Plant Profile – Hydrangea hybrid Runaway Bride® ‘Snow White’ – RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year 2018

Hydrangea hybrid Runaway Bride® ‘Snow White’ is fantastic new breeding, hence it achieved the prestigious accolade of Plant of the Year 2018 at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018. It is an extremely floriferous and vigorous Hydrangea. Many of the Hydrangeas you see for sale produce only one bloom on the end of each branch, but Hydrangea hybrid Runaway Bride® ‘Snow White’ flowers from the lateral buds along the length of each stem. The result of this unique trait is you can expect up to 6 large blooms on every branch to create an outstanding display.

The lacecap white flowers are later flushed with pale pink, and they appear from late spring or early summer and go on well into the autumn. The stems are gently trailing so it has been categorised as a Garland Hydrangea. It has a neat and compact habit, making it suitable for both beds and borders and patio containers. The eventual height is up to 120cm (47in) and a spread of up to 120cm (47in).

Paul Masters, Head of Horticulture at Thompson & Morgan, comments:-

Hydrangea hybrid Runaway Bride® ‘Snow White’ is a truly spectacular plant – I’ve never seen so many flowers on a hydrangea! To see six blooms on each branch is unheard of. It really is incredible!

Hydrangea hybrid Runaway Bride® ‘Snow White’ is easy to care for and hardy. Hydrangeas prefers a position in shade or semi-shade, with shelter from cold, drying winds. Grow hydrangea plants in any rich fertile, moist soil. Improve the soil prior to planting by adding plenty of well rotted manure or garden compost, ensuring that it is mixed in thoroughly and deeply. Alternatively, plant Hydrangea Runaway Bride in a patio container using a quality compost. I would recommend John Innes number three for plants to be left in their container for more than a year. Leave the faded hydrangea flower heads in place until the new buds swell in spring to protect the delicate buds from frost damage. Prune the old stems after flowering, leaving the new growth in situ, as this Hydrangea flowers on new growth unlike most others.

Caution: All parts of hydrangea will upset the stomach if eaten. The foliage may also aggravate skin allergies.

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Mark Snelling.

Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride Snow White’ (Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride Snow White’)

Botanical name

Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride Snow White’

Other names

Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride Snow White’, Hydrangea ‘USHYD0405’, Hydrangea Runaway Bride ‘Snow White’


Hydrangea Hydrangea

Variety or Cultivar

‘Runaway Bride Snow White’ _ ‘Runaway Bride Snow White’ is a compact, mound-forming to semi-trailing, deciduous shrub with broadly ovate, toothed, dark green leaves and clusters of pink-flushed, white flowers from late spring to early autumn.

Native to

Garden origin




Rounded, Trailing


Can cause mild stomach upset if ingested and contact with foliage may aggravate skin allergies.


RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year

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Flushed pink, White in Spring; Flushed pink, White in Summer; Flushed pink, White in Autumn

Dark-green in Spring; Dark-green in Summer; Dark-green in Autumn

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Capsid bug , Glasshouse red spider mite , Hydrangea scale


Generally Disease Free

General care


Pruning group 1 or 4.

Propagation methods

Softwood cuttings

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Where to grow

Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride Snow White’ (Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride Snow White’) will reach a height of 1.2m and a spread of 1.2m after 5-10 years.

Suggested uses

City, Cottage/Informal, Flower Arranging, Beds and borders, Low Maintenance, Containers


Grow in moist but well-drained soil in sun or partial shade. Will perform best with afternoon shade. Soil ph effects flower colour -flowers turn blue in acid soil, pink on neutral to alkaline soil.

Soil type

Clay, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Neutral


Partial Shade, Full Sun


North, South, East, West


Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4), Tender in frost (H3)

USDA zones

Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7

Defra’s Risk register #1

Plant name

Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride Snow White’ (Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride Snow White’)

Common pest name

assam thrips; castor thrips; chilli thrips; yellow tea thrips

Scientific pest name

Scirtothrips dorsalis



Current status in UK


Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low – 5 is very high)

Impact (1 is very low – 5 is very high)

General biosecurity comments

EU listed pest for citrus but highly polyphagous and intercepted on a number of hosts. EU legislation should be updated to reflect wider host list.

Defra’s Risk register #2

Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride Snow White’ (Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride Snow White’)

Rice leaf nematode; Strawberry crimp disease nematode; White tip nematode; White tip nematode of rice

Aphelenchoides besseyi



Damaging nematode affecting rice crops and strawberry production in warmer climates; could potentially present a threat to strawberry production and ornamental production in protected environments. But modern production practices seem to reduce likelihood of impacts. Pest is also regulated at EU level; which reduces likelihood of entry.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read “Don’t risk it” advice here

Suspected outbreak?

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit:

The Plant of the Year at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is now in it’s 9th year, and the contest has seen some amazing introductions- from tropical hardy Foxgloves to patio Mulberry trees. However, 2018 was the year of the Hydrangea, as ‘Runaway Bride’ clinched the title of Plant of the Year. This new breakthrough variety boasts the flower power we’ve always dreamt of, and is set to the change the world of the UK’s favourite shrub…

Hydrangea Runaway Bride

Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride’ is a pivotal moment in the world of horticulture, as it’s the very first Hydrangea to produce flowers from every leaf joint, not just at the tips! Plants become laden with blooms, and hence have a wider range of uses in the garden, as the laden stems produce blooms like confetti. It can even be grown in hanging baskets and tumbling over walls and rockeries!

Despite years of being maligned, Hydrangea are back in vogue again, thanks to the recent revival in vintage style flowers. I wonder if Madonna has changed her mind about them though?? She has been quoted as ‘absolutely loathing Hydrangeas’.

A whole new class of plant for your garden

‘Runaway Bride’ is the brainchild of Ushio Sakazaki, the skilled Japanese breeder who changed the world of Petunias with the introduction of ‘Surfinia’, which is now one of the most recognised plant brands around the world. He also selected the very first ‘mini petunias’ (Calibrachoa), released as the Million Bells Series.

Most standard Hydrangea macrophylla produce their flower buds on stems produced the previous year. This is also true of ‘Runaway Bride’, however the side buds ALSO produce flowers, creating garlands of blooms all along the graceful stems, up to 20 flower heads per stem! Rather than just the icing on the cake, you now have a plant drenched in icing!

The lace-cap blossoms are pure white, gently tinged with pink as they age. There are SIX times as many blooms as a usual Hydrangea, and they just keep on coming- from May to September. Unlike blue and pink Hydrangeas, ‘Runaway Bride’ is always the same colour too, differences in soil pH will not affect the colouring.

How would you use this Hydrangea into your outdoor space? The possibilities are endless!

Plant of the Year Hydrangea Runaway Bride

How was this plant created?

Once Ushio Sakazaki had revolutionised Petunias, he set to work on the much-loved Hydrangea. He searched around for species with more flowers. He studied their habit and branching carefully before choosing an Asian species for crossing with the commonly known Hydrangea macrophylla. What he created was an entirely new category of Hydrangea- ‘The Garland Hydrangea’!

Ushio Sakazaki

Where can you plant Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride’?

The floriferous bush habit of this Hydrangea lends itself well to specimen container planting, and it will look at its best when allowed to tumble over the side of the container. The natural choice would be a vintage style container, but it can also work well in modern slate or jet black containers too.

Plants can be used in patio containers, up-cycled containers, windowboxes, hanging baskets, borders, rockeries, or even trained upwards on trelliswork!

Runaway Bride in a hanging basket

Plants are problem-free, as with standard Hydrangeas, and will grow in sun or partial shade. For best results, make sure your Hydrangea is well-watered, so consider placing a saucer beneath your plant to act as a reservoir. After all, Hydrangea comes from the Greek “hydor”, meaning water, and plants can be thirsty!

Plants produce gorgeous oversized cushioned plants, eventually reaching 1.2m (4ft) up and across. Pruning is simple and will actually encourage fresh, bloom-laden shoots. Trim after flowering to initiate that secondary display!

Where can you buy this plant?

Fresh from it’s win at the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride’ is being launched on QVC on Sunday 10th June in the 9am show. Tune in here to reserve your Plant of the Year.

Grow the plant everyones talking about!

How to grow Hydrangea ‘runaway bride’:

Flowering time: May to September
Location: Patio pots, hanging baskets, borders
Soil: Well-drained, and reliably moist
Light: Sun or very light shade
Hardy: Survives down to -15C, fully hardy
Care: Prune after initial flowering, which will encourage a secondary flush
Size: 1.2m (4′) high x 1.2m (4′) in spread

Plant of the Year Hydrangea Runaway Bride

Hydrangea Runaway Bride Snow White

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**NEW PLANT** Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride’

Hydrangea ‘Runaway Bride’

At the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 the new Hydrangea Runaway Bride’ was named “Plant of the Year 2018.

Runaway Bride is an entirely new class of interspecific Hydrangea hybrid – created by the famous Japanese breeder Ushio Sakazaki – that flowers not only at the end of the stems, but also from all lateral buds from the previous season.

Virtually all hydrangea cultivars flower from terminal buds that developed in the previous year. Runaway Bride flowers not only from terminal buds, but also from virtually all lateral buds along the elegant, arching stems. The lateral buds produce 2-3 leaf pairs, then the flower heads. The lacecap inflorescences are bordered with large, elegant sterile florets in pure white, often flushed with pink during cooler weather.

Due to the unique flowering habit and garland-like stems, this type of hydrangea can be grown into totally new product forms – in addition to standard pots/containers, Runaway Bride can also be grown in hanging baskets, on trellis, pyramids, columns and more.

Mature Size: 1.20m H x 1.20m S
Form: Rounded/Trailing
Awards: RHS Chelsea Flower Show ‘Plant of the Year 2018’

In stock now in very limited numbers.

Find a Stockist

National Gardening Week (April 29-May 5) is the perfect time to turn your attention to your outside space…

As we look forward to the season ahead, we asked resident gardening expert at Dobbies, Louise Golden, to share her top tips, trend insights and planting advice.

Here, Louise shares exclusive “behind the scenes” insights into the work behind the garden centres’ colourful displays, the new ranges arriving soon and what’s set to be popular in gardens across the country for the year ahead.

Q&As With Louise

If you had to choose, what is your favourite season, and why?

Definitely spring and the anticipation of the gardening year ahead. Hellebores (Lenten Roses) and Prunus Kojo no Mai are the first to put on a show in my garden. But it’s the vibrant colours of tulips contrasting with the rich purples of drifts of Honesty that signal to me that soon the garden will explode into a tapestry of colour with the emergence of herbaceous perennials that have been lying dormant over the winter months.

The unfurling of fresh new leaves beneath branches laden in the majestic blooms of Magnolia never fails to delight.

Many months of work have gone into the getting the spring/summer range ready, can you tell us a little more about the journey from inspiration and planning stages to arriving in stores?

Dobbies plant buyers work closely with growers and breeders, visiting plant shows and trial grounds, to select the best performing and reliable new varieties that will give our customers great results and value for money.

Trend setting flower shows such as Chelsea showcase new plants and inspirational gardening ideas that we strive to capture in our offering. Taking account of long-standing trends such as wellbeing, grow your own, plants for dry soils and small spaces are all areas we consider in our planning.

Are there any new varieties to look out for in 2019?

Hydrangeas have huge appeal, and this year we are pleased to offer Hydrangea Runaway Bride – RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year 2018. It carries a profusion of white lace-cap flowers from June to September.

Cottage Garden plants continue to grow in popularity and a new foxglove, Digitalis Panther Pink, bears masses of light pink flowers over a very long flowering season.

Sunflower (Helianthus) Sunbelievable won 3rd place in RHS Chelsea flower show plant of the year competition. Flowering from June to November, it is a compact multi-branched variety smothered in bright yellow flowers.

Clematis Meghan – named in celebration of the 2018 Royal Wedding – has dark purply-red flowers in May-June and again in July-September.

Rose Emily Bronte from David Austin – a new introduction, soft pink in colour with a strong fragrance.

For the grow your own enthusiasts is Blackberry Purple Opal and Raspberry Ruby Beauty – both patio varieties suitable for growing on your terrace.

Succulents and houseplants have continued to be popular, is this something which will grow in 2019 or is there a new trend you predict for the year ahead?

Yes, this trend will definitely continue as we all become more aware of the positive effects of including plants in our home and office spaces, for both their wellbeing and air purifying properties.

The trend for hanging plants and maximising wall space will develop, particularly for those living in more urban areas, keen to bring the outdoors in. The easy to care for nature of cacti and succulents is perfect for those with busy lives.

We are excited to launch our new range of hardy cacti called Opuntia or Prickly Pears for 2019. Hardy in the coldest of winter months or in the scorching summer heat, with our ever-changing weather we think there will be even more interest in cacti and succulents, as they can be planted outside in pots to add a tropical feel to your terrace.

The tropical “Afrique” look is going to be big this year. People are going for a big, lush feel to their gardens, depending on where they are living. If they’re further South, the better climate will allow on-trend gardeners to do that in their gardens, while in the North, they can plant in pots and pull them into sheltered places.

Big, dramatic plants – such as Cordylines, Canna lilies and hardy Palms – are going to be on-trend, and richly-coloured foliage bedding plants, such as Coleus with amazing leaf patterns, will give gardens that wow factor.

Afrique look

What do you predict will be the biggest sellers this year?

Looking stunning in both a contemporary and cottage garden setting, we predict the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year 2018, the Hydrangea Runaway Bride, to be one of the top picks for 2019.

We are seeing Hydrangeas in general growing in popularity, due in part to their ease of care and long-lasting flower display.

Louise’s Top 5 Gardening Trend Predictions For 2019

1. Tropical plants

Plants such as succulents, Houseleeks, Aeonium, Cordylines, Canna Lilies, Colocasia, Agapanthus will feature heavily as gardener look for plants tolerant of dry conditions.

2. Plants for wildlife

Dobbies we will be stocking the new variety Buddleja Berries and Cream as demand grows for plants to attract bees and butterflies. Packed full of cone-shaped clusters of flowers, these are a real magnet for insects.

3. Grow Your Own for healthy eating

As more and more of us look to include additional vegetables in our diet and the number of people on exclusively plant-based diets increases, easy to grow vegetables, salads and herbs suitable for growing in small spaces such as wall planters and patio containers will rise.

4. Hanging gardens

Macramé hangers are making a comeback with a contemporary and modern twist.

5. Grouping plants to create a mini indoor garden

Contemporary pot covers to reflect your interior style is a look that continues to be on-trend.

Big For 2019 – Edible Living Wall

Edible living wall

With the theme for this year’s National Gardening Week being Edible Britain, this brilliant idea for an edible take on the living wall trend is the perfect way to think big in a small garden, patio or even on a balcony.

It means even if you are limited on ground space, you can still make a statement and maximise growing potential. The living wall planters come in sets of 3 pots, meaning you can go as big or small as required. Install a living wall and use it to create a collage of colour or an edible bounty of herbs, vegetables or fruit.

Easy Steps to Bring Your Living Wall To Life

  • Choose a location in your garden – from walls and fences to patios and balconies.
  • Select your plants and slot your planters into place. Use an electric screwdriver and work from the bottom up, attaching the plastic planters to the battens on every third row in staggered rows.
  • Get watering – starting at the top, use a hosepipe or watering can to water the wall. The reservoir system is designed to keep plants watered for up to two weeks, so looking after your wall is easy.
  • Start planting your living wall – fill the planters with your chosen plants. Remove them from their pots and plant them in the planters. Or if you’d prefer to keep them in the pot (so you can swap plants out easily as and when you need to) then simply make sure the pot touches the reservoir base in each planter.
  • Step back and admire your work. Remember to water your wall every two weeks for best results.

Contemporary living wall

Allison Hay

I joined the My Weekly team nine years ago, and I love the variety of topics we cover both online and in the magazine. I manage the digital content for the brand, sharing features and information on the website, social media and in our digital newsletters. I also work for Your Best Ever Christmas – perfect as it’s my favourite time of year!

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