Help Me Chose a Paniculata

whaas_5a(5A SE WI)September 8, 2009

From what I can tell from researching Hydgrangeas, Paniculata seems to thrive better in full sun and drier soils than other Hydrangeas.

With that said, that is my main critera. Exposed to winds and full sun.

Also, it will be a speciman, so shape and habit are important as it will be readily viewed 360 degrees.

Choices:

Pinky Winky

Tarvida

Pink Diamond

Quickfire

Unique

Kyushu

Pee Gee

The Swan

Little Lamb

Dharuma

Which one do I chose!

The only one I own is Quickfire, which is my favorite shrub in my yard. Began blooming in late June and the flowers have just reached their peak of a rich deep pink...so that puts the flowers at 9 weeks, still going strong. Its nice and full, with plenty of stems and the foilage remains strong in full sun and no wind protection.

I seen a few mature Tarvida's, maybe Unique's and I think they are absolutely stunning. Surprised I don't see more of them.

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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Holy crap, I found a couple more.

Phantom
Angels Blush (Ruby)

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 10:20PM
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madeyna(7/8)

I bought a pinky winky and a lime light this year, then I saw a pink diamond that had aged blooms that where just stunning . Quick fire is a interesting plant as well because of the early bloom and color changes but I don,t have one and have only seen a really small one.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 11:41PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

If I were you I would have a Quick Fire, a Limelight and a Pink Diamond.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 12:38AM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

i know limelight isnt on your list but i just love mine! peegee is a great one too! good luck!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 9:41AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Well I have 5 Quickfire's so I think I am set there, lol. Although if its a superior cultivar to the others I would get antoher one.

I don't really like the green/white color so thats why I didn't add Limelight, I hear tons of good things about that cultivar though.

So it looks like I'm hearing Pink Diamond would be the next best choice over all the others?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 12:45PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

Well, if I had to choose between Limelight and Pink Diamond, I would go with Pink Diamond, reason being the foliage is lusher and darker, whereas the Limelight foliage is a lighter, brighter green. I also prefer the more elongated heads of Pink Diamond - my Limelight blooms, while pretty, are kind of stubby-looking as opposed to long and graceful.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 12:47PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

I do prefer a lighter foilage, but want the fuller look.

Still in the running...
Pinky Winky
Pink Diamond
Quickfire
Unique
Kyushu
The Swan
Phantom
Angels Blush (Ruby)

Out of the running...
Little Lamb --> stems droop with flowers
Dharuma --> too small, but will use in another location
Tarvida --> blooms later than all the rest
Pee Gee --> stems droop with flowers

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 2:16PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Went to order Pink Diamond and the grower said it begins to bloom in August in my area....going to have to mark that one off as well ecspecially when Quickfire begins to bloom in late June around here.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 2:35PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

FWIW - Limelight does not bloom for me until early August (I'm in the metro-Detroit area)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 2:47PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

I was looking @ Micheal Dirr's Hydrangea book and he mentions that Limelight's stems aren't very strong in holding the flowers, they cascade.

Anyone else have this problem? I definitely need a cultivar that is going to have sturdy stems, no cascading!

He also said he is not impressed with the Flowering capabilities on Angel's Blush (Ruby).

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 4:50PM
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ditas

Have you thought of Angel's Blush ... PD's baby ... more upright ... love my 2nd season baby!!!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 4:54PM
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duncanmsu

Limelight is stunning and is in my opinion far superior to any other cultivar. It has large, but proportional, blooms, that change from a pleasin green to white to pink and then eventually to burgundy. The stems are strong (Dirr is confused) that hold the blooms up nicely even after heavy wind or rain. It's unique in that it reblooms so you are always getting new green flowers even as the older ons are changing color.

Here is a link that might be useful: Limelight Video

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 9:14AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

The limelight is definitely a flopper. I visited 2 nurseries in my area and they were all floppers. Not as bad as the pee gee by any means.

It was quite obvious that Quickfire and Tardiva had the strongest stems.

Tardiva won out...already planted and it looks great.

Totally personal, but I perfer the loose looking flowers vs. the heavy looking flowers. I hate to say it but I felt like the limelights looked ugly, just not my thing.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 1:17PM
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twrosz

"I hate to say it but I felt like the limelights looked ugly, just not my thing" ... this is one of those plants that gets your gut going in one direction or the other, you either love or dislike it. I'm one who leans towards not being so crazy of the greenish yellow coloration ... BUT, with that said, I think it would look totally fantastic planted next to something with purple foliage or backed with a Joe Pye weed. I will be picking up a Limelight in the next few days.

Terry

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 1:59PM
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duncanmsu

See Dr. Armatage's video on the best Hydrangea. He is a professior at the Univerity of Georgia.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dr. Armatage's Favorite Hydrangea

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 3:52PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

"Best" is a subjective term...

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 4:18PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

He is right as far as paniculata being the best in regards to usage but as I mentioned Limelight is a flopper, if you look beyond the few large stems only tilting, you can see the rest of the stems are flopping...again some people might like that though, not me.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 9:33PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

I would not say that the stems of Limelight are weak at all. They are pretty darn strong. It's just that when we have huge and dense blooms, their weight after a rain storm may pull the stems down. Perhaps if we don't prune as much, and allow the shrub to have more but smaller blooms, then it won't be as "floppy" as some describe here?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 10:16PM
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unprofessional(5)

Limelights seen at nurseries are often cut down every year, so that the panicles are larger, but this also leads to weaker stems with larger/heavier flowers, which is why one might see a Limelight that has flopped. My local nursery does this, and their specimen is quite mature, but does exhibit a little bit of flopping. That said, it gets to 7'+ every year, even though it's cut down come winter. In the home garden, aside from with young plants, I don't believe flopping is something to really worry about.

And, back on topic, I would go with Pinky Winky, Limelight, or if you wait for it (as I am doing), Vanilla Strawberry.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 8:33AM
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duncanmsu

As a young container plant it can be floppy but once it has a year or two in the garden it's stems are very strong and does not flop.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 8:36AM
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AmyyUT(6)

So similar to the original poster "waas" I am in search of a hardy - full sun (west side of my home noon-8 =/- full sun a day, zone 6), strong wind at times (I do however do winter protection for the winter). I bought my home about a year ago and it looks like it will probably be next summer before I get the retaining walls replaced (currently railroad tie looking). I have a very steep yard with 3 terraces below the main backyard and the 4th and larger bottom terrace that leads to the lake. So the main back yard is starting to sink the last 2-3' of lawn that's by the 1st dropoff for the terrace below. I'm thinking I could rip out that 2-3' section (by 80' long probably) of sloped grass that is my constant headache to mow at an angle and add a border of paniculata hydrangeas to keep my 3 year old son and his friends away from the edge and to remove the need to mow that sloped grass strip. I don't want to block the view of the lake from the bottom floor windows so I'm thinking a border of dwarf (2-3 or maybe 3.5' tall)- So it's looking like my choices are bobo, little lime or dart's little dot and I want to throw ruby slippers into the ring even though she's not a pan. thoughts, suggestions, recomendations? Help appreciated :-) amy in Utah

Here is a link that might be useful: link on paniculata hardiness

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 4:43PM
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