Squak Talk Blog

Hydrangeas for September

Blooming hydrangeas are one of the most elegant and beautiful highlights in any garden.  Starting in mid summer and continuing into September, Hydrangea paniculatas take center stage.  With their fresh foliage and large cone shaped flowers, they add a dramatic accent to any garden border or planting bed.

Hydrangea paniculatas are often called “PG” hydrangeas (short for paniculata grandiflora) and delightfully are easy to care for.  They grow well in full or partial sun conditions with evenly moist soil.  We find the paniculata varieties are easier to grow in hot garden locations than mop head hydrangeas.  Flower buds form on new growth each spring, therefore any pruning you elect to do in winter will not remove future blooms.  Pruning is only necessary if you elect to remove spent blooms or to enhance the structure of the shrub. Do not cut these shrubs back to the ground.


Flower blooms on these hydrangeas form large cones that last for weeks.  On some varieties each beautiful conical bloom can be more than 12” long.  Traditionally Hydrangea paniculatas have bloomed white, aging to pink tones.  Recently, newer varieties have introduced additional color choices to the garden.


‘Limelight’ is a stunning addition to any landscape.  Beginning with bright, lime green blooms, the ‘Limelight’ hydrangea will fade to white and ends its bloom cycle wearing stunning burgundy blooms.  ‘Limelight’ also has stiff stems, making it stand strong even when the wind blows and the rain comes down in autumn.  ‘Limelight’ will grow to be 6-8’ tall by 5-7’ wide.  Consider planting in the back of a border or planting bed.  Pair with dark foliaged plants such as barberry or ninebark for a stunning combination of lime and burgundy tones.


‘Great Star’ is new for 2011 and features white, wavy star shaped petals.  A tall grower, it is best when located in the rear of a bed as a focal point.  ‘Pinky Winky’ has dark stems and white flowers touched with pink.  The pink tones darken as the flower ages.  ‘Little Lime’ is the smaller cousin of ‘Limelight’.  This compact grower reaches only 3-5’ tall and wide and fits nicely in any garden.


The following table shows the full range of Hydrangea paniculatas at the nursery today.  Of course the most enjoyable way to compare each variety is to come and see them at Squak Mt.  Our friendly and knowledgeable staff would enjoy introducing you to the complete family of Hydrangea paniculatas today.


Variety Mature Size (H x W) Flower
Little Lime 4.5’ x 4.5’ 7” blooms change from lime green to white to pink.
Limelight 6’ x 8.5’ 9” blooms change from lime green to white.
Great Star 7’ x 7’ Star shaped white florets up to 4” wide
Pinky Winky 6-8’ tall and wide White blooms change to deep pink
Tardiva 6-10’ tall and wide White blooms turn pink-purple with age
Grandiflora 10-15’ tall and wide White conical blooms turn pink tones


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