Best grown in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Appreciates some part afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Tolerates heat and humidity. This is one of the most winter hardy of the hydrangeas. It thrives in urban conditions. Bloom occurs on current season’s growth, so plants will bloom reliably each year regardless of the severity of the winter. Prune as needed in late winter to early spring.
Native to China and Japan, panicle hydrangea is a vigorous, upright, rapidly growing, somewhat coarsely textured, deciduous shrub that typically grows to 8-15’ tall. It features oval to ovate dark green leaves and upright, sharply-pointed, pyramidal terminal panicles containing both fertile and sterile white flowers that bloom late summer to early fall. ‘Limelight’ is a slightly more compact cultivar that typically grows to 6-8’ tall and as wide. It is noted for producing large, dense, upright, cone-shaped panicles (to 8” across) of mostly sterile flowers that change color on the shrub as they mature. Flowers emerge creamy white, mature to chartreuse-lime and eventually acquire pink-darkening-to-rose tones before finally fading to beige. As the flower show fades in fall, the oval to ovate, serrate, dark green leaves (to 4” long) turn attractive shades of red. Panicles may be cut for fresh arrangements or for drying, or may be left on the plant where they will persist well into winter. U.S. Plant Patent PP12,874 issued on August 20, 2002.
No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to bud blight, bacterial wilt, leaf spot, rust and mildew. Aphids, scale and mites are occasional visitors.
Mass or group in the mixed shrub border or open woodland garden. Also effective as a lawn specimen, accent or hedge. Provides late summer bloom when few other shrubs are in flower.