Submitted to: Trade Journal Publication
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/31/2004
Publication Date: 6/1/2005
Citation: Rinehart, T.A. 2005. Using molecular technology to breed hydrangeas. Trade Journal Publication.
Interpretive Summary: Trade journal not required
Technical Abstract: There has been a noticeable increase in hydrangea popularity in recent years including extensive coverage in lifestyle magazines such as Southern Living. Before the recent spike in sales there was a strong consumer base for hydrangeas; the 1998 agricultural census listed landscape use of Hydrangeas at more than 22 million dollars in sales, or the fourth top selling deciduous flowering shrub. Potted hydrangeas added another 10 million in annual sales as a floriculture crop. Currently the consumer demand for deciduous flowering shrubs for landscapes and containers is more than 583 million dollars, or more than 15% of the billions spent on plants each year, which means the market for hydrangeas has plenty of space and momentum to keep growing. This article describes the current status of the molecular breeding program for hydrangeas and recommends cultivars for landscape use in the South.