What is your best performing paniculata hydrangea this year?

ostrich(3a AB)August 31, 2008

For me, my Limelight wins hands down. Its vigorous growth, blooming power and ability to tolerate our ever-changing weather put it at the first place. A month or two ago, our bambi friends unexpectedly feasted on my Limelight, and half of the buds were gone. Then miraculously, new growth appeared and then the new buds were formed, and now they are blooming!!! So now I have both creamy white flowers and lime colored flowers from the new growth, both on the same shrub. It's very pretty indeed.

Then Quick Fire has to take second place. I love this plant too, but then I am not really a fan of its dusty pink color now. Otherwise, it's also a beautiful grower with gorgeous leaves and red stems when young, and the pure white flowers were breath-taking early in the season.

Third place goes to Little Lamb - the flowers don't seem to last as long as the other varieties. Otherwise, it has been a nice shrub with more subtle flowers.

My Pinky Winky has been a disappointment this year. The growth has not been all that vigorous. The flowers are not as pretty as they appear in the promotional photos. Maybe I need to aggressively prune it early next spring to stimulate some new growth... oh, and the deer seem to love it too much too!!! Sigh...

My Pink Diamond comes last because it probably has not been in the same full-sun location as the other ones - I placed the poor thing in a dry, semi-shaded location, so it probably is my fault that it underperformed...

What is your list like?

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rustyshovel

The Limelights are consistently reliable, and I can't help but think we've found a new "gold standard" paniculata in this one.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 1:42AM
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hokierustywilliamsbu

Limelight is the winner here too

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 9:04PM
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ditas

HI Ostrich - Passing " best performing" judgment on the 7 H paniculatas in my piece of soil is not easy, as it is tantamount to comparing them unfairly  age, inherent habits, bloom /foliage, production/size/color, over-all Âpleaser-effect (which are in the eyes of the beholder), etc make choosing one over another difficult!

Because IÂm partial to daintier/airier blossoms, it makes Princess Kyu a favored choice, hands down, but she is a tree-form!

Among the bushes, QF in her 2nd yr met a # of my personal criteria  beautiful form & not one moment, winced under true f/s exposure! Tardivas, are consistently, great & early performers, have grown very large as predicted in their 4th season!

PD held her own  stature as well as, tons of beautiful blossoms (1st season in ground, technically - was over-wintered outdoors in pot). I donÂt count AB as she is a true 1st season & as we all know, loaded with bloom-boosting-hormones by growers.

LL's 3rd season, got the ÂWow-effectÂ/quite a bloom performer & breathtaking during his early-bloom-stages but failed in my over all performance criteria! Â:(

All are now in their different shades of pink stages! Sorry, I guess I complicated "best performing .... this year" with my criteria!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 2:05PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Thanks everyone for your response!

Ditas, I have a couple of questions for you:

1. How early or late does your Tardiva bloom?

2. Do you like the pink shades of the hydrangeas at all?

I personally do NOT like the dirty pink shades of the Quick Fire at all. Thank goodness the pure white phase lasted for so many weeks!!! :-)

The Little Lamb had a brief moment of this lovely pink shade but now it's all kind of dirty brownish pink too.

I guess my Pinky Winky could have been very lovely with its pink shades but then there were not many blooms and the overall habit was so weird (leggy and top heavy) that it did not look nice overall.

So, my Limelight still wins.... :-)

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 1:32AM
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ditas

Hi Ostrich  to ? #1  Went back to my garden journal to check  due to Ma NatureÂs rage there was so much in my piece of soil needing attention - so it was Jun 23rd when I first entered discovery of bud clusters on both Ts just about the same time as LL & soon after, on Jul 9 I entered LLÂs & 2 Tardivas first clusters, to flash open. I thought, for being Âtardy Divas in our short season, Ts were pretty promt!!! Â;) Also checked entries in prior years  still in 1st part of July. BTW  in f/s - same as KyushuÂs flash time!

On issue #2  I love antiques (as myself  LOL) ÂdonÂt mind the aged-pink shades  but you see, my 71yr/o eyes can only see the dirty-pink speckles, up close but from my windows, Âsee a coral-ish or mauve-ish pink clusters! The claimed,Âdirty socks description by Dirr, happens much later!!!

With all the +++ testimonials, I think I may just go ahead & sink Limelight right beside QF on top of my 'ret-wall dilema' - I've been debating over this summer (will dig up 2 Peonies that don't do much after blooms in end-May & gone in 7-10days)!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 1:28PM
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