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Runaway Bride Hydrangea Care Guide

Runaway Bride hydrangeas produce white flowers in a pattern that looks somewhat like a wedding dress blowing in the wind, hence the name. It’s a very beautiful variety of lace-cap hydrangeas. There are some tips that apply to all lace-cap hydrangeas. But, there are some unique requirements for Runaway Bride hydrangeas. So, below I will describe exactly how to care for them.

Runaway Bride Hydrangea care tips

  • Give them (4 gallons) 15 liters of water per week
  • Set Runaway Bride Hydrangea 6 feet apart from other plants
  • Plant them in partial shade or full sun
  • Apply (10-10-10) fertilizer in early spring and early summer
  • Remove pest insects and mold by spraying them with neem oil
  • Plant in soil that has the texture of compost, and that has a pH of 5.0 to 7.5
runaway bride hydrangea care

Runaway Bride Hydrangea

Plant profile

Care/requirements Runaway Bride Hydrangea
Hardiness: USDA zone 6-9
Size: Height 5 ft and width 5 ft
Shape: Rounded with upright stems
Type: Perennial, deciduous, shrub
Light requirements: 6-8 hours of direct sun per day
Soil: Loam or amended soil
Soil pH: 5.0-7.5 Grow best in slightly acidic to little alkaline soil.
Watering: 1-2 times per week in drought. Don’t water in the winter.
Growth rate: Medium
Blooming: Summer. On old wood.
Flowers color: White
Leaves color: Bright green
Fragrance: Low scent
Pots: Needs a large pot and frequent watering.
Best time for planting: Early spring and early fall
Pruning: Deadheading after flowering and removing deadwood.
Reblooming: In early fall
Spacing: 6-7 feet apart (center to center)
Transplanting: Early fall or early spring
Fertilizer: Balanced NPK formula, twice per year.
Propagation: By cuttings in early spring.
Deer resistant: No
Problems: Pests, diseases.

Planting

Runaway Bride Hydrangeas grow to a width of 5 feet (1.5 m), and to a height of 5 feet (1.5 m). Therefore, you should put the base of your Runaway Bride hydrangeas so that there is this distance on all sides. And so that when it is fully grown it won’t be butting up against the overhanging branches of another tree.

They can be planted at any time of year. However, it’s generally best to get them in late winter. They are dormant in winter, and won’t begin to grow again until spring. So, planting them then will allow them to get established the best.

Bear in mind that it’s normal for any hydrangea to struggle a bit for the first year after being planted. But, don’t worry in the second year they will be completely established.

Light requirements

Runaway bride hydrangeas should be planted where they will get 6 hours of sunlight a day on clear days with no clouds. Ideally, it should be in the morning and evening. Rather than just the morning or just the afternoon as it will give them sunlight energy over the whole day.

They typically will not flower in full shade, and they also do well in full sun. The main thing is if the region you live in is very dry and hot, they will tend to droop by the afternoon no matter how much water you give them. Therefore, it’s generally best to plant them in partial shade if you live in a hot, dry climate.

Soil

The best soil for Runaway Bride Hydrangeas is the consistency and texture of garden compost or potting mix. This is dark brown, loose, and free draining. Soils that have too much clay or are too sandy don’t provide the right moisture or nutrient conditions for Runaway Bride Hydrangeas to grow well. The soil pH should also be in the range of 5.0 to 8.0. This covers virtually all soils, and if you buy compost or potting mix from the garden supply store it will be within this range.

Soil testing kits are fairly cheap and easy to use. You can buy them at a garden supply or hardware store, as well as, online. These will tell you exactly what the pH of the soil is. Then you can add different additives to make it more acidic or alkaline if required.

Watering

Hydrangeas need (4 gallons) 15 liters of water per week. This seems like a lot but this is covered by doing a ‘deep water’ 3 times a week. A deep water is where you leave a hose at the base of the plant for 2 minutes to get water down into the deep roots.

Then if you wet the surface a few other times this will give them around 15 liters. The main thing to watch out for is if the soil gets too dry, especially in summer. This is easy to spot because the leaves and stems will droop. If you notice this give them a good watering. If the soil becomes waterlogged for more than a day stop watering them until there is no longer standing water or visible water sitting on the surface of the soil.

runaway bride hydrangea care

Runaway Bride Hydrangea

Pruning

Runaway Bride Hydrangeas flower on last year’s growth, known as old wood. So, when you prune them, be careful not to remove too much old-growth otherwise you won’t get any flowers. Old-growth has rigid light brown stems. Whereas, new growth is generally still green in color.

Generally, you should prune them at the end of winter. If you like you can trim off the dead flowers. But, some people like the appearance of the spent flower heads and so leave them on. Another good thing to do is to trim away stems that aren’t as strong as the others. These will produce fewer flowers than the other stems. Therefore, the weaker thinner stems of old wood should be pruned right back to the base, when it’s reasonable to do so.

Also, aim to prune them at the end of summer. But, if you leave it a bit late always do it before late winter/early spring, as this is when Runaway Bride hydrangeas start putting on new growth again.

Problems

Runaway Bride hydrangeas can have a few issues, these are:

  • Pests and mold
  • Leaf issues
  • Failing to produce flowers

Any pests or mold that appear on your Runaway Bride hydrangeas can be treated with fungicide, insecticide, or neem oil. Neem oil treats both fungi and insects. Simply spray it on the affected areas after sunset. You can also dab pest insects with isopropyl alcohol using a cotton bud to kill them.

The leaves can curl, develop brown spots, or yellow spots. These are caused by insects feeding on the leaves, or soil and watering issues. Following the soil and watering recommendations in each of the headings about these will fix any of these issues.

Watering can be fixed immediately, but if you find you’ve planted them in the wrong soil then you should transplant them. Just be aware when you do that they can take some time to recover. It’s best to transplant them in late winter.

Fertilizer

The best fertilizer for Runaway Bride Hydrangeas is a balanced fertilizer that is (10-10-10). Apply 2 cups of fertilizer in early Spring and again in early Summer. 

Also, mulching with compost will provide the plant with high-quality organic fertilizer for the entire growing season.