One of the great plants for Kansas landscapes is a plant called the Paniculata Hydrangea. Sometimes, people just refer to these as PeeGee hydrangeas because they’re known for their large, showy white flowers during the summer months. When it’s hot and dry in late June and July, these plants will come alive in the garden.
The Paniculata Hydrangeas are relatively easy to grow. They prefer morning sun and afternoon shade, however they will take a little bit of afternoon sun. But the more sun they have, the more moisture they’ll need. So, morning sun and afternoon shade is ideal with even moisture.
The nice thing about Paniculata Hydrangeas is that besides blooming during the summer months, they bloom on new wood. In other words, all the new growth during the current season is where the flower bud is set. This is why they bloom during June and July.
The other feature is that there area lot of varieties. PeeGee is the most common. There are also varieties called Limelight and Quick Fire. After they are done flowering white, some varieties will turn a chartreuse green, and some will turn to a pink so that you get another season of color.
If the plants get large and overgrown, you can easily cut them back because they all come back on new growth. So adding a Paniculata or PeeGee Hydrangea to the landscape will provide summer color, and it’s another great plant for the Kansas landscape.
This feature story prepared with Dennis Patton, Kansas State University Research and Extension Horticulture Agent, Johnson County. For more information, visit your local county extension office or visit our website at KansasGreenYards.org.