Plant DetailShow Menu

Hydrangea paniculata is often confused with:
Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight' PP #12874 Hydrangea paniculata
Native alternative(s) for Hydrangea paniculata:
Hydrangea arborescens Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'
Hydrangea quercifolia Hydrangea quercifolia 'Snowflake'
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight' PP #12874 Hydrangea paniculata
Hydrangea serrata 'Omacha Variegata' Hydrangea Serrata 'Omacha Variegated'
Salvia rosmarinus Rosmarinus officinalis
Hydrangea paniculata has some common insect problems:
Aphids on Ornamental Landscape Plants
Mites Found on Flowers and Foliage
Hydrangea paniculata has some other problems:
White-Tailed Deer
Wind Damage

Hydrangea paniculata

Previously known as:

  • Heteromalla paniculata
Phonetic Spelling
hy-DRAN-jee-ah pan-ick-yoo-LAY-tuh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Panicle hydrangea is a large, multi-stemmed, woody, deciduous shrub or small tree that is rapid-growing and coarsely textured. It typically reaches a height of 8 to 15 feet tall and can grow up to 25 feet tall. This is a sun-loving hydrangea and is one of the few hydrangeas that flower on the current season's growth. The leaves are ovate dark green above and light green beneath with serrate margins. Showy terminal, conical to pyramidal large panicles of creamy white flowers bloom during the summer and into fall and measure 6 to 8 inches long. The bloom changes color as autumn nears from pink to brown. The flower has both fertile and sterile flowers. The most popular cultivar of this species is 'Limelight.'

This plant is a member of the Hydrangeaceae or hydrangea family and is native to eastern and southern China, Japan, Sakhalin, Taiwan, and Kuril Island.

The name hydrangea is derived from two words, hydro meaning "water" and aggeion which means "vessel." This refers to the cup-like capsular fruit. The specific epithet, paniculata, references the panicle-like arrangement of the flowers.

The Panicle Hydrangea is more tolerant of full sun than other hydrangea species. It prefers morning sun and afternoon shade, neutral to acidic soil with good drainage, and is air pollution tolerant and cold hardy. It can tolerate harsh winters and is a good substitute for Mophead Hydrangeas or Hydrangea macrophylla. It can be severely pruned in late winter or spring since it blooms on the current season's new growth and not on the woody stems formed during the previous year. The plant is shallow-rooted and will benefit from a layer of mulch. Propagate by seed or stem cutting. 

Many cultivars and varieties offer different growing habits for this rapidly growing hydrangea, from erect to arching and cascading. It is most commonly a multi-stemmed shrub but can be trained to grow as a  single-trunk tree. 

It is one of winter's hardiest hydrangeas that thrives in urban conditions. Consider the Panicle Hydrangea for Asian Gardens, Children’s Gardens, Cottage Gardens, Cutting Gardens, and Pollinator Gardens. It will also do well in woodlands, naturalized areas, or play areas. Planted in groups it works well as a border or hedge but is also delightful as a single specimen. 

Seasons of Interest:

Bloom:  Summer and Fall       Foliage:  Spring, Summer, and Fall     

Quick ID Hints:

  • opposite serrate leaves, whorled at branch tips
  • large, cone-shaped inflorescence
  • stout stem, reddish-brown streaked with gray

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Aphids, scales, nematodes, and mites may be seen but are rarely a problem. This plant may be susceptible to powdery mildew, leaf spot, rust, mildew, bud blight, and bacterial wilt. It may be damaged by deer, and it has brittle stems that are easily damaged by wind.

VIDEO created by Andy Pulte for “Landscape Plant Identification, Taxonomy, and Morphology” a plant identification course offered by the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee.

 

More information on Hydrangea.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscapes:
Flower Bonanza Garden Border Garden- Pathway Flower Bonanza Garden Storage Cottage Hydrangeas in the Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Angel Blush'
    white flowers that turn pink and then rosy-red
  • 'Brussels Lace'
  • 'Chantilly Lace'
  • ‘Dharuma’
  • 'Floribunda'
  • 'Grandiflora' Form
    large creamy white flowers, single-stemmed
  • 'Greenspire'
    lime green and white florets
  • 'Jane'
  • 'Le Vasterival'
  • 'Limelight' Hydrangea paniculata
    green to creamy white flowers, more compact
  • 'Little Lime'
    soft lime to creamy white flowers, dwarf
  • 'Melody'
  • 'Pee Gee'
    multi-stemmed shrub
  • 'Pee Wee'
  • 'Phantom'
    initially, creamy white to lime green; soft to deep pink flowers in the fall
  • 'Pink Diamond'
    white flowers turn to rich pink
  • 'Pinky Winky'
    dense, conical, bicolored flowers, purplish red stems
  • 'Renhy'
  • 'Renhy'
  • 'Rensun'
  • 'Silver dollar'
  • 'Tardiva'
    sharply pointed, conical panicles of white to purplish-pink flowers
  • 'Unique'
    large clusters of white flowers that turn pink
'Angel Blush', 'Brussels Lace', 'Chantilly Lace', ‘Dharuma’, 'Floribunda', 'Grandiflora', 'Greenspire', 'Jane', 'Le Vasterival', 'Limelight', 'Little Lime', 'Melody', 'Pee Gee', 'Pee Wee', 'Phantom', 'Pink Diamond', 'Pinky Winky', 'Renhy', 'Renhy', 'Rensun', 'Silver dollar', 'Tardiva', 'Unique'
Tags:
#arching#deciduous#small tree#full sun tolerant#specimen#white flowers#pink flowers#green flowers#salt tolerant#fall interest#cottage garden#air pollution tolerant#hedges#moist soil#cpp#well-drained soil#multistemmed#rich soils#deer browsing plant#cascading#playground plant#coarse#border planting#cutting garden#pollinator plant#Asian garden#dried arrangements#border back#urban conditions tolerant#small group plantings#partial shade tolerant#wind damage prone#woodland garden#landscape plant sleuths course
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Angel Blush'
    white flowers that turn pink and then rosy-red
  • 'Brussels Lace'
  • 'Chantilly Lace'
  • ‘Dharuma’
  • 'Floribunda'
  • 'Grandiflora' Form
    large creamy white flowers, single-stemmed
  • 'Greenspire'
    lime green and white florets
  • 'Jane'
  • 'Le Vasterival'
  • 'Limelight' Hydrangea paniculata
    green to creamy white flowers, more compact
  • 'Little Lime'
    soft lime to creamy white flowers, dwarf
  • 'Melody'
  • 'Pee Gee'
    multi-stemmed shrub
  • 'Pee Wee'
  • 'Phantom'
    initially, creamy white to lime green; soft to deep pink flowers in the fall
  • 'Pink Diamond'
    white flowers turn to rich pink
  • 'Pinky Winky'
    dense, conical, bicolored flowers, purplish red stems
  • 'Renhy'
  • 'Renhy'
  • 'Rensun'
  • 'Silver dollar'
  • 'Tardiva'
    sharply pointed, conical panicles of white to purplish-pink flowers
  • 'Unique'
    large clusters of white flowers that turn pink
'Angel Blush', 'Brussels Lace', 'Chantilly Lace', ‘Dharuma’, 'Floribunda', 'Grandiflora', 'Greenspire', 'Jane', 'Le Vasterival', 'Limelight', 'Little Lime', 'Melody', 'Pee Gee', 'Pee Wee', 'Phantom', 'Pink Diamond', 'Pinky Winky', 'Renhy', 'Renhy', 'Rensun', 'Silver dollar', 'Tardiva', 'Unique'
Tags:
#arching#deciduous#small tree#full sun tolerant#specimen#white flowers#pink flowers#green flowers#salt tolerant#fall interest#cottage garden#air pollution tolerant#hedges#moist soil#cpp#well-drained soil#multistemmed#rich soils#deer browsing plant#cascading#playground plant#coarse#border planting#cutting garden#pollinator plant#Asian garden#dried arrangements#border back#urban conditions tolerant#small group plantings#partial shade tolerant#wind damage prone#woodland garden#landscape plant sleuths course
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Hydrangea
    Species:
    paniculata
    Family:
    Hydrangeaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern and southern China, Japan, Sakhalin, Kuril Island
    Distribution:
    Native: China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Japan, Kuril Island, Sakhalin, and Taiwan. Introduced: Canada--Ontario, Korea, and the United States--CT, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, NC, PA, RA, VA, and WV.
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts Pollinators and small mammals use this plant for cover.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 8 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 6 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Cascading
    Erect
    Horizontal
    Irregular
    Multi-stemmed
    Vase
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Pink
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is a brownish-pink dehiscent oval capsule that does not attract wildlife. It appears during the summer and fall.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Cream/Tan
    Pink
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Good Dried
    Long Bloom Season
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    The blooms are pyramidal panicles of creamy white flowers measuring 6 to 8 inches long that appear in summer on new growth. The blooms will fade over time to a pinkish rose and tannish brown. The bloom has fertile and sterile flowers.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Insignificant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Whorled
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are opposite, simple, and oval to ovate. They are sometimes whorled towards the leaf tip. They measure 3 to 6 inches long and 1.5 to 3 inches wide. They are dark green above, light green beneath, and fade to yellow in the fall before the leaf drop. The margins are serrate. The undersides are pubescent, especially near the veins, and the petiole is up to 1 inch long.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Furrowed
    Shredding
    Bark Description:
    The bark is grayish-brown and shreds when mature and is irregularly furrowed.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    The stems are grayish-brown and tend to droop from the weight of the flowers.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Recreational Play Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Children's Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Small groups
    Small Tree
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Pollution
    Salt
    Urban Conditions
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, sweating.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Hydrangin, a cyanogenic glycoside.
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Leaves