Penny Mac vs Endless Summer

jeanerz13(6a)July 6, 2013

What are the biggest differences between Penny Mac and Endless Summer hydrangeas?

I know they're both rebloomers and have pink or blue blooms depending on the soil. From the pictures I've seen online, I think Penny Mac has deeper, more vibrant colors. Is that true?

I took out two hydrangeas recently (one, the nursery had sold me the wrong kind and the other just wasn't doing as well as I felt it should). I took them back to exchange for Penny Macs (same as what I had purchased originally) but this time I was hoping to buy them in bloom. Turns out they didn't have any more Penny Mac hydrangeas so I just got store credit. I've called all around and no one seems to have them, though I can find Endless Summer. I'm trying to decide if I want to get the Endless Summer to fill the holes left by the others or just wait until fall when my usual nursery gets more Penny Macs in. I don't want something where the flower color is so pale that it might as well be white (like I've seen in some Endless Summer pictures).

Also, I've seen some places say that Penny Mac grows to around 2 to 4 feet while others say it can get up to 6 to 8 feet. What height have you experienced with Penny Macs? I want something that will be right around 3 feet tall.

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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

Penny hate to see you go without some sort of answer. I don't know what the major differences are other than hardiness and size. The penny mac is considered tender for this area so we don't see many of them.

Color for both is going to be based on soil alkalinity so if your in the so-so area your going to have an ugly bleached out looking pink or blue.

Regarding size, all the penny macs in this area are pushing the 5-6' range and the ES 4-5'. I think your probably going to have to do heavy pruning to keep either at 3'.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 10:20AM
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I knew the blooms were blue in acidic soil and pink in alkaline... but are you saying that the pH also determines how vibrant the color is? If that's the case, can't I just add some aluminum sulfate (for blue) or whatever to the soil to make the color deeper?

I read this on a hydrangea website:

"One can rarely change the intensity of a color (how strong or pale the color is). The intensity develops for a number of reasons: the heredity of a particular hydrangea variety, weather conditions (hot or cold, humid or dry), health of the plant, and possibly other natural factors."

That's why I thought the deepness of the color was independent of the soil alkalinity.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hydrangeas color change reference

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 10:50AM
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My Penny Mac has done a lot better for blooms and hardly any wilt compared to Endless Summer but that may be due to where they are both planted too. Size-wise Penny may be 3-4 feet tall while ES is less than 3'.

Here is PM with the majority of the blooms facing the side that gets most of the sun.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 12:34PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

The soil pH will affect the color and the shade of color. Closer to neutral, the pinks and blues will be lighter/fainter while very alkaline or very acidic soil will produce a deeper shade of pink or blue. The exact shade that you get will be based on all of the factors listed: soil pH, genetics, weather. etc, Genetics, for example, will make some plants like Nikko Blue produce very deep and nice blues, but provided it is planted in acidic soil. If the soil is not very acidic, blooms have been known to be light blue.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 1:37PM
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both are not a dark blue but a light blue. Es is much more a stronger grower and has more flowers than PM. Both for me are 5 foot plus so neither will meet your size requirements-perhaps mini-penny will do.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 1:58PM
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I'm not looking for "dark blue" (like navy or something). I just want some deep, rich color. Here is Monrovia's sample photo for Endless Summer:

The flowers look kinda washed out and blah.

Here is one of Monrovia's sample photos for Penny Mac:

I wouldn't call that a "dark pink" but it is a "vibrant pink"... you can tell it is pink.

I've seen some good shots of Endless Summer too... but Penny Mac seems to be more consistently the one with nice rich color. That's why I was asking about difference in bloom color between the two.

It looks like it depends on the person for which one does better -- one person saying Penny Mac has been better and growing no more than 4 ft and another person saying Endless summer is better and they both get 5 feet. Decisions... decisions... *sigh*

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 10:52PM
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hcmcdole -- you should let your hydrangeas out of jail! :P Anyway, where are your Endless Summer hydrangeas planted? Are they getting more sun than the Penny Macs? And how is the color of the Endless Summer blooms compared to the Penny Mac color? Same?

I'm thinking what I might do is go ahead and get an Endless Summer to fill one of the two holes. Based on how it does, I'll decide whether to get a Penny Mac for the other or just another Endless Summer.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 12:47AM
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springwood_gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

Both will grow similarly in size and stature..


- PM has smaller sepals than ES. Both can grow similarly-sized flower heads (up to 12"+), but PM's will appear to have more individual flowers on the head and hence appear more "intricate" than ES.

- both are affected equally by PH, so "vibrance" depends strictly on soil conditions and NOT genetic predispositions.

- PM seems to produce both thinner and more numerous stems than ES, possibly affecting the supposed mature size difference.

Opinion: I'm slightly happier with my PM so far since it produces more stems than my ES's... Much less scraggly -looking!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 7:17AM
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Yeah, I have to keep them in jail so my dogs don't totally destroy them going after squirrels.

Endless Summer is next to a very large, very tall oxydendrum (sourwood) which probably drinks all the water but then I have a Snow Queen, Incrediball (so far not that incredible), Lilacina, Hanabi, Emile Mouillere, and a PInky WInky around the same tree that don't seem to be as affected as E.S. They all get plenty of sun while I think E.S. and E.M. get more shade than the others.

P.M. has both large florets and smaller ones on different stems. Is this normal?

Here is the dinky E.S. last month.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 12:02PM
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I know I'm reviving an old post, but it's there :P

Anyway, I ended up waiting until this year to get my new hydrangeas. I got two that actually had labels and both are supposed to be Penny Mac. They're doing well and look more like I expected (definitely not another Annabelle). However, I noticed that the leaves look different on the two. One has darker, rounder leaves -- do the leaves differ a lot between different specimens of the same cultivar?

Here's a picture

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 5:05PM
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They do appear different. Time will tell.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 6:55PM
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