Hydrangea Paniculata ~ Pee Gee Hydrangeas
Most gardeners love all sorts of hydrangeas and for good reasons; they love our climate, they look great in the landscape, and they have big beautiful blooms. Dwarf varieties look terrific in containers making easy summer planters. They also make superb cut flowers and later dried bouquets that keep the summer garden a lovely memory, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Right now I'd like to talk about Hydrangea paniculata 'Grandiflora' or as she is nicknamed PeeGee Hydrangea - Pee for paniculata and Gee for Grandiflora. The blooms on the classic form are large cone-shaped flowers that begin white with a faint green tinge, next turning pure white and then ageing to a dusky pink.
To grow Pee Gee Hydrangeas choose a site that is either half or full sun. These hydrangeas can handle much more sun than mophead varieties (Hydrangea macrophylla). In fact, because these hydrangeas are hardy to -30F/-34C these are also planted in the hot summer climates of the BC interior.
They can be grown as a shrub or a standard (single stemmed tree-form with full top). PeeGee Hydrangeas bloom on new wood so, therefore, are pruned in the early Spring because they will form their flower buds on the new growth (unlike many mophead types some of which bloom on old growth). PeeGee Hydrangeas are easy and very rewarding to grow. At planting time dig a nice big hole, twice the size of the pot and one and a half times the depth. Add a couple of shovelfuls of peat moss and manure and about a cup of bone meal. Finish your transplanting off with an application of Root Booster Liquid fertilizer and water regularly throughout the summer.
If you would like to dry your PeeGee Hydrangea flowers in the fall, it is when the blooms are at the pinkish stage that they should be cut. Cutting too early causes the blooms to wilt and not keep their shape. Once cut simply place them in a vase with or without water in late August/September and enjoy them while they dry.
Some of the latest and greatest PeeGee Hydrangeas:-
Hydrangea paniculata 'Little Lime'
Lime green flowers.
Grows to 3-5' tall and wide.
Hydrangea paniculata 'Vanille Fraise'
Pink and white flowers.
Grows to 6' tall and wide (can be pruned in Spring to control height).
Hydrangea paniculata 'Phantom'
Huge white flowers are up to 15 inches long.
Grows to 6'-10' tall and wide (can be pruned in Spring to control height). Plant this to hide your neighbours shed!
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