Fall In Love With Haas’ Halo® Hydrangea

Hydrangea ‘Haas Halo’ (photo submitted by Plants Noveau)

Closeup of huge flowers (photo from Plants Noveau)

Anyone walking through your garden will stop to see Haas Halo®) hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens Haas Halo®).  This native smooth hydrangea has intense blue-green, leathery foliage and huge pure white wide lace cap blooms (USDA hardiness zones 3-9). Flowers stand tall on stout sturdy stems. Shrub branching is upright.

This new hydrangea was found by Frederick H. Ray, former horticulture professor at Delaware Valley College in Pennsylvania. Rick selected Haas’ Halo’ from a batch of seedlings given to him by Joan Haas from her garden. Rick chose this plant because it has so many fine traits: strong, sturdy, erect stems, deep bluish-green, glossy foliage, and huge white lace-cap flowers. Flowers measure up to 14 inches across.

Lovely bluish-green foliage is thick and hearty and sets off the huge white lace cap blooms, most of which are fertile. Pollinating insects all cover ‘Haas Halo’. Ray states that very few visited the blooms of ‘White Dome’ growing nearby. The tiny fertile flowers provide nectar for beneficial insects and butterflies.

Smooth hydrangea grows best in average to medium moisture, well-drained soil in part shade although it is very adaptable to different soil types except for very dry. In the mid-South (zones 6 and 7), site it where it primarily receives morning sunlight, and weekly watering if rainfall is sparse. It tolerates more sun the northern part of its range. Blooms on new wood so you may cut it back in late winter to 1-2 feet to keep the shrub looking young and vigorous. Feed with a slow release fertilizer in early winter. Mulch to conserve soil moisture in summer.

Haas Halo is highly drought tolerant after its first year in your garden. It is beautiful planted as a specimen and just as lovely en masse along a woodland edge. Picked flowers also dry well.

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