Pistachio Horwack

vasue(7A Charlottesville)June 1, 2014

Searching through the posts, seems a few of you have been growing this for a year or so now. What do you think? Like gardengal, wasn't predisposed to like Pistachio, but find myself thoroughly intrigued by its charms in person. You can tell - one followed me home from Lowes in a large 2.25 gallon pot for $27 with the Forever & Ever label.

The "red" at this point is more a rosy pink with coral tones - not what I'd tag red at all. The "lime" green is what I think of as "new leaf" green or "Spring green", not approaching lime or chartreuse as some of the growers' photos show. The opening buds are pale green with the rosy coral pink radiating from the center & ribboning the edges. One of the heads is developing a lavender pincushion center. Expecting the coloration to deepen as advertised as the blooms age, but the colorway is currently much softer than anticipated & quite fetching with pink & coral roses blooming nearby. Like all these chameleons, Pistachio's coloring once established in acidic soil here a mystery unsolved till time tells.

Most impressive is the number of blooms unfolding - no less than 2 dozen, with as many more buds already swelling. Tiny buds uncounted just beginning to show on stem & branch growth at every node. Never seen a mophead this young so full of vitality, so eager to grow & bloom. Been sitting out in full sun the last week, daytime temps peaking between 70 & 90, without the slightest sign of wilt, fresh as the proverbial daisy. High hopes spinning here...

Previously released in Europe as Schloss Wackerbarth, can understand why its been renamed Pistachio here & Glam Rock in the UK, though Horwack is its registration name. Seems Forever & Ever as well as Ball under its Next Generation (Next Gen) line are the licensees in the US. Advertised as growing 3-4 x 3-5', reblooming (blooming on old & new growth) from June to October (till frost?) & hardy to zone 5.

So tell me the skinny - what's not to like?

Here is a link that might be useful: Pistachio/Horwack

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Interesting comment. I too saw it at Lowes but did not pick it up because the shade of the blooms did not say 'buy me' to me. I should go back and see how do they look to see if they are "prettier". I think Springwood_Gardens has one; hope he can tell how the colors fade in his kneck of the woods.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 3:04PM
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springwood_gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

I bought mine last year, and mine's color started fire engine red, I'd call it, and then I'd say it faded to kind of a purple with hints of green. I didn't take too many pics throughout the bloom cycle. But this shot was taken just after they opened.

I didn't buy one until last year because I couldn't find any before then. I'm glad Lowe's are finally getting them in, though, and I hope people out there will have good luck with it.

Currently, my plant's growth is rebounding after most everything was killed over the winter (approaching 1'). It's too early to tell if buds are going to form or not, but there were a few shoots on old wood that are opening form stems that were at or just below ground level (due to the plant's "spreading" habit).

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 4:02PM
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After my initial dislike of this plant, I have to say that it is one of my all time favorite hydrangeas! A very long bloom season in my slow to start climate, a good compact size suited to container growing (a requirement for me) and that great combination of colors. IMO, this is a hydrangea that looks much better in person than it does in photos.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 6:44PM
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springwood_gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

Update: Mine, having died to the ground after year 1 is now producing many stems and has 20+ flower buds. Win!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 5:48PM
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vasue(7A Charlottesville)

Thanks for chiming in! Appreciate the comeback ability of yours after that mown down Winter, Springwood! Need more with this trait of maintaining presence in the garden rather than slow to (we hope) regrow. French online source also reporting a very long bloom season, gardengal, in climate conditions similar to mine, along with Autumn leaf coloration - a little extra twist.

Found some web photos showing the coral pink of this one & descriptions from Europe noting medium pink with no mention of red. Curious to see whether this one will continue to express this colorway or move on to fire engine red. What shades did yours display, gardengal? Please both update when this year's blooms unfold.

Really like the smaller leaves set more closely & densely along the stems, in contrast to leggier examples, with the profuse smaller bloomheads in perfect proportion. Can see why its such a good candidate for containers, where its lateral tendencies would cascade over the sides without flopping. Thinking this characteristic may make it sturdier when the wind kicks up, as well. In the garden, wondering if it would naturally root along its lower reclining branches over time (or certainly could be assisted in doing so), to eventually form a "colony"?

So enamored with Pistachio, went back for a twin!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 10:55AM
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springwood_gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

3rd paragraph couldn't be more spot-on. Some of the low branches on mine at time of purchase were curved out and below soil/mulch level. So the plant is technically wider than when it started. I'm more than sure those branches have rooted.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 11:35AM
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Don't have a photo of mine to share but the following borrowed pic is pretty much dead-on for the coloring on my plant. Not too much of that bright cherry pink and plenty of the lime green. Blue eyes. Grown in a container, I noticed last night flower buds forming on virtually every terminal stem. Hydrangea bloom time here starts in July so will try to update then.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 3:24PM
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sandyl(Zone 6B -7)

You all know you all are ENABLERS right? 10 years ago it started on the Clematis Forum and now I have 28 plus clematis and now with all these beautiful Hydrangea I currently have 2 and will be heading to Lowes to see what's available to add to my collection. I just wanted to thank you all. :)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 8:34AM
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jazzmom516(Zone 7 LI, NY)

Those that have Hydrangea 'Pistachio' for at least 3 years in their garden-- can you tell me how wide and tall this shrub gets? I am interested in planting 2 of them on either side of a tool shed door when I currently have 2 Pieris andromeda 'Valley Valentine' that are getting lacebug damage (once were in full sun area --my mistake) Unable to eradicate these buggers so want to plant something else in its place that is in bloom when we are outdoors.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 4:36PM
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vasue(7A Charlottesville)

Sandyl, however tongue in cheek, you're welcome! Sharing info & experience helps us all hedge our bets & garden more rewardingly. Find anything tantalising lately? Do tell!

Jazzmom, don't think these were available stateside long enough to have been garden grown for at least 3 years now.

Still the coral pink on this pair, and as yet no wilt in full sun with daily watering - still in original pots. The coloring doesn't disappear in the reduced light of evening as some hues can, and shows up in night & moon lighting. Enjoying this pair greatly!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 1:25PM
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jazzmom516(Zone 7 LI, NY)

Last year at a large North shore nursery in Nassau Co. there was a lecture on hydrangeas and this plant was one of the ones featured in the lecture. By the time I got out to the nursery grounds, the entire stock was gone!! EVERYONE fell in love with it-- from its unique color in bloom to its compactness. Fast forward one year-- I'm at a local Home Depot looking for something in the hardware section and walked in via the gardening section. What do I see?? This plant in a 2 gallon pot for $19.99!! I snapped up one and planted it where a 'Nancy of Robinhill' azalea had died over the long hard winter we had. It will be on a Northern exposure between 2 small mountain laurels 'Raspberry Glow' and is in the shade of a 15' magnolia tree. When I went back this year to that North shore nursery, 'Pistachio' was no where to be found.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 11:20PM
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springwood_gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

Pistachio hasn't been commercially available for 3 years. My oldest just hit year one. It was killed to the ground and is now 2x2' and in the middle of producing about 15 flower heads. They're opening green and will soon fill in with color.

They've been widely circulating in 3.0 gallon F&E pots at Lowe's for $24.98.

I expect this plant not to exceed 3' in diameter in most areas. H macrophylla with small leaves, thin stems, and short leaf internodes typically don't get very large anyhow.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 8:03AM
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jazzmom516(Zone 7 LI, NY)

The nursery (Kurt Weiss Greenhouses Inc.) that grew my Pistachio had a label on the container of where I purchased it from Home Depot. I believe they are in the next county over from mine. Fortunately, some of the Home Depots by us try to get Long Island grown nursery stock. Everyone knows the advantages of growing locally as well as buying locally so I won't speak of that.

I am glad to hear that this plant is not going to be a huge in width sized plant based on Springwood Gardens description.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 9:29AM
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livreosa(6b / Sunset Zone 35)

Much to my surprise, my pistachio (horwack) did bloom this year! I got it in late April 2014 as a small but well rooted cutting in a 3.5" pot-- due to the size, I wasn't expecting any blooms this year. It only produced one flower, however it has grown really well once I moved it to a shadier area-- I'd say it's probably around 18 inches wide and a bit over a foot tall? I've enjoyed seeing the changes, and I have pictures of how it has changed with time. I would have enjoyed seeing a sequence of how each bloom matures when I was trying to determine which varieties I'd like, so I thought I'd share them here.

I noticed broccoli in late July/ early August.
Buds started opening and were very green on August 8th. he first hints of pink started showing on the most mature flower on August 12th.They looked very "tie dye" at the end of the month (the picture taken on the 29th was right after sunset, that's why the colors are darker and more cool).

Here's a picture from today, the most mature blooms are almost entirely pink, and the inner buds from each flower are starting to open. My soil is basic, and there's no hint of blue anywhere in the flower right now.

i think it's a really attractive plant and very eye-catching, the foliage is lovely too! In my opinion/ on my screen the colors are pretty true-to-life and it looks like what I expected from pictures. I've seen comments to the effect of "I thought from pictures it was hideous, but I liked it in real life!" I think it's a really neat looking hydrangea, but it looks exactly how I anticipated from the pictures, so I wouldn't suggest buying it if you hate the pictures (or at least look at it in real life first). Mine is definitely pink/ coral, not red.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2014 at 9:14PM
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I don,t like this in pink but I think I will pick one up and see what it looks like once my acid soil has turned it blue or purple.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2014 at 10:53AM
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jazzmom516(Zone 7 LI, NY)

madeyna, this hydrangea doesn't change color with the pH of the soil. It will always be that pinky green color.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2014 at 1:47PM
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I haven,t had anystay pink in my soil . Even Glowing Embers ended up being a pretty purple.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2014 at 2:22PM
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