The national champion of the 2021 Shrub Madness tournament has been crowned. 'Wee Bit Grumpy' hydrangea, a reblooming dwarf H. macrophylla that boasts excellent disease resistance and a tight compact, habit.
Based on the March college basketball playoffs, 64 Proven Winners ColorChoice shrubs face off against each other in Shrub Madness. The shrub that receives the most votes moves on to the next round of the tournament. Anyone can participate in the tournament by registering for an account and voting for their favorites. This year, 13,000 brackets were filled out at www.shrubmadness.com.
The winning hydrangea was a wee bit of an underdog. It was matched up against H. paniculata 'Limelight Prime' in the championship round. As an evolved form of one of the most popular hydrangeas in the world, 'Limelight Prime' was a no. 1 seed in the tournament. And 1,600 voters predicted a 'Limelight' victory before the tournament began, compared to 1,100 predictions that 'Wee Bit Grumpy' would win. But when it came time to vote in the national championship round, March 30-31, the mophead took 53% of the vote to emerge victorious.
'Wee Bit Grumpy' is hardy in USDA Zones 5-9 and it reaches 2 feet tall and 2.5 feet in width. Its flowers can be hot pink, magenta, or moody violet, depending on soil pH.
Four players are randomly selected to win a collection of the last four Proven Winners ColorChoice shrubs standing, known as the Floral Four.
The player "aclusters" had the bracket that most closely predicted the outcome of the competition. The total tally for a perfect bracket is 7,980 points and the winner got 7,938.
They have won a 250$ gift card to Corona Tools and 4 gallon-sized shrubs. To see the list of winners whose brackets most closely matched the final vote, click here.
To see previous national champion vote-getters, visit the Shrub Madness Hall of Fame.