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Invincibelle® Ruby Smooth hydrangea Hydrangea arborescens

Flower Season
  • Summer
Mature Size
4' 3'
Height: 3' - 4'
Spread: 2' - 3'
  • Details


    Ruby-red smooth hydrangea!

    The dark burgundy red flower buds of Invincibelle Ruby open to a two-toned combination of bright ruby red and silvery pink. The foliage is extra dark and stems are strong, making this new hydrangea a gem in any garden. It is a strong rebloomer that will be an excellent addition to any garden. Like other smooth hydrangeas, it flowers on new growth and so blooms every year without fail.

    Awards: Green Thumb award, Direct Gardening Association; Bronze Medal, Plantarium 2016.

    Continuous Bloom or Rebloomer
    Deadheading Not Necessary
    Native to North America


    Plant Type: 
    Shrub Type: 
    Height Category: 
    Garden Height: 
    36 - 48 Inches
    36 - 48 Inches
    24 - 36 Inches
    Flower Colors: 
    Flower Colors: 
    Flower Shade: 
    ruby red and silvery pink
    Foliage Colors: 
    Foliage Shade: 
    Container Role: 

    Plant Needs

    Light Requirement: 
    Part Sun to Sun
    Light Requirement: 

    The optimum amount of sun or shade each plant needs to thrive: Full Sun (6+ hours), Part Sun (4-6 hours), Full Shade (up to 4 hours).

    Maintenance Category: 
    Blooms On: 
    New Wood
    Bloom Time: 
    Hardiness Zones: 
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a
    Water Category: 
    Border Plant
    Mass Planting
    Specimen or Focal Point
    Uses Notes: 

    Mass plantings, landscapes, naturalizing, cutting gardens, mixed borders.

    Maintenance Notes: 

    For the biggest, most abundant blooms and strongest stems, plant where it gets at least six hours of sun each day (warmer climates can get away with a bit less). A good layer of shredded bark mulch helps minimize water loss.

    As for pruning, cut the entire plant back by about one-third its total height each spring, just as the new growth begins to emerge on stems. This serves to build up a strong, supportive, woody base while also encouraging abundant new growth for plenty of flowers.

    If you wish to fertilize, an application of a rose fertilizer in early spring, once the soil has thawed, is sufficient.

    Invincibelle® Ruby Hydrangea arborescens 'NCHA3' USPP 28,317, Can 5,623
  • 17 Reviews

    Browse reviews from people who have grown this plant.
    • Purchased this 3 gallon Ruby as end of season sale. The Garden Center took amazing care of her, and for that I am thankful. She has been in the ground a month, and is doing well. The stems are not very strong, I have a tomato cage to support the heavy blooms. I have to say, I am not disappointed with her development. The dark green leaves are majestic, the bloom heads are stunning. I am hopeful if I keep the TLC up, in a few years she will stand on her own. All things considered, I am cautiously optimistic about my investment. I am appreciative I waited for the sale. If I had paid full price, I may be frustrated. NY, zone 6b.

      , New York
      , United States
      , 43 weeks ago
    • I agree with other reviews in that this plant has been a disappointment. I've had this plant for 4 years now. It flops all over the place. Granted, this year (2021) in Massachusetts we had so much rain that many plants didn't perform well but the flopping has always been an issue with this plant. The only thing I will do differently is to only cut it back by 1/3 this coming spring in hopes that the stems will be stronger and hold the flowers erect. The flowers do turn a muddy green so there is a lot of deadheading involved. I have tried picking them but they don't last even a few hours in a vase. Lastly, every year something eats the leaves and I can't find a bug in sight. I've used organic sprays but it doesn't help much. So between the floppy, green flowers and the leaves it becomes an eyesore after awhile. It does bloom for a very long time so that's a plus. I do appreciate all the feedback and advice I've gotten from Proven Winners and will continue to purchase their plants. I guess this plant is just not a good fit for my garden.

      Judy Bauman
      , Massachusetts
      , United States
      , 1 year ago
    • I was very excited about a pink hydrangea which was developed from the Annabelle hydrangea. It is not comparable to the parent hydrangea in any way. It was an expensive 3gal size plant. It is a lack luster hydrangea(have had it for 3 yrs) I guess I expected too much...

      Nancy Cotney
      , Georgia
      , United States
      , 2 years ago
    • I ordered 3 plants. When they arrived I was disappointed with how small they were. Two of three did not look well but I planted all three plants and provided a lot of TLC. The two plants didn’t survive and the healthy plant is doing well. Not sure if I’ll reorder; especially the quart size.

      , Colorado
      , United States
      , 2 years ago
    • We purchased 4 Invincibelle Ruby 3 gallon plants from Pike Nurseries in the Spring. We are planting zone 8a. They were planted in full morning sun. The plants bloomed quickly but appeared more mauve pink rather than the "ruby" photo online and on the tag. When the hydrangea flower buds first develop they have somewhat of the ruby look you see on the tag and the online photo but quickly develop to an overall soft mauve color. Not what we hoped for. The flowers fade to a green color and the stems can't support the weight of the blooms and are laying on the ground. Perhaps as the plant becomes more established in our garden it will be able to support the weight of the blooms. We have recently moved these plants to a less prominent area since they are not the show stopping focal point that we hoped for. We paid over $40 a plant so we are not happy with the performance this season. Perhaps they will look better as they become more established in future seasons. We plan on adding plant support grids to the plants when they die back in the winter so next season they will have a better chance of the blooms being supported and not laying on the ground. Also as the plants mature the wood should become harder and more supportive we think. As other reviewers have stated this hydrangea, and in my experience all newly planted hydrangeas will need extra watering the first year or so. Especially in the humid South.

      Christine Quick
      , North Carolina
      , United States
      , 3 years ago
    • Whoa! Only three and a half weeks after planting and the two Invicibelle Ruby we planted burst into flowers and looks very healthy! I would have settled for the nice dark green healthy foliage and did not expects it to flower so soon but wow, they look awesome!

      John Silverio
      , New York
      , United States
      , 4 years ago
    • Whoa! Only three and a half weeks after planting and the two Invicibelle Ruby we planted burst into flowers and looks very healthy! I would have settled for the nice dark green healthy foliage and did not expects it to flower so soon but wow, they look awesome!

      John Silverio
      , New York
      , United States
      , 4 years ago
    • This plant is in its 2nd full season and looking very good. The stems are definitely stronger (better) than Annabelle. I deadhead it once a month or so and it blooms beautifully from mid-June to frost. It's planted in a west-facing area, somewhat protected from the strong winds we get at the edge of the Eastern plains in Colorado. An easy-care, long-blooming, lovely plant.

      Katannya Walkker
      , Colorado
      , United States
      , 4 years ago
    • This is an update to an earlier review - I reviewed Invincibelle Ruby Hydrangea in spring of 2016 after planting 6 of them in a relatively new garden, followed by a very hot and dry summer. I was unhappy with the performance of them even though the website said they should be planted in full sun in a zone 7b. I really coddled these plants the first year and hoped I could keep them alive. They were watered every day that summer. Last year, I continued to baby them still not sure they would survive long term. However, they survived well enough for me to buy a 7th one. Fast forward to late May 2018. They have just started blooming and they are stunning. All 7 of these beauties have settled in and are doing wonderfully. I never imagined how strong and beautiful they would be or how much I would enjoy them. As I expand the garden around the house and into the back yard, I will be adding more Invincibelle Ruby Hydrangeas. My best advice is this - plant them in the early fall and be prepared to water, water, water for the first couple of years, lots of compost, and lots of mulch while they establish. I think planting them in a southern climate in the spring is just too hard on them but the one I planted in 2017 in the fall has done exceptionally well compared to the first year of the other 6.

      Lorena Cavanaugh
      , Tennessee
      , United States
      , 4 years ago
    • When this plant arrived I wasn't impressed. It was lanky and weak. When it bloomed it looks stunning - until the weight of the flowers had the branches laying on the ground and looking incredibly sad. As well, I had to keep it watered well daily when July rolled around. ... With all that said, I pruned it back by 50% as the flowers began to fade. I read that for this type of hydrangea family a good cutting back makes for a stronger base for new growth (with less flopping flowers next year), but ended up pruning right away instead of waiting for fall. With that said, the plant looks really pathetic for a few weeks, then, to my surprise, it filled in more nicely after the prune. More branches and leaves. THEN... and I should add it is now mid-September, it bloomed again! And this time it is not flopping and looks beautiful. Needless to say, if you buy the tiny size of this plant (the $17.00-ish size) do expect it to need some serious babying (because, it is a baby). I was really bummed with it the first month or so, however, I am so happy with it now and absolutely can not wait until next year when it grows more and really shines! :-) Happy with this purchase!

      , Connecticut
      , United States
      , 6 years ago
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