I woke up yesterday morning to this lovely winter scene. Not much of a surprise as I DO live in zone 5B. Since I am already in the holiday spirit, this “mood” snow got me thinking about how some of the new hydrangea introductions for 2022 will fit into my garden and winter view.
NEW FOOLPROOF HYDRANGEAS
Let me give you a quick rundown of what you might find as you cruise the winter catalogues in the coming months. There are so many to cover (as usual!) that this post is only the first of about three I’ll write to get you up to speed.
Let’s start with what I call the foolproof options. These are the plants that flower on the new growth they put on in the current season (new wood). Your options fall into two species: woodland/smooth hydrangeas (arborescens), and panicle hydrangeas (paniculatas). Here’s the low down on some of the new panicle plants.
WHAT THE BREEDERS ARE AFTER
If you attended the virtual presentations at the 2021 Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival, you might have heard Tim Wood (a superb plant hunter and breeder) discuss key goals of today’s hydrangea breeding programs. Stem strength to hold up the flowers (especially after heavy summer rains), stem color to add to your garden interest, deeper later season flower color on panicle hydrangeas, and more compact plants for smaller spaces. Expect to see those elements in new hydrangea introductions.
It shouldn’t, therefore, come as a surprise that the new plants you’ll hear a lot about and hopefully see are Hydrangea paniculata Fire Light Tidbit®, Hydrangea paniculata Little Lime Punch™, Hydrangea paniculata Limelight Prime®, Hydrangea paniculata Quick Fire Fab®, Hydrangea paniculata Little Hottie®, and Hydrangea paniculata White Wedding®.
Hydrangea paniculata Fire Light Tidbit®
Hydrangea paniculata Fire Light Tidbit® has large flowers from top to bottom on a relatively tiny shrub. It sports a bun-shaped habit that works well at the front of a border. The flowers start a creamy, light greenish white and quickly turn raspberry pink.
Little Lime Punch™
Not far behind is the improvement to Little Lime® which is Little Lime Punch™. The flowers emerge a festive combination of pink, green, white and Hawaiian punch red on a 4 foot tall plant.
The magnificently popular Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ has been refined to produce Limelight Prime®. This one has darker foliage, much stronger stems than the original, and grows to only about five feet. If all of that wasn’t enough of an improvement, you can delight in flowers that color up to a deep pink.
One of the best performers in my garden has been Hydrangea paniculata Quick Fire®. I thought it couldn’t get any better, yet now there is Quick Fire Fab®. What’s better is the stem strength, and deeper color on dense flowers that emerge earlier than other hydrangeas.
Little Hottie™ is a compact panicle hydrangea introduction with very full flower heads that emerge green and turn sparkling white on strong stems. This new hydrangea introduction was bred to withstand hot temperatures better than some other panicle hydrangeas so don’t worry about it holding up to summer heat.
If you want a very white compact panicle hydrangea, then seek out White Wedding®. This smaller plant starts flowering earlier than other panicle hydrangeas and holds its white flower color well into the later season before turning to a blush pink.
Success With Hydrangeas Book
I thought I would give you one last nudge to order a signed copy before too much time passes. You already know about shipping delays, and I have been hearing of a paper shortage. What else can happen???
In any event, if you want a signed copy, just go HERE to order directly from me. I have copies on hand to send out within 24 hours of getting your order. It makes a great gift for anyone who grows hydrangeas. Of course, if you want an inscription, just tell me the recipient’s name plus any other info you want me to include in my comment.
A BIG THANK YOU
What that, I will leave you with a big thank you for reading my posts, and encouraging me to continue the pursuit of knowledge about this fabulous plant. I also wish you and yours the best for a safe and joyful holiday season.
I’ll be back in January (after attending a trade show) to fill you in on what’s happening in “hydrangea-land.”
6 Secrets for Stunning Hydrangea Flowers
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