I have been roaming around these past few weeks, visiting open gardens throughout my local area. The panicle hydrangeas have been just glorious in every garden I have seen with their undeniably spectacular flowers and form. Not to mention the impressive flowers of oak leaf hydrangeas are showing their magnificent colors as well.

Let’s chat a little about what to expect from your panicle hydrangeas as the season continues. If you’re eager for them to shift their color to a pink, raspberry, or red, you’ll need some cool conditions for that to develop. Once the night temperatures drop, the color change takes place quickly with these plants.
Hydrangea paniculata Pinky Winky Coloring Up

Panicle Hydrangeas in Part Shade
If your plant is in part shade and flowering as expected, it might take a little longer for those flowers to color up. Be patient: their cultural conditions dictate what happens when. One of my ‘Limelight’ hydrangeas is still a greenish-white.  

Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight' Before Changing Color

The Saga of Brown Panicle Flowers
These magnificent football-shaped flowers can go prematurely brown if your plant is moisture starved. They can run through their initial colors of white or green and barely hold their next color phase of pink to red. Monitor the weather or plan to irrigate your plants if the soil gets too dry. Yes, these plants are drought tolerant, but they also need that moisture for their best flower show. If you’re unsure of how much is enough, stick your finger in the soil. When it is dry at your second knuckle (the top two inches is where the roots live) they need water. When they don’t get enough water, the flowers will turn brown, seemingly overnight—UGH!
Hydrangea quercifolia flowers going brown from drought

Time to Buy Panicle Hydrangeas
This is also a great time to buy panicle hydrangeas. You can see their size, color, and shape up close and personal when you visit your local garden center to buy one. And of course, if you’re visiting gardens, the host will be glad to share info about their plants with you.

A Hydrangea Podcast
I had the good fortune to be on a podcast in July with Joe Lamp’l discussing hydrangeas. If you don’t know about Joe, you should. He is an award-winning premier garden communicator with websites, podcasts, a PBS gardening program  (Growing a Greener World), books, you name it. I was such a fan girl; it was embarrassing. But we did get down to business and talked hydrangeas for almost an hour! You can catch the podcast via your normal podcast supplier or read the transcript here.

A Special Request From Me
Thank you to all my readers and audiences who have purchased my hydrangea book. It turns out reviews are critically important to prospective buyers. The total number of reviews also improves my Amazon ranking (they call it “social proof”). That ranking is yet another way readers can discover my book and learn how to grow hydrangeas successfully. Yet my Amazon listing only shows a handful of reviews. I would be most grateful if you could take just a few minutes to add a review to my Amazon book page. If Amazon isn’t your seller of choice, you can also go to Barnes and Noble to do the same. Thank you in advance for doing this.

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