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?
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!