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Panicle hydrangea

  • Trees and Shrubs
Hydrangea paniculata 'Mega Pearl'
Photo: Sylvie Maurice
 Hydrangea paniculata 'Mega Pearl'
  •  Hydrangea paniculata 'Mega Pearl'
  •  Hydrangea paniculata 'Quick Fire'
  •  Hydrangea paniculata 'Quick Fire'
  •  Hydrangea paniculata 'Pinky Winky'



Origin and description

This large, vigorous, shrub (2-5 m x 2-5 m) with an erect growth habit becomes semi-weeping when in full bloom. Its branches bend under enormous flower heads composed of large sterile flowers that are greenish at first, then white and later pink, in the fall. The species has small, unattractive fertile flowers, but it has engendered several cultivars with large sterile flowers in exquisite colours.

Species, cultivars and related plants

‘Pinky Winky,’ ‘Limelight,’ ‘Pink Diamond’ and ‘Angel’s Blush,’ ‘Quick Fire,’ ‘Mega Pearl,’ ‘Burgundy Lace’ and ‘Ruby,’ ‘Snow Mountain’ and ‘Kyshu.’


All parts of the plant are poisonous.

Common name

Panicle hydrangea

Latin name (genus)

Hydrangea paniculata

English common name

French common name

Botanical family

  • Hydrangeaceae

Growing conditions


It tolerates poor, dry soil but prefers one that is rich, well drained, cool and acidic to slightly alkaline.

Hardiness and protection

Hardy to Zone 3 or 4 depending on the cultivar, a layer of mulch under a blanket of snow is sufficient.

Pruning and maintenance

Panicle hydrangea flowers a bit on new wood, but mainly on old wood. Pruning that is too severe may therefore jeopardize flowering. Even without annual pruning, the shrub blooms profusely. Naturally branching from the base, it can be pruned to form a small tree with a single trunk. As such, this “tree-form hydrangea” is not produced by grafting.

  • Tree-form panicle hydrangea: Annual pruning is not required. If necessary, the length of the branches can be reduced by one-third or one-half.
  • Panicle hydrangea branching naturally from the base: While annual pruning is not necessary, an old shrub that is sparse at the base can be rejuvenated. This rejuvenation pruning can be done gradually (over 3 years) by each year removing a third of the branches aged five years or older. You can also perform a heavy pruning (coppicing) by cutting all the branches back to the ground (10-15 cm) in early spring or fall. Cutting back will delay flowering for a few years.


  • Zone 3
  • Zone 3a
  • Zone 3b
  • Zone 4
  • Zone 4b

See also

Pests and diseases
Physiological disorders

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