Growing Hydrangea paniculata or PeeGee Hydrangea

Hydrangea paniculata is one of the most popular garden shrubs, growing in gardens to write North America from USDA zones 3 through 8

What it looks like

This shrub is tight low branched tree or large shrub. When in flower, large flowers will hold down the branches creating a semi-arched look to the shrub. Unless maintained and pruned regularly, this plant can become straggly and ugly in old age.

Flowers are all white on this plant when they emerge. They do turn a purplish pink as they mature. The flowers themselves are approximately 6 to 8 inches long and 6 inches wide

This plant produces two kinds of flowers, a fertile, yellow-white and slightly smaller flower as well as a larger sterile, pure-white and very showy flower.

How to grow Hydrangea paniculata

This is a very fast growing shrub or tree. It does require a single fall or early spring application of a shovel or three of compost around the drip line of the plant.

It prefers a good soil rich in organic matter what adequate water. While it likes water, it does not grow well in standing water or damp gardens.

This plant flowers in early summer on new growth so that it can be pruned and shaped either in the fall or very early spring.

Landscape value

This is a big, fast-growing shrub. While it is fast-growing, it does become rather unkempt in the fall with spent flowers turning an ugly shade of brown.

Use it in one of two ways, either as a specimen all by itself and pruned into a tree form or as a single large plant on the outside edge of a large property. This is not a plant for the small garden.

The varieties you will see

Classic Varieties

'Floribunda" -- this variety has more sterile and thus showy flowers than the species, unfortunately it does not have enough to hide the fertile and less-showy flowers. It does flower in August into September.

'Grandiflora' -- (often sold as PeeGee Hydrangea) almost all the flowers on this planet are sterile and very large reaching 12 to 18 inches long when in full bloom. This is the most popular and readily available variety in garden centers today. A gardening tip: prune this plant to five primary branches in order to achieve massive blooms

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Newer Varieties Include:

'Burgundy Lace' pink-flowering, the color gets better as the blooms age although full hot sun in the South might make them fade more. 8-10 flowers and sterile (showy) flowers.

'Pink Diamond' - Another bright pink, with 8"-10" long flower sterile-showy

''Kyushu' - Vigorous grower - more upright than species and good show of white flowers very early in summer.

'Limelight' - unique bright lime-green flowers in a more rounded form than others. Grows to 8' tall and flowers very heavily.

'Tardiva' - very large flowers but much later than others (August). Growing 8' tall and more of a shrub than a tree form.

'Unique' - is about 10 feet tall, shrub growing habit rather than tree form and has rounded white, showy flowers (sterile) that age to a good pink


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