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Hydrangea, paniculata 'PeeGee'
'PeeGee' has the tendency to turn pink as the blooms age. A must for your butterfly garden!
The mature 'PeeGee' Hydrangea tree (Hydrangea paniculata 'Grandiflora') is an heirloom favorite. The enormous, creamy white, conical flowers bloom in mid to late summer and become pink as they age. As autumn shows signs of progress and the nights become colder, the flowers turn the color of tea-stained linen. Attracts Butterflies to the Garden!
'PeeGee' hydrangea is a deciduous wide spreading, rather rangy shrub or small tree with big showy pyramid-shaped clusters of white to pink flowers that literally weight down the branches. 'PeeGee' starts branching near the ground and has a rounded shape, getting 10-25 ft tall and just as wide, although many specimens stay considerably smaller. The leaves are opposite, oval, have pointed tips and toothed margins, and are 3-6 in long. The flowers are borne in erect panicles 3-10 in tall.
This hydrangea blooms over a long season, with the flowers starting out white in mid-summer, aging to pink and finally turning rusty brown in autumn. Unlike big-leaf hydrangea (H. macrophylla), flower color does not vary with soil pH. 'PeeGee' hydrangea's dried flowers persist even after the leaves have fallen. 'PeeGee' hydrangea and 'Oakleaf' hydrangea (H. quercifolia) from the southeastern U.S. are the only hydrangeas with cone-shaped flower clusters; all the others have their flowers in rounded or flat-topped clusters.
Plant Details +
Hydrangea paniculata 'PeeGee'
Hydrangeaceae (hydrangea Family)
10-15' (can get to 20' un-pruned)
Zones 3-8. It is the most cold hardy of the cultivated hydrangeas
Partial Shade, Shade or Full Sun. Hydrangeas benefit from some shade in the middle of the afternoon, especially in hotter regions.
Simple, dark green leaves, 3-6" long
White to pink flowers
Mid-Summer to frost
General Information +
General Characteristics: 'PeeGee' hydrangea is a fast-growing, adaptable shrub that thrives almost anywhere. Traditionally, 'PeeGee's are a border shrub. However, this shrub can also be pruned into a single stem to form a small tree. It tolerates acidic to neutral soils as long as they are well drained. You can prune it in late winter since it produces its flowers on new growth. To get the biggest flower clusters on your block, reduce the number of stems by cutting the previous year's shoots back to within just a few buds of the main branches. If you don't, you'll have smaller, but more numerous flower clusters.
'PeeGee's are an old variety that is easy to grow in zones 3 through 8. They prefer full sun to partial shade and mildly acidic to neutral soil. It is still a great variety in colder climates where other hydrangeas just can't grow.
'PeeGee' hydrangea is best suited to the far corners of a landscape or in mixed shrub borders. Many gardeners think 'PeeGee' hydrangea is more attractive when pruned to tree form. With thoughtful pruning, it can be an attractive specimen as a shrub or a tree.
Planting/Care Instructions +
Planting Instructions: 'PeeGee's should be planted in moist, rich, well-drained soil. Dig a hole large enough to encompass the roots without bending or circling. Set the plant in place so the crown (part of the plant where the root meets the stem) is about 1-2 inches below the soil surface. When planting your 'PeeGee', the crown (where the stem meets the roots) should be placed just below ground level. Planting deeper can cause the roots to rot. Cover with soil to the original soil surface and water thoroughly. Once the shrub is placed in the hole, tamp the soil down around it and water. It is a good idea to mulch your 'PeeGee' to help the soil to retain moisture. It should also be fertilized with a light fertilizer in March, May, and July. 'PeeGee' hydrangea requires moderate watering during the growing season.
Pests or Diseases: An advantage of using 'PeeGee's as a border beside the beautiful display that they provide is that deer tend to avoid them. This is great news if you tend to have deer problems. No serious insect or disease problems.