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A mophead or hortensia hydrangea, with very large rounded heads composed almost entirely of large sterile florets. As with all these varieties, the colours tend be pink, red or purple on alkaline soils, blue on acid soils or when treated with a blueing agent. Plants are nominally very hardy but late frosts can damage the buds, so grow them in a sheltered corner or against a warm wall in cold gardens. This variety is very free-flowering but tends to have some long weak stems, and these are cut out spring, the only regular pruning needed. Water well in dry weather. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Cultivar: Generale Vicomtesse de Vibraye
Plant type: Deciduous shrub
Flower colour: Purple
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade
Soil: Well-drained/light, Acidic, Chalky/alkaline, Moist
Skill level: Experienced
Time to take cuttings: May to July
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