How to Care for Tree Hydrangeas: Tips on Planting, Pruning & More

Hydrangeas (Panicle Hydrangeas

Tree Hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata), also known as panicle hydrangeas, are a fast-growing flowering plant with an upright growth habit.

When other bushes are blooming in the late summer, these plants produce late-summer flowers. The plant has dark green leaves with oval teeth. It produces flower panicles in 7-inch cones with tiny white flowers.

The flower heads gradually turn pinkish, then fade to brown or tan in the winter.

The tree hydrangeas can be planted in the spring after the danger of frost has passed, as well as in the early fall. Be aware that they can be toxic to both pets and humans 1 so consider when you plant them.

Common Name Tree hydrangea, panicle hydrangea, peegee hydrangea
Botanical Name Hydrangea paniculata
Family Hydrangeaceae
Plant Type Shrub
Mature Size 8-15 ft. tall, 6-12 ft. wide
Sun Exposure Full, partial
Soil Type Loamy, well-drained
Soil pH Acidic, neutral
Bloom Time Summer, fall
Flower Color White, pink, green
Hardiness Zones 4-8 (USDA)
Native Area Asia
Toxicity Toxic to people, toxic to pets1

Tips for Keeping Your Plants Healthy

  • To keep your tree hydrangeas healthy, it is important to plant them in the right location. They should be planted in an area that gets full sun to partial shade and has well-drained soil.
  • Be sure to water them regularly, especially during dry periods. Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to help retain moisture and control weeds.
  • Pruning is an important part of caring for tree hydrangeas. You can prune them in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins.
  • Cut back any dead or diseased branches and thin out the plant if it is too dense. You can also cut back the stems by one-third to encourage more flowers.

Lighting and Temperature

Tree hydrangeas prefer full sun to partial shade, meaning they need at least four hours of direct sunlight each day. They will also do well in dappled sunlight throughout the day.

If you live in an area with hot summers, it’s best to plant tree hydrangeas in a spot that gets some afternoon shade to protect the leaves from scorching.

In terms of temperature, tree hydrangeas can tolerate cold winters and hot summers. They are hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones three through nine.


Tree hydrangeas are adaptable to many types of soil, but they prefer well-drained, slightly acidic soil with a pH of around six.

They also like full sun or partial shade and should be sheltered from strong winds.


To maintain healthy growth, it’s important to fertilize tree hydrangeas. The best time to do this is in the spring, before new growth begins.

Look for a fertilizer that has a high phosphorus content, as this will encourage flowering. You can apply the fertilizer around the base of the plant or use a root feeder.


Pruning is important to the health of your tree hydrangea, and should be done in late winter or early spring.

The best time to prune is when the plant is dormant, as this minimizes the risk of infection and damage to the plant.

You can remove up to one-third of the plant’s growth each year without harming it.


Tree hydrangeas need to be watered regularly, especially when they are first planted. They also benefit from a monthly dose of fertilizer during the growing season.

To encourage more blooms, prune the bush in late winter or early spring. Cut back about one-third of the previous year’s growth.


Size and shape are important when you choose a tree hydrangea. The plant can grow to be 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide, so make sure you have enough space for it.

Panicle hydrangeas can be pruned into a tree-like shape or left to grow naturally.


Flowering season for tree hydrangeas is from late summer through early fall. To encourage blooming, prune the plant in late winter or early spring. Pruning also helps to control the plant’s size.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

As beautiful as they are, hydrangeas are notoriously delicate flowers. Every variety is susceptible to rose chafers, aphids, and scale, and organic pesticides can help get rid of these insects.

Slugs and snails can be enticed to eat the plants as well, but snail and slug infestations can be controlled with natural methods such as slug pellets.

In addition, hydrangeas are susceptible to fungal infections such as powdery mildew and leaf spot, which can be controlled with an appropriate fungicide.

Finally, many viruses can infect plants, causing the leaves to yellow and the plant to shed its flowers. The only way to solve the problem is to remove the affected plants.

With a little care and attention, however, hydrangeas can be a beautiful addition to any garden.

Propagating Tree Hydrangea

Tree hydrangeas are a beautiful and popular addition to many gardens. Though they can be costly to purchase, they can easily be propagated from cuttings. Cuttings should be taken in the spring or early summer, just before the plant starts to bloom.

This is because the plant is actively growing at this time and the cuttings are more likely to take root. To take a cutting, choose a healthy stem that is about 6 inches in length.

Remove the lower leaves and cut the remaining leaves in half. This will help prevent the cutting from losing too much water. Next, soak the cutting in rooting hormone. This will encourage root growth.

Finally, place the cutting in a small pot filled with moistened potting mix. Keep the pot in a warm, sunny location and water regularly. With a little care, your tree hydrangea cutting will soon take root and grow into a beautiful plant.

Types of Tree Hydrangea

Tree hydrangeas, also known as paniculate hydrangeas, are a species of flowering plant that is native to China and Japan. They are part of the Hydrangeas family, which also includes garden hydrangeas and climbers.

Tree hydrangeas are characterized by their large blooms and ability to grow tall (up to 25 feet in some cases).

There are many different varieties of tree hydrangea, including: Grandiflora (white blooms), Limelight (greenish blooms), Big Ben (deeper pink flowers), Bobo (dwarf species), Pinky Winky (bicolor flower heads), and others.

Many tree hydrangeas are prized for their ornamental value, and are often used in landscaping or as cut flowers.

How fast does a panicle hydrangea grow?

The panicle hydrangea is a fast-growing plant, capable of adding up to three feet of new growth per year. Once fully mature, the plant can reach a height of 16 feet.

The panicle hydrangea is a popular choice for gardens and landscaping due to its rapid growth rate and impressive size.

While the plant does require some upkeep, such as pruning to control its size, the panicle hydrangea is generally low-maintenance and easy to care for.

With its showy flowers and vigorous growth, the panicle hydrangea is a striking addition to any garden.

How big does a panicle hydrangea tree get?

Panicle hydrangeas are a type of shrub that is known for its large, showy flowers. These shrubs can grow to be quite large, with some varieties reaching a height of 10 feet or more.

While this can be an advantage in terms of their visual impact, it can also be a drawback if you do not have enough space in your garden.

Panicle hydrangeas require full sun and well-drained soil in order to thrive, so make sure to choose a spot in your yard that meets these requirements. With proper care, panicle hydrangeas can provide years of beauty in the garden.

How do you train hydrangeas to form a tree?

Hydrangeas are a popular flowering shrub, but did you know that you can train them to form a tree? It’s actually quite easy to do.

First, remove any side branches that are on the lower two-thirds of the main stem when they begin to appear. Then, cut off long branches on the upper part of the stem by one third of their length at least once every year.

Every time you cut into the main stem, two additional branches will grow below. With a little patience and care, you’ll soon have a beautiful hydrangea tree!

How long does it take for a hydrangea tree to grow?

Hydrangeas are popular landscaping shrubs because they are fast-growing plants. Depending on the variety, it can take 2-4 years for a hydrangea to grow to its full height.

Some varieties mature faster than others. However, all hydrangeas grow best in moist, well-draining soil with plenty of organic matter. They prefer soil that is slightly acidic, with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5.

To encourage growth, hydrangeas should be fertilized in early spring and summer. With proper care, these beautiful shrubs can provide years of enjoyment.

How do you grow a panicle hydrangea?

Growing a panicle hydrangea may seem like a daunting task, but with a little knowledge and care, it can be a rewarding experience. These beautiful plants are native to East Asia and are prized for their large, cone-shaped flower clusters.

When choosing a location for your panicle hydrangea, it is important to make sure that it will receive at least four hours of direct sunlight each day.

Too much shade will result in spindly growth and fewer flowers. Once you have selected the perfect spot, simply dig a hole that is twice as wide as the root ball and add some compost or fertilizer to the soil.

Water the plant deeply after planting and continue to water regularly during the growing season. With a little love and attention, your panicle hydrangea will soon be blooming beautifully.

How long after planting will a hydrangea bloom?

Many factors can affect how long it takes for a hydrangea to bloom after being planted. One of the most important considerations is the plant’s age.

Young plants are often less capable of flowering than mature specimens, so it may take several years for a newly-planted hydrangea to reach flowering maturity.

Additionally, the plant’s environment can play a role in its blooming cycle. If the hydrangea is planted in an area with poor drainage or insufficient sunlight, it may have difficulty developing flowers.

Finally, some varieties of hydrangea simply take longer to bloom than others. In general, however, most hydrangeas will begin blooming within 3-5 years of being planted.

How do you grow a hydrangea tree?

Hydrangeas are a classic garden shrub, known for their large clusters of blooms in shades of pink, blue, and purple. While hydrangeas are typically grown as shrubs, it is possible to train them into tree form.

To grow a hydrangea tree, start with a young plant from a nursery or garden center. Look for a variety with strong, upright stems and prune away any lateral branches.

Once you have your plant, choose a sunny spot in your garden with well-drained soil. Hydrangeas prefer full sun for the majority of the day, with some afternoon shade.

Amend the soil with organic matter to help retain moisture and improve drainage. Plant your hydrangea at the same depth it was growing in the pot and water deeply to encourage root growth.

Keep the soil moist throughout the growing season and provide support for the main stem as it grows taller. With proper care, your hydrangea tree will soon be covered in beautiful blooms.

How fast do panicle hydrangeas grow?

Panicle hydrangeas are one of the quickest-growing types of hydrangeas, growing up to 3 feet per year. The wild-type variety can reach a height of 16 feet, making it a good choice for creating privacy or filling in empty spaces in the garden.

Panicle hydrangeas are relatively easy to care for, and they are tolerant of a wide range of soils and light levels. They can be propagated from seed, cuttings, or divisions, and they will bloom from late summer into fall.

With their showy flowers and fast growth rate, panicle hydrangeas are an excellent choice for gardeners who want to add color and interest to their landscape.

When should you plant a hydrangea tree?

Hydrangeas are a popular choice for gardens and landscaping due to their large, showy blooms.

But when is the best time to plant a hydrangea tree? The ideal time is the end of spring, after the danger of frost has passed, or even early autumn, when temperatures drop and nighttime temperatures begin to bring cooler temperatures.

If you are gardening in an area where the ground freezes, put your seeds in the soil at about six weeks prior to the first fatal frost of autumn. By planting at the right time, you can ensure that your hydrangea tree will have a long and healthy life.

Jessica Miles

Jessica Miles is a writer for Botanique Boutique, a plant and gardening blog. She has always loved plants, flowers, and anything green. When she was younger, she used to watch her grandfather garden and would be in awe of the beautiful flowers he would grow. Now Jessica writes about all things related to plants and gardening - from beginner tips on how to start growing your own plants, to in-depth guides on caring for a specific type of flower or plant. She loves helping others learn about this fascinating hobby, and hopes that her writing will inspire people to get outside and enjoy nature!

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