Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora’ – a classic large shrub

Sep 9, 2017 | Love This!

Name: Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora’ aka peegee hydrangea, or panicle hydrangea.

Type of Plant: A large growing shrub – one of the first cultivars in the paniculata group of hydrangeas. These are hardy plants that grow well in full to part sun. And they will grow large as well, reaching 10 to even 20 feet tall and wide.

You can prune this as a multi-stemmed shrub, a multi-stemmed small tree, or find it grafted on a single trunk in a tree form. Hardy in Zones 3-8, this Hydrangea has flowers that are white at the end of July or early August, and turn pink in the fall.

Why I love this: This plant is how many of the paniculata group came to be known as peegee hydrangeas. It’s the abbreviation P.G. which stands, of course, for paniculata ‘Grandiflora.’ And once you’ve grown this plant and seen how large the flowers get, you know why ‘Grandiflora’ is so appropriate!

A Word to the Wise: The flowers are so large on this plant that when it rains they can bend to the ground. To keep them out of the mud, allow the plant to grow large! Yes, you can prune it down hard every year in a probably doomed effort to keep it small, but then the flowers, which form at the ends of the stems’ new growth, will always end up on the ground. So plant this where it can get large and use the shorter “Bobo” in places where a smaller hydrangea is needed.

Here are the fabulous flowers on my PeeGee in early September. A floral celebration!

I bought a ‘Grandiflora’ as a tree-form, grafted onto a single trunk. I prune it back every year with the following formula: First, remove deadwood. Next, look for crossed branches that are rubbing and remove one…if one of them is heading into the center of the plant instead of out and away from the center, that’s the one to go. Next, look for all branches that are either going into the center or are growing at weird angles. Cut those out completely. Finally, any stems that are longer than others can get cut back by 1/3 to 1/2. Done!

Can you say GRANDiflora?

I love how the flowers gently fade from white to pink. Some Hydrangea paniculata cultivars get brighter pink, some have lacy flowers or blooms that stay upright, but you can’t beat H. p. ‘Grandiflora’ for large, abundant blooms.

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