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Hydrangea paniculata advice please

Joy*Joy* Posts: 571
I would like a showy shrub to grow in a north facing border. I have seen Hydrangea paniculata 'Vanille Fraise' on Crocus web site.  Please could you tell me 
Are they easy to grow?
Do they flower reliably? 
Can they be kept reasonably small - 4 feet x 4 feet max?
Are Crocus a good company to buy from?
I have seen several comments which sleight some mail order companies and would prefer to be able to see what I'm getting but finding a source of supply is proving difficult. 
If anyone has any other suggestions for other showy summer flowering shrubs to brighten up my garden around this time of year, please suggest away!
Thank you in advance for any help you can offer. 
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Posts

  • B3B3 Posts: 21,482
    I had one in a pot waiting to be planted out. The other day, i forgot to water it and the hot sun burnt the leaves to a crisp. Im hoping it might leaf up again.  In my limited experience,they're awful particular.😕
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,589
    I believe Crocus is a good company with quality plants and good customer service but Vanille Fraise is so widely available now you'll probably find one easily in a good local garden centre or nursery.  

    Hydrangea paniculatas have the advantage of flowering on new wood so can be cut back every spring and then fed and they'll produce a good show of flowers and foliage but may need more space than just 4' either way.   If it's happy it will eventually want to get taller but maybe not much wider - https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/264574/i-Hydrangea-paniculata-i-Font-Face-times-New-Roman-Vanille-Fraise-FONT-Renhy-sup-(PBR)-sup/Details 

    Remember also that any shrub planted now is going to need careful monitoring and watering until it goes dormant in autumn because its roots will be working hard to supply nutrients and water to all that active top growth.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 6,362
    Joy* said:
    I would like a showy shrub to grow in a north facing border. I have seen Hydrangea paniculata 'Vanille Fraise' on Crocus web site.  Please could you tell me 

    Are they easy to grow?.... Yes very easy to grow... but the foliage can become a touch chlorotic on alkaline soils..
    Do they flower reliably? … yes they do, every year...
    Can they be kept reasonably small - 4 feet x 4 feet max?.. yes very easy.. I do that with mine... but you can let them grow larger if you want..  they will also grow north facing... or just a few hours sun..
    Are Crocus a good company to buy from? .. well I wouldn't buy roses from them.. and I would look elsewhere in the first instance as they are often expensive... but they are convenient... they also supply for the RHS, Waitrose, and other well known organisations..

    @Joy … I would also recommend Ceanothus 'Gloire de Versailles'.. as a long flowering June to November flowering shrub.. semi evergreen... powder blue flowers.. in bloom right now..  best of luck Joy..
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,053
    These paniculatas also have the advantage that they are useful for pollinators, unlike most hydrangeas. We have some in pots and they seem very easy going. Beautiful, elegant flowers.
  • B3B3 Posts: 21,482
    I must've been really unlucky then😕
    Sounds like there's a chance that mine will revive 
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 2,302
    My Wim's Red is my profile picture. They are fragrant and start white to fade a deep maroon colour...has come back this year with some lovely growth. Highly recommended.
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • Joy*Joy* Posts: 571
    Thank you everybody.  Sadly @Marlorena I've found out the hard way that Ceanothus turns my pollen allergy on so the 2 new ones I have are being moved to the front garden, hence the need to fill the gaps they leave.I will search the garden centres before I buy online . I'm thinking of planting in autumn.  If I get one in a pot, can I nurture it in the pot until later in the year?
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,589
    Yes, or maybe pot it on to give its roots space to grow.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,272
    I grow the oak leaf hydrangea - Quercifolia, which will cope with more sun and drier condtions than many of the more popular hydrangeas, and may suit many gardens which don't get as much rainfall. White flowered and beautiful autumn foliage colour.
    There are some named varieties now too like 'Snowflake' and 'Snow Queen'. 
     
    I got mine from the local nursery I use, but Jacksons nursery and Burncoose both stock them I think. Crocus are hideously expensive, so it's well worth looking around before buying  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,629
    My Hydrangea Paniculata is in a pot, and hasn't done well at all, despite promising signs of strong early growth.  The leaves keeping turning brown, although it's not clear if it's too much sun, too much or too little water.  I've moved it to a shadier position, and as everyone has advised that they are thirsty plants, I am erring on the side of more watering rather than less.
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