Hydrangea paniculata

Panicle Hydrangea, Peegee Hydrangea




  • native to Japan and China
  • zone 3

Habit and Form

  • deciduous large shrub or small tree
  • branching resembles a fountain, branches come from one central point and cascade over
  • branches heavily & looks like branches are tangled
  • 10' to 20' tall with an equal spread
  • fast growth rate
  • coarse texture

Summer Foliage

  • opposite leaf arrangement, however leaves are whorled towards leaf tip
  • leaves are 3" to 6" long and about half as wide
  • leaves are elliptical with serrate leaf margins
  • dark green leaf color
  • high quality foliage
  • pubescent undersides especially near the veins
  • petiole up to 1" long

Autumn Foliage

  • not ornamentally significant


  • white flowers maturing to a pink
  • blooms mid July into September
  • flowers form a cone shaped panicle
  • panicle can be up to 8" long and 6" wide
  • panicle is combination of unshowy fertile flowers and showy sterile flowers
  • strong scent
  • very showy


  • dry capsule
  • not ornamentally important


  • shreds when mature
  • gray brown color
  • stems are stout and reddish brown


  • full sun to partial shade; best in full sun
  • moist, well-drained soils are best
  • flowers on new wood
  • prune in winter or early spring
  • adaptable; easy to grow
  • transplants easily
  • urban tolerant

Landscape Use

  • for very showy flowering effect
  • specimen
  • groupings
  • mass plantings
  • shrub borders
  • for cut flowers


  • relatively pest and disease free
  • lacks multi-season interest
  • leaf spot, powdery mildew, scales, mites are possible

ID Features

  • opposite leaf arrangement, whorled at tips
  • large cone shaped white flowers
  • fountain shaped habit


  • by cuttings
  • by seed


'Burgundy Lace' and 'Pink Diamond' - These forms bear 8"-10" long flower panicles composed of sterile florets colored pink. The color intensifies as the flowers age, though hot weather and sun may lessen this effect.

'Grandiflora' - The famous "PeeGee Hydrangea", this plant flowers with tight heads of sterile white florets than turn pink and brown with age. This plant is often grown as a small tree, though some garden observers decry the wholesale use of this variety in landscapes.

'Kyushu' - This selection is a vigorous, upright shrubby plant with upright panicles of white flowers. It begins bloom earlier in the season (July) and as a young plant.

'Limelight' - A new introduction, this form is unique for its bright lime-green flowers which form a rounded panicle. It grows to 8' tall and flowers profusely.

'Praecox' - This plant begins blooming earlier in the season (July) with loose panicles composed of both showy sterile and inconspicuous fertile florets. The effect is different than other forms and the plant reaches 15' tall.

'Tardiva' - Increasingly common on the market, this plant flowers later (August) with large bloom panicles held on thick stems. It grows to 8' tall and is often shrubby in habit.

'Unique' - This early-blooming, shrubby selection has large rounded panicles of white sterile florets. The blooms age to pink and the plant reaches 10' tall. It is increasingly common in the trade.

© Copyright Mark H. Brand, 1997-2015.

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Citation and Acknowledgements: University of Connecticut Plant Database, http://hort.uconn.edu/plants, Mark H. Brand, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Storrs, CT 06269-4067 USA.