Late summer-blooming hydrangea shrubs have arrived with their fresh and extravagant blooms. The woody-stemmed hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata) mature into large plants that thrive and prosper in full sun and part sun. When planting, make sure to allow extra space for these larger shrubs to mature. Remember to water deeply to establish a good root system before the winter. In addition, mulch these hardy shrubs to keep them blooming from summer through fall.
1. 'Quick Fire' (Hydrangea paniculata 'Quick Fire'): This 'easy-to-grow' variety blooms a month earlier than most paniculatas, so it will extend the bloom time from early summer into fall. The flowers emerge white and then quickly change to a darker, pinky-red. It is very hardy and adaptable to urban environments... maturing to 6-8 feet tall and 3-5 feet wide in full sun to part sun. Medium green leaves change to yellow or reddish purple in fall.
2. Nantucket Blue Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla 'GRENAN'): Although this one is a 'big leaf' hydrangea (H. macrophylla), not a 'paniculata' like the others, it blooms repeatedly from early summer well into early fall. The leathery green foliage provides contrast for an abundant summertime display of blue (or pink) flower clusters that last until frost. The 'Nantucket Blue' thrives in morning sun and afternoon shade or in a dappled sunlight beneath large trees. Plant on the east or north side of your home for best results.
3. Limelight (Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'): This is a large hydrangea known for its chartreuse flowers that emerge in mid-summer. Blooms change to a blushed pink as autumn closes in and temperatures become cooler. The color of the blooms are not affected by the ph of the soil like the Big Leaf Hydrangeas (H.macrophylla). This plant thrives in full sun or part sun but blooms more with more sun. It matures from 6 to 8 feet tall and wide and can be pruned into a small tree or standard. It is more tolerant of urban conditions and more drought tolerant than most hydrangeas.
4. Bobo (Hydrangea paniculata 'Bobo'): This dwarf panicle hydrangea will give you plenty of flower power! The Bobo® hydrangea is literally covered with large, white flowers that are held upright on strong stems and continue to grow and lengthen as they bloom...no flopping. As flowers age, they develop a pink tone.