Hydrangeas are a beautiful form of shrub that is quite popular among gardeners. Because they are easy to maintain experienced gardeners and newcomers alike can add hydrangeas to their gardens. Of course there are many varieties of hydrangeas with a great deal of flexibility in terms of their flowers. The hydrangea paniculata, or panicle hydrangea, is a unique specimen for its beautiful panicle like blooms. Caring for them is easiest done by following this simple guide:
Hydrangea paniculata prefer pH levels between 5.8 and 6.2. It is recommended that you use moderate to high fertilization for this particular variety. The soil pH level will not influence the color of the flowers but you do need to make sure you have proper soil pH level so that you can avoid any type of iron deficiency in the foliage.
If you are going to grow your plants in pots and you want to move them at any point into their first set of pots or you want to move them from your garden into pots for the winter you can do so once they reach an appropriate size. If you want to move them to protect them from the open environment to make sure that you protect the stems and the roots while transferring them and be sure to move the plants into an area with good air circulation.
This particular hydrangea requires moderate to moist watering. You want to water the plants thoroughly without oversaturating them. It’s important to keep the soil consistently moist but never wet it too much for the duration of the growth cycle.
The hydrangea paniculata performs best when it is planted in porous, well-drained soil. If you are growing this type of shrub it’s recommended that you add compost to your soil mixture to help it with that water retention. You can also add pine bark to increase the weight and the stability of your mixture as it will help prevent the soil from compressing over time which will increase the longevity of your shrub. If you need to alter the pH level of the soil you can always add different nutrition in the form of fertilizer to your planting medium.
During the beginning of Spring, this plant should be given as much light as possible throughout the day. It’s important that you properly space out your hydrangea paniculata such that they do not cover one another and prevent one another from acquiring the necessary sunlight. If you plant them too close together and they are not properly spaced, the plants will naturally try to stretch out and you’ll have to prune them more often. This is particularly problematic if you are trying to cultivate the plant as a form of natural wall or shrub.
During the summer heat, it may be beneficial to provide a bit of light shading, especially in the afternoons. If you live in an area that has very hot summers be cognizant of this and make sure to plant in an area where your hydrangea will get afternoon shade. Morning sunlight is typically perfectly acceptable and in fact, encouraged for this type of shrub but in the afternoon too much direct sunlight can burn the plant.
Trimming and pruning
If you want to create a more tightly bound plant appearance you can always prune and trim appropriately. It is best to prune the hydrangea in the summer and fall after the leaves have sprouted. If you notice that there are dead or otherwise sickly branches you can prune those off immediately so that they don’t continue to derive nutrients from the plant. With regard to the blooms, you can deadhead at any time. Deadheading is a process where you simply clip away the old blooms once they have reached maturity. This is something that helps to keep the appearance of the plant attractive while simultaneously helps to redistribute energy to forming new flowers throughout the season.
It is important that when you are growing these hydrangeas you provide for proper spacing and adequate air flow. It is always best to grow them in an open environment. you can help to control the height and the strength of the stems by leaving adequate space and when you do go to prune the plant annually, make sure you remove any branches that might be rubbing across one another so that you can help strengthen the overall plant and prevent them from damaging one another.
Pests and diseases
When you are a growing hydrangea paniculata, aphids and spider mites are the most prevalent of insects you will see. You should keep your eyes peeled for these pests in April and May and be sure to spray preventatively during those two months to prevent an outbreak in June or July. The middle of summer is when spider mites grow actively so it is best to take preventative measures. The problem with pests like aphids is that once they are on your plant or shrub you have to be sure you destroy every single one throughout the entire plant otherwise they will come back in full force.
Fun fact: Hydrangea paniculata is the only form of hydrangea that you can prune into the shape of a tree.