The Hydrangea Paniculata: A Statement-making, Low-maintenance Plant

For gardeners looking for a show-stopping plant that doesn't need its hand held, this is the shrub to try

The Pinky Winky cultivar offers deep-red stems and pinkish flowers

Pretty, Easy-to-care-for Plants Q: I am looking for a showy plant that will make a statement in my garden, but not be too hard to maintain. Any recommendations?

Hydrangea paniculata cultivars are elegant plant picks for long-lasting summer-into-fall blooming – great choices for a variety of design solutions and easy to maintain.

Arching branches produce conical clusters of open, lacecap-like flowers in shades of white, fading to dusty rose or pink by the fall.

Generally, these are that are very cold hardy (to zone 4) and bloom on new growth, allowing for heavy or light pruning. This means that you can keep a specimen three to four feet to give structure to a bed, or allow it to reach six to eight feet for a hedge effect or to soften surrounding architecture.

Hydrangea paniculata cultivars are sometimes trained into “standards” (tree form), excellent for creating a formal effect. Give these shrubs full sun to encourage profuse flowering and provide moist, well-drained soil for best results.

Cultivar ‘Limelight’ has fresh green flowers fading to ivory; ‘ Kyushu’ is ivory with handsome, waxy green leaves; and ‘Tardiva’ offers the largest white flowers fading to dusty rose. It has the bonus of deep-red stems, a characteristic shared by ‘Quick Fire’, ‘Pink Diamond’, and ‘Pinky Winky’. If flowers are cut in summer – enjoy them in fresh or dried arrangements – plants may re-bloom in fall. Fall leaf colour and winter interest is neglible, but the summer show is worth it.

Originally published in BC Home & Garden magazine. For regular updates, subscribe to our free Home and Garden e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the magazine.