Annabelle Hydrangeas

Annabelle Hydrangea Care for Lazy Gardeners

Hydrangeas are easy, low-maintenance plants. But if you are looking for the easiest hydrangea to take care of, in my opinion,  you should plant Annabelle hydrangea. It’s the perfect hydrangea for the lazy gardener. 

Below, I’ll go over why I think Annabelle Hydrangeas are the easiest hydrangeas to have in your garden and tips on how to grow Annabelle Hydrangeas. 

Check out my video below about Annabelle Hydrangea or continue reading the article:

Annabelle Hydrangeas for Lazy Gardeners

Annabelle Hydrangea Care

Annabelle Hydrangeas are Drought Resistant

Annabelle hydrangeas are drought-resistant plants. They don’t need to be watered daily. 

In fact, I have Annabelle hydrangeas in the back part of my yard and my garden hose is not long enough to reach it so I never water it. I’m too lazy to lug a watering can all the way to the back of my yard.

Annabelle Hydrangeas
Annabelle Hydrangea in my backyard that I never water

But every year without fail, my Annabelle hydrangea grows back and flowers nicely. It’s planted under a tree, so it’s in partial shade which I think helps it retain moisture. Plus it’s an established plant and have been at this location for over 10 years now.  

Every year, I’m always amazed at how it’s just surviving on rainwater since I don’t give it any supplemental watering. 

Do keep in mind, I live in coastal Connecticut but in the summer, we do get 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit summers, so it can get very hot here. 

If these Annabelle hydrangeas were planted in a sunnier location, I wouldn’t be able to get away with not watering it. I would have to water it at least once a week otherwise it will wilt. 

I have some Annabelle hydrangeas planted in a sunnier location and come July and August, the leaves of these Annabelle hydrangeas will droop and wilt even with a once-a-week watering schedule. It’s just not enough water. 

Check out my guide on how to revive wilted hydrangeas

Annabelle Hydrangeas

The good thing is, it’s so easy to revive wilted Annabelle hydrangeas. Just give it a good soaking and it will bounce back!

So depending on where you live and where you plant your hydrangea, you will most likely have to water it at least once a week. Which is perfect for lazy gardeners!

Annabelle Hydrangeas: Fertilize Once a Year

I love that Annabelle hydrangeas are so low maintenance that all you need to do aside from watering it once a week is to fertilize it once a year.

Annabelle Hydrangeas

But if you are too busy to even fertilize it once a year, no problem, your Annabelle hydrangea will still flower beautifully the following year.

Trust me, I know, I skipped a few years of fertilizing the Annabelle hydrangea in the back of my yard and it still flowers every year!

Although I think it will benefit from the once-a-year fertilizer and will probably be much more beautiful and healthier with fertilizer.  

You Don’t Need to Prune Annabelle Hydrangeas

Pruning your Annabelle hydrangeas is not necessary for them to produce beautiful flowers. I don’t prune the Annabelle hydrangeas at the back of my yard and it flowers every year! 

Annabelle Hydrangeas

Annabelle Hydrangeas Soil pH

Like all hydrangeas, Annabelle hydrangeas prefer to be planted in soil that is slightly acidic.

Annabelle hydrangeas have white flowers. Unlike, the big leaf hydrangeas where you can manipulate the colors of the flowers based on the soil pH. 

Annabelle Hydrangeas

Annabelle hydrangeas is easy to care for because you don’t need to worry about the soil pH, the flowers are always going to be white! 

Annabelle Hydrangeas are disease-free

Annabelle hydrangeas are disease-free. They are rarely afflicted with pests and diseases. I’ve had Annabelle hydrangeas for over a decade now and I’ve never encountered any issues. 

Annabelle Hydrangeas

Annabelle Hydrangeas Deer Resistant 

From personal experience, Annabelle hydrangeas are deer resistant. I get a lot of deer in my garden and I’ve never had any problems of deer eating my hydrangeas. 

Annabelle Hydrangea with Hostas

In fact, the deer pretty much ignore my Annabelle hydrangeas. 

Other garden critters like squirrels and rabbits also ignore my hydrangeas. 

Check out our article on Deer and Hydrangeas: The Truth Revealed, I have a theory as to why they don’t eat my hydrangeas.  

Annabelle Hydrangea Sun or Shade

Annabelle hydrangeas can be planted in partial shade or full sun. It will thrive and grow nicely pretty much wherever you plant it. 

Although do keep in mind that if you plant your Annabelle hydrangeas in full sun, you can’t be a lazy gardener, you will need to water it a few times a week to keep it from wilting. 

Annabelle Hydrangea

But if you plant your Annabelle hydrangeas in partial shade, you can be lazy like me and not even water it at all and it will flower beautifully. 

Of course, do know that this only works once your Annabelle hydrangeas are established. Newly planted Annabelle hydrangeas will need to be watered a few times a week. You can’t just leave it alone, it will die. But once your Annabelle Hydrangeas are established, you can be as lazy as you want! 

The best place to plant Annabelle Hydrangeas is in a spot that is in partial shade. 

Similar to the spot in my backyard, where my Annabelle Hydrangea gets a few hours of morning sun and is pretty much protected from the intense afternoon sun and it’s in partial shade, protected by the tree canopies. 

If you want to be lazy and do minimal work yet still have beautiful hydrangeas that flower year after year, then find a partial shade spot in your garden for your Annabelle hydrangea.

No need to Stake Annabelle Hydrangeas

Annabelle Hydrangea doesn’t need staking. The stems are sturdy and strong. Annabelle Hydrangea stems can support the big, heavy hydrangea flowers. It doesn’t get floppy at all like peonies. 

Annabelle Hydrangea

You don’t need to deal with staking to add support to your Annabelle Hydrangeas. Even after heavy rain, I find that Annabelle Hydrangeas will hold up. The stems are sturdy enough so that the flowers do not topple over. Perfect for the lazy gardener.

Annabelle Hydrangea: Long Blooming Season 

Annabelle hydrangeas have a long blooming season. It is one of the first hydrangeas to bloom in the summer. It starts blooming in late June through September.

Annabelle Hydrangea with Hostas

The flowers last several weeks, you will have Annabelle Hydrangea flowers all summer long!

Annabelle Hydrangea Zone: Can Survive Harsh Winters and Hot Summers

Annabelle Hydrangeas are hardy and can live in USDA hardiness zones 3-9. That means it can survive the cold, harsh winters of the Northeast and the warm climate of the South. 

Annabelle Hydrangeas

Here in Connecticut, we have had many subzero winters and my Annabelle hydrangeas survived it. It can live through harsh winters with no special protection.

And in the summer, Annabelle hydrangeas can survive heatwaves and droughts. 

But of course, during the hot summer, you can’t be lazy, you need to water your hydrangeas a few times a week or every day if it’s really hot.

If you don’t water it enough, you will start to see the leaves droop and wilt. The good thing about Annabelle hydrangeas it’s easy to revive wilted plants, just water it well and it will bounce back.

Why I think it’s easier to grow Annabelle Hydrangeas vs Big Leaf Hydrangeas

Annabelle Hydrangea Produce More Flowers Than Big Leaf Hydrangea

Based on my observation, you will get more flowers with your Annabelle hydrangeas versus your big leaf hydrangeas. 

First of all, Annabelle hydrangeas will bloom a few weeks earlier than your big leaf hydrangeas. 

Below you will see photos comparing Annabelle Hydrangea vs Big Leaf Hydrangea in the first week of July. You will see that my Annabelle hydrangeas have flowered while my big leaf hydrangeas do not have any flowers. 

Annabelle Hydrangeas with Flower in July
Big Leaf Hydrangeas no Flowers in July

And once it blooms, I find that Annabelle hydrangeas will produce more flowers when compared to big leaf hydrangeas. It’s just a more productive plant.

So if you want hydrangeas with lots of flowers, then get yourself an Annabelle hydrangea.

Annabelle Hydrangeas seems more resilient vs Big Leaf Hydrangeas

From personal experience, Annabelle Hydrangeas are more resilient when compared to Big Leaf Hydrangeas.

It is so much easier to grow Annabelle Hydrangeas vs Big Leaf Hydrangeas. With Annabelle hydrangeas, you really can just leave it alone and it will flower nicely year after year. 

Annabelle Hydrangea

Annabelle Hydrangea Low Maintenance Plant

When it comes to Annabelle hydrangeas, it’s okay to be a lazy gardener. For Annabelle hydrangeas planted in a partial shade location, even if you don’t water your Annabelle hydrangea, it will flower and thrive. 

But I don’t recommend totally ignoring your Annabelle hydrangea and not watering it at all! I suggest watering it once a week. If there is a heatwave, drought or if you live in a place where it’s warm, then you should water it more than once a week. 

Based on my personal experience, Annabelle hydrangeas that are watered at least once a week will look healthier, more robust and have more flowers. 

For example, below you will see 2 Annabelle hydrangea plants.

The plant on the left is the Annabelle hydrangea that does not get any supplemental watering at all while the plant on the right is the hydrangea that is watered once a week. See the difference? 

Annabelle Hydrangeas Flower Yield as a Result of Watering

There are more flowers when you water your hydrangea at least once a week. So my suggestion is, when taking care of your Annabelle Hydrangea, you can be a lazy gardener but don’t be too lazy! 

Facts About Annabelle Hydrangeas 

NameAnnabelle Hydrangea or Smooth Hydrangea
Botanical NameHydrangea arborescens
Sun or ShadePart Shade to Full Sun
SoilMoist, Well-Drained
Bloom TimeEarly Summer to Fall
Flower ColorWhite
Deer Resistant?Yes
Annabelle Hydrangea Plant Facts

Tips for Planting Your Hydrangeas

Where is the Best Place to Plant Hydrangeas?

Plant hydrangeas in part-shade to full sun locations. They prefer moist, well-drained soil. Plant in a group of 3 to 5 and the hydrangea flowers will look brilliant all in a row. 

How to Plant Annabelle Hydrangeas?

Before planting your hydrangeas, you need to prepare the soil first. Prepare the soil by adding compost, all-purpose fertilizer, and manure. Then dig a hole that is at least twice the width of the hydrangea root ball. Plant your Annabelle hydrangea then water.  

When is the Best Time to Plant Hydrangeas?

The best time to plant hydrangeas is in the spring or the fall. 

How Do You Propagate Your Hydrangeas?

It is really easy to propagate Annabelle hydrangeas from stem cuttings. Simply cut off a 4-inch long stem from any hydrangea shrub or hydrangea arrangement (yes, you can propagate from cut hydrangeas!) Dip the hydrangea stem in rooting hormone and then plant it in moist soil or sand. Keep the stem cutting in part shade and keep it well watered. Wait for the roots to develop. You can check occasionally by gently tugging on the hydrangea stem cutting, if there is resistance, then you know there are roots. Transplant 3-4 rooted stem cuttings in a pot and let it grow into a nice full shrub. It will take around 3 years for the hydrangea shrub to start flowering. 

Check out my step by step guide on How to Propagate Hydrangeas

What Fertilizer Should You Use on Annabelle Hydrangeas?

Use a balanced fertilizer once a year on your Annabelle hydrangeas.

You May Also be Interested in these Hydrangea Care Tips

Step by Step: How to Easily Propagate Hydrangeas (video)

How to Deadhead Hydrangeas (video)

How to Make Hydrangeas Flower (video)

Beginner’s Guide: How to Care for your Hydrangea (video)

Can I Transplant Hydrangeas in the Summer?

Can I Transplant Hydrangeas in the Winter?

Hydrangea Planting Mistakes to Avoid