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Hydrangea paniculata 'Phantom'

A question for anybody who had this variety.

I’ve just planted a 2-3’ specimen of this with very sparse stems and it’s just starting to leaf out, slowly.  

Does anybody know how much growth one can realistically expect from such a situation in one year?

The label said max height / width 2-3m 
and I wanted to contain it to 1.5m wide if possible as it isn’t in a border it’s in a isolated spot a little out of the corner of a border.


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  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,690
    I haven't got that one, I've got 'Limelight', and mine are only just starting to leaf out as well. You can control the size a bit by hard pruning in late winter. I have left a bit more woody framework at the base of mine, last year I took them quite low and they got slightly swamped by my perennials before they got going.
    "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour". 
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,020
    The beauty of the paniculata types is that they can be pruned back quite hard every spring then fed and watered if it's been dry and they'll put on new growth which flowers the same year.

    I find when they're young it's best not to prune back too low so just take it back to 3 or 4 sets of buds on each stem and then look at it again and see if any need further shortening to make a balanced structure.   They don't like to be thirsty so if you get hot dry spells this spring and summer give it a bucket of water poured on slowly so it soaks in rather than runs off.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thanks guys.  I'm definitely not planning to prune, but I'm curious how much growth I can expect in this first year (it was only just planted a week or two back).

    It's not a mature specimen but not a very young one either ... how much growth can I expect this year do you think?
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,020
    It depends on how well you look after it - too much sun, not enough water, poor or good soil all affect how plants grow.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • jamesharcourtjamesharcourt Posts: 465
    edited April 2020
    Obelixx said:
    It depends on how well you look after it - too much sun, not enough water, poor or good soil all affect how plants grow.
    It's in good soil, sunlight is dappled at the hottest time of day and watering is taken care of well :-)

    What I'm fishing for here really is - what typically, if you do things right, would a Hydrangea Paniculata 'Phantom' (or similar cultivar) of this size (currently 2.5') grow to in a year in terms of height / spread / density ...
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,020
    Just be patient and wait and see.  Gardening isn't just "buy a plant and bung it in".   Yu have to be prepared to work with your local conditions and the plants available and choose what will do well for you.

    Learn to research your plants before you buy and plant them.  The RHS website has a good database of plants and their cultivation needs which includes soil type, moisture, sun or shade, hardiness, pruning regime and eventual size.   

    Good nurseries list descriptions of the plants they sell and their requirements.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • I'm well aware of the RHS website :-)

    This was purchased last year - kept in a pot over late summer and winter and just last week put in the ground.   There's no "buy a plant and  bung it in", unless you count waiting 9 months to plant it as "bung it in"?

    Everybody starts somewhere with gardening - we don't just start in the elite - you'll find most people browse in the garden centre, get drawn in by something, read the label, see the rough final size and have in mind a placement based on aspect and make the purchase - I'm no different.

    For what it matters I've already looked up the variety and seen it referred to as "fast growing".  It also said that on the label.  I'm more than capable of researching and reading generic information.

    However, as I tried to explain, I'm just curous about other people's experience with the growth rate of this particular plant.  The keyword being experience there. 

    Sorry for asking, if i'm honest - I'll get back to work :-)
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,020
    edited April 2020
    @jamesharcourt I did not mean to offend.  You do ask a lot of questions and seem to be trying to plant up a huge area at breakneck speed flitting from one project to another.  

    We all started not knowing anything either but in the UK it's very rare for someone to have as huge a space as you do and to throw the proverbial kitchen sink at it.   Most of us start with an inherited garden or a new build with a a bare plot so work on smaller spaces and budgets and learn form experience over the years.

    In my last garden - in Belgium and on fertile alkaline loam - hydrangea paniculata grew anything between 4 and 6' a season depending on how moist was their soil and whether they were exposed to the prevailing wind.   Here its is much hotter and drier so I grow them against a north facing wall and water regularly.  One has died and the other 4 grow about 3 to 4 feet a year.  We've had a much wetter winter this year and their soil has been mulched and improved so I hope they'll do better this year.

    There are two well established and very happy lace cap types already there against that same wall so they should settle in sooner or later.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 8,643
    If your plant is 2-3' at the moment, then you should expect about 1.5-2 foot growth from that, this season... this is mine at the moment..
    Hydrangea paniculata 'Phantom'...
     

    I'll add some more information about it shortly...
    East Anglia, England
  • jamesharcourtjamesharcourt Posts: 465
    edited April 2020
    Ok thanks for the info @Obelixx.

    Perhaps I've had a flurry of questions ... "turbo-posting" if you will ... which is giving that impression of more activity than there actually is.   A lot of it is just curiosity.

    I'm a member of a few other Facebook groups about plants I am much more knowledgable about and if I see people asking questions like mine I cannot wait to give them answer (overly long answers they'd probably argue).  Perhaps it's a mid-life crisis.   I really wouldn't have thought such questions wouldn't annoy members of a page dedicated to discussing this kind of stuff ... ?

    Either way - I have no idea where you arrive at the idea that I have a "huge space" which is "very rare" in the UK.  This is an average sized garden!  Also -I've spent next to nothing on plants in 2020.  For the last 2 months, garden centres have been closed anyway.

    There is essentially about 10m2 of lawn and the same of bedding (rough estimate), 90% of which is established and very happy with things left behind by the previous owner before we bought it 10 years ago.    I'm not a millionaire living with acres of land, or even 1/10th an acre of land.

    I'm making edits, moving the odd thing , and planting some potted plants in the landscape - and while I'm at it, trying to identify existing plants here which I just can't identify without asking people who know.  That accounts for quite a lot of posts.

    Apart from that I don't think I've posted about planting anything new this year ... perhaps moving a badly placed bush or two but 90% of this garden space is fine.

    But anyway, I'll slow down on the questions.  Point taken :-) 
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