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.
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.
Which ones to choose?
‘Grandiflora’, in the photo above, is a classic. But breeders have introduced lots of new cultivars. Many are smaller, so they can fit all kinds of situations. Some have interesting flower colors, shapes and sizes. And gardeners are discovering how great these shrubs are. Here are a few you should meet: