Paniculata observations

ostrich(3a AB)June 27, 2010

I have had my Limelight, Quick Fire, Pink Diamond and Pinky Winky for a few years now, so I have had the opportunity to observe their growth habits and characteristics for some time now. It's interesting how different they are! Here are my observations - I wonder if you share my experiences too?

1. Limelight

This one is absolutely a winner! It is hardy, reliable, big but very evenly shaped. I have trained mine to be a little vase-shaped shrub and then underplant it with other perennials. The large blooms are absolutely gorgeous but they do flop after a heavy rain. I would like to see how that "Little Lime" does because Limelight can get rather big! Otherwise, it's a perfect shrub!

2. Quick Fire

This has to be the most elegant of them all! I love how, upright, even, neat and tidy the QF shrub looks. The flowers have this airy, lacey look to them. The shrub is covered with them! The lacey blooms don't flop after a heavy rain. The shrub is not as big as Limelight and Pinky Winky and it blooms very early. The blooms turn from white to pink/red quickly too. The only thing is that, the blooms do attract lots of bugs and ants... it is surely the most beautiful of them all, until the blooms turn into this panty hose color.... ouch! LOL

3. Pinky Winky

This guy is big and unruly! LOL! I think I will need to prune it a bit more aggressively next year to see if it will be a little more "shaped". Otherwise, I love the red stems. The blooms may not be as bi-color as advertised, but I will give it some more time to establish itself to see if they really look anything like the promotional photos! Oh, and somehow it attracts more deer than any other paniculatas in my yard. I wonder why?

4. Pink Diamond

Poor baby! My PD has been planted in a semi-shade and rather dry area where a tree stump used to be. So it has really stunted growth and the deer seem to like it just a little too much! Sigh! After several years, it is still this lil thing with few blooms.... I will blame it on myself than the shrub itself! Sigh...

Anyway, right now, my yard is bone dry and many shrubs and perennials are suffering in the unusual humid heat for our area. However, this has not affected my paniculatas a single bit. They just carry on business as usual - I just love them! So carefree and beautiful.

I would love to hear your experiences!

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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

2. Quick Fire

This has to be the most elegant of them all! I love how, upright, even, neat and tidy the QF shrub looks. The flowers have this airy, lacey look to them. The shrub is covered with them! The lacey blooms don't flop after a heavy rain.

Yep and Yep

The only thing is that, the blooms do attract lots of bugs and ants... it is surely the most beautiful of them all, until the blooms turn into this panty hose color.... ouch! LOL

No and insects and turns a dusty pink in late August for me.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 9:43PM
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This is my second year with 15 Limelights and four Pinky Winkies (and first year with four Little Lambs, so I'll save my thoughts on them for next year). My observations for each are about the same: some of them get leggier first, some of them reach for the sky, some start opening buds weeks before the others, and some are far more full of leaves/stems than others. All are wonderful. My PWs (my lady friend and I have started calling them P-dubs) definitely do display the bi-color trait (and, don't tell anybody, but they start out just as beautifully green as limelights do), and the red stems are gorgeous. I have read the deer thing from others as well, but don't think it'll be a problem for me, as mine are in front of my house.

One thing I'll comment on quickly is pruning. The only hydrangea I truly pruned is one Limelight, which was a clearance pickup, and was basically one very tall stem, with not much going on at the bottom. I pruned this stem nearly in half, and the shoots that came off it were very vertical and vigorous (and I expect the panicles on these shoots will be quite large). Because of my designs and wants, I don't plan on pruning any of my Limelights or PWs from now on, but if I were only growing one of each, as specimens, I would prune every year. One nice thing about not pruning is that these two cultivators love to layer themselves.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 9:55PM
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1. Ostrich doesn't your blooms stand back up on your Limelight after they have time to dry out? Mine do not flop that bad at all. I remember a pic of your LL and it was about the biggest one I have ever seen. It has set the bar high for my LL. I am curious at what height do you prune yours down to Ostrich? I Love my Limelights and can not really come up with a negative thing to say about them at all.

2. The Quick Fire is a very great shrub, but a little puzzling to me. I am glad Whass stated about her flower color. I have three of them. One was just purchased last fall. But my other 2 act totally different from the other. The PH is very close to each other, but they are in two completely different light exposures. One receives full sun from 11am all day and the other gets around 5 hours of mid to later day sun. The one in full sun acts like Whass's QF & the partial sun one acts like Ostrich's QF. Although who knows maybe they are different because they came from two different places or could it be the sun exposure?? I defentily prefer the dusty pink over pantyhose color later in the year. Never noticed the bugs on this one to bad. I have noticed them more on the Limelights than the Quick Fire, but neither are a problem at all. Always my first to bloom also!

3. I just bought my first Pinky Winky last year. It was a 5 gallon plant. The blooms were better than advertised in my opinion. Absolutely huge sturdy multi colored blooms. I couldn't of been happier about it's performance for it's first year. This year it is my only holdout in showing buds and growing slower than expected. Not sure what to expect this year.

4. The Pink Diamond is TERRIBLE for wasp and flys. No other attracts them like the PD in my yard! It is a tree form and is perfect in all other ways other than the bug issue. Always the second to bloom behind the QF or tied for second with LL. This year it is beating the LL by a week or so. Defentily not my favorite flower of all Paniculata, but still very stunning.

5. Little Lamb is about as floppy as a Pee Gee. Although it's flowers are far superior and compact size is great!

I also bought some Vanilla Strawberries this year and I am very excited. I thought I read they came from a Limelight but are a little smaller. They are being sold by Bailey Nursery the same people that are behind the Endless Summer. They claim 4-5 ft wide and 6-8ft tall. They are 5 gallon plants I purchased. The stems are bright red! Better than the Pinky Winky by far! But I fail to have seen that mentioned by any of the advertisements. They say it will keep reblooming to give you the tri-color effect. Plus they advertise the bloom time is the longest of any other Paniculata by 4 weeks. The flower shape seems like they will be a little different from the LL. Here is some photos of the VS and found off a website and Bailey's.

In the background I believe is the new Tickled Pink also.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 11:36PM
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I have a corner spot in front of the house that is behind a japanese maple and get a couple of hours of morning sun. How would a paniculata fare there? I would have to be fairly upright as well since lateral space is limited.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 10:00AM
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ostrich(3a AB)

miclino, I was just trying to figure it out by looking at the old photos.... I think I must have planted them around late summer/early fall of 2004. So they are probably around 6 years old now. When I got them (3 of them) they were in 5 gallon pots.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 9:06PM
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lois(PA Zone 6)

My second year with Little Lamb and Pinky Winky... Little Lamb is just starting to bloom now. Pinky Winky is budding up and will probably start blooming next week. I have a tree hydrangea (I don't know the variety) and it is barely showing the beginnings of flower nubs.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 8:56PM
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I am new to gardening and hydrangeas, but I just want to say thank you for sharing your thoughts/reviews. It really helps!

I just LOVE those Vanilla Strawberries.

Anyone who does have Little Lime . . .I would enjoy hearing your thoughts on it!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 1:03AM
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