Hydrangeas in My Yard: The Paniculatas

My last post was about the macrophylla varieties of hydrangeas growing in my yard. Those have big, rounded blooms and large leaves. This post contains pictures of my two types of paniculatas, which are hydrangeas with elongated type flowers.

In general I have found the paniculatas to be very easy to care for. They seldom droop in a drought, as the macrophyllas (Blushing Bride and Endless Summer) wilt quite easily in hot sun, and when they are dry.

The first photo is of the Limelight hydrangea. It was taken in August 2015, and as you can see it is not flowering, but it does have buds. The second photo is from last year at approximately the same time.  As you can see, this year I will not get the blooms like last year.  Again, I blame this on our incredibly horrible winter.  The extreme cold and piles of snow have done a number on just about everything in my yard.   Some of my Hostas never grew back, and the perennials I thought had died, are still living, but they are way behind on growth, like the hydrangeas.

limelight hydrangea shrub
Limelight Hydrangea – Aug. 10th, 2015
flowering limelight hydrangea
Limelight Hydrangea – August 20th, 2014

The last picture I have is of the Pinky Winky hydrangea. I have come to love this plant for it’s beautiful, long-lasting blooms. It is also a very easy plant to grow. Plant it and forget it.
pinky winky hydrangea
Unfortunately, I could have chosen a better spot for this one to grow. Without a lot of yard space, I thought it would have plenty of room to expand next to the garage. Then the snow came and my plow guy pushed loads of snow over the poor thing. It came back and grew fine.
This year I had to have a broken tree taken down, and as the tree-cutters brought the big beech down, the branches landed on my Pinky Winky. It was enough to break one of the main, low branches. I will have to cut it, as it’s split. I want to wait until the blooms go by.

Pinky Winky 8/20/14
One year ago – Pinky Winky, August 20th, 2014

The only problem I have with this one is that the deer eat it – see how lopsided it is in the photo above?  There is a big deer population around my house and they come up from the woods at the side of the house to check the yard for dinner.  After they munch on my rhododendron, they chew down the stalks of the hydrangea. It’s the only hydrangea they eat, and I think it’s placed just right (or wrong).
So between the broken branches and deer trimming, I may not get to see this perennial grow too large before I move, but it’s still beautiful.

This is the only hydrangea that doesn’t seem to have been bothered as much by the extremely cold winter.  I would love to have more Pinky Winky hydrangeas in my yard.

A Blue and A Lavender Flower

flowering hydrangea shrub
Endless Summer – Year 2

Last summer I planted this Endless Summer hydrangea variety in my front yard. This year it is larger and has bigger flowers. All flowers are blue except one which began as lavender and is now pink. You can see it in my photo here, on the right, lower side of the plant.

I guess my issue with this macrophylla type of plant is that the flowers are often hidden by the big leaves.  It’s also called a “big leaf” hydrangea.

The one with big white flowers is also hiding the beautiful blooms. I hope that in time, as the plants age and get stronger stems, that the flowers will show up better.

The plants are nice and healthy looking so I expect improvement each summer. This type will only be around 4 feet across. They don’t get really huge, to my knowledge.

A Death in The Hydrangea Family

I’ve been waiting, with little hope, that my pee gee hydrangea (grandiflora) would begin to show some green. Of all the new hydrangea additions to my yard last Spring, it’s the only one that seems to have died.
I managed to get a few photos of it’s pretty white flowers last summer, and I had hoped it would grow nicely in the new season, but it’s not to be. By now I would be seeing some signs of growth. My son stepped on it and I think that is what did it in, but maybe not. It may have already died over winter.

white flowers pee gee
Little Pee Gee

The others – the Pinky Winky, Limelights and Endless summer are full of leaves so I know they have survived over winter. I found a Pee Gee tree when I was out at the nursery the other day and those become so pretty. I am jealous of people who have big yards with room to grow flowering trees. Recently the whole area where I live is alive with color. From fluffy white and pink specimens to the gorgeous Japanese magnolias (my favorites), I envy yards with those typed of ornamentals. I hope to get a photo of the flowering dogwood tree I saw last year just down the street. It was a beauty.
Anyway, my attention is turned to the remaining hydrangeas in my yard. I look forward to the blue flowers especially.

Hydrangeas That Grow in Zone 5

Cold hardy hydrangeas are not hard to find as most varieties survive very cold winters.

Hydrangea quercifolia - Oakleaf hydrangea
Hydrangea quercifolia – Oakleaf hydrangea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been looking for a new hydrangea to add to my yard and that means it will have to thrive in zone five.  I live in the Monadnock Region of southern New Hampshire and that is Zone 5, or 5a, to be more specific.  These are cold hardy hydrangeas, and luckily most varieties of hydrangea can take the extreme cold.

I can tell you (and show you) what I have presently growing in my yard, and these types are found frequently in my area of the country.

The Endless Summer Blue macrophylla (rounded flowers) variety is popular for it’s beautiful blue flowers.  As you can see in the photo below, this type can grow flowers in shades of pink, purple and blue all on one shrub!  Gorgeous.

See more photos.

blue hydrangea flowers
Endless Summer will be blue if the soil is acidic

More types of hydrangeas I’ve grown in my New Hampshire yard with much success include the “Blushing Bride” which is also an Endless Summer variety.

white hydrangeas
The Blushing Bride begins white and changes to pink and green

Also, Pinky Winky and  Pee Gee (Paniculata grandiflora), and many others will grown in the north.  In fact hydrangeas seem to enjoy cold more than heat.  The Endless Summer types tend to wilt in the hot sun, even if they have plenty of water.

My best advice is to shop in local stores and nurseries in spring and see what they are selling.  Most likely the types for sale will do well in your climate zone.  Also, you can view a comprehensive list of Hydrangea types and their grow zones on Dave’s Garden site.

hydrangea paniculata pinky winky
Pinky Winky, paniculata variety (3 year old plant)

 

One warning about planting the Pinky Winky (which is one of my favorites, and is featured at the top of this page, in pink) is that deer will eat it.  One side of my shrub was always chewed down where the deer passed through my yard!  It also attracts bees, so maybe keep it away from patios and outside sitting areas.  But it is very easy to care for, and it produces gorgeous flowers. So please don’t let that stop you from including one in your landscape.