Panicle hydrangea, Hydrangea paniculata: care and cutting

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Panicle hydrangea, Hydrangea paniculata: care and cutting: hydrangea

The panicle hydrangea is a hydrangea plant that originated in East Asia and was described for the first time in 1830 by the botanist Philipp Franz von Siebold in Japan. The plant occurs either as a vigorous shrub or small tree, which can reach heights of up to five meters with proper care. The late bloomer inspires with beautiful flowers.

The right location

When cultivating Hydrangea paniculata, particular attention must be paid to the right location, as the shrub is very demanding in this area. The location should be as follows:
  • sunny to partially shaded
  • sheltered
  • sandy, loamy, fresh, moist
  • sour or neutral soil
  • kalkunverträglich
  • nutritious
  • Planting distance: 1 meter
  • should be deep enough
Since the hydrangea likes to settle in the soil, it should be ensured that there is enough space under the plant, so that the roots are not constricted. Due to their tendency to break off in strong winds, the location should always be chosen so that it is not exposed to wind, especially in the flowering period. Already many gardeners had to watch as their panicle hydrangea lets the shoots hang because they did not tolerate the gusts. Once a suitable location has been chosen, much of the necessary care has already been completed.
Tip: You can also easily plant Hydrangea paniculata in large containers and place them on the terrace. This allows you to adapt the location directly to the needs of the plant, for example if your garden is too open and therefore can not provide wind protection.

to water

The watering of a panicle hydrangea is quite simple and depends on the respective weather conditions. She is still very thirsty and should be watered regularly so that she does not dry up. You can pour extensively without hesitation daily and especially young plants will be grateful to you. In the summer care must be taken, especially in the evening to pour enough, as the warm days feed heavily on the water supply of the plant.
The shrub loves it, if the roots are a bit wet, as long as it is in the ground. With potted plants it looks different. Although they also want to be watered regularly, waterlogging should be avoided, otherwise the roots will not be able to process the nutrients on the ground fast enough. In the case of water, you should make sure that it contains little or no lime at all. Lime is a great weakness of the panicle hydrangea and often causes a bad growth of the plant.


Panicle hydrangea - Hydrangea paniculata

Fertilization of Hydrangea paniculata occurs over the year and begins in spring with a mineral fertilizer that contains little phosphorus. If the soil is low in nutrients, regular fertilization is recommended over a period of two weeks as the vigorous hydrangea can get enough of the nutrients it needs to grow.
From summer a long-term fertilizer is recommended, which also contains little phosphorus and more nitrogen. If you have planted the hydrangea in a nutrient-poor soil, you should definitely use a complete fertilizer, otherwise it does not have enough nutrients. With a soil with sufficient nutrients, it is not absolutely necessary to use a full or long-term fertilizer. Here a layer of compost, which is placed around the roots, is sufficient to supply the panicle hydrangea. In addition, the compost provides water storage, which is always beneficial in Hydrangea paniculata.

Pests and diseases

The panicle hydrangea does not often suffer from diseases and a pest infestation is also rather rare, but it may come to too wet substrate in the pot to an infestation with aphids. Pay attention to a good drainage and repot the plant if necessary into a fresh, dry substrate. If the soil is too basic with less iron, the hydrangea may suffer from chlorosis, which is manifested by yellowish leaves with greenish veins.
Here a treatment with peat or Rhododendronerde is recommended, which is mixed under the earth. In addition, you should fertilize immediately. The chlorosis is due to a lack of nutrients, which can be counteracted by these measures. In addition, should be dispensed with too much moisture on the leaves of Hydrangea paniculata, as it often suffers from mildew. In other words, water the plant from below, being careful not to wet the leaves, especially with calcareous water.


There are two different cut forms in the panicle hydrangea and these help the plant to maintain their otherwise lush growth. As Hydrangea paniculata grows quite fast, there is always a stoppage in growth when no cut occurs. For this reason, the following cuts are used regularly:
  • pruning
  • Thin out



The pruning is the most important cut for the panicle hydrangea to allow the lush, green splendor of leaves for which it is known. Overall, the plant can grow up to 50 inches through the pruning a year and that makes it so popular with many gardeners. Even a hefty pruning is not bad for the hydrangea. The pruning will be carried out by the end of February at the latest, even a little earlier is better.
This stimulates the exudation of the plant and thus ensures a true bloom in late summer. Another option is the cut in late autumn, but the shoots are a good winter protection of the plant. The following instructions will guide you through all the steps necessary for successful editing:

1. Choose a clean secateurs or pruning shears for the pruning, depending on the age of the hydrangea.

2. Look for all the shoots that have dried up and have no fresh sprouts yet. It may happen that the panicle hydrangea forms buds or eyes already in winter, and for this reason these shoots should not be cut off. All dried shoots from the previous year, however, can easily be cut back.

3. After locating all the shoots that have dried, remove them with scissors. You must cut the hydrangea vigorously down to a few centimeters. The remaining stubs should be provided with a pair of eyes. This strong pruning is necessary to provide the panicle hydrangea enough energy for the upcoming season. In this cut, the hydrangea will be able to increase twice in size in the coming season, because then from the individual shoots drive out two new. Thus, the hydrangea not only higher, but also lush.

4. Do not handle the plant with care while cutting. It is not sensitive to cutting.

5. After you've cut back the entire plant, you should

then collect the green and prepare the ground for spring, especially for sudden frost breaks. Tip: If you cut the hydrangea further and leave small stubs everywhere, you will get a small shrub that is very well suited as a potted plant. The shrub assumes a roundish form, which is equipped with large flowers.

Thin out

When lightening the panicle hydrangea is released over the year from dead branches and buds. It is not necessary to remove withered flowers, as they are suitable for the winter as a perfect protection for the shoots. Exposure is especially important when branches and shoots bend over due to external influences or wind. Also, the Auslichten is recommended for gardeners who are afraid of a strong pruning or hydrangea want to allow a natural growth. You proceed as follows:

1. Observe over the year whether shoots on the plant are withered or kinked. If this is the case, scissors should only be used on really thick shoots. Otherwise, the affected area should only be removed by hand. Similarly, watch out for crooked, overlapping or diseased shoots that need to be removed.

2. The time is well suited to the early morning hours, as the plant then has time to recover from the procedure and let the shoots dry.

3. First remove the dried shoots by hand, if possible, and continue working with the pair of scissors. You can light up the entire plant and thereby determine its own growth form. However, especially in the summer, be careful not to cut off too many healthy and new shoots.

4. As with pruning remove the green and water the plant extensively. After bleaching, a water addition is necessary.

Natural form

Many gardeners are increasingly inspired by the growth habit of the panicle hydrangea, which is still found in many areas of Asia. In this form, the hydrangea is never cut back, but carefully pruned over the year and removed in spring the withered flowers from the previous season. Hydrangeas are prone to unique growth habit, if they are never worked with a pruning and can take, for example, the shape of a roof or a dissolute tree.
The actual care for this growth form is carried out in the same way as for the cut specimens. Her hydrangea, although without a cut in the long run larger in extent, but it grows without form. Typical is only the upright growth, because a part of the shrub always grows skyward.


Panicle hydrangea - Hydrangea paniculata 'quick fire'

With the panicle hydrangea there is a very hardy plant that can even withstand temperatures of -40° C and even prepared for the winter. Due to the special growth the panicle hydrangea does not need any real preparation for the winter, but offers a routine for young plants in the first year, which protects the still young shoots and especially the fresh root system from the cold.
Older plants can easily hibernate without protection, as long as the location is right. Frosty winds in winter can kill her and prevent her from drifting off in the spring. Prepare your young plant and if necessary an older panicle hydrangea with these steps for the winter:

1. Only remove the flowers in late autumn if you live in a climate with mild winters without much snow. If not, leave the withered flowers on the plant. They act as insulation against the cold and are also an aesthetic accent in the garden when the snow falls on the flowers.

2. Free the plant's location from foliage and cover the soil near the roots with a generous brushwood mat. This is necessary in particularly cool areas to protect the root ball.

3. If there is a brisk spring next year and the plant is already starting to exorcise, care should be taken especially against May (icy saints) to dress the plants in fleece. They do not freeze in the event of a sudden cold snap.

4. After winter, this insulation can be removed afterwards.

Hibernating in the pot

Hydrangea paniculata has no problem over the winter in the pot. If the pot is larger than 30 centimeters in diameter, it can easily stand outdoors, as long as no strong winds occur. Small specimens, however, should be kept in the winter garden at three to five degrees Celcius. They are still too sensitive to spend the winter outside.

Video Board: How to Prune Limelight Hydrangea.

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