Paniculata Hydrangeas (PeeGee and Family)
Paniculata hydrangeas will grow and bloom in a wide variety of climates (hardy from USDA growing zones 3 to 7!). Unlike mopheads, they need several hours of sun to do well. If your weather is too cold to grow the pink and blue hydrangeas or if your landscape doesn't have much shade, consider growing one of the many types of paniculatas. North or south, we can all enjoy them.
A desirable trait of all paniculatas is their tolerance for pruning. One can prune them at any time except when they begin forming bloom heads in the summer. The paniculata is the ONLY hydrangea that can be pruned into a tree form.
Paniculatas often get very large. 8-10 feet tall and wide is not unusual. Some get even taller.
A beautiful paniculata, and one of the most popular is 'Limelight' which can be grown in all parts of the United States except those areas which receive no freezing weather.
Hydrangea Paniculata Care
Unlike other hydrangeas, paniculatas may be grown in full sun if they receive adequate moisture. However, they prefer a little shade during the hottest part of the afternoon in the deep south, especially if conditions are on the dry side.
Paniculata hydrangeas are the only type of hydrangea you can prune into a beautiful tree. Many paniculatas are sold already pruned to a tree shape and others can be pruned to this shape.
Paniculatas can be pruned (see Method II) at ANY time other than immediately before they are to bloom. Check out our complete hydrangea care guide for more information.
Photos to Identify Your Paniculata (PG) Hydrangea
If you are trying to identify a hydrangea that might be a paniculata, look closely at these pictures. They were sent to us by Greg and Beth from Washington state.
The pink on the blooms don't appear when the blooms first open, but emerge as the blooms age.
Note the size of the leaf and the serration (tooth) of the leaf edge. This leaf is smaller, softer, and less shiny than the mophead (macrophylla) leaf.
The name "paniculata" comes from the fact that many of the blooms are panicle-shaped (somewhat cone shaped) rather than ball-shaped. Many paniculata blooms develop a lovely pink shade as the blooms age, extending their beauty into the fall.
Other Varieties of Hydrangea Paniculata
There are many varieties and forms of H. paniculata such as 'Limelight' and 'Tardiva'. Limelight is an especially beautiful paniculata and is also one of the most popular. 'Limelight' can be grown in all parts of the United States except those areas which receive no freezing weather.
We welcome any pictures you may have - especially those of new hydrangea varieties.