How To Plant Phantom Hydrangea

It’s easy to take care of your Hydrangea paniculata ‘Phantom’. This one enjoys the sun, full or partial. It can withstand heat. Plant in rich, well-drained soil that is kept moist. It is advised to get some afternoon shade in warmer climates. It will flourish in any soil with a different Ph. If pruning is desired, do it in the early spring or late winter. The Hydrangea paniculata ‘Phantom’ has medium water requirements, but during dry spells will need more. In the spring, apply a fertilizer made especially for bushes. When the flowering season is through, make careful to remove any dead foliage and mulch the base in cooler climates.

Where should a Phantom hydrangea be planted?

The Phantom Hydrangea is a modern alternative to the old PG Hydrangea that is even more stunning and has stems that never flop over. The enormous panicles with hundreds of pure-white flowers can reach a length of 15 inches. They are perched on a shrub that quickly reaches heights of 6 to 8 feet and a bit less in width. The flowers are not only lovely, but they also remain in bloom for months, from early July to the end of September. When young, they are a lovely light green, becoming pure white as they age, and then as the fall weather turns chilly, they start to turn darker and darker pink. This wonderful shrub is an excellent addition to any garden nationwide because it is very simple to grow in colder climates where mophead hydrangeas rarely flower. Place the Phantom instead of the PG.

  • Huge, white flower panicles change color to pink in the fall.
  • Seasonal flowers kept erect
  • a 6 foot deciduous shrub that grows quickly
  • July through September is a lengthy blossoming season.
  • grows where mophead hydrangeas struggle in cold climates

The Phantom Hydrangea may thrive anywhere from full sun to some shade. It thrives in partial shade, especially in the afternoons, in warm climates. Although it may grow in a variety of soil types, it works best in richer, better-draining soil that does not get too dry. Young plants require constant watering. It is one of the simplest shrubs to grow, has no specific pests or illnesses, and can survive in cities with air pollution. For optimal results, it should be trimmed in the spring, but aside from that, it requires minimal upkeep to make an amazing display in your yard.

It’s not rare for well-known garden plants to get new variations, and a lot of new plants are introduced virtually annually. However, anything as unique as the Phantom Hydrangea only occasionally appears. In colder regions of the country where mophead hydrangeas don’t flourish well, this plant provides a more contemporary alternative to the classic PG Hydrangea beloved by generations of gardeners. Despite being well-liked, the PG Hydrangea is not without flaws. The weight of the blooms causes the stems to flop and sometimes shatter, thus diminishing the beauty of the garden. None of this is true for the Phantom Hydrangea, whose flowers, despite frequently being bigger than those of the PG Hydrangea, are held upright by remarkably strong stems. No more being let down by months of growth or having to deal with the tiresome process of staking each and every stem.

This is not a sales pitch; in fact, the respected Royal Horticultural Society in the UK voted in 2012 to revoke the prize given to the PG Hydrangea because the Phantom Hydrangea had improved so significantly that there was essentially no longer any reason for gardeners to grow the PG Hydrangea. Yes, the advances in the Phantom Hydrangea have fully displaced the older species.

Can Phantom hydrangeas tolerate direct sunlight?

Medium-sized shrub “Phantom” measures 6 feet tall by 6 feet wide and has a branching habit. The enormous flowerheads, which can reach a height of 15 inches, are composed of both smaller, fruitful blooms and spectacular, but sterile, flowers. The flower clusters are kept straight and from drooping by sturdy stalks. The flowers start off as white with a green tinge in July, mature to a pink color, and bloom all the way through the fall. The pH of the soil has little impact on the color of the blooms. Phantom is resistant to late spring frosts because it blooms on wood from the current season. It tolerates modest amounts of dryness and grows well in both full sun and light shade. This plant is a hybrid of the native Hydrangea paniculata, which grows at elevations of up to 4,000 feet in Japan, China, and Korea. Phantom was given the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit in 2008.

What height can a Phantom hydrangea tree reach?

a brazen and arrogant shrub that bears countless reams of enormous and dense conical flower clusters at the tips of the branches, likely the fullest flower heads of the panicle hydrangeas; a rough bush benefits from routine pruning.

ornamental elements

From mid-summer to late-fall, Phantom Hydrangea produces striking conical white flowers with pink undertones at the ends of the branches. The blossoms make wonderful cut flowers. It has green foliage all year round. The sharp leaves don’t really change much for the fall. The fruit has no noteworthy decorative qualities. The bark is smooth and gray, but not particularly remarkable.

Landscape characteristics:

A deciduous shrub with several stems and an upright, spreading pattern of growth is the Phantom Hydrangea. It can be distinguished from other landscape plants with finer leaf by its somewhat gritty texture.

It is advisable to prune this high maintenance shrub in late winter once the risk of really cold weather has gone. It will need frequent care and maintenance. It doesn’t possess any notable drawbacks.

  • Common Garden Use
  • Accent
  • Planting en masse

Features of the plant

When fully grown, Phantom Hydrangea will have a spread of about 10 feet and a height of around 10 feet. It is suitable for planting under power lines despite having a tendency to be a touch lanky and a usual clearance of 2 feet from the ground. It has a medium rate of growth and, in a perfect world, can live for at least 40 years.

In both full sun and full shade, this plant thrives. It shouldn’t be allowed to dry out because it prefers to thrive in situations that are generally moist to wet. It is not picky about pH or soil type. It has a strong tolerance for urban pollution and can even flourish in densely populated areas. To safeguard it in exposed places or colder zones in the winter, think about covering the root zone with a thick layer of mulch.

* Not all container sizes could be accessible right now. For information on available container sizes, consult the store.

Reduce the Phantom hydrangea?

In contrast to mophead or lacecap hydrangeas, which have circular flower heads, panicle hydrangeas, Hydrangea paniculata, have broad flower cones. The majority of cultivars bloom from late summer through fall. Compared to many hydrangeas, they are less sensitive to the pH of the soil, but they still do best in fertile, moist soil that is well-drained.

Huge white flower panicles on the Hydrangea paniculata “Phantom” start out pale green in the early summer and turn white as they grow. For optimal results, trim “Phantom” back severely each year to a height of about 30 cm above the ground, then mulch with a thick layer of thoroughly decayed organic waste.

When planted in a mixed herbaceous border, particularly with other hydrangeas, “Phantom” thrives.

On fresh wood, do Phantom hydrangeas bloom?

As long as they have enough moisture and a rich, well-drained soil, the majority of hydrangea varieties do well in full sun to light shade. This hydrangea with woody stems can be trained or pruned into a tree shape.

Additional Notes about Phantom Hydrangea:

Hydrangea arborescens: Flowers appear on young wood, prune in late winter or early spring.

Do not prune the hydrangea macrophylla since it blooms on aged wood. Remove only dead, damaged, or ugly wood and spent flowers.

Hydrangea quercifolia: Do not prune; blooms on old wood. Remove only dead, damaged, or ugly wood and spent flowers.

When should hydrangeas be planted?

Learning the fundamentals of how to plant hydrangeas can help you save time and money, just like with most other items in your garden. You’ll improve your chances of enjoying big, vibrant hydrangea flowers for years to come by picking the appropriate site, getting the soil just right, and planting correctly.

When should I plant hydrangeas?

The best time to grow hydrangeas is in the fall, followed by early spring. The goal is to provide the shrub lots of time to develop a strong root system before it blooms. Early in the day or late in the day are the ideal times to plant. The day’s cooler hours provide relief from heat exhaustion. Water new plants frequently until they get established.

Locations to plant hydrangeas

The first step is knowing where to grow hydrangea plants. Hydrangeas are frequently grown in beds adjacent to houses or fences. This is so because hydrangeas prefer the mild early sun to the hot afternoon sun. A protected area with sunny mornings and shaded afternoons is the ideal spot to plant hydrangeas. This is frequently found on the north or south side of a house. Avoid planting underneath trees since it could cause competition for nutrients and water. Flowers and leaves can both be destroyed by strong winds.

hydrangea-friendly soil

The soil needs to be rich in organic matter for hydrangeas to thrive. Drainage is important. Although hydrangeas prefer damp soil, they cannot stand standing water. Root rot can be brought on by wet, poorly draining soils. Your hydrangeas could pass away in a matter of weeks. Consider adding a lot of compost to your heavy soil before planting to increase the soil’s quality.

Methods for planting hydrangeas

Simply dig planting holes that are 2 feet wider than the root ball for planting hydrangeas. So that your plant lies level with or just higher than the surrounding soil, match the depth of the hole to the size of the root ball. You can improve water drainage away from the plant’s base by making a small mound.

The best way to grow hydrangeas

Simple propagation methods can multiply a single hydrangea into several more. The optimal time to layer bigleaf and panicle hydrangeas is in the early to mid-summer. You only need to:

  • Close to your hydrangea plant, make a tiny trench.
  • Bend a branch such that the middle of the branch meets the earth in the trench (six to 12 inches of branch should extend past the trench).
  • Where the branch meets the trench soil, make scuff marks on the bark.
  • After the trench is filled, cover it with a paver, brick, or stone.
  • The branch can be transplanted to a different area once it has established its own root system over time.

Hydrangeas with smooth or oakleaf leaves produce new growth from underground stems. Simply separate the baby plant from the main plant by digging it up. After then, it can be moved to a new spot.

Do hydrangeas need to be buried in the ground?

Selecting your favorite one may be the most difficult step. Plant hydrangeas close to a water source in an area with lots of light. Choose a location in the South where there is morning sun and afternoon shade. Hydrangeas can tolerate full-day sun in the north.

Should hydrangeas be planted shallowly or deeply?

Hydrangeas have huge bloom heads and exude an old-fashioned elegance. How to plant and take care of beautiful floral bushes is explained in our hydrangea growing guide. Additionally, learn the answers to frequently asked questions like “why aren’t my hydrangeas blossoming this year?”

About Hydrangeas

These elegant plants are simple to grow, withstand nearly any sort of soil, and produce an abundance of blossoms that are unmatched in the world of shrubs for their stunning flowers. Clear blue, vivid pink, frosty white, lavender, and rose blossoms sometimes grow on the same plant, enticing us with their colors.

From container gardens to shrub borders to group plantings, hydrangeas are great for a variety of garden locations. Breeders seem to give us more possibilities every year, and gardeners have countless expectations for bloom size and color. Varieties abound. Pay attention to the species listed below to get an idea of how your hydrangea will develop as some require different maintenance. The joys you experience will be enhanced when you know what to expect.

Enjoy this tribute to hydrangea beauty and read our guide below to discover how to grow hydrangeas.

Where to Plant Hydrangeas

  • The majority of hydrangeas like fertile, moisture-rich soils that drain well. Compost can help improve bad soil.
  • Hydrangeas typically prefer some sun. In an ideal world, they would receive full sun in the morning and then some afternoon shade to avoid the intense midday sun. The Bigleaf Hydrangea (H. macrophylla), with its huge, prone-to-wilting leaves, is a prime example of this. Some kinds can withstand more direct sunlight.
  • Depending on the kind, place hydrangeas anywhere between 3 and 10 feet apart. Plants should always be spaced according to their anticipated mature size!

When to Plant Hydrangeas

  • The optimum season to plant hydrangeas is in the fall, followed by spring. The cooler shoulder seasons are the ideal times to plant shrubs because they will have plenty of time to build a strong root system before the intense heat of summer or the bitter cold of winter.
  • In the early morning or late afternoon, plant the shrubs. The plant is less prone to experience heat stress from direct sunshine because it is typically cooler.

How to Plant Hydrangeas

  • Gently remove the hydrangea from its container and examine the root ball. Snip off any rotten or dead sections, and if the plant is very root-bound, pry the roots free.
  • Make a hole that is two to three times as big and as deep as the root ball. The top of the planting hole should be level with the base of the plant, which is where the stem joins the earth.
  • After placing the plant in the hole, add enough soil to fill it halfway. Water freely. Fill the remaining space in the hole with soil once the water has been absorbed.
  • Water thoroughly once again.

How to Grow Hydrangeas from Cuttings

Hydrangeas can easily be grown from cuttings. They easily take root, and the process is a wonderful teaching tool for propagation. This is how you do it:

  • Find a branch on a mature hydrangea that is fresh growth and has not flowered. In comparison to older growth, new growth will appear lighter in color, and the stem won’t be as firm.
  • Make a horizontal incision 4 to 5 inches down from the branch’s tip. Make sure your cutting has at least three to four pairs of leaves.
  • Trim the cutting’s lowest pair of leaves so that they are flush with the stem. If you can afford to remove more than one pair of leaves, do so. Roots develop more readily from these leaf nodes. But make sure to leave at least two pairs of leaves at the cutting’s tip.
  • Remove the tip half of any leaves that are still pretty large by cutting them in half. This keeps the leaves from slamming into the sides of the plastic bag you’ll later use to cover the cutting (to keep the humidity up).
  • (Optional) Sprinkle rooting hormone and a plant antifungal powder on the stem’s leafless area (both available at a local hardware or garden store). This will promote roots and deter decay.
  • Prepare a small pot and put moistened potting soil inside. The cutting should be planted in the ground, buried down to the first remaining pair of leaves. Lightly water the area surrounding the stem to close any air spaces.
  • Wrap a plastic bag loosely around the entire pot. To prevent the cutting’s leaves from rotting, make sure the bag is not touching them. The bag can be supported by chopsticks or other such objects to keep it off the leaves.
  • Put the pot in a warm location that is protected from the wind and sun.
  • Only rewater your cutting after the top layer of soil is dry after checking on it every few days to make sure it isn’t decaying. In a few weeks, hopefully, the cutting will start to root! If you feel resistance when you gently tug on the cutting, roots have grown.


  • Make sure hydrangeas get enough water for the first year or two after planting and throughout any droughts.
  • Over the course of the growing season, water at a rate of 1 inch per week. Three times a week of heavy watering is preferable to shallow watering. Root growth is promoted by this.
  • All varieties of hydrangeas benefit from constant moisture, but bigleaf and smooth hydrangeas need more water.
  • If the soil is too dry, the leaves will wilt, and there won’t be enough moisture for the flowers to bloom.
  • To water thoroughly while keeping moisture off the flowers and leaves, use a soaker hose.
  • The best time to water hydrangeas is in the morning to protect them from disease and get them ready for the heat of the day.
  • Under your hydrangeas, spread organic mulch to help keep the soil cool and moist, gradually add nutrients, and enhance soil texture.


You might not need to fertilize hydrangeas if your soil is rich. When fertilizer is applied in excess, blossoms are sacrificed in favor of green growth. A soil test is the most effective tool for determining your fertility requirements.

Apply fertilizer according to the type of hydrangeas you have. Every variety has varied requirements and will profit from applying fertilizer at various times.

  • Several mild fertilizer applications in March, May, and June are beneficial for bigleaf hydrangeas.
  • Two applications in April and June work best for oakleaf and panicle hydrangeas.
  • The only time smooth hydrangea plants require fertilizing is in the late winter.

Winter Protection

  • Cover plants with bark mulch, leaves, pine needles, or straw in the fall, at least 18 inches deep. If at all feasible, create cages out of chicken wire or snow fencing and cover the entire plant, including the tip, with the cages. (Avoid using maple leaves; they have a tendency to mat after becoming wet and may suffocate the plant.)

How to Prune a Hydrangea

Many of the queries from readers concern hydrangea trimming. It makes sense that it’s unclear because it relies on the hydrangea kind. Fortunately, identifying which type you have makes determining the best pruning strategy simple. Discover the fundamentals below, then read more about pruning different varieties of hydrangea here.

Pruning Common Hydrangeas

The Bigleaf cultivar of Hydrangea macrophylla is the most popular garden hydrangea shrub. (For more, see below.)

Hydrangeas with large leaves, such as Bigleaf (H. macrophylla), Oakleaf (H. quercifolia), Mountain (H. serrata), and Climbing (H. anomala subsp. petiolaris), are pruned AFTER the summer blooms have passed. On stems from the previous season, these kinds bloom (“old wood).

  • Avoid pruning after August 1 since flower buds actually grow in the late summer and bloom the next season.
  • Dead wood should only be removed in the fall or very early spring.
  • To stimulate branching and fullness, trim one or two of the oldest stems by cutting them all the way to the ground.
  • Pruning the stems all the way to the base is necessary if the plant is old, neglected, or injured. For the following season, you’ll lose the flowers, but you’ll also revive the plant for subsequent ones.
  • The huge Mopheads should not be deadheaded (faded flowers removed); instead, you should leave them over the winter and trim them back in the early spring (to the first healthy pair of buds). Deadheading Lacecaps is OK; simply trim down to the second set of leaves below the bloom head.
  • Avoid pruning unless it is absolutely required while growing H. macrophylla (and H. serrata) cultivars in Zones 4 and 5, and then only after blooming. If not, merely remove dead stems in the spring.

Pruning Other Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas called Panicle (H. paniculata) and Smooth (H. arborescens) are clipped BEFORE flower buds develop. On stems from the current season, these kinds blossom (“new wood).

  • When the plant is dormant in the late winter, prune. This means that if the buds are killed during the winter, the plant will produce new buds in the spring which will produce blooms.
  • In general, avoid pruning to “shape the bush” and just remove dead branches.