Hydrangea Paniculata (hy-DRAIN-jah pah-nik-yew-LAY-tah) is a flowering shrub plant from the Hydrangeaceae family.
It’s commonly known as the Panicle Hydrangea, tree hydrangea, or peegee hydrangea.
The botanical name Hydrangea Paniculata translates into water vessel with panicles – a reference to the appearance of the plant’s flowers and capsules.
The plant hails from the south and eastern regions of Asia and Russia including China, Korea, and Japan.
It was formally acknowledged and described in 1829 by renowned botanist Phillipp Franz von Siebold.
It is the only species of the hydrangeas pruned to grow as a tree.
It is also the most cold-hardy amongst the Hydrangea species, making it a popular choice for gardens with otherwise cold-sensitive plants.
Paniculata is a gorgeous, easy to care for plant that adds beauty to any space. It is best grown outdoors due to its massive size.
For smaller spaces check out the dwarf Hydrangea Little Quick Fire.
Caring For Hydrangea Paniculata
Size and Growth
It is a tall plant, with a rapid, upright growth pattern. It can grow up to 8’ to 15’ feet tall with a spread of 6’ to 12’ feet wide.
The tree can be pruned to grow as a smaller shrub with a single stem, but it’s natural, multi-stemmed growth suits it best.
In blooming season from July to September, it sprouts beautiful white flowers that weigh down the branches, leading to a slightly drooping appearance.
It is cold hardy and can grow through USDA hardiness zones 3-8.
Hydrangea Flowers and Fragrance
The Panicle Hydrangea is a beautiful plant characterized by long, oval-shaped leaves with slight teeth along the edges.
They’re about 3” to 6” inches in length and tend to take on shades of deeper red as the fall approaches.
Flower buds develop on new wood. Cut back plants as needed in late winter or early spring.
During the bloom time, which takes place during late summer and fall, the plant produces large cone-shaped flowers clustered together.
The flower color changes over time, just like the leaves.
The white fertile flower heads grow together with softer, pink sterile florets.
The blooms open with a light shade of green progressing from white to brown over time. The flowers keep this plant interesting and attractive all year round.
Read our article on Why your Hydrangeas will not Flower.
Light and Temperature
Panicle Hydrangea tolerates the rays of an unobstructed sun, unlike many other plants.
It thrives under a few hours of full sun, especially when its blooming season. However, it also does well with partial shade but will not grow in complete shade.
A good five to six hours of light are necessary to keep the plant healthy.
If you live in a warmer environment, protect the plant from harsher morning sun rays as intense sunshine in hot climates may affect the plant.
Soft afternoon shade is recommended in such situations.
This cold hardy plant does well in winters. As long as the temperatures do not dip below -30° degrees Fahrenheit, you should be good.
Watering and Feeding
This plant has average watering needs and is fairly drought tolerant. It should be given consistent moisture to keep it in top shape.
Water it at least three times a week during the growing season to ensure the roots grow healthy and strong.
Reduce the frequency of watering in the winter season. Do not leave any residual water on the leaves and flowers.
This hydrangea variety needs feeding twice a year during April and June. Feed with a slow release well-balanced Hydrangea fertilizer.
Soil and Transplanting
Plant in a rich, well-drained moist soil. Clay, loam, and sand with lots of organic matter are ideal choices.
Transplanting requires a little effort. Begin by pruning the roots before transplanting to reduce the effect of transplant shock.
Cut a small circle around the base to cut the longer roots and encourage a smaller root network. This should be done in summer or early in the fall.
Make sure the plant is well hydrated when transplanting. The area should have well-drained soil, plenty of light, and space for the plant to grow.
Grooming and Maintenance
These plants do not require much grooming or maintenance.
However, if you do decide to grow them as single-stemmed trees as opposed to shrubs, pay more attention to pruning to get the desired shape.
How To Propagate PeeGee Hydrangea
Propagate Hydrangea paniculata using branch cuttings.
The branch should be flowerless and ideally at least 5” inches long.
Dip the cutting into rooting hormone powder and stick it into a pot with a well-drained soil mix.
Keep the pot moist but allow for thorough drainage. Cover the pot to maintain humidity but make sure the covering does not touch the actual plant.
Place a few sticks around the cutting in the pot to keep the covering upright.
Panicle Hydrangea Pest or Disease Problems
While this hydrangea has little invasive potential, it is sensitive to aphid pests and mites.
Wipe down the leaves of the plant or spray the leaves with a mixture of water and soap.
Plants also develop bacterial wilt, mildew, and rust, or leaf spots.
Uses for Panicled Hydrangea
Due to its cold hardiness, this plant makes a great addition to the landscape no matter the time of the year. It stays in bloom even when other plants do not.
It can be pruned to grow into a large tree or used as a shrub or hedge accent. It goes well when planted with other perennial plants.
The beautiful cone-shaped flowers make a great addition to any bouquet. They are also great as cut flowers for décor around the house.