The Florida Hydrangea

I’ve seen beautiful hydrangeas growing in the mountains of Jamaica (the weather is very cool).  Unfortunately,  it’s not a plant I would try to grow in Southwest Florida.   Hydrangea’s like it colder than Southwest Florida can give them.  However, we have a wonderful substitute.

Mayer from Riverland Nursery  turned me onto a plant called the Seminole dombeya.  It’s also called the Florida hydrangea.  Mayer is passionate about plants and knows what to to grow in Southwest Florida.  He told me I would love this plant.  I bought two of them last year from him and planted them right away. 

The honeybees sure love it.

The bees can't get enough of these flowers.


The entire plant is buzzing with excitement. The bees bump into each other and frantically dart around.

The butterflies love it too.

A gulf fritillary butterfly on my Seminole dombeya.

I’ve also heard this plant referred to as a tropical rose hydrangea.  It’s flowers do have a delicate, rose-like aroma.  It has the most beautiful and prolific display of  hot pink flowers and blooms from November to June.  The Seminole dombeya’s a warm weather plant though.  One of my plants suffered frost damage last winter but recovered quickly.  It was a small plant and last year was an unusually cold winter for Southwest Florida.  The plants have grown quite large this year and I’m sure they will be able to handle our winters just fine from now on. 

Mayer was right, we do love this plant.   My kids visit it daily to study all the honeybees on it and to see what else will show up.  It has some pretty interesting visitors.  It is very alive with an assortment of excited (and a little intoxicated) bugs that are diligently working.  We’re enjoying this plant so much that we’ve decided we need more of them.  We’re going to try our hand at grafting it.  

I don’t recommend planting the Seminole dombeya by an entrance.  There are an enormous amount of bees, butterflies, skippers and (other bugs I can’t identify) all over the plant.  This is one of the sole reasons we love this plant so much, but I wouldn’t want to continually dodge them while trying to enter an area.  

A full shot of the Seminole dombeya.

Also called... the Florida hydrangea.

Come grow with us!

6 Responses to “The Florida Hydrangea”

  1. Lori Woodell Says:

    Does the Dombeya Tropical Hydrangea have seeds from the flowers that can be planted to start bush? I have some flowers, there is a large tan colored “seed” looking pod and also some tiny round things that could be seeds. Thanks for any advice, maybe I just have to stick all in dirt and see what happens!

  2. These grow really easily from cuttings. Just cut off a 2′ stick, strip the lower leaves, stick it in soil. I start mine in a pot, and plant them out later.

  3. I truly fully grasp this post. We’ve been surfing everywhere for this! Thank heavens I stubled onto it on Bing. You’ve made my
    day! Thank you again

  4. I’m glad becoming a visitor of these arrant site! , regards in this rare information! .

  5. stroypenn Says:

    How and when do you prune your Seminole? Mine is still blooming some in May however looks leggy. It has been in the ground for about 1 year. I also purchased mine at Riverland.

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