|Limelight hydrangea at NC Arboretum in Asheville|
Beautiful panicle hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata) are among the best hydrangea choices for the summer garden (USDA hardiness zones 3 to 8). They are perfect for use in containers or in groupings or masses, shrub borders, hedges, and screens.
Fall leaf color is usually blah in shades of yellow in fall. Flowers of some cultivars age gracefully with floral heads turning lightly pink. Panicled hydrangeas are suitable as fresh cut or dried flowers.
Plants grow from 3 - 10 feet high depending on the variety chosen. For best flowering grow shrubs in full sun to light shade and in moist, but well-drained soil. Shrubs bloom on new wood in summer, and are pruned to desired size and shape in early spring.
For smaller landscapes, there are several smaller panicle hydrangeas to choose.
Little Lime® hydrangea – a dwarf version of Limelight® grows 5-6 feet tall and wide, and boasts chartreuse florets that turn creamy and then mature to rosy pink. Often all three colors coincide. Little Quick Fire panicle hydrangea, 4 to 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide, blooms early in the season with white panicles that mature to rosy red.
Little Quick Fire® - the smaller version of H. paniculata Quick Fire® @ 3-5 feet tall and to 2-4 feet wide. It blooms early (almost 4 weeks earlier than other panicle hydrangeas) in upright panicles. Each panicle (to 6” tall) contains abundant showy sterile florets which emerge white but change to pink and finally reddish-purple as the summer progresses.
Little Lamb® - downsized version of H. paniculata ‘Grandiflora’ @ 6-8 feet tall and wide. Dense, cone-shaped panicles of mostly sterile, small white flowers. Panicles stand on upright to outward-arching, stiff sturdy stems. The much smaller, fluffy, fertile flowers are partially visible beneath the showier, sterile ones.
Pinky Winky Hydrangea - unique, large bi-colored, white and pink flowers that look nice against the dark green foliage of the plant. Its unique red stems rigidly supports large 12-16 inch blooms upright on the plant. The older flowers mature to dark pink while new flowers continue to emerge white. Pinky Winky hydrangeas grow 5-6 feet tall and 6-8 feet wide.