I Love Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Ragra’ aka Cityline® Rio
You want a shorter hydrangea with intensely blue flowers? Have I got a plant for you...under three feet tall, dark blue flowers, and a reliable bloomer in places where the winter temperatures don't fall much below 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rio hydrangea, Cityline, bud hardy hydrangea, intense blue flowers,
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I Love Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Ragra’ aka Cityline® Rio

I Love Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Ragra’ aka Cityline® Rio

Name:  Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Ragra’ aka Cityline® Rio

Type of Plant:  This mophead hydrangea is a shorter-growing plant that stays under 3 feet tall and grows about 3 feet wide.  

Why I Love/Hate this plant   How do I love this hydrangea? Let me count the ways. I love that it stays short so it’s perfect for the front of foundation plantings and including in with flowering perennials. I love the large, intense blue flowers. And I have found that it’s a bit more bud-hardy than several of the other shrubs in this series, so it’s more likely to come into bloom even after a colder winter.

A Word to the Wise:  Like other H. macrophyllas, this plant forms its flower buds for next year in July and August of this year. So like the others, the only pruning you should do is to remove dead or bare canes in late-May. And like the others in this species, the flowers last the longest when the shrub is growing where it gets morning sun and afternoon shade.

Water all mopheads and lacecaps deeply every few days in hot weather, and mulch to help keep the soil moist.  This is a reliable bloomer in places where the winter temperatures don’t fall much below 10 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live where it’s colder, grow this in a container and bring it into an unheated garage for the winter, then put the pots back outside in the spring.

My rio is 2 1/2 feet tall and just over 3 feet wide. And what a color!

Grow this with some yellow Hakonechloa macra grass to each side, and some Epimedium behind, and you’ve got an instant winning combination.

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