Bigleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla Endless Summer® The Original) in the Hydrangeas Database

Trade name information:
Series: Endless Summer®
Trade Name: The Original
Cultivar name: 'Bailmer'
Common names:
Give a thumbs up Bigleaf Hydrangea
Give a thumbs up Mophead
Give a thumbs up Hydrangea
Give a thumbs up French Hydrangea

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Strongly acid (5.1 – 5.5)
Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 3 - 5 feet
Plant Spread: 3 - 5 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Deciduous
Fruit: Other: none, is sterile
Flowers: Showy
Fragrant
Blooms on old wood
Blooms on new wood
Other: Repeat bloom on new wood
Flower Color: Blue
Lavender
Pink
Purple
Other: Color depends on soil PH.
Bloom Size: 5"-6"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Summer
Late summer or early fall
Fall
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Cut Flower
Dried Flower
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Cuttings: Cane
Division
Pollinators: Other: None
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: Patent/Plant Breeders' Rights: PP15,298 (2004)
Child plants: 7 child plants

Bronx Botanical Garden

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Comments:
Posted by Ispahan (Chicago - Zone 6a) on Jul 4, 2012 7:34 PM

This is one of the most over planted and unattractive plants in my area. Attractive specimens do exist, but they are few and far between. It usually looks rangy, weedy and the blooms are of a muddy, washed out color whether pink or blue. I have three established specimens that I am itching to take out and replace with another hydrangea that is more attractive and reliable, such as 'Annabelle' or 'Little Lime'. A truly inferior cultivar!

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Posted by goldfinch4 (Ripon, Wisconsin) on Jul 9, 2012 12:33 PM

My 'Endless Summer' is a flower machine, blooming almost nonstop from early summer until frost. With the ph of my soil I get pink, lavender and blue flowers at the same time - it's beautiful! The flowers also dry nice and make for great fall arrangements.

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Posted by kqcrna (Cincinnati, Oh - Zone 6a) on Oct 23, 2011 5:36 AM

My Endless Summer hydrangeas bloom heavily in early summer, and sporadically through summer they produce occasional flowers. Hydrangea blossom color is blue in acidic soil, pink in alkaline soil, so you can change the color by amending your soil appropriately. They can easily be propagated by layering.

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Posted by sherrilosee (Bloomington, IN - Zone 6a) on Sep 9, 2012 7:42 PM

The blooms age beautifully!

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Posted by Catmint20906 (Maryland - Zone 7a) on Aug 23, 2014 7:02 PM

Hydrangea macrophylla Endless Summer® The Original was my first hydrangea, and several hydrangeas later it is still my favorite. It produces a bountiful supply of large blossom globes from early summer to fall. Each blossom retains its color quite well for an extended period of time. Moreover, because Endless Summer blooms on both old and new growth, it will bloom even following harsh winters that cause the shrub to die to the ground.

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Posted by frankrichards16 (Clinton, Michigan - Zone 5b) on Mar 2, 2018 7:14 AM

Found in a St. Paul garden (~1996) by Vernon Glen Black (an employee of Bailey Nurseries). Patented by Bailey Nurseries as Hydrangea macrophylla 'Bailmer' and marketed as Endless Summer® (PP15298, 2004). Eventually, this trademark grew into a series, so 'Bailmer' is now commonly called Endless Summer® The Original. It had the unique ability to dependably bloom on both old and new growth as far north as Zone 4. Michael A. Dirr from the University of Georgia developed three additional cultivars for the series.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Jul 6, 2019 1:48 PM

The mother species of this Bigleaf Hydrangea came from Japan. This cultivar with the large, hortensia (mophead) flower clusters has been replacing the old, very popular cultivar of 'Nikko Blue' because this new one can bloom on new wood and can be pruned at various times to rebloom the next year while the older cultivar can only bloom on old wood and be pruned right when the flowers lose their colour, otherwise won't bloom the next year. If the Bigleaf Hydrangea is not pruned sometimes, it becomes large and messy with dead stout stems among it. Either cultivar or any other similar cultivars are known as "the Hydrangea" in the Philadelphia, PA, region as it is so very abundantly planted there and around the Mid-Atlantic, offered from conventional nurseries to big box stores. Magically, this 'Endless Summer' is hardy to Zone 4, while the vast majority of this species cultivars were and are cold hardy only to Zone 6. Growing up in the 1950's onward, west of Chicago, IL, in Zone 5a, I only saw such a plant as a florist flowering plant, just like the Japanese Evergreen Azaleas. The hortensia or mophead flower cluster is a mutation that is composed of all the sterile showy florets that normally only ring the outside of the cluster; not having any of the tiny fertile florets that normally make up the rest of the inflorescence. Thus, it offers no pollen or nectar for pollinators. I much prefer the natural lacecap forms of any hydrangeas because their flat flower clusters, having both fertile and infertile florets, do supply pollinators and the flower clusters are not so heavy that they fall down. The flowers are blue in colour from the use of aluminium ions from acid soils from pH 5.0 to about pH 6.0; then they can be purple at a little higher pH, and then pink above pH of 6.5. The 'Endless Summer' Hydrangeas are mostly pink in the Chicago and upper Midwest due to most soils being around pH of 7.0.

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Plant Events from our members
Catmint20906 On May 27, 2015 Bloomed
piksihk On August 28, 2015 Plant Ended (Removed, Died, Discarded, etc)
piksihk On May 27, 2015 Obtained plant
Bunilla On June 2, 2016 Obtained plant
NikkiGerena On June 12, 2017 Transplanted
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
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Daylily Saffron Skye????? by Paul2032 Jun 6, 2020 4:41 PM 9
Daylilies, patents and selling by TippyToe Apr 23, 2019 10:16 AM 30
Hydrangea macrophylla Lets Dance™ Rhythmic Blue by frankrichards16 Mar 12, 2018 5:55 PM 1
At Least Two of Larry Grace's 2017 Intros Renamed by Betja Mar 26, 2020 9:20 AM 39
Endless Summer Hydrangea by AJR04 Feb 3, 2018 8:59 AM 13
'Frankly Scarlet' by Seedfork Jun 15, 2016 1:31 PM 18

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