Name: Hydrangea paniculata Bobo (aka Hydrangea paniculata ‘Ilvobo’)
Type of Plant: This is a dwarf Hydrangea paniculata, a shrub we’ve all been waiting for so that we can plant a reliably blooming, hardy hydrangea in the foundation plantings and perennial beds. Bobo grows about 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide.
Why I love this: I love many hydrangeas in the paniculata species because they flower on new wood, so no matter if the winter is cold or you cut them back in the spring, they will still flower. I also love this short growing shrub because it does so well in a container, foundation planting or flower bed.
A Word to the Wise: Most Hydrangea paniculata varieties bloom best when they get at least 5 hours of sunlight. Give them some organic fertilizer every spring and an inch of composted manure before mulching and they will happily come into flower in late-July and be blooming until into October or first hard frost. Water deeply once a week.
Did the Bobo hydrangea spends the winter outside in the pot?
It depends on where you are and how large the pot. In general, plants that are in containers that at least 18″ in diameter and are hardy two zones colder than where you are will live in a pot outside over the winter. Bobo is hardy in a zone 3 and it lived in a pot for two winters in my area, which is a warm zone 6. If you are in a zone 4, however, I wouldn’t count on it, but if you’re in a warm 5 or above, and you plant it in a large container, it should be OK.
i planted bobo in a container and it got so cold in the winter the poor plant lost all its branches i just looked at it as i planted it in the flower bed and see new shoots coming up i bought another one for my patio and want to keep it in a container how do i over winter here in zone 8 bc
Pull your Bobo pot into an unheated garage or shed for the winter – do this sometime in November or December – not too early. Check it monthly and water if the soil looks dry. Pull the plant out sometime in March or after the worst of the winter is over, but before the plant breaks dormancy. If you see signs of the buds swelling in February, start putting it outside during the day and in at night for a couple of weeks to slow it down. if the plant does break dormancy in the garage or shed you’ll have to ease it into the outdoors gradually once the night temps are no longer going below freezing. Prune it in the spring.