PeeGee hydrangea is the tree form hydrangea. It is recognized by its flowers that open white and fade to pink and green, and it often grows into a small tree ten feet or higher in height and almost as wide. Although it has fallen out of popularity, PeeGee Hydrangea is a very beautiful plant and by knowing its culture, you can plant it so that it will enrich the landscape for many years.
PeeGee hydrangea is named after P.G. as the first letters of its name, paniculata grandiflora. Other varieties of hydrangea paniculata also grow large and can be mistaken for PeeGee hydrangea. This hydrangea is often grown as a standard tree-form hydrangea and sold as such in garden centers.
This hydrangea tolerates a wide range of soil and other conditions, as long as it receives sufficient sun and moisture. Avoid very wet, very dry, or shady sites. PeeGee hydrangea will grow into a large shrub and can be trained to be a tree or a specimen. It is low maintenance if allowed to grow freely to its mature height and width, but is very tolerant of pruning and can be maintained at a smaller size if pruned regularly.
PeeGee hydrangea can be used as a large shrub and can be planted as a screen, hedge, or border. It can be trained to grow as a small tree and planted in the yard as a small tree in the landscape. It can also be maintained to a smaller size but will require pruning. The only time PeeGee hydrangea should not be pruned is when it has set flower buds. Ideally, it should be pruned while it is dormant. It is more fit as a loose shrub, as tight or frequent pruning or shearing will impede bloom.
In early summer, the flowers open as white, and hold the color for over a month. Towards the end of summer, they fade out to pink and green, holding that color until the frost. When the flowers have turned color, they are in prime condition for drying. To dry the flowers, pick and allow them to dry. They can be hung upside-down to dry, or simply put in a vase without water and let dry. The flowers will not dry when white, as they are too tender and not yet well formed. By the time they have turned color, they have become woody and will hold their shape when dried. Flowers persist on the bush into the winter unless the dried, brown flowers are removed in late fall.
By knowing the growth habit and preferences of PeeGee hydrangea, you can situate it where it will fit into the landscape and be productive, rather than end up becoming a disaster. That way, it can provide flowers for both the landscape and the table for many years.