A very unique mophead hydrangea, 'Ayesha' produces an abundance of large, compact flower heads, 8 in. across (20 cm), packed with cup-shaped sepals reminiscent of lilac flowers. Opening creamy-white, the thick and fleshy sepals change to soft shell-pink, sky blue or pale mauve-lilac, depending on the soil pH. This creates a gentle two-toned coloring of stunning effect. Blooming in early summer for up to 6 months, 'Ayesha' is one of the few hydrangeas to have a delicate light fragrance. Its fresh green foliage of heavily textured, glossy and bold leaves takes on red overtones in the spring and fall. Sun, wind and coast tolerant, this mophead hydrangea adds a touch of elegance to a lightly shaded border, and makes a superb specimen shrub in a large patio container.
- Vigorous, this deciduous shrub enjoys a round habit, typically growing 4-6 ft. tall and wide (120-180 cm).
- A part shade lover, it is best grown in rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils. Full sun is tolerated if constant moisture is provided.
- No serious pest or disease issues. Watch for bud blight, bacterial wilt, leaf spot and mildew.
- Perfect from foundation plantings to container plantings. Massed in a sheltered location or as an accent plant. Effective as an hedge and makes excellent cut flowers too!
- Blue in acidic soils, the flowers turn pink in alkaline soils. To change their color, add aluminum sulfate to the soil to make the flowers bluer or add lime to the soil to make them pinker. Treatment should occur ahead of time (late fall or early spring).
- Remove spent flowers to promote new blooms.
- This beautiful deciduous shrub should be pruned after flowering by cutting back the stems to a pair of healthy buds. Prune out weak or winter-damaged stems in early spring.