Plants We Love…Hydrangea Paniculatas


Pinky Winky Hydrangea. Photo: Proven Winners

Sun-loving, long blooming and easy maintenance

Hydrangeas are popular summer shrubs and the variety of choices are staggering. But Panicle Hydrangeas in particular are extremely reliable and require little maintenance. It’s true that many hardy hydrangeas including paniculatas can get very large but breeders have developed dwarf and more compact varieties. They bring life to a garden with their welcome dose of fresh color especially on hot and humid days.

Little Lime Hydrangea.  Photo: Proven Winners
Little Lime Hydrangea. Photo: Proven Winners

Why we love them.

– They have large clusters of white flowers in summer that fade to shades of pink or red in the fall before drying to beige. When all else fades in winter, the dried blossoms add great winter interest. Who doesn’t like fresh cut hydrangeas in season but an arrangement of dried blossoms look equally good.

– They bloom on new wood so you don’t have to worry about frost/freezing temperatures killing buds.

– Can easily be trained into a small tree or a multi-stemmed shrub

– They are not as fussy about soil pH as some hydrangeas.

Quick Fire Hydrangea.  Photo: Proven Winners

Quick Fire Hydrangea. Photo: Proven Winners


Light – Prefer sun to partial shade. Direct morning sun and afternoon shade would be ideal.

Soil – Should be fertile, well-fed and slow to dry out. Amend with organic planting mix when installing and try to add several inches of organic compost each spring.

Mulch – Add 2-3 inches in spring to keep the moisture in summer.

Pruning – Because they bloom on new wood each year, prune in late winter or early spring to encourage new growth. Prune larger varieties to keep them compact. You can also leave them unpruned, and they will still flower year after year with sometimes smaller flowerheads.

Some of our favorites

Quick Fire has a vibrant color with an intense red edge around the blooms. It is the earliest to bloom (mid-June) out of the paniculata hydrangeas. It quickly ages to a pink and burgundy color which is why it’s called ‘Quick Fire’.

Little Quick Fire is a dwarf form and gets just 3-5′ tall and wide. It’s great for smaller landscapes and even in containers.

Little Lime Hardy Hydrangea is a dwarf form of the popular Limelight Hydrangea. Attractive green summer flowers turn pink in fall.

Pinky Winky Hardy Hydrangea opens white in mid-to-late summer, turning pink as the season progresses, for a two-toned effect. An outstanding specimen plant or massed in the landscape. Reaches up to 8 ft. fall and wide.

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Contact Whitehouse Landscaping or call 484-300-4290 for expert design and installation of trees, shrubs, gardens, perennials and annuals.