Lace is a Hydrangea paniculata variety with both sterile and
fertile flowers and reaches 5 to 6 feet in height.
paniculatas have to be the showiest plant in the summer garden, and I
have an-affection for them all. Chantilly Lace and Pinky Winky,
however, has captured my heart not only for their beauty but their
proclivity to attract pollinators.
Here at the
Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens, we have several of the leading
varieties of what we call the panicle hydrangeas. With 51 acres and
the hydrangeas spread out, I have not paid much attention to any
them against a backdrop of deep green garden foliage or combined with
cottage garden plants like rudbeckias. Bees, butterflies, wasps, and,
giant flies, however, will make you want to add a little dazzle like
Chantilly Lace or Pinky Winky to the backyard wildlife habitat.
hydrangea is cold hardy and recommended from zones 3-8 (9). In
Savannah where we push zone 9, they do superbly. This means just about
the whole country can grow them.
paniculata or panicle varieties are different than the mophead or
French hydrangea, the leaves are smaller, and the number of flowers is
incredible. The flowers may be 6- to 15-inches long and most held
upright on the plant. You now have a staggering list of choices in the
size of your selections from those that are diminutive or dwarf to
those reaching 10-foot.
It seems not one
nursery or catalog description, however, mentions pollinators in
association with the hydrangea paniculata. Perhaps it is because most
have sterile flowers. If you look at internet images, you will indeed
see selections that do attract pollinators.
This is an
important criterion with many gardeners. These selections like
Chantilly Lace or Pinky Winky seem to have an ample quantity of both
sterile and fertile blossoms. Though the fertile blossoms are not near
as showy, they make up for it in honeybees and other pollinators.
conditions are fertile, well-drained soil with morning sun and
afternoon shade. In the landscape, plant it among other shrubs 72 to
80 inches apart in odd-numbered clusters for a terrific, eye-catching
To plant your
hydrangea, dig the hole two to three times as wide as the rootball but
no deeper so you can plant it at the same depth it is growing in the
container. Apply a good layer of mulch to conserve moisture. Once
established, you’ll find your panicle selection is less dependent on
water than its big-leafed cousins.
Soil pH does not
affect the color of the flowers like it does with the blue or pink
big-leafed hydrangeas. Any flowers left on the plant do provide winter
texture and interest. Chantilly Lace, Pinky Winky and the other
panicle varieties bloom on new wood, so prune in late fall or early
spring. A medium pruning that removes one-third to one-half the plant
size gives a better structure for large blossoms and the new season
ahead. Feed your hydrangea in early spring as new growth resumes.
hydrangeas, bees, and butterflies and now with varieties of Hydrangea
paniculatas like Chantilly Lace and Pinky Winky you can have them all.