Name: Hydrangea paniculata Fire Light aka the Fire Light Hydrangea
Type of Plant: A medium to large shrub that flowers from late July until hard frost. Grow this hydrangea in full sun to part sun.
Why I Love/Hate this plant: This panicle hydrangea flowers on new growth, which means that it doesn’t matter if it’s a cold winter or if someone prunes it back in the spring, it will still bloom. I love the bright pink color that the flowers turn in the fall. I also love how the plant grows in a round, bushy shape, unlike some paniculata varieties that are more upright and almost tree-like. This shrub is in bloom from late-July into October, changing from white to bright pink and then wine-red flowers.
A Word to the Wise: If you have a place that gets late-afternoon into evening sun, put the Fire Light hydrangea there because the end-of-day sunbeams illuminate this plant. Prune this hydrangea in the spring, first removing crossed/rubbing branches, then any that are growing into the center of the plant, and finally trimming it back by up to a third if it needs rejuvenation. Frankly, when placed in the right location this shrub doesn’t need much pruning.