Loving my 'Vanilla Strawberry' hedge

echinaceamaniac(7)July 15, 2014

I planted a hedge of these and love them. They just need a little pruning from time to time. This is my favorite Hydrangea paniculata!

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Michaela .:. thegarden@902 .:. (Zone 5b - Iowa)

Absolutely beautiful! How long ago did you plant yours? I have 3 I planted this summer and I love them even without the blooms but I sure will be excited to see them look like that :o)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 2:45PM
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echinaceamaniac(7)

These were planted last Summer.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 7:48PM
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BungalowMonkeys z6 VA

Love how delicate and sweet the blooms look. Such a beautiful hydrangea.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 5:50AM
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starlight99_gw

Absolutely beautiful! I have been eyeing my neighbour's VS across the street since last year when it it was planted. The blooms are very showy from afar....but much better close up. No flops at all since they get full sun.

Just got one myself today at Sheridan in Unionville (Toronto, Ontario) for $13 (2 gal)....their one day sale! Cannot wait for it to look like yours!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 3:40PM
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Prettypetals_GA_7-8

Gorgeous. I love mine too. I ordered three online about 4 yrs ago and they were tiny twigs but didn't take long to get huge. This yr I bought 5 more at our lowes. I've also bought about 5 vanilla sundaes this year. Suppose to be a smaller version of vanilla strawberry. Just hoping it's just as gorgeous. My pic is of the one growing kinda funny after storm hit it last yr and I didn't prune to shape it. Would love to see a pic of the whole hedge of them. Judy

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 4:23PM
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rakin(7b)

These are beautiful! I've been wanting to plant a row of these. Can anyone tell me if they will do well in full sun for zone 7b?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 9:16PM
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echinaceamaniac(7)

I'm in Tennessee and they are doing ok here.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 10:37PM
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Prettypetals_GA_7-8

I'm in north Ga and they're in full sun and do great!!!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 11:02PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Here's my Vanilla Strawberry flourishing in the middle of a rosebed. VS is about 4 years old now.

Vanilla Strawberry and the Perfumed Rose Path:

This is an even prettier picture, although only part of Vanilla Strawberry shows.

I think VS is one of the absolute best hydrangeas anyone could grow!

Kate

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 1:19PM
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echinaceamaniac(7)

Beautiful!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 5:14PM
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rakin(7b)

Great! I just got back from the nursery with 6 large VS and 8 red knockout Roses.

echinaceamaniac, I believe you commented on another post about pruning these back. The nursery has suggested that I prune mine as soon as the current blooms start to die off. However, I am at a loss as to how far down to prune. Mine are about 5' high now, and I can see the previous cut was made at about halfway down the plant. Should I cut all the way back to this location or do I leave some of the new growth that has grown since then? Do I cut back to a leaf bud for each stem or will it grow regardless. I want mine strong so they will stay upright, but I certainly don't want to damage them. If they end up looking half as good as yours, I will be happy.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 6:58PM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

Beautiful VS's everyone! My VS hedge is in too much shade and hardly blooms, so it's extra nice to see yours! I do have one VS I've trained into a (lopsided) tree form, and it's in a little more sun, so I'll post pictures once the blooms open a little more.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 7:24PM
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Prettypetals_GA_7-8

Kate your VS looks so stinkin pretty. Mine is huge and yours looks so manicured. I need to shape mine up this yr. They're growing funny with tons of stems but smaller flowers except for the top!! Interested to learn the right way to prune it.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 9:01PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

prettypetals, I'm not sure how or why my VS looks so "manicured" cuz I have never pruned it. I occasionally water it and when it was younger I had to prop up some of the drooping canes (it stands firmly on its own now), but that is all I do to take care of it. Whatever shape it has is entirely due to Mother Nature.

Love to see a picture of yours when they all burst into bloom. Should be a wonderful sight.

Kate

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 10:46AM
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Prettypetals_GA_7-8

Thanks Kate! We had a tornado come thru a yr and a half ago ago and I had canes laying over so I let them go so therefore it shot out all kinds of canes on those leaning but it produced a flower on each one so I left it. I'm a flower snob and want all I can get. Lol. Anyways I think if I go in there this fall and prune it some it would prob look much nicer like yours. Love the roses. I grow lots of roses too and VS looks great with them.

Ruth I'd love to see a pic of yours once it starts turning. I bet it's gorgeous!

Echinacea sorry I hijacked your thread. Hope you can post a pic of your hedge. How many did you plant? I bet it's awesome!!!!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 2:25PM
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starlight99_gw

Hi everyone....attached is my newly planted VS. The flowers are just about to open in my zone. My question to all of you experienced VS owners is....how far do I trim after the flowers have finished blooming? Or do I cut the flowers off now for stronger root/stem growth? So confused.....because I'm so looking forward to seeing the flowers now and would like to keep them. Thx.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 4:33PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I never trimmed off the new flowers on my VS -- never, ever. And in the fall when they are finally done blooming, I still do not trim off the flowers. The dead flowers fall off on their own during the winter. If by chance one or two remain when spring comes around, I snap them off directly under the bloom.

That's all the "pruning" I ever do. VS doesn't need pruning--though I suppose you could do it if you wanted to keep it smaller, but I don't know why anyone would want to keep it smaller. On the other hand, it is a fairly BIG plant, so maybe some people need to move their VS to a spot where it can naturally grow its natural larger size--would be my recommendation.

Kate

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 6:02PM
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starlight99_gw

Thank you for your advice. The label says it grows 6-7 feet tall and 4-5 feet wide. I will have to move some plants around it out once it gets any bigger than the space I have got for it now.

I have a Bobo close to it as well. Do you think that your advice with regards to the faded flowers on VS would also work on the Bobo? Thx. I'm a newbie that just got into gardening.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 6:23PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I know nothing about Bobo, but I follow the same basic procedure with all my hydrangeas--some are macrophylls and a couple Annabelles, plus my 2 paniculatas (VS and Pinky Winky).

Occasionally Annabelle's old blooms look a bit ratty, and so I snap them off directly under the bloom. I think that would work for any hydrangea, and if it doesn't look attractive to you, just snap it off.

Good luck.

Kate

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 7:47PM
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Prettypetals_GA_7-8

I have one VS probably 10 ft wide. The other two with it aren't as wide bc they're constricted by other bushes. Wish I'd spaced them out better but just going to leave them be. I did as Kate said. Whatever was still on bush in spring you can just snip right off. I would leave what's on there now to enjoy this year. Your gonna love it. I have Bobo too and it's staying under three ft but this is only my second yr with it. Did the same with its blooms this past spring too. Enjoy your new treasures!! Judy

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 8:37PM
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starlight99_gw

Oh my...10 wide? Did they mislabel the proper size of the plant or what? I have about 3-4 feet width max! I really love this plant....I read about its smaller Strawberrry Sundae version but it is not available here in Toronto Canada yet.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 5:06AM
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echinaceamaniac(7)

The cool thing about these is you can prune them to any size you want. It blooms on new growth each year. Even a small plant can bloom. You can make these into tree shapes too. No need to worry about how big it gets.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:34AM
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Prettypetals_GA_7-8

I don't know why mine are so big. It's crazy but maybe it's my long growing season. I don't think it's mislabeled since it's blooms are identicle to my new ones I bought at Lowes. My husband says he thinks everything is so big on that side of my yard bc of our septic tank. Lol and ewwwww!! I have the Vanilla Sundae too but this is my first yr with them. Sure it's gonna be as beautiful as VS. Judy

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 11:26PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

If my VS isn't approaching 10 ft wide already, then I predict it will in another year or two. No matter how you measure it, VS is a WIDE bush.

Back to pruning. Someone earlier mentioned buying a bunch of Knock Out roses. Although I don't prune my hydrangeas, just the opposite is true of roses. After Knock Out finishes a bloom cycle, snip or snap off those ugly brown DEAD blooms--just because they look awful. Snip/snap directly under the bloom--or if you want to control the overall size of the bush a bit, prune back a foot or so all around the bush. Use electric shears if you want. Knock Out can take it all. (But don't electric shear your other roses--that might be devastating!) Of course, if you take a lot of cane off in the pruning process, you may slow down the re-blooming.

Kate

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 11:33AM
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starlight99_gw

I would love to get a hold of a Strawberry Sundae if they have here! You are so lucky! Where I live Fire and Ice and Quickfire are in...they are selling everywhere I go.

Judy, I have 2 Bobos one from this year is blooming quite well and my other one planted last year has no blooms on it. This one was eaten to the ground by rabbits last winter and it is growing quite well but no blooms... do you think it will bloom late because it had to start growing from the base?

This post was edited by starlight99 on Mon, Jul 21, 14 at 16:24

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 3:50PM
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Prettypetals_GA_7-8

Starlight I have no clue if Bobo will bloom but it seems like it's tough so hopefully it will. This is just my second year with Bobo and mines been kinda slow to bud up but it finally has so there's still hope for yours. We have a lot of super nurseries within an hour from me so you better believe I'm a regular (sort of) customer! Good luck!!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 4:45PM
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PattyW16(8)

I have two VS that are in their third year. They have beautiful white blooms that turn slightly pink, but never get any darker. They just turn from the pink to brown. Right now I have a few that are green. I am in zone eight where we usually get some very hot 100+ temps in summer. This summer we haven't had but one day over 95 and many days with highs in the 80s. That is very mild for us. It has also rained A LOT! Are we just too hot for the color change? They are gorgeous while white, but I would love to see them change color!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 10:42AM
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macgyver2009

My VS is beautiful right now, just in it's second year in the ground.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 12:30PM
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