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Five panicle hydrangeas for your garden

By: Garden Gate staff
Low-maintenance and showy, these three panicle hydrangeas are must-haves.

panicle-hydrangeas-for-your-garden-limelight-Deborah-Silver: Make an informal hedge by planting panicle hydrangeas like ‘Limelight’ close together so they will grow into a tight border.

Panicle hydrangeas are low-maintenance

Looking for a shrub that will have big showy blooms that even look good in winter? You’ve just found it — panicle hydrangea! Like common lilac, another old favorite, you’ll often find these shrubs growing in gardens where they may have been neglected for years. Even with no care, they still look good.

They bloom reliably on new wood every year. This is one of the hardiest and easiest hydrangeas to grow and it is adaptable to a wide range of garden conditions. Though they don’t need pruning, panicle hydrangeas will look neater if you at least remove any of last year’s blossoms that are still hanging on in early spring. New buds are formed in late spring on new growth, so they aren’t typically damaged by cold.

Panicle hydrangeas are tough shrubs

Panicle hydrangeas are some of the hardiest, most durable and consistent bloomers I’ve ever seen. They take either sun or shade, although they need 4 to 6 hours of sun to bloom their best. The flowers are in clusters, kind of like a big lilac. They start out green or white, but most take on a pleasing pink tint as they age.

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panicle-hydrangeas-for-your-garden-Multiseason-interest: Panicle hydrangeas look good throughout the seasons, even winter!

Panicle hydrangeas have multiseason interest

When many other flowering shrubs and perennials have passed their peak, these deciduous panicle hydrangeas continue their season-long performance, with abundant, attention-grabbing cream-to-pink flowers that dry to shades of linen for autumn and winter interest. Better yet to extend their performance, newer varieties have been bred to re-bloom throughout the season.

Which panicle hydrangea should I grow?

Breeders have introduced lots of new cultivars of panicle hydrangeas. Many are smaller, so they can fit all kinds of situations including containers. Some have interesting flower colors, shapes and sizes. And gardeners are discovering how great these shrubs are. Check out a few you should consider adding to your garden in the gallery below.

Little Quick Fire® panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata)

If you don’t want to wait until midsummer to see blooms on your panicle hydrangeas, try growing dwarf hyrangea Little Quick Fire. It starts flowering in early summer, almost a month before most others. The flower panicles start out creamy white, then quickly change to deep pink during the warm summer months, rather than delaying the change until fall like most panicle hydrangeas.

Blooms Creamy white flowers in early summer that mature to pink Light Full sun to part shade Size 3 to 5 ft. tall and wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 3 to 8

Vanilla Strawberry™ panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata)

The fluffy flower heads of Vanilla Strawberry are packed with sterile florets. They start out nearly white and soon blush bright pink. In the photo you can see how they create an interesting two-tone effect. By fall, the entire flower head turns strawberry red. Even the strong stems have a red tint.

Blooms Fluffy white panicles that blush bright pink midsummer to early fall Light Full sun to part shade Size 6 to 7 ft. tall, 4 to 5 ft. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 3 to 8

‘Pink Diamond’ panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata)

‘Pink Diamond’ is known for its flower color. The buds are a soft pink that open to a white flower. Soon the flowers change to a medium pink before they turn a rich pink hue. While some cultivars come and quickly go, this one has stood the test of time.

Blooms Soft pink to white summer to fall Light Full sun to part shade Size 4 to 6 ft. tall and wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 4 to 9

‘Limelight’ panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata)

‘Limelight’ produces 6- to 12-inch-tall conical flower heads that are chartreuse — especially in regions where summer temperatures are cool. In hot areas, the flowers turn creamy white. No matter where you live, the flower clusters change to a deep pink as they age. The heads are on strong stems, so they stay upright better than some cultivars.

Blooms Huge clusters of soft green flowers in late summer, blooms turn pink in fall Light Full sun to part shade Size 6 to 8 ft. tall and wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 3 to 9

Bobo panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata)

Think you don’t have room for another shrub? Consider compact hydrangea Bobo. It’s covered all summer long with loads of the large white flowers you see in the photo, on stiff stems. In fall, they blush a soft pink before turning brown for winter.

Blooms Large white flowers in summer to fall Light Full sun Size 3 to 4 ft. tall and wide Hardiness Cold hardy USDA zones 3 to 9

Little Quick Fire® panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata)

If you don’t want to wait until midsummer to see blooms on your panicle hydrangeas, try growing dwarf hyrangea Little Quick Fire. It starts flowering in early summer, almost a month before most others. The flower panicles start out creamy white, then quickly change to deep pink during the warm summer months, rather than delaying the change until fall like most panicle hydrangeas.

Blooms Creamy white flowers in early summer that mature to pink Light Full sun to part shade Size 3 to 5 ft. tall and wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 3 to 8

‘Limelight’ panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata)

‘Limelight’ produces 6- to 12-inch-tall conical flower heads that are chartreuse — especially in regions where summer temperatures are cool. In hot areas, the flowers turn creamy white. No matter where you live, the flower clusters change to a deep pink as they age. The heads are on strong stems, so they stay upright better than some cultivars.

Blooms Huge clusters of soft green flowers in late summer, blooms turn pink in fall Light Full sun to part shade Size 6 to 8 ft. tall and wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 3 to 9

Vanilla Strawberry™ panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata)

The fluffy flower heads of Vanilla Strawberry are packed with sterile florets. They start out nearly white and soon blush bright pink. In the photo you can see how they create an interesting two-tone effect. By fall, the entire flower head turns strawberry red. Even the strong stems have a red tint.

Blooms Fluffy white panicles that blush bright pink midsummer to early fall Light Full sun to part shade Size 6 to 7 ft. tall, 4 to 5 ft. wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 3 to 8

Bobo panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata)

Think you don’t have room for another shrub? Consider compact hydrangea Bobo. It’s covered all summer long with loads of the large white flowers you see in the photo, on stiff stems. In fall, they blush a soft pink before turning brown for winter.

Blooms Large white flowers in summer to fall Light Full sun Size 3 to 4 ft. tall and wide Hardiness Cold hardy USDA zones 3 to 9

‘Pink Diamond’ panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata)

‘Pink Diamond’ is known for its flower color. The buds are a soft pink that open to a white flower. Soon the flowers change to a medium pink before they turn a rich pink hue. While some cultivars come and quickly go, this one has stood the test of time.

Blooms Soft pink to white summer to fall Light Full sun to part shade Size 4 to 6 ft. tall and wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 4 to 9

Published: April 18, 2018
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