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Hydrangea macrophylla 'Nigra'
Nigra Hydrangea flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Plant Height: 3 feet
Flower Height: 4 feet
Spread: 4 feet
Hardiness Zone: 5b
Other Names: Bigleaf Hydrangea
A showy variety that produces mophead clusters of rose pink or blue blooms depending on soil pH; the lovely green foliage is contrasted by striking black-purple stems; blooms on old wood so protection of flower buds in winter may be necessary
Nigra Hydrangea features bold balls of rose flowers with sky blue overtones at the ends of the branches from early to late summer. The flowers are excellent for cutting. It has forest green foliage which emerges chartreuse in spring. The glossy pointy leaves do not develop any appreciable fall color. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. The black stems are very effective and add winter interest.
Nigra Hydrangea is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.
This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Nigra Hydrangea is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Nigra Hydrangea will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity extending to 4 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 4 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.
This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in both summer and winter to conserve soil moisture and protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.
Nigra Hydrangea makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.