Wedding Gown hydrangeas: Double the flower power

I thought ‘Limelight’ hydrangeas–with all those minty fresh flower heads the size of my head (see directly below)–were the bee’s knees.

Then I discovered ‘Wedding Gown’. The blooms of the aptly named Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Double Delights Wedding Gown’ (also known as ‘Dancing Snow’) really do make you think of ruffles and lace.

Ruffled flowers

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Double Delights’ Wedding Gown’ has delicate double blooms that form ruffles around the flower head.

‘Limelights’ will always find a place in my garden (I already have two in my front garden and one in my back garden), but I’m making room for more ‘Wedding Gowns’. Here’s why:

This is a well behaved dwarf shrub perfect for a small garden, a flower bed with not much elbow room or even a container. ‘Wedding Gown’ will grow to a nice rounded mound about three feet high by three feet wide and can reach its full height in just two years. Southern Ontario-based Connon Nurseries reports that it can be leggy with as much as a foot of clearance above the ground but, so far, my just-turning-2-years-old ‘Wedding Gown’ isn’t showing signs of lifting its skirts any time soon.

Hydrangea Wedding Gown

It’s been said that ‘Wedding Gown’ hydrangea can be leggy but I find that only some of the top stems are elongated.

You get loads of glamour without the high maintenance. ‘Wedding Gown’ hydrangeas prefer well-drained soil (no surprise there) but that’s about the only thing this beauty is insistent about. It blooms on both old and new wood so pruning, if you need to do it, is a no-brainer. Some sources will tell you that ‘Wedding Gown’ does best in shady areas while other sources will suggest planting it in full sun. My little ‘Wedding Gown’ is flourishing in a bed that gets full sun until midday. The canopy of an enormous maple tree keeps it in shade all afternoon.

This shrub shows itself off well. The dark, matte leaves are handsome, helping to throw the sparkling flowers into contrast better than velvet curtains behind a spot-lit diva in white satin. And, given the fact that the shrub reblooms all summer long, you’ll have quite the show.

Wedding gown hydrangea

The dark, matte leaves are a lovely contrast to the delicate flowers.

It’s tougher than it looks. ‘Wedding Gown’ hydrangeas are reported to be highly tolerant of pollution. If you have a tiny garden in the heart of downtown, this is your go-to flowering shrub. Do keep in mind, though, that if you’re thinking of adding it to a rooftop or balcony garden, make sure to position it in a sheltered spot. This darling isn’t happy with locations exposed to winds or the full onslaught of a harsh winter (even though it’s hardy to Zone 5b).

Brides, take note: These hydrangeas do very well as cut flowers. They’re a great choice for your wedding ceremony and reception floral arrangements. And why not get double the ‘Wow!’ with a bridal bouquet of ‘Wedding Gowns’. Sentimental types will love that ‘Wedding Gown’ hydrangeas dry beautifully, too. If your wedding theme calls for more colour, ask your florist about ‘Freedom’, a pink-tinged hydrangea, also from the Double Delights series.

5 thoughts on “Wedding Gown hydrangeas: Double the flower power

  1. I have a Double Delights Wedding Gown hydrangea and last year it produced no flowers. This year, only two magnificent ones. The first year I had the plant, it was full of flowers. What is it I am not doing?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mine hasn’t been exactly floriferous this year either and I think it’s because of the wonky weather we’ve been having. If your plant got zapped by a late spring freeze, its buds may have suffered. If it killed new leaves as well, then you’ll have seen new stems coming up directly from the ground. That’s what happened to my plant. The result is that you’ll get far fewer flowers. I got just two this year. Alternatively, if you had a really bad winter and the whole plant, including all the old wood, died then it’ll produce new stems but you won’t get any flowers. Another issue may be over-fertilizing. As I understand it, if you give your plant too much nitrogen, it’ll encourage lots of green leaves but no blooms. Hydrangeas need a phosphorus-rich fertilizer to encourage flowering. Too much shade or over zealous pruning can also be factors. For a good guide to caring from hydrangeas in general, check out http://www.usna.usda.gov/Gardens/faqs/hydrangeafaq2.html. Hope this helps!

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