Not many can resist the old-fashioned flowering Hydrangea paniculata including many of your own customers. But when we ask you ‘Which one do you need?’ you may be stumped, uncertain of the actual differences between them. You’re not alone! So here’s a quick run-down on a few of our favorites:

Fire and Ice – New to us this year and somewhat like ‘Quickfire’, the 10″ full flower heads bloom early, quickly turning to light pink, then deep, dark pink! Grows 6′ high and has a dense, sterile flower head.

Grandiflora – It’s the one most of us grew up with having been around since 1867! Old examples can be found on estates, in municipal parks and cemeteries and on town greens. The large flower heads add weight to the branches causing them to droop and that may be why there’s a good selection of improved varieties in the trade. The flower heads are smaller compared to many of the newer varieties, but still turn pink.

Limelight – Familiar to most of you for their lime-green flowers that mature to creamy white then age to pink. Sturdy stems support these beauties. They bloom mid-summer to frost with new flower heads opening up throughout the summer. For a beautiful hedge choose the shrub form. The tree form adds interest above ground with groundcover opportunities below it – both are a spectacular sight in full bloom. As a rule they are very adaptable to soil type and light conditions.

Little Lime – This is a dwarf form like ‘Limelight’ growing 3-5′ high. It has a compact upright mounded shape and is also known as ‘Jane’.

Quickfire – A favorite of ours that blooms like a champ then quickly, like the name, turn a bright pink. Plants cut back in March this year were already forming flower buds by June. Right now they are in full bloom beginning with tinges of pink on the oldest flower heads. Grows 6-8′ high

Tardiva – The flowers on these are large, open and conical coming to a point. This is another big grower, reaching 8-12′ high. It starts blooming later in the summer and continues into fall. The flowers turn pink with age.

Vanilla Strawberry – This is a medium grower to 6’ high with large, full 10″ blooms that quickly age from light pink to rose from the base giving the flowers a two-toned look of vanilla ice cream with strawberries. Long blooming and very hardy.

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