I have had this plant in the ground since 2012 and it has not grown over a foot tall with very minimal flowers. I have moved it three times from the southside, to the north side and now on the west shadier side of the house (more trees) and it is still underperforming. I have over 40 hydrangeas and this one I am about to give up on. I think I may put it in a pot and see what happens.
Tuff Stuff™ Reblooming Mountain Hydrangea Hydrangea serrata
So pretty, it's hard to believe it's so tough!
But indeed, Tuff Stuff™ mountain hydrangea lives up to its name. It shares the showy blooms and beautiful pink or purple color of big-leaf hydrangeas, but because it grows wild on the chilly mountain tops instead of the mild seaside, it naturally developed substantially better cold tolerance. The sturdy lacecap blooms will be bright pink or deep purple-blue, depending on your soil pH, and the handsome dark green foliage resists wilting. If you've had trouble getting big-leaf hydrangeas to bloom reliably in your landscape, try Tuff Stuff - it's the reblooming hydrangea that really does.
Top reasons to grow Tuff Stuff hydrangea:
- less affected by cold winters than big-leaf hydrangeas, but equally colorful and showy
- lacecap flowers attract pollinators
- reblooms: blooms early in summer on old wood, then again on new wood
- tidy habit means no pruningBest SellerContinuous Bloom or RebloomerAttracts:Butterflies
CharacteristicsPlant Type:ShrubShrub Type:DeciduousHeight Category:MediumGarden Height:24 - 36 InchesSpacing:36 - 48 InchesSpread:24 - 36 InchesFlower Colors:BlueFlower Colors:PinkFlower Colors:PurpleFlower Shade:Blue-purple in acidic soils, pink in basic ones.Foliage Colors:GreenFoliage Shade:GreenHabit:MoundedContainer Role:Thriller
Plant NeedsLight Requirement:Part Sun to SunLight Requirement:Sun
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:EasyBlooms On:New WoodBlooms On:Old WoodBloom Time:Early SummerBloom Time:Mid SummerBloom Time:Late SummerHardiness Zones:5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9bWater Category:AverageUses:Border PlantUses:LandscapeUses:Specimen or Focal PointUses Notes:
Prefers moist, well-drained soil. Supplemental water may be needed in very hot weather. In hotter climates, afternoon shade is beneficial. Like all hydrangeas, it benefits from a 2-3"/5-7 cm layer of shredded bark mulch.
Tuff Stuff hydrangea should not be pruned except to remove any dead wood in spring, after the new growth begins to emerge on the stems. Older plants can have their oldest stems thinned periodically.
Flower color will vary depending on soil. In acidic soils with abundant aluminum (a naturally occuring soil mineral), color will tend more to purple-blue. In alkaline soil or those lacking in aluminum, flowers will be a deep pink.Tuff Stuff™ Hydrangea serrata 'MAK20' USPP 24,820, Can 4,527
13 Reviews564431221Browse reviews from people who have grown this plant.
Rose Bailey-Hammock, Missouri, United States, 31 weeks ago
I am in zone 8b and this shrub does not tolerate afternoon sun very well when the temps are in the 80s or above. The leaves and blooms get crispy. I think I will have to move it to a shadier spot. Also the blooms are stubbornly bright pink despite soil acidifier.TMY, Washington, United States, 35 weeks ago
I love this hydrangea! I have had it in a large container for 3 years now on the south side of my home and every year it comes back beautifully. It is in partial shade and even with the humidity and high heat it hasn’t missed a beat. Every late fall I pack 2-3” of mulch around the soil and in the spring give it a good dose of fertilizer and some aluminum sulfate to bring out the blue. I have flowers everywhere about late June. Never expected it to do so well in a container. Can’t say enough about it!Dawn Reynolds, Illinois, United States, 40 weeks ago
I bought three ONLINE and they are doing beautifully!!!! All three were planted in the shade. They can tolerate a lot of shade. Plant them about an inch above ground so they don't drown. I have sandy soil and live in zone 7b. I dug a wide hole. Put Bio-Tone at the bottom of the hole (follow package directions). Also added earthworm castings liberally. The castings do not burn the roots. You can also mix in some compost. And I mulched well around the plants. I love these particular hydrangeas because the fertile flowers are good for the bees and other wonderful pollinators. Also try the Twist N Shout. Very similar, but grows a little taller.Marge, New York, United States, 1 year ago
Beautiful but not very “tuff”. Needs pampering with water in dry heat. I have mine in shade from afternoon sun and it still goes wilted on and off.Scott, Colorado, United States, 1 year ago
I’ve got 2 of them in zone 5a. Temperamental and finicky like all other hydrangeas. Beautiful green foliage but overall, I can’t say I’m really into them. Best advice- STAY AWAY from whatever your nursery talks up and tries to sell you when you’re unfamiliar with the variety (exactly what mine did to me..). Wish I wouldn’t off been so easily persuaded and bought Annabelles instead... now I’m stuck with these 2 shrubs in my garden that I just feel “ehh” about.Spencer, Michigan, United States, 2 years ago
I planted 6 of these last year; two in containers and 4 in ground at two different locations (zone 5). The potted plants over wintered in my three seasons room and boomed when things warmed up. They are easily 30" high and wide and covered in blooms. The 4 planted in the ground died all the way back and are slowly growing this year. We had a very mild winter, and since these are to bloom on old and new wood, I didn't expect they would fully die back. It will be mid-July before there are any blooms. Two were planted in a southern exposure which I believe was too harsh for them. The summer heat gave them a beating, even with regular watering. I expected a plant named "Tuff Stuff" to be hardier. For a comparison, the Annabelle, planted at the same time in the same areas, are booming.Jessica O'Malley, Illinois, United States, 2 years ago
I love this hydrangea! It attracted so many honey bees this summer it looked like it was moving. Beautiful vibrant colour. I planted 3 in 2018 and planted 4 more this summer. It’s a must have addition to any garden. The compact size makes it easy to tuck it in just about anywhere.Sandie Harman, Canada, 3 years ago
I purchased the tuff stuff hydrangea in April 2017. It had a couple of blooms when it arrived but after transplanting no additional blooms occurred for the remainder of the 2017 season. This year I have one bloom that occured in July 2018. Even with only one bloom this season it is beautiful. Overall it looks healthy and happy, I just wish for more blooms...hopefully next year. I live in zone 5a and it has survived two winters. For me it is not a fast grower but I did not expect it to be. Overall, I am happy with my purchase. I can't speak about it being a rebloomer because for me this has not yet occured.Melissa Spino, Michigan, United States, 4 years ago
Great Bush, it’s on it’s 3rd summer. This lest winter was extremely frigid in my area and this beauty came through like a champ. Make sure to mulch it good late spring/early summer and keep watered on hot weather.Anne D, Illinois, United States, 4 years ago