Panicle Hydrangea – Identification and Pruning
Panicle hydrangea, Hydrangea paniculata, is an excellent flowering shrub for late summer and fall. There is one particular variety of panicle hydrangea called Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora’….which many gardeners abbreviate to PeeGee hydrangea in referring to all of the panicle hydrangeas.
This is incorrect, since there are many other cultivars of panicle hydrangeas from which to choose. In recent years, several other hydrangeas of this type have been introduced. I particularly like ‘Limelight’, ‘Pinky Winky’ and ‘Unique’. ‘Pink Diamond’, ‘Floribunda’, ‘Big Ben’ and ‘Silver Dollar’ are also excellent. Several panicle hydrangeas have white blooms that fade to an attractive pink.
All bloom in late summer and grow best in full sun. The larger varieties can be pruned in spring to a multi-trunked tree form. You can remove the faded flowers as they get ugly and prune out dead or floppy branches as needed. Every few years, take out the oldest stems in the middle (in winter) to reinvigorate growth there.
Pruning in winter does not diminish summer blooms.