Incrediball vs. Annabelle-Don’t Plant the WRONG Hydrangea!

annabelle and incrediball

Have you ever pondered which of those flawless, bursting hydrangea plants to buy for your garden? Now, you can stop wondering! We’ll be revealing the mysteries of two well-known hydrangeas today: Incrediball and Annabelle. We’ll cut out the technical botanical jargon and concentrate on the salient features that actually count, assisting you in selecting the ideal hydrangea to bring a bit of floral magic into your outdoor area. Put on your gardening gloves (metaphorically, of course), and prepare to explore the world of these breathtaking blooms!

Incrediball vs. Annabelle Hydrangeas:

Flower sizeLarge (basketball-sized)Smaller, abundant
Stem strengthSturdyMay flop under heavy blooms
Size at maturityLarger (4-5′ tall)Smaller (3-4′ tall)
Sun preferencePrefers some shadePrefers some shade
Cold hardinessHighHigh
Bloom timeMid-summerEarly to mid-summer
Flower color changeMaintains light greenTurns papery brown
PruningEasy (blooms on new wood)Easy (blooms on new wood)
StyleBold, dramaticClassic, delicate
PriceMore expensiveMore affordable

The two main differences between Incrediball and Annabelle hydrangeas are:

1. Flower size and stem strength: Incrediball boasts larger blooms (think basketball-sized) and sturdy stems that hold the weight well, even in rain or wind. Annabelle’s blooms are slightly smaller and the stems can sometimes flop under the weight of the flowers.

2. Bloom time: Incrediball blooms slightly later in mid-summer, while Annabelle puts on its flower show earlier in the season, starting in early to mid-summer.

1. Flower Power

Incrediball Hydrangeas

Size Matters: Incrediball has huge blooms that are almost as big as a basketball! They are hence the garden’s obvious focal point. Imagine the breathtaking sight of these enormous, snowball-shaped flowers—sure to draw attention and start a conversation.

Color Transformation: Incrediball’s beauty transcends its dimensions. These gorgeous blooms undergo an amazing change in color. They are a pure, snowy white when they grow from their original vivid green color. This change in tone keeps the visual appeal fresh throughout the season and adds another level of intrigue. Eventually, as fall draws near, the blossoms elegantly fade to a calming green, providing a mild transition before winter arrives.

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Single, Striking Blooms: Unlike Annabelle, Incrediball typically produces fewer, individual blooms. However, their immense size and impressive presence more than compensate for the quantity. They act as the central focal point, drawing attention and creating a dramatic statement in the garden.

Annabelle Hydrangeas

Big and Beautiful: Annabelle’s hydrangea blossoms are gorgeous, if not quite as enormous as Incrediball. They are frequently compared to enormous, fluffy clouds, being regarded as magnificent and big. Any environment would benefit from this photograph, which conveys the profusion and airiness of the flower clusters while also lending a humorous charm.

Quantity over Size: Annabelle’s overwhelming volume compensates for its somewhat smaller blooms, in contrast to the lone splendor of Incrediball. Every bush produces an abundance of blossoms, giving the impression of several flowers cascading down. This abundance turns your garden into a vivid sea of white flowers, adding texture and visual intrigue.

A Softer, Romantic Appeal: The fluffy texture and airy volume of Annabelle’s blooms create a softer, more romantic atmosphere compared to the dramatic impact of Incrediball. They seamlessly blend into various garden styles, offering a touch of elegance and whimsy.

2. Stem Strength

Incrediball Hydrangeas

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Envision a hydrangea that personifies the spirit of an unwavering fighter, unaffected by obstacles. Hydrangeas are a living example of its strength. Truly, their strength is found in the thick, robust stems that tower above the ground, bearing the majestic weight of their enormous flowers with unshakable resolve. Rain or shine, these stems loom like steadfast pillars, guaranteeing that the blooms’ amazing beauty is preserved all season long.

Because of their innate resilience, Incrediball hydrangeas can be the stable focal point of any garden. In contrast to their contemporaries, they are resilient and provide a sense of stability and unwavering beauty that engenders confidence and admiration. They are the perfect fit for those who appreciate the resilience and unwavering presence of their garden companions.

Annabelle Hydrangeas

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On the other hand, Annabelle hydrangeas are like elegant dancers, adding a touch of whimsical charm and elegance to any landscape. Even though their stems are still regarded as sturdy, the sheer quantity of their blossoms can occasionally be problematic, particularly following a significant downpour. Consider them as slender, supple dancers that, on occasion, require a helping hand to continue their mesmerizing performance.

The soft sensitivity of Annabelle hydrangeas lends them a charming charm. They serve as a reminder of the exquisite harmony and coexistence found in nature. Their occasional need for assistance doesn’t take away from their beauty; rather, it adds a grace and fragility that certain garden fans find endearing.

3. Plant Size

Incrediball Hydrangeas

Incrediball hydrangea! When these beauties reach maturity, they transform into statuesque shrubs, standing tall at 4-5 feet high and wide.They offer a substantial presence without becoming overwhelming, creating a defined structure that complements other plants and landscaping elements.

Annabelle hydrangea

Annabelle hydrangea, a delightful and compact variety that’s perfect for smaller gardens or even container planting. These charming shrubs typically stay a bit smaller than their Incrediball cousins, reaching a mature height of 3-4 feet tall and spreading to 4-5 feet wide.

Think of Annabelle as the sweet and petite charmer of the hydrangea world. Their smaller size doesn’t detract from their beauty; instead, it makes them versatile and adaptable to various garden situations.

4. Sun Tolerance

Can Incrediball hydrangea take full sun?

Like many smooth hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens), these beauties perform best with some sun protection, especially in hotter climates. Think of it as giving them a strategic rest during the peak heat of the day, allowing them to conserve energy and focus on producing those spectacular, massive blooms.

However, they’re not completely averse to sunshine. In cooler zones with milder temperatures, Incrediballs can tolerate full sun, similar to how some athletes might train in different weather conditions depending on their needs. Still, it’s important to monitor them closely during hot spells and provide some afternoon shade if necessary.

By understanding their sun preferences, you can create the perfect training environment for your Incrediball hydrangeas, ensuring they remain happy and healthy, ready to show off their impressive blooms throughout the season.

Can Annabelle hydrangea take full sun?

In terms of sunshine tolerance, Annabelle hydrangeas are like to flexible dancers. They and their Incrediball cousins have similar tastes when it comes to sun. This indicates that, especially in warmer climates, they usually grow well in areas with morning light and afternoon shade. But in colder climates, they can also tolerate full sun, demonstrating their adaptability and hardiness.

Consider Annabelle hydrangeas as graceful artists who can modify their performance based on the lighting conditions. In warmer weather, they will thrive with some shade protection, which will enable them to keep their lush foliage and profusion of flower clusters. However, in milder areas, they can also withstand full sun, offering on a breathtaking show under any kind of illumination.

5. Cold Hardiness

Incrediball Hydrangeas

As certain athletes thrive in harsh environments, Incrediball hydrangeas exhibit remarkable resilience to cold. These hardy shrubs grow well in USDA zones 3 through 9, so they can tolerate below-freezing winter temperatures without any trouble. Think of them as resilient warriors, unaffected by the winter’s cold.

They are perfect for gardeners in a variety of climates, even those with severe winters, because of their innate cold resistance. Plant them with confidence, knowing that they will return year after year, stronger, and ready to display their stunning blossoms in the spring. They stand out for their capacity to tolerate the cold, which makes them a dependable and low-maintenance option for many gardeners.

Annabelle Hydrangeas

The winning attitude of cold hardiness is something that Annabelle hydrangeas share in common with their Incrediball cousins. They show how resilient and temperature-adaptable they are by thriving in USDA zones 3 to 9. Assume them to be athletes with similar winning DNA who are just as skilled at navigating the winter obstacles.

Their mutual resistance to cold makes them a great option for gardeners in a variety of climes. These lovely hydrangeas will seem right at home in your yard, ready to please you with their profusion of blossoms and laid-back disposition, whether wintertime, mild or harsh. You will be able to appreciate their beauty for many more seasons because of their resilience to the cold.

6. Bloom Time

Incrediball Hydrangeas

They bloom a little later in the season than Annabelle hydrangeas, usually starting in mid-summer. Although this may seem like a drawback, it really helps them concentrate their efforts on creating those amazing, enormous flowers that we all like.

The reward is absolutely amazing, even though you may have to wait a little while longer to witness them in all their splendor. When the moment is right, these hardworking growers steal the show with massive, snow-white flowers that will instantly draw attention to themselves and become the garden’s main attraction. They also avoid late spring frosts, which could harm their fragile flower buds, because they blossom later.

Annabelle Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas named Annabelle are like enthusiastic actors who are ready to show off their beauty to everyone. Usually beginning in early to mid-summer, they provide an earlier display of blossoms. Consider them the hydrangea equivalent of the early birds, adding huge, fluffy bloom clusters to your garden as summer is just getting started.

You can take in their mesmerizing show for a longer amount of time during the season thanks to this early blooming phase. Their stunning snow-white blossoms may infuse your garden beds, borders, or even containers with a whimsical and charming touch that will make a bold and inviting statement from the start.

7. Flower Aging

Incrediball Hydrangeas

Consider Incrediball hydrangeas as classic beauties, their allure developing with each passing season. In contrast to Annabelle hydrangeas, their flowers do not change color dramatically as they get older. Rather, they stay a steadier, paler shade of green, providing a faint variation from their original milky white.

Imagine it as a smooth shift from the innocence of youth to the calm of maturity. The lighter shade of green blends in perfectly with many landscaping motifs, giving your landscape an air of refinement and elegance. As the flowers progressively fade at the end of the season, this persistent color lets you appreciate their beauty for an extended amount of time.

Thus, Incrediball hydrangeas are a great option if you like a formal, uniform color scheme in your yard.

Annabelle Hydrangeas

Like storytellers, Annabelle hydrangeas narrate their tale via vibrant blooms. Their mature blossoms have a deeper, papery-brown color as the season goes on. Picture their bright white beginnings gradually fading to a warm, rich brown, much to the pages of a beloved book browning with age.

Their attractiveness and profusion of blossoms are enhanced by this unusual color shift. The unique and alluring show is created by the papery texture of the brown blossoms, which lends your garden a hint of rustic charm and autumnal warmth.

8. Pruning Requirements

Incrediball hydrangeas

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Incrediball hydrangeas bloom on fresh growth, meaning that they bloom on the growth of the current season. Because of this special quality, gardeners can heavily clip them in late winter or early spring without affecting their blooming potential. Because of their pruning flexibility, Incrediball hydrangeas are easy to care for. You may shape and nurture the plant to the size you want without having to worry about losing its gorgeous blossoms. Pruning Incrediball hydrangeas is an easy annual task that may be done to keep the plant lively and healthy, whether your goal is to limit the plant’s size, revitalize its growth, or just clean up its appearance.

Annabelle hydrangeas

Annabelle hydrangeas bloom on fresh wood similarly to Incrediball, giving gardeners the same degree of pruning versatility. Accordingly, Annabelle hydrangeas can have significant pruning in late winter or early spring without losing their floral potential. Pruning Annabelle hydrangeas is an easy way to give the plant the shape you want, whether that means you want it to be more compact or you want to promote new growth. Because of its adaptable pruning style, Annabelle hydrangeas are easy to care for and provide an abundance of blooms all growing season-long on a well-manicured plant.

9. Overall Appearance

Incrediball Hydrangeas

Incrediball hydrangeas stand out in the garden due to their impressive features. With larger blooms, sturdy stems, and a slightly taller height compared to other hydrangea varieties, Incrediballs make a bold statement in any landscape. The substantial size of their blooms not only adds a dramatic touch but also ensures that they are easily noticeable from a distance, enhancing the overall visual appeal of the garden. The robust stems of Incrediball hydrangeas provide excellent support to the large flower heads, preventing them from drooping and maintaining an upright and striking appearance. Additionally, their taller stature adds vertical interest to the garden, creating a dynamic and eye-catching display that can elevate the aesthetics of any outdoor space.

Annabelle Hydrangeas

Against the striking presence of Incrediball hydrangeas, Annabelles have a timeless, delicate beauty that is just as alluring. Annabelle hydrangeas are well-known for their profusion of blossoms and somewhat smaller stature. They have an ageless elegance that goes well with a variety of garden designs. The abundance of blossoms atop Annabelle hydrangeas produces a sumptuous and captivating appearance, lending a refined touch to garden beds, borders, or containers. Even though Annabelles are smaller than Incrediballs, their beautiful appearance and profusion of flowers create a big impression. Their tiny size allows them to be easily integrated into various landscaping schemes and makes them suitable for smaller areas or as garden design focal points.

10. Cost and Availability

Incrediball Hydrangeas

Given that they are a more recent cultivar in the hydrangea industry, Incrediball hydrangeas are frequently slightly more expensive than more well-known cultivars like Annabelles. This particular hydrangea type’s increased cost can be attributed to various causes, including its novelty, potential exclusivity, and the expenditure required in its development and propagation. Even though Incrediballs are a little more expensive, gardeners who want to add something special to their landscapes are drawn to them because of their particular qualities and eye-catching appearance. On the other hand, Incrediballs may not be as common as more conventional hydrangea kinds like Annabelles because of their relative novelty, which might occasionally make them more difficult to locate at nurseries or garden centers.

Annabelle Hydrangeas

Conversely, Annabelle hydrangeas are among the most well-liked smooth hydrangea varieties, and you may often find them at nurseries and garden centers. The accessibility and affordability of Annabelles are facilitated by their long-standing popularity and market presence; typically, they are sold at a lower price point than more recent or uncommon hydrangea cultivars. Because of this accessibility, gardeners looking for a dependable, traditional hydrangea option that’s simple to locate and buy can consider Annabelles as a practical option. Annabelles are a popular and practical choice for landscaping projects, regardless of your level of gardening experience. Whether you are a novice or an experienced gardener wishing to add stunning hydrangeas to your outdoor space, these plants are affordable and easy to reach.

Final Thought

Ultimately, the best choice depends on your preference. Do you want the biggest, most dramatic flowers with reliable stems and are willing to wait a bit for the blooms? Go with Incrediball. Do you prefer a more classic, earlier-blooming hydrangea and don’t mind supporting the stems occasionally? Then Annabelle might be the better fit for you.


Do Incrediball hydrangeas turn pink?

Yes, Incrediball hydrangeas can turn pink. The Incrediball Blush Smooth hydrangea, a variation of the Incrediball cultivar, produces beautiful silvery-pink blooms.

What is the easiest Hydrangea to grow?

One of the easiest hydrangeas to grow is the oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia), which is why gardeners looking for a low-maintenance but eye-catching plant choose it so highly. This particular hydrangea type is well-known for its unusual oak-shaped leaves, which add a distinctive element to any garden setting. The unique qualities of the Oakleaf Hydrangea are its tenacity and versatility, since it thrives in USDA Zones 5 to 9 and can easily tolerate a range of light conditions, from full sun to partial shade.

What is the best fertilizer for Incrediball hydrangeas?

For feeding Incrediball hydrangeas, a rose fertilizer with a 15-10-10 or 10-5-5 formula is recommended. This type of fertilizer offers the essential nutrients needed for robust growth and abundant flowering. Opting for organic, slow-release fertilizers designed for roses can also be beneficial, promoting larger and more plentiful blooms without the risk of overfeeding.

What is the lowest maintenance hydrangea?

The oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) is widely recognized as one of the most straightforward hydrangeas to cultivate and upkeep. Its defining feature lies in its distinct oak-shaped leaves, adding a unique touch to any garden setting. Thriving in USDA Zones 5 to 9, this hydrangea exhibits remarkable resilience, tolerating diverse conditions encompassing both sunny and shaded areas. Notably, it boasts a natural resistance to common diseases and pests, translating to minimal upkeep requirements for gardeners. Its adaptability to varying light conditions further enhances its appeal, making it a versatile choice for gardens with differing levels of sunlight exposure.


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