Hydrangea Variety Macrophylla Mariesii Perfecta

By David Marks
Hydrangea macrorhylla ‘Mariesii Perfecta’ is sometimes also also sold as the variety ‘Blue Wave’.

It is a lacecap hydrangea which grows best in acidic to neutral soil conditions. Fully hardy to -12C, it will survive winter in almost all parts of the UK.

Masses of flat, blue (light pink if soil is not acidic) flowers cover the shrub from late July to early October. Can be grown in a large container if pruned annually.

BACKGROUND

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Mariesii Perfecta’ was bred by Victor Lemoine in Nancy, France and first introduced for sale 1904. 

At the time of writing the correct name for this cultivar is ‘Mariesii Perfecta’ although it is often incorrectly called ‘Blue Wave’.

APPEARANCE

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Mariesii Perfecta’ will typically grow to a height of 1.1m / 3ft 6in and a spread of 1.5m / 4ft 9in after four or five years if pruned annually (see below). Eventual height and spread, even with pruning, can be greater if the conditions are perfect.

If left unpruned , and in ideal conditions, it can easily grow to a height of 3m / 10ft although at that height it will loose shape and does not flower particularly well.

The blooms, which cover most of this shrub from late July to late September, will be blue in acidic soils to light pink in neutral soils. As shown in the picture below the flowers are of traditional lacecap appearance, flat and spreading.

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Mariesii Perfecta'
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Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Mariesii Perfecta’

The leaves are smaller than average for a hydrangea, light to mid green and slightly glossy. Both fresh (a short life) and dried flowers are superb for flower arrangements.

HOW TO PLANT HYDRANGEA MACROPHYLLA ‘MARIESII PERFECTA’

To plant Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Mariesii Perfecta’ follow these instructions:

  • Choose a free draining soil which receives a good supply of of rainfall.
     
  • Improve poor soils with garden compost and fish, blood and bone fertiliser.
     
  • Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Mariesii Perfecta’ will grow best acidic to neutral soils
     
  • April to May or mid September to October are the best times to plant hydrangeas. Make sure they are well watered.
     
  • The best position is one which receives sun in the morning and late afternoon.
     
  • Dig a hole twice the width of the rootball. Sprinkle in a handful of
    blood, fish and bone and work into the ground.
     
  • Place the plant into the hole.
     
  • Fill around the root ball and firm the soil down gently but firmly. Water well to settle the surrounding ground around the root ball.
     
  • Plant to the same depth as your hydrangea was in the pot.

CARE OF HYDRANGEA MACROPHYLLA ‘MARIESSI PERFECTA’

Each spring apply a mulch around the plant to lock in moisture and provide a wide range of low level nutrients as the mulch rots down.

Each spring and autumn scatter a couple of handfuls of
fish, blood and bone around the shrub and work it in gently with a trowel.

There are more expensive fertilisers but this one is very cheap and ideal. It provides nutrients over a long period of time and avoids releasing too much nitrogen. Do not apply a nitrogen rich plant fertiliser, it will encourage weak stems and foliage at the expense of flowers.

Although this shrub will tolerate drought it will reduce its flowering ability. It’s best to water the plant well in summer during extended dry periods or where the soil drains very easily.

HOW TO PRUNE HYDRANGEA MACROPHYLLA ‘MARIESII PERFECTA’

Your Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Mariesii Perfecta’ flowers on growth made in the previous year. Prune as follows:

  • Prune during late February in warmer parts of the UK to early April in cooler areas.
     
  • Remove each dead flower and cut back each stem to just above the second pair of buds below the flower.
     
  • Cut out, as low as possible, any diseased or damaged stems.

     
  • Where the shrub is four years old or more, cut out two of the oldest stems as low as possible to the base of the shrub. Older stems will be the darkest and “woodiest” ones.
     
  • Feed with two handfuls of fish, blood and bone and apply a mulch as described in the previous section.

WHERE TO BUY HYDRANGEA MACROPHYLLA ‘MARIESII PERFECTA’

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Mariesii Perfecta’ is a very common shrub and should be available in very many garden centres. It is also readily available online. From past experience we would recommend Crocus if you want buy this shrub online, see their
page here
.

 
SUMMARY OF HYDRANGEA MACROPHYLLA ‘MARIESII PERFECTA’

HEIGHT: 1.1m / 3ft 6in if pruned annually

SPREAD:  1.5m / 4ft 9in if pruned annually

FLOWER COLOUR: Blue in acidic soils to light pink in neutral soils

FRAGRANCE: None

LEAVES: Mid green, slightly glossy

HARDINESS: -15C

DISEASE RESISTANCE: Very good.

GROWING CONDITIONS: Partial sunlight

SOIL CONDITIONS: Almost all soil conditions except dry or water-logged soils. Acidic to neutral soils

CONTAINER GROWING: Yes in a large container

AWARDS: None

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