root ball in water for about 10 minutes
  • As a result, the earth absorbs water completely and stores it
  • Use plant carefully
  • cover with earth
  • then pour well
Tip: We cultivated the snowball hydrangea in the tub, a drainage in the bucket should be created. For this purpose, gravel or split is laid out on the bottom of the bucket so that the excess water can drain off.


Hydrangea Annabelle - Snowball Hydrangea

The particularly large flowers of the Hydrangea Annabelle look gorgeous, but there is a risk that the plant kinks under the heavy flowers. If the inflorescences fall slightly towards the ground over time, this will not be a problem for the shrub. However, if you want to be sure that the snowball hydrangea does not collapse, you should support it as soon as the flowers become significantly larger. The following items are suitable for this:
  • perennials support
  • bamboo sticks
  • grid


The nutrient requirement of the snowball hydrangea is moderate, but the ornamental plant also enjoys occasional fertilizer delivery. Organic fertilizers such as, for example, mature compost, plant manure or horn shavings are particularly suitable for this purpose. These also have the advantage that these degraded in the soil over time and thus an over-fertilization is hardly possible. A potash and magnesium emphasized hydrangea fertilizer is also suitable, but is usually located slightly higher in price. Alternatively, however, a fertilizer for azaleas or rhododendrons may be used. When fertilising the snowball hydrangea, note the following:
  • Fertilize with organic compound fertilizer from spring to July
  • administer a hydrangea fertilizer every 4 weeks between April and October
  • Do not fertilize often, otherwise the plant will form soft shoots
  • These can not carry the heavy inflorescences
  • Do not use blue-grain because it contains too much nitrogen
  • to abstain from garden compost, because this is usually very calcareous
If the snowball hydrangea is cultivated in the bucket, it usually has a higher nutrient requirement, which is why they must be fertilized more often. For this purpose, a liquid hydrangea fertilizer is suitable, which is administered once a week in spring and summer.

to water

The snowball hydrangea has a pretty high water requirement, because it needs about 10 liters of water per day. Accordingly, it should be watered regularly, especially freshly planted hydrangeas want to be kept moist in the first few weeks. The hydrangea Annabelle does not necessarily have to be watered with rainwater because it can handle drinking water very well. The decorative plantlet is best watered as follows:
  • always keep it moist
  • water if the surface of the earth is still slightly damp
  • Irrigate roots directly
  • water in the morning and in the evening in summer
  • However, avoid waterlogging!
Tip: Who watered the snowball hydrangea with tap water, should pay attention to the hardness of the water. If the hardness is above 14° dH, it is advisable to descale the water before pouring. For this purpose, the water is poured into a container and hung in a bag filled with peat. If the water is allowed to stand overnight, it is softer the following day.


Once the snowball hydrangea grows out of its container and its roots no longer have enough space, it should be repotted. The diameter of the new container should be at least 5 centimeters larger than the previous one, so that sufficient space is available for the roots. The bottom of the container is first covered with pebbles or clay granules before the plant is repotted as follows:
  • fill new container with a third of earth
  • Toss hydrangea and remove the old tube
  • carefully remove used soil
  • Make sure that the root ball is not damaged
  • if necessary remove part of the root mass
  • use a sharp cutting tool for this
  • Place hydrangea in the center of the new container
  • Fill the container with soil and press lightly
  • shoot down
  • Earth should be moist, but not wet
Tip: Although the plant can be planted and repotted year-round, the best time to do this is spring.

To cut

The cut of the Hydrangea Annabelle takes place either in Winterbzw. in spring or autumn. Because the plant forms its flowers on annual wood, which is why the new release is expected in March. The choice of the right time is also dependent on the weather conditions, because the cut should take place on a frost-free day. How far the snowball hydrangea is cut back, however, is up to the taste of the hobby gardener. Although it can handle a radical pruning down to about 15 centimeters above the ground, it does not necessarily rely on it. However, a radical pruning promotes the re-emergence, as the plant thereby more power is available for this. The pruning of the snowball hydrangea is as follows:
  • cut back to about 15 cm above the ground
  • however, one eye pair should remain on the shoot
  • This is what makes hydrangea particularly powerful
  • and forms large inflorescences
  • remove thin and dead shoots
Tip: Do not remove the withered inflorescences, as these serve the plant as a natural winter protection.

Easy pruning

If the snowball hydrangea is located in a windy and non-rainy location, a radical pruning is rather discouraged. Because the new shoots are usually not very stable, which can lead to the plant hanging its flower heads, especially after heavy rainfall. In such cases it is better to cut back the snowball hydrangea only slightly. Although this has the disadvantage that the flowers are not quite so big, but the Zweigger is stable and the plant does not buckle so easily.


The snowball hydrangea is considered completely hardy and can withstand temperatures down to -25 degrees without any problems. However, it is advisable to protect freshly planted hydrangeas from frost in the first year. An envelope made of burlap offers the young plants sufficient protection against frustration when it is put over them. If the winter is particularly windy and low in snow, it is advisable to additionally protect the roots of the snowball hydrangea. For this purpose, for example, a thick layer of straw, brushwood or leaves can be distributed around the plants. In the culture in the bucket, however, frost protection is inevitable, otherwise there is a risk that the planter completely freezes. The following measures protect the plants during the winter months:
  • Put burlap sack over the plant
  • Place bucket on wooden or polystyrene plate
  • Position in a sheltered place
  • Alternatively, get the plant into the house
  • Location should be as cool as possible
  • optimal are temperatures of 16-18 degrees
Tip: The snowball hydrangea must not dry out, no matter whether it is cultivated in the field or in the bucket. Therefore, it is essential that it is always poured in the winter months.


Hydrangea - Hydrangea

The propagation of snowball hydrangea can be done both by cuttings as well as by sinkers. If you want to multiply your plant by cuttings, first choose a strong one and cut it back to around 15-20 centimeters. It is important that there are at least two eyes on the shoot. If the suitable cutting is selected, proceed as follows:
  • Cut off the lower end diagonally
  • just cut the upper end
  • Half the cuttings in the propagation soil
  • Keep the soil moist at all times
  • put in a shady place
  • after a short time, the cuttings already take root
  • and can be planted
Propagation by sinkers is best done during the summer months. Here, a gutter is first pulled into the ground with a spade. Subsequently, as little as possible woody shoot is chosen and this easily scratched in two to three places. Now the lowering device is pulled to the ground and covered with earth, whereby the drive end should still be visible. In addition, the Absenker can be weighted with stones if necessary, so that it does not ring back up. Once the shoot has formed its own root system, it is cut off from the mother plant and planted in its new location.

Diseases and pests

One of the few diseases that could cause the snowball hydrangea is powdery mildew. This is a persistent fungal infection, which is favored by dryness. If the plant is infected, the affected plant parts must be immediately cut off and disposed of in the residual waste. However, powdery mildew can be prevented by preferentially watering the plants early in the morning and keeping enough distance from their neighbors. The snowball hydrangea is also often attacked by the following pests:
  • aphids
  • ants
  • soft scales
  • Dickmalrüssler
Especially the aphids enjoy the snowball hydrangea and attract the annoying ants. The pests can be eliminated by placing adhesive pheromone with pheromones. In addition, the application of nettle washes has proven to be effective against aphids. However, instead of the nettle, also milk water is suitable, which is mixed in a ratio of 1 liter of water to 0.5 liters of milk and then sprayed.

care errors

The snowball hydrangea is considered to be particularly robust against diseases, however, make any care mistakes relatively quickly noticeable. For example, if the plant leaves its leaves hanging down, this is usually a sign of lack of water. In such cases, it should be poured immediately. Yellowing of the foliage is usually due to a too low pH of the soil, waterlogging or iron deficiency. If the pH is too high, humus should be added to the soil.

Video Board: Annabelle Hydrangea.

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