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I discovered a better hydrangea variety than the Annabelle. The Incrediball has the same familiar big white blooms but unlike the Annabelle, its stems are much stronger and they don’t flop down.
I have a traditional colonial brick home and I have always loved the look of a simple but manicured English garden. A boxwood hedge in the front and white bloom hydrangeas behind it. I am not by any means a gardening expert and pretty much planted these and crossed my fingers hoping they’ll make it. The boxwoods don’t have a hedge shape yet as I am allowing them some time to grow in before I trim them.
Initially, I got a few blooms on the small baby plants I planted but a year later I ended up with big shrubs and multiple blooms that grew and blossomed from late May through June and into July. I had cut down the plants all the way to the ground the previous fall.
What are Incrediball Hydrangeas?
I had done a little bit of research on the type of hydrangeas I wanted – big white blooms. They are traditionally Annabelle but there is a new more recent, modified variety called Incrediball. They are virtually indistinguishable from Annabelle with the only difference being that Incrediball have strong stems that don’t flop from the weight of the bloom or after a rain storms. Their blooms tend to be slightly larger too.
I went to a couple of different nurseries looking for Incrediball and bought all of the plants they had. But not enough for the large space I needed to cover. I also wanted to plant them close to one another to create full and dense coverage. So I resorted to filling in the gaps with Annabelles.
The two varieties were not distinguishable from one another until we had very heavy rain one day. They all flopped immediately from the weight of the water on the blooms. A day later, you could easily tell which ones were Incrediball and which were Annabelle. The former bounced back to tall straight stems. The latter unfortunately remained droopy and bent to the ground. The Incrediball is definitely the better Hydrangea variety compared to Annabelle. You can see the difference between the two below.
You can use different types of supports to prop the blooms up and keep the stems straight and the shrubs looking full. I will probably look into these options going forward but in hindsight I really wish I had all Incrediball plants instead of Annabelles. Their large white blooms are absolutely stunning!