Phantom Hydrangea Care:  Everything You Need to Know

Hydrangeas are gorgeous ornamental plants that can add an elegant touch to any landscape. Despite their delicate looks, they are versatile and hardy. Among the various hydrangeas varieties, one of the most eye-catching is, without a doubt, the Phantom Hydrangea.

This plant produces stunning masses of conical-shaped blooms that attract plenty of beneficial insects to your garden. But don’t be fooled by its sophisticated looks: if you know what to give it, this plant will not cause any issues.

But if you want to learn more about growing Phantom Hydrangea in your garden, keep reading. We collected all the information you must know in this essential guide.

Phantom Hydrangea

What you Need to Know About Phantom Hydrangea

Phantom Hydrangea is a lovely plant. Its most attractive feature is its thick and conical blooms that can grow up to fifteen inches long. However, the plant’s foliage is unique too and can add texture and volume to your garden. 

Under the ideal growing conditions, this hydrangea variety will spread fast. For this reason, many gardeners decide to make it the focal point of their gardens. Alternatively, you can use it as a border or hedge. Phantom Hydrangea will perform well in mass planting: you can deadhead the flowers and use them in dry arrangements.  

However, if you have kids or pets running around your garden, you should be careful with hydrangeas. Indeed, these plants are notoriously toxic to cats, dogs, and even horses. All parts of hydrangeas (including the roots and stems) will be poisonous to your animals. So, keep an eye on your hairy friends or consider planting other species if you are too worried they will inevitably munch on your plant’s leaves. Also, its foliage can aggravate skin allergies.

How to Care for Phantom Hydrangea

Phantom Hydrangea

While caring for a thriving Phantom Hydrangea isn’t anything out of this world, you should learn about the plant’s needs and requirements. Luckily, this plant isn’t too fussy, making it suitable even for beginner gardeners.

Here, we collected all the information you must have on hand when adding Phantom Hydrangea to your garden. Follow our tips, and you’ll be able to enjoy this stunning plant for years! 

Place your Phantom Hydrangea in a sunny location. Sunlight will ensure vivid blooms and enhance production. However, if you live in a hot region, you might have to provide your plant with some protection from the afternoon sun rays that might scorch its leaves.

While the plant has no issues tolerating the heat, it requires constant moisture to stay healthy (as you’ll learn in the following section). And exposure to sunlight will bring the best colors. 

Water and Soil Needs

One of the best things about Phantom Hydrangea is its versatility. This plant adapts to various soil conditions and doesn’t require a particular pH to produce blooms. However, a well-draining and rich substrate will allow your plant to grow better.

If you live in a warm region, you might have to increase the watering frequency during the hottest summer days. Indeed, your hydrangea requires constant moisture to stay healthy.

Of course, that doesn’t mean overwatering your plant: learn about its needs (by feeling the soil with your fingers) and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. Usually, your plant will need moisture at least once per week. 

While the plant might survive short periods of drought, regular watering is essential to its health. To prevent issues, consider adding a thick layer of organic mulch around your plant. It will increase drainage and improve water retention. Additionally, it can make nutrients better available to your hydrangea, which will make it less susceptible to diseases and infections. 

Temperature Requirements

Phantom Hydrangea

You can plant phantom hydrangeas in most US regions. This species is cold-hardy to zone 3 and tolerates the heat. However, it might not be the best plant for areas where summers are hot and dry. So, keep that in mind before adding this plant to your garden. 

Adding extra nutrients to your plant will boost its growth. But don’t overdo it: too much of a good thing can cause issues. Instead, choose a slow-release balanced fertilizer and follow the instructions you find on the label.

Apply the treatment during the growing phase (in the spring) to give your plant an early-season boost. You can also fertilize them a second time in July to enjoy their blooms for longer. 

Common Diseases 

Most hydrangeas are susceptible to some fungal and viral diseases. However, taking preventive measures (and care of your plant), you shouldn’t worry too much about them. Fungal infections will commonly appear if you overwater your plant.

So, besides placing your plant in an adequate substrate, you must also regulate your watering schedule. And if you notice drooping, yellowing, or reddish lesions on your plant’s leaves, consider reducing the watering frequency.

Also, space your plants adequately to ensure proper airflow. If necessary, prune their branches (use sterile shears to prevent any issues) and remove damaged or dead flowers to prevent the appearance of fungi. 

When watering your hydrangeas, do so without wetting the leaves: it will help you prevent the spread of most infections. Keeping your plant healthy will make it less susceptible to attacks from pests. Still, aphids and mites might visit your phantom hydrangea. Taking prompt action will save you plenty of headaches and contain any possible infestation.

Phantom Hydrangea Propagation

The best way to propagate your phantom hydrangea is to take stem cuttings. For best results, start the process in April and May. Pick healthy stems with at least three leaves and place them in a vase of water. The cuttings will root in a couple of weeks. After that, move them into a container with the right potting mix and wait for them to grow! 

Related Article: Do Hydrangeas Die in Winter?

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Plant 101: Phantom Hydrangea

Table of Contents

Unveiling the Marvel: Phantom Hydrangea

If you’re seeking the perfect blend of charm and uniqueness in a hydrangea, look no further than the Phantom Hydrangea. My fascination with this exquisite plant began when I first laid eyes on its spectacular flower heads, boasting immense, dense conical blooms that can reach up to an impressive 15 inches. The sturdy stems ensure these floral wonders don’t succumb to flopping, creating a stunning visual display.

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A Symphony of Colors Throughout the Seasons

According to my actual experience, the Phantom Hydrangea showcases a captivating color transformation. The blooms, opening in creamy white with subtle lime green flushes in midsummer, undergo a magical shift to soft to deep pink as the fall season approaches. This play of colors against the backdrop of oval, yellow-green leaves is a sight to behold.

A Sturdy Companion in the Garden

In my gardening journey, I discovered that the Phantom Hydrangea is not only visually striking but also a robust and easy-to-care-for shrub. With a fast-growing, deciduous nature, it adopts an upright, spreading habit, reaching heights of 6-10 feet. This makes it a versatile choice for various garden settings, from mixed shrub borders to accent plants or hedges.

Phantom Hydrangea Care: A Gardener’s Delight

Caring for the Phantom Hydrangea has been a joy. My personal experience underscores its preference for full sun or partial sun, thriving in rich, well-drained soils. The plant’s ability to tolerate heat and urban environments adds to its adaptability. According to my gardening routine, a touch of afternoon shade in hotter climates is beneficial. Regardless of soil pH, this hydrangea consistently delivers reliable flowering and maintains its flower color.

Spacing and Planting: Creating a Harmonious Landscape

The art of spacing is crucial in ensuring the health and longevity of the Phantom Hydrangea. With a height and spread ranging from 6 to 10 feet, proper spacing of 8 to 12 feet ensures each plant has ample room to flourish. My personal touch involves mass planting for dramatic summer blooms, using them as a focal point in shrub borders, or creating a picturesque hedge.

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Unraveling the Features: A Showcase of Elegance

Spectacular panicles and lasting displays.

The Phantom Hydrangea has earned its place as a garden star. Its extraordinarily large flower panicles create a spectacular display of dense white flower clusters, gradually transitioning to shades of pink with age. Sturdy stems support these blooms over an extended season, adding longevity to the visual feast. This hydrangea, whether allowed to grow naturally or pruned back, never fails to captivate as a garden focal point.

Versatile Uses in Garden Design

My personal exploration with the Phantom Hydrangea revealed its versatility in garden design. From ideal border plants and hedges to stunning specimens along fences or walls, the options are diverse. Grouping or massing these hydrangeas in a shrub border enhances their beauty, and they even thrive in large containers on patios or decks. The flowers, with their drying potential, bring an extra dimension to the garden’s aesthetic.

Planting, Watering, and Nurturing: A Gardener’s Handbook

Planting guide: laying the foundation for beauty.

When I planted my Phantom Hydrangea in the spring of 2021, they were small, resembling rooted cuttings. However, they quickly flourished, showcasing abundant flowers in their first year. The planting process involves choosing a location that allows roots to spread and branches to grow freely. Adequate spacing, enriching the soil with compost, and proper mulching contribute to the plant’s overall health.

Watering Wisdom: Nourishing the Roots

Watering, a vital aspect of hydrangea care, demands attention to the plant’s moisture needs. Depending on rainfall, new plants require weekly watering during the first growing season. My approach involves a slow, one-hour trickle of water or thorough soaking during hot spells. This encourages robust root growth and enhances the plant’s drought tolerance.

Pruning Rituals: Shaping Beauty

Pruning is an art that I’ve embraced in my gardening routine. Whether removing dead branches, encouraging bushier growth, or maintaining a specific size or shape, pruning plays a vital role. The Phantom Hydrangea responds well to pruning, and I prefer doing it anytime after the blooming season until early spring. This not only shapes the plant but also promotes compact growth.

Fertilizing: Nourishing for Optimal Growth

The Phantom Hydrangea benefits from fertilization every 2-3 years, ideally in early spring. Selecting the right fertilizer, following package directions, and avoiding over-fertilization are crucial steps. A nutritionally balanced formula or one designed for trees and shrubs ensures optimal growth without causing harm.

Personal Reflections: A Gardener’s Tale

As I reflect on my journey with the Phantom Hydrangea, I can’t help but marvel at its resilience and beauty. Planted as small specimens in 2021, they exceeded expectations, growing vigorously and producing an abundance of flowers in their inaugural year. The ease with which I pruned them back in the fall, allowing for a tight and compact appearance in the following spring, showcases the flexibility and hardiness of this remarkable plant.

A Symphony of Blooms in Every Season

The Phantom Hydrangea’s blooming period from July through September has become a highlight in my garden. The mature blooms, transitioning into a beautiful pink hue, add a touch of elegance and vibrancy. Their love for full sun and tolerance for partial shade make them a perfect fit for various garden settings.

A Personal Touch: Pruning and Propagation

One of my unique practices involves cutting back the Phantom Hydrangea in early spring, not just for maintenance but also for propagating new plants. Collecting the branches I remove, I utilize them for hardwood cuttings. This process, performed in late winter or early spring, has proven more effective for me than the traditional November/December timeline.

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In conclusion, my journey with the Phantom Hydrangea has been a delightful adventure filled with vibrant blooms, effortless care, and the joy of shaping a garden masterpiece. As I look forward to the next seasons with these enchanting hydrangeas, I’m reminded that gardening is not just a hobby; it’s a personal narrative written in petals and leaves.

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Phantom Hydrangea, Hydrangea paniculata ‘Phantom’

phantom hydrangea sun

Phantom Hydrangea is in the panicle family of hydrangeas. That means that it is super hardy and a very predictable bloomer. It blooms on current years growth. That means that the plant starts growing like crazy in the spring, then come mid summer it stops growing and makes a flower bud on the end of each new branch. That’s why they almost never fail to bloom.

Phantom Hydrange is hardy in zones 3 to 8.

phantom hydrangea sun

When I planted these five plants in the spring of 2020 they were very small plants, just a tad bigger than rooted cuttings. They took off growing like crazy and made a ton of flowers in their first year.

Phantom can grow to a height of 48″ to 60″ but you can prune them all you want and they will still bloom. I cut mine back really hard in the fall, that way when they take off growing the following spring they stay nice and tight and compact.

The ideal time to prune them is anytime after they finish blooming until early spring.

As the blooms mature they turn a beautiful pink color. Bloom time is July through September.

phantom hydrangea sun

Phantom loves full sun and will tolerate partial shade.

I actually cut mine back in very early spring because I collect the branches that I remove and use them to make hardwood cuttings. I now do all of my hardwood cuttings in the late winter, early spring because it just works so much better for me. I used to do Hardwood Cuttings in November/December. See these two links;

Easy Winter Time Plant Propagation that You Can Do at Home.

and this;

In this post you can see Pam and I making hydrangea cuttings with our two youngest grandkids.

Questions, comments, mean things to say? Post them below and I’ll respond.

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August 9, 2021 at 2:38 pm

Mike – thanks for this info. My new Phantom flowers look just as your pictures do with some pink splotches and some browning. Is the browning normal and to be expected?

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August 10, 2021 at 7:58 am

Yes, the browning is the fading of the flowers, the heat moves them along quicker.

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September 12, 2020 at 10:29 pm

Glad to come upon this article Mike! I planted 2 Phantom Hydrangeas in April 2020 and I am in Zone 7. They were about 2 feet tall and full of leaves when I purchased them. I planted them in a raised soil bed. They seemed to be doing great for a couple of months and then the leaves on both started turning brown and dying off. At first I thought that they were getting too much sun even though there is a large tree that partially shades them. I researched and read that they do well in sun. Finally, I figured that they had a fungus and got some fungal spray. I started a weekly regimen of fungal spray and cut off all the brown, dying leaves. They have grown new leaves very quickly and I had several flowers on one of them but the other has yet to flower. I’m hoping they will do better next year. At any rate, thanks for all of the information you provide! You are very helpful to us less experienced gardeners!

September 13, 2020 at 7:17 am

You’re welcome Janey.

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phantom hydrangea sun

Larger flower panicles can be obtained by thinning the plants to 5-10 primary shoots. In full bloom, the weight of the flower panicles will typically cause the branches to arch downward.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Hydrangea paniculata , commonly called panicle hydrangea, is a vigorous, upright, rapid-growing, somewhat coarsely textured, deciduous shrub that is native to China and Japan. It typically grows to 8-15’ (less frequently to 25’) tall, and features oval to ovate dark green leaves and upright, sharply-pointed, conical, terminal flower panicles (to 6-8” long) containing both fertile and sterile flowers (mostly non-showy fertile flowers) that bloom from mid-summer into fall. The genus name Hydrangea comes from hydor meaning "water" and aggeion meaning "vessel", in reference to the cup-like capsular fruit. The specific epithet paniculata refers to the arrangement of the flowers in panicles. 'Phantom' features very large flower heads held on sturdy, straight stems that are not prone to flopping. The terminal, cone-shape, panicle inflorescences can reach up to 15" long and are excellent for fresh cut or dried arrangements. The sterile florets emerge pale green and mature from bright white to pale pink by early fall. Mature specimens can reach up to 10' tall with an equal spread.

Some susceptibility to bud blight, bacterial wilt, leaf spot, rust and mildew. Aphids and mites are occasional visitors.

Mass or group in a mixed shrub border or open woodland garden. Also effective as a lawn specimen, accent or hedge. Provides late summer bloom when few other shrubs are in flower.

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How to Grow Phantom Hydrangea - Plant Care & Tips

Phantom hydrangea is a popular choice for both gardeners and landscapers. Its signature blue flowers are a beloved sight in the spring and summer, and its bold foliage provides a beautiful backdrop for other plants in the garden. Phantom hydrangea is a reliable plant that is easy to care for, and it will add interest and beauty to any garden.

How to Grow Phantom Hydrangea - Plant Care & Tips

Also known as

  • Wild hydrangea
  • Tree hydrangea
  • Bush hydrangea
  • Climbing hydrangea
  • Oakleaf hydrangea

Good to Know

  • Phantom hydrangeas are a type of plant that can be found in many different parts of the world.
  • They are known for their large, showy flowers that bloom in a range of colors.
  • Phantom hydrangeas are relatively easy to grow and care for, making them a popular choice for gardens and landscaping.
  • These plants prefer full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil.
  • Hydrangeas are generally propagated through division or rooting stem cuttings.
  • Flowers typically bloom in late spring or early summer and last for several weeks.
  • Deadheading spent blooms will encourage continued flowering throughout the season.
  • Phantom hydrangeas are generally pest and disease resistant.
  • These plants can range in height from 3-6 feet, depending on the variety.
  • Hydrangeas make excellent cut flowers for arranging.

Related plant: Hydrangea Paniculata Phantom

Growing Steps

  • For phantom hydrangea, first step is to take the cutting from the mother plant.
  • Cut a 4-6 inches long cutting from the new growth of the plant.
  • Remove the lower leaves of the cutting, leaving only 2-3 leaves at the top.
  • Dip the cutting in rooting hormone and plant it in a well-drained potting mix.
  • Water the cutting generously and place it in a bright, indirect sunlight.
  • The cutting will root within 4-6 weeks.
  • Once the cutting has rooted, fertilize it with a balanced fertilizer.
  • Water the plant regularly and allow the soil to dry out between watering.
  • Pinch the tips of the plant to encourage bushiness.
  • Enjoy your beautiful phantom hydrangea!

Soil Requirement

About soil condition, phantom hydrangea does best in well-drained soils with a consistent moisture supply. They will not tolerate waterlogged soils. A mulch of organic matter will help to maintain moisture levels and suppress weed growth.

About light

Similar to other hydrangeas, the phantom hydrangea prefers plenty of sun. It will blooms best if it gets at least six hours of sun each day. However, it can also tolerate partial shade. If you live in an area with hot summers, some afternoon shade is appreciated. It is important to ensure that the soil is well-drained, as this plant does not like wet feet.

Ideal Temperature

The temperature condition for phantom hydrangeas is cool to cold. They can toleratesummer heat and humidity, but they prefer cooler temperatures. They will bloom bestwhen the temperatures are in the 60-70 degree range.

Humidity Level

Ideal humidity condition for this plant is 50% The plant grow best in soil that is evenly moist, but well-drained. They are very sensitive to drought and will not tolerate dry conditions. Overly wet conditions can also be detrimental to the plant, causing root rot.


For the fertilizer, this plant does best with a slow-release fertilizer or something similar. For the roots, it is best to keep them moist but not soggy. If the roots get too dry, the plant will start to wilt. If the roots get too wet, the plant will start to rot.

Pruning your phantom hydrangea is important to ensure that the plant remains healthy and vigorous. When pruning, be sure to remove any dead or diseased wood, as well as any suckers that may be growing from the base of the plant. Additionally, you should thin out the plant to allow for better air circulation and light penetration. Finally, cut back the tips of the branches to encourage new growth.

The Propagation

Propagation is best done in late summer or early fall, by taking stem cuttings from new growth. Start with a sharp knife or pruners, and take cuttings that are 4-6 inches long. Cut just below a node, and remove the bottom leaves. Dip the cuttings in rooting hormone, then plant in a light, well-draining potting mix. Water well and keep moist, but not soggy. If you're growing your cuttings indoors, place them in a bright spot out of direct sunlight. New growth should appear within 4-6 weeks, at which point you can transplant to individual pots.

Growth Speed

Usually, the plant growth rate is rather slow, especially when they are young. However, they can grow quite quickly when they are provided with the ideal growing conditions. Adequate sunlight, soil, and water are essential for optimal growth. If the plant is grown in too much shade, it will become leggy and produce fewer blooms. Conversely, if the plant is grown in full sun, the leaves may become scorched.

The Problems

Common problems for this kind of plant are that the leaves may start to yellow and the plant may not bloom. If the plant does not have enough light, the leaves may start to turn yellow. If the plant is not getting enough water, the leaves may start to wilt.

Tips on Growing

  • Make sure to plant your phantom hydrangea in an area that receives full sun.
  • Prepare the soil before planting by loosening it and adding organic matter.
  • When planting, make sure to bury the root ball up to the top of the plant.
  • Water your phantom hydrangea regularly, making sure to keep the soil moist but not soggy.
  • Fertilize your plant once a month using a balanced fertilizer.
  • Prune your plant regularly to encourage new growth and to keep it from becoming overgrown.
  • Keep an eye out for pests and diseases and treat them quickly if they appear.
  • Deadhead spent blooms regularly to encourage more flowers.
  • Cut back the plant in late winter or early spring to promote new growth.
  • Enjoy the beautiful blooms of your phantom hydrangea all summer long!

Similar Plants

  • Philadelphus coronarius - Mock Orange
  • Philadelphus microphyllus - Mock Orange
  • Philadelphus inodorus - Mock Orange
  • Philadelphus lemoinei - Mock Orange
  • Philadelphus purpurascens - Mock Orange
  • Philadelphus thomsonii - Mock Orange
  • Philadelphus ×subcoveranus 'Lurieux' - Mock Orange
  • Philadelphus ×subcoveranus 'Manteau d'Hermine' - Mock Orange
  • Philadelphus x thomsonii - Mock Orange

Source: Growing Hydrangeas - Center for Agriculture, Food, and the … Hydrangea - University of Connecticut Take a Look at Hydrangeas - Penn State Extension

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Hydrangea paniculata 'Phantom'

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Phantom Panicle Hydrangea

‘Phantom’ is a medium sized shrub 6 ft. high and 6 ft. wide with a branching habit. The flowerheads are huge, measuring up to 15 inches with a mixture of showy but sterile flowers and smaller, fertile ones. Strong stems hold the flower clusters upright and prevent drooping. The flowers emerge white with a green tint in July, turn pink as they mature, and continue to bloom until fall. The color of the flowers is not affected by the pH of the soil. Phantom blooms on the current season’s wood so it is not susceptible to late spring frosts. It does well in full sun to light shade and is moderately drought - tolerant. This is a hybrid of Hydrangea paniculata which is native to Japan, China and Korea where it grows at altitudes up to 4,000 ft. In 2008 Phantom received the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society.

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Hydrangea paniculata 'Phantom'

  • Height: 2.5m Spread: 2.5m
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The panicle hydrangea, Hydrangea paniculata , bears broad flower cones rather than rounded heads like mophead or lacecap hydrangeas. Most cultivars flower from late summer to autumn. They are less sensitive to the pH of the soil than many hydrangeas, but benefit from growing in moist but well-drained, fertile soil.

Hydrangea paniculata 'Phantom' has enormous white flower panicles, which emerge pale green in early summer and fade to white as they mature. For best results, prune back ‘Phantom’ back hard to around 30cm above ground level each year, and mulch with a thick layer of well-rotted organic matter.

‘Phantom’ is perfect for growing in a mixed herbaceous border, especially among other hydrangeas.

Find out more:

  • How to grow hydrangeas
  • How to prune hydrangeas

Plant calendar

Hydrangea ‘phantom’ and wildlife.

Hydrangea ‘Phantom’ has no particular known value to wildlife in the UK.

Is Hydrangea ‘Phantom’ poisonous?

Hydrangea ‘Phantom’ can be toxic.

Plants that go well with Hydrangea 'Phantom'

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Panicle Hydrangea, Tree Hydrangea 'Phantom'

Hydrangea paniculata.

Hydrangea paniculata by chicagojjeff

Unknown - Tell us

This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Semmes, Alabama

Eustis, Florida

Boise, Idaho

Chicago, Illinois

Takoma Park, Maryland

Weymouth, Massachusetts

Brevard, North Carolina

Richmond, Virginia

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Gardener's notes:.

I haven't had the Phantom for long--I bought it last summer, 2009, at the garden center of a home improvement department store. As a mat ...Read More ter of fact, I bought four of them, each in three gallon pots, for a total of only thirty dollars. They were discounted because they were rootbound and had dried out and were no longer presentable for the remainder of the season. I passed two along to a friend, kept one in the pot (well, in a seven-gallon pot), and planted the other in the back of my back yard. It is looking lovely now--no blossoms yet (it's only April) but the other that I kept, and the two that my friend took, survived this unusually cold winter in their pots. Tough little super-hero, the Phantom.

hi i've just come back from the chicago botanic garden (we are in middling zone 5) to see a wide array of hydrangea paniculata in ...Read More their late stages of bloom . here's my report card on what i've seen: Limelight is an excellent bloomer with many medium-small but very full clusters. THey are now in September a very attractive white with perhaps a hint of green or brown. Absolute best choice for hydrangea paniculata. not the tallest variety. The best white faded to pink I saw was Phantom, with huge very-weighed down very attractive very pink clusters. Medium tall. Beyond that many had clusters not very full ranging from white (mostly) to pink or a hint of brown. Tardiva is a good example, good overall but not very full and not very pink. Tall. Other examples include Big Ben, Pink Diamond, Pee Wee. Big Ben and Pink Diamon were very modestly pink. Silver Dollar is very much like Limelight, but since Limelight is so much better in every respect I'd go for Limelight. Phantom is the hydrangea of the future. It has the largest and fullest flower panacles that turn to a beautiful pink and then brown. It is new. The Chicago Botanic Garden got its plants from Holland. Two wholesalers are known to be carrying this plant for Spring 2008: Mori Nursery in Ontario, Canada , as well as Klyn in Ohio. My nursery in Illinois searched far and wide to locate me some plants. This plant needs more coverage and more wholesalers. jeff chicago

From "Encyclopedia of Hydrangeas" C.J. and D.M. Van Gelderen (2004 - Timber Press). A large shrub with many long branches. The juvenile ...Read More leaves are yellowish green. The panicles are large, like those of 'Grandiflora' consisting of mostly sterile florets, creamy white and turning to a good pink in early autumn.

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Hydrangea paniculata 'Phantom'/Phantom Hydrangea

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Phantom Panicle Hydrangea

Enormous blooms, hardy phantom panicle hydrangea grows tall.

  • Sophisticated Large Scale Shrub
  • Creamy White Flower Clusters Grow up to 15 Inches Long
  • Strong, Sturdy Stems Easily Hold up the Blooms Without Flopping Over
  • Dense Conical Flowers Wonderful in Cut Arrangements
  • Bloom Display Lasts and Lasts
  • Tall, Showy Shrub Great as a Backdrop, Screening or Living Fence
  • Incredibly Cold Hardy Panicle Hydrangea
  • Truly Easy Care
  • Urban Tolerant
  • Grow in Full Sun or Light Partial Shade
  • Winner of the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit

Phantom Panicle Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata Phantom') is a beautiful tall variety that grows massive, 15-inch flower panicles that are well supported by sturdy, strong stems. You'll be amazed, but your gigantic flowers won't droop down to the ground .

Phantom features gigantic blooms that are wide at the base and narrow a bit as they extend upward. It only takes a few to create magnificent cut flower arrangements , so you'll have plenty to enjoy in your garden landscape.

This is an impressive multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub with an upright form. The woody stems are strong, and the branching is uniform on this pretty shrub. With those impressive blooms held aloft, Phantom is sure to become one of your favorite flowering shrubs.

In early summer, the delicate blossoms appear with a light-green hue. The blooms slowly transition to pristine white for summertime display. They age to a lovely light-pink shade for autumn . Leave them standing for winter interest.

The huge blooms appear at regular intervals from top to bottom and side to side. You'll love the flowering symmetry! No wonder the Royal Horticultural Society awarded Phantom their prestigious Award of Garden Merit.

You can count on the performance , even up into the near Arctic Zone 3. Phantom is the most cold-hardy of all the white Panicle Hydrangea and will easily bounce back after tough winters.

Phantom blooms year after year with little maintenance . Simply trim back about 1/3 of the overall size of the shrub each year in early spring before the plant starts to grow. You can easily maintain your plants between 5-10 feet tall in a rounded form.

Hydrangeas come in many colors and forms, but few can rival the majestic size and color of the Phantom Hydrangea. Order from us today!

How to Use Phantom Hydrangea in the Landscape

Phantom Hydrangea is a wonderful large-scale shrub that makes a fabulous backdrop and screening plant. Celebrate a special occasion by planting these wonderfully decorative shrubs . It grows large enough to make a big impact in the garden design, after all. You'll forever remember the day you planted them.

Include at least one in your cutting garden where you will cut and use those flowers fresh or dried. Have a marriage coming up? Plant several now and harvest the blooms for fabulous Do-It-Yourself decorations.

Love the Holidays? Allow the blooms to finish drying on the shrub, then cut and spray with gold or silver spray paint to add a bright pop in your trimmings of Holly and other evergreens.

It makes a spectacular addition to foundation plantings as a specimen plant to anchor a corner of your home or porch. Try an informal grouping of Phantom Hydrangeas to create an impressive focal point in your yard. It's a perfect backdrop on the north side of smaller shrubs and perennials.

Run Phantom along the length of your existing fence to easily add height and soften the look. We've even them staggered in a zig-zagged planting pattern on either side of a low picket fence and it looked terrific!

It is a big grower and makes an excellent addition to the sunny side of a windbreak or shelterbelt . These flowering plants adding density and lots of interest especially against taller evergreens.

Phantom makes a fantastic informal hedge. You'll love the privacy. Space them 4-5 foot apart on center to make a solid screen. You'll measure from the center of one to the center of the next.

Just remember that no one ever said a row has to be stick straight! Why not meander the sight line to follow the contours of your landscape? Boost the romance with curved lines that create little hidden moments for sweet set of cozy chairs or even a lazy hammock to while away an afternoon with a good book!

Try these gorgeous shrubs as living green walls to create a Secret Garden for yourself . Indulge your dearest garden fantasies with the ethereal blooms of the Phantom Panicle Hydrangea.

#ProPlantTips for Care

This beautiful shrub is exceptionally cold hardy and very easy to care for . While it can be grown in either sun or partial shade, please know that it will flower best in a sunny spot.

In the very coldest Zone 3 gardens, it's a good idea to give it a protected spot from the very worst of the bitter winter winds. Try planting on the sunny side of taller evergreen trees or on the south side of your home or outbuilding.

Give it well-drained soil or improve your drainage with a technique called mounding up. Add additional soil to 18 - 24 and plant directly in that mound. You can also create lovely raised beds to bring visual structure to your planting designs.

Give your plants a moderate amount of water on a regular basis. This is especially important in spring. Don't let the soil dry out during the flower development stage to encourage big, huge flower heads. Give your Hydrangea paniculata 'Phantom' a nice, thick layer of mulch over its root system to keep it nice, moist, and cool.

Prune back hard in early spring, and you'll enjoy fresh new flowering growth later in the season. This is a simple yearly task that should be done before the plant has started to leaf out.

Don't prune once you see new growth, or you'll risk cutting off those breathtaking blooms for the year!

Before your shrubs start growing in early spring, trim the overall size back by about a third. Keep a rounded shape for the best results and make pruning cuts at a 45-degree angle just above a fat, swollen leaf bud. In this manner, you can easily maintain the of the overall size from 5 to 10 feet tall.

Once your Phantom is mature, conduct a regular schedule of renewal pruning cuts every few years in early spring. Remove the oldest, thickest stems all the way down to the ground. You'll leave the younger, thinner stems and shorten them up by a third. Your shrub will love this freshening up and respond beautifully.

Enjoy the astounding blooms and high performance of the Phantom Panicle Hydrangea. Order from the expert growers of Nature Hills today!

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Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

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Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

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Grateful Red Hydrangeas


How to Care for Panicled Hydrangea 'phantom'


Basic Care Guide


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Know the light your plants really get.


Advanced Care Guide




More About How-Tos

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Common Pests & Diseases

Wilting after blooming

Treat and prevent plant diseases.

plant poor

  • At first, flowers may look a little limp.
  • Petals may start to appear dried out and turn brown.
  • Eventually they may drop off the plant all together.

Disease Cause

  • Check the soil or potting medium. Coarse textures can allow water to drain too rapidly, preventing the plant from taking up enough. If the soil and roots seem very dry, add sphagnum moss or other mediums that hold water.
  • Water according to recommendations for each plant's species.
  • Low humidity can be corrected by misting the plant regularly or placing it near a humidifier. Keeping it near other plants helps, too.
  • Keep the environment consistent in terms of temperature, humidity, and lighting. Keep it away from vents, heaters, and air conditioners, and avoid moving it to locations where it will experience a temperature shock. Hot, dry heat, and cold drafts are problematic for many plants.
  • Especially if the plant is outside, it could be experiencing heat or light stress. Try moving it to a shadier location.


  • Read up on moisture, light, and soil type preferences for each plant to avoid underwatering, incorrect light levels, or other conditions that can cause wilting blooms.
  • Avoid re-potting during the flowering period. This causes additional stress on the plants because they need to repair root damage and adapt to the new micro-environment, all of which can result in wilting.
  • One other potential cause is ethylene gas, a plant hormone related to ripening. Some fruits and vegetables emit ethylene, especially bananas. Apples, grapes, melons, avocados, and potatoes can also give it off, so keep flowering plants away from fresh produce.


  • Apply insecticide . For an organic solution, spray plants with a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which specifically affects the larval stage of moths and butterflies. Be sure to coat plants, since caterpillars need to ingest Bt for it to be effective. This will not harm other insects.
  • Spray a chili extract . Chili seeds can be cooked in water to make a spicy spray that caterpillars don't like. Spray this mixture on the plants, but be aware it will also be spicy to humans.
  • Introduce beneficial insects . Release beneficial insects to the garden that eat caterpillars, such as parasitic wasps.
  • Hand pick . Using gloves, pick off caterpillars on plants and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water.
  • Dust plants with diatomaceous earth . This powder is harmless to humans but irritates caterpillars. Therefore, it will make it difficult for caterpillars to move and eat.
  • Monitor plants . Check plants regularly for caterpillar eggs on leaves. If they do not belong to an endangered species, they should be squished.
  • Use insect netting . Cover plants with insect netting to prevent butterflies and moths from laying eggs on plants.
  • Apply diatomaceous earth . Apply DE to plants early in the season and reapply after rain.
  • Encourage plant diversity . This will attract predatory insects including parasitic wasps.
  • Wilted, droopy flowers
  • Petals and leaves begin to wrinkle
  • Brown papery streaks or spots appear on the petals and leaf tips
  • Flowerhead shrink in size
  • Petal color fades
  • Yellowing leaves
  • Complete death of the flower
  • Water plants according to their needs -- either keep the soil slightly moist or allow the top inch or two to dry out before watering again.
  • Fertilize lightly on a consistent basis, depending upon the plant’s growth. Quick-growing plants and those that flower or develop fruit will need more frequent fertilizing than slow-growing plants.
  • Purchase plants that are certified disease- or pathogen-free.
  • Look for disease-resistant cultivars.
  • Isolate plants showing disease symptoms to prevent the spread to neighboring plants.
  • Practice good plant hygiene by removing any fallen plant material as soon as possible.
  • Pallid spots on colored petals.
  • Brown spots on white petals.
  • Browning around the petal edges.
  • Small spots look water-soaked.
  • Spots rapidly enlarge and merge.
  • Flowers become limp.
  • The entire flower turns light brown, but does not crumble.
  • Flowers become slimy at first and then take on a leathery texture.
  • A ring of white or gray mycelium can be seen at the base of the petals.
  • Apply a preventative dose of fungicide as soon as blooms start to show color on the plant. The preventative can be applied as a soil drench or directly to the flowers on the plant.
  • Avoid overhead watering during blooming.
  • Remove any leaf litter and dead flowers at the end of the season.
  • Cover the ground under infected plants with 4” of fresh organic mulch before winter, taking care not to disturb the infected soil.
  • Buy bare-root specimens when available.
  • When potted plants are purchased, remove the top layer of potting soil and replace it with fresh mulch.
  • Plant cultivars that bloom early in the season before the temperatures get high enough for petal blight pathogens to be spreading.


More About Panicled Hydrangea 'phantom'

Plant Type

Find your perfect green friends.


Common Problems

Why are leaves withering.


My panicled hydrangea 'Phantom' did not bloom much in past years: only one flower last year. What can I do?

How do i change the color of panicled hydrangea 'phantom' flowers.


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How to plant your hydrangea

Phantom Hydrangea

Phantom Hydrangea

  • Blooms shift from creamy white to rose pink over the season
  • Boasts large panicle flowers
  • Tolerant of salt and other urban conditions
  • Height 6 - 10 feet
  • Flowering Date Blooms mid summer to fall
  • Sun Exposure Full Sun, Partial Shade
  • Ship As 1 GALLON POT
  • Ship As 3 GALLON POT
  • Ship As 4" POT

We have received your request. You will be notified when this product is in stock.

$24.99 Per Plant.

Product Description

Product details, planting tips, recently viewed, botanical name:.

  • Form: Shrub
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun, Partial Shade
  • Height/Habit: 6 - 10 feet
  • Spread: 6 - 10 feet
  • Spacing: 8 - 10 feet
  • Hardiness Zone: 4-8
  • Flowering Date: Blooms mid summer to fall
  • Planting Instructions: Did a hole large enough to accommodate the roots. Spread them around and fill in dirt so that the crown of the plant is level with the soil.
  • Winter Care: Mulch as needed in colder climates
  • Shipped: 1 GALLON POT
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Shipping Season: Fall
  • Flower Color: Pink, White
  • Flower Form: Large panicle clusters
  • Foliage Type: Ovate, yellow-green leaves
  • Soil Requirement: Moist, well-drained soil
  • Watering Requirement: Average water needs
  • Restricted States: AE AK GU HI PR VI
  • Shipped: 3 GALLON POT
  • Restricted States: AE AK CA GU HI ID OR PR WA
  • Shipped: 4" POT
  • Restricted States: AE AK GU HI PR

When will my order ship?

Plants will be shipped at the proper planting time for your area of the country during the shipping timeframes outlined below:

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Hydrangea, Panicle 'Phantom'

Phantom Hydrangea | Hydrangea paniculata 'Phantom'

Height:  8 feet

Spread:  8 feet

Sunlight: full sun to full shade

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Brand:  Gertens


A bold and audacious shrub that produces endless reams of massive and dense conical white flower clusters at the ends of the branches; probably the fullest flower heads of the pannicle hydrangeas; a rather coarse shrub, benefits from a regular pruning

Ornamental Features

Phantom Hydrangea features bold conical white flowers at the ends of the branches from mid summer to late fall. The flowers are excellent for cutting. It has green deciduous foliage. The pointy leaves do not develop any appreciable fall color.

Landscape Attributes

Phantom Hydrangea is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.

This is a high maintenance shrub that will require regular care and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Phantom Hydrangea is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Phantom Hydrangea will grow to be about 8 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 8 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This shrub performs well in both full sun and full shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Hydrangea, Panicle 'First Editions® Vanilla Strawberry™'


How Fast Do Phantom Hydrangeas Grow

The Hydrangea paniculata “Phantom” reaches heights of six to ten feet and spreads out to an equal distance. Eight to twelve feet center on center should be the recommended spacing for this hydrangea. The lifetime and health of your plant are ensured by proper spacing.

How long does a hydrangea take to reach its maximum size?

I’ll address some of the most typical queries about hydrangea plant care in this section. If you can’t find your response here, post it in the comments section and I’ll respond as soon as possible.

Are hydrangeas easy to care for?

Hydrangeas are indeed quite simple to maintain when given the proper growing conditions. They are resilient plants that require little maintenance and will flourish for many years.

How big do hydrangeas grow?

According to the variety. Dwarf species can grow to only a few feet tall, while larger ones can grow up to 15 feet tall. Always look at the plant tag to see the precise size that your chosen hydrangea will reach.

Can hydrangeas tolerate full sun?

In colder climes, certain hydrangeas may be able to endure a placement in full sun. To achieve the greatest results, it’s better to put them where they will receive some partial shade.

How long does it take for a hydrangea to grow to full size?

Hydrangeas take between two and four years to attain their maximum size, despite the fact that they are fast-growing shrubs. Some people mature more quickly than others.

Hydrangeas are easy to grow and are tolerant of almost any climate. The nicest aspect is that you can have a wide variety of those big, beautiful blooms all summer long because there are so many different species. Your hydrangeas will flourish for many years to come with the right care.

What size does a Phantom hydrangea reach?

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.

Where should a Phantom hydrangea be planted?

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.

How can I speed up the growth of my hydrangea?

Although the hydrangea’s leaves and flowers seem delicate, little careful care is actually needed for them. Everything you need to know about caring for hydrangeas is provided in these recommendations.

  • Over the course of the growing season, water at a rate of 1 inch per week. To promote root growth, deeply water three times each week. All varieties of hydrangeas benefit from constant moisture, but bigleaf and smooth hydrangeas need more water. To water thoroughly while keeping moisture off the flowers and leaves, use a soaker hose. Hydrangeas won’t wilt as much if they are watered early in the day on hot days.
  • To keep the soil around your hydrangeas cool and moist, add mulch. Over time, an organic mulch decomposes, supplying nutrients and enhancing soil texture.
  • Apply fertilizer according to the type of hydrangeas you have. Every variety has varied requirements and will profit from applying fertilizer at various times. A soil test is the most effective tool for determining your fertility requirements.
  • In March, May, and June, bigleaf hydrangeas require numerous mild fertilizer applications.
  • 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.
  • By selecting cultivars with resistant characteristics, you can avoid pests and diseases. Hydrangeas can have leaf spots, bight, wilt, and powdery mildew. Although they are uncommon on hydrangeas, pests might arise when the plants are under stress. Aphids, leaf tiers, and red spider mites are examples of potential pests. Your best line of defense is to properly care for hydrangeas.

How much time does a new hydrangea require to bloom?

There could be a number of causes for hydrangeas not to bloom. Since we can grow five different species of hydrangeas, some explanations vary based on which type it is.

But first, let’s cover the broad causes. The bush might not be fully developed for blooming. The majority of woody plants don’t bloom until they are rather mature. If a newly planted bush had flower buds when it was in a pot, it might bloom the first year. However, after that, it might not bloom for a year or two as it gets used to the soil in its new position. Instead of flower buds, it is actively forming new roots and branches. There will be a lot more flowers when it eventually starts to blossom again because the bush has indeed “bushed” out!

Sadder still, it’s possible that deer have devoured the flower buds. Where deer have pulled the buds off because they lack incisors, look for rough torn stem ends. Additionally, because all hydrangeas require moisture to thrive, blossoming may not take place if a drought strikes at the incorrect time.

The timing of some hydrangea pruning by gardeners has been off. At this point, determining the species becomes crucial. We have two species that flower on fresh wood (new growth of the current growing season). These include the panicle hydrangea, Hydrangea paniculata, also known as the PG hydrangea, which is frequently seen densely planted in cemeteries, and the native smooth hydrangea, Hydrangea arborescens, which is frequently sold under the cultivar name “Annabelle” and typically has white mophead flowers. Early spring is a good time to prune these two species, and the new growth will bloom later in the summer.

Our other three hydrangea species, however, only flower on aged wood (growth from the previous growing season). The native oakleaf hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia, with stunning crimson or maroon fall foliage color, the climbing hydrangea, Hydrangea anomala petiolaris, a fantastic vine for partial shade, and the majority of the highly popular blue or pink bigleaf hydrangea, Hydrangea macrophylla, are included. The flower buds will probably be removed if these plants are pruned in the fall or early spring. It is preferable to prune immediately following blooming, before the new flower buds emerge.

The bigleaf hydrangea has undergone a number of new types over the past few years. They bloom on both old and new wood, hence the name “remontant.” Growing these types will help one prevent a further cause of poor bloom. Flower buds on older, non-remontant types of Hydrangea macrophylla frequently die in our cold winters. However, gardeners who reside in urban areas or close to bodies of water, where the winters are less severe, frequently have success with these types. A winter with a thick layer of snow may also adequately shield the flower buds from the cold in rural areas.

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.

Phantom is a what species of hydrangea?

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Phantom,’ known for its stunning flower heads, with enormous, dense conical blossoms that can reach a height of 15 inches (37 cm), perched on sturdy, stiff stems that do not flop. As October approaches, the florets change from creamy white with a hint of lime green to gentle to deep pink. The circular, yellow-green leaves of the foliage let the blossoms stand out against it well. This beautiful shrub is ideal for producing a very magnificent flowering appearance because it is robust, minimal maintenance, and long-lived. wonderful cut flowers.

  • Winner of the esteemed Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit
  • This quick-growing deciduous shrub can reach heights of 6 to 10 feet and a width of the same (180-300 cm).
  • It enjoys full or partial sun, thrives in rich, medium-moisture, well-drained soils, and can withstand heat in an urban setting. In hot summer climates, afternoon shade is advised.
  • Plant that is simple to grow and has consistent flowering and flower color independent of soil pH.
  • For magnificent summer blossoms, plant large quantities of mixed shrub borders in front of fences, taller shrubs, and trees. Excellent as a hedge or accent plant as well. Panicles can be clipped for drying or for use in fresh arrangements.
  • The best time to prune is in the early spring or late winter. Blooms appear on the growth of the current season, guaranteeing dependable flowering.
  • Native to southern and eastern China, Korea, Japan, and Russia is the hydrangea paniculata species.

On aged 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.

Which white hydrangea is the best?

  • Psilocybe paniculata In home gardens, white panicle hydrangeas are extremely prevalent. These adaptable plants, known for their distinctive conical flower shape, may flourish in a variety of growth environments. Paniculata varieties frequently show to be able to endure greater sun as well as a variety of soil conditions when it comes to cultivating white hydrangeas. There are many white hydrangeas, but many of them also exhibit pink or green tones. The cultivars “Bobo,” “Limelight,” “Little Lime,” “Great Star,” “Quickfire,” and “Sundae Fraise” all yield white hydrangea blossoms.
  • Quercifolia hydrangea
  • These plants, often known as oakleaf hydrangeas, are renowned for their protracted pyramid-shaped flower spikes. They are the perfect hydrangea for gardeners in more difficult growing zones because they can endure greater temperatures and drier soil conditions. White varieties of oakleaf hydrangeas include “Gatsby Gal,” “Gatsby Moon,” “Snow King,” and “Alice.”
  • Hydrophylla hydrangea
  • Hydrangeas known as macrophyllas or mopheads feature extraordinarily big flowers that frequently bloom in a variety of vivid hues. However, there are these kind of pure white hydrangea shrubs. Cultivars like “Fireworks,” “Lanarth White,” and “Blushing Bride” may be the most productive for those growing white hydrangea bushes.
  • arborescent hydrangea
  • Some of the most well-liked white smooth hydrangeas include “Annabelle,” “Incrediball,” and “Invincibelle Wee White.” These white hydrangeas are known to flourish in shady garden sites and, in the right circumstances, may even naturalize.

When hydrangeas turn brown, what should you do?

Your hydrangea shrubs’ blossoms appear to be withering or turning brown. No need to worry—this is merely a signal that it’s time to deadhead—remove the blossoms from the plant.

Deadheading hydrangeas doesn’t cause any damage to the plants at all. Flowering shrubs stop producing seeds when the spent blooms are removed, and instead focus their efforts on developing their roots and leaves. You will be doing your hydrangeas a favor by deadheading because this strengthens and makes plants healthier.

Why do my hydrangeas seem to be growing so slowly?

Hydrangeas are thirsty plants in all of their varieties. These plants need a lot of water, especially when they are just starting out in your garden or plant container.

One of the most frequent causes of this issue with hydrangeas is a lack of water, which can result in stunted growth in your plant. As most people are unaware of how much water these plants require to flourish and grow properly, underwatering your hydrangeas is simple to undertake.

If your hydrangeas’ soil dries out in between waterings, this could interfere with the growth of your plant and prevent your hydrangeas from blooming. Hydrangeas like their soil to be continually moist.

If you have hydrangeas, you should water them according to their type and the environment they are kept in. If you have a bigleaf kind of hydrangea and live in a dry, hot area, for instance, you will need to water your hydrangea every other day to keep it from drying out.

To grow in your care, hydrangeas require at least two inches of water every week. Therefore, you will need to water your hydrangeas more frequently if you leave them outside and there isn’t much rain.

A rain gauge can help you monitor the amount of rain your Hydrangeas are receiving and how much additional watering is necessary.

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Planetary Defense

Remembering the Chelyabinsk Impact 10 Years Ago, and Looking to the Future

phantom hydrangea sun

On Feb. 15, 2013, the people of Chelyabinsk, Russia, experienced a shocking event, and yet it was a small fraction of the devastation an asteroid on a collision course with Earth could yield. As NASA’s Planetary Defense experts reflect on the Chelyabinsk impact 10 years ago, they also look forward to the future and all that the agency has since accomplished in the field of Planetary Defense.

Harmless meteoroids, and sometimes small asteroids, impact our planet’s atmosphere daily. When they do, they disintegrate and create meteors or “shooting stars” and sometimes bright fireballs or bolides. Such was the case on Feb. 12 when a very small asteroid impacted Earth’s atmosphere over Northern France soon after discovery, resulting in a spectacular light show for local onlookers. Much more rarely, a larger asteroid that is still too small to reach the ground intact, yet large enough to release considerable energy when it disintegrates, can do significant damage to the ground. On Feb. 15, 2013, one such bolide event garnered international attention when a house-sized asteroid impacted Earth’s atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, Russia, at a speed of eleven miles per second and exploded 14 miles above the ground. The explosion was equivalent to 440,000 tons of TNT, and the resulting air blast blew out windows over 200 square miles, damaged buildings, and injured over 1,600 people – mostly due to broken glass. Due to the asteroid’s approach from the daytime sky, it was not detected prior to impact, serving as a reminder that while there are no known asteroid threats to Earth for the next century, an Earth impact by an unknown asteroid could occur at any time.

Coincidentally, negotiations sponsored by the United Nations were finalizing formal recommendations for the establishment of Planetary Defense-related international collaborations – the International Asteroid Warning Network  (IAWN) and the  Space Missions Planning Advisory Group  (SMPAG) – when the Chelyabinsk impact occurred. Since then, NASA established the agency’s  Planetary Defense Coordination Office  (PDCO) in 2016 to oversee and coordinate the agency’s ongoing mission of Planetary Defense. This includes acting as a national representative at international Planetary Defense-related caucuses and forums, such as IAWN and SMPAG, and playing a leading role in coordinating U.S. government planning for response to an actual asteroid impact threat if one were ever discovered. The PDCO also funds observatories around the world through NASA’s Near-Earth Object (NEO) Observations Program to find and characterize NEOs – asteroids and comets that come within 30 million miles of Earth – with a particular focus on finding asteroids 460 feet (140 meters) and larger that represent the most severe impact risks to Earth. To help accelerate its ability to find potentially hazardous NEOs, NASA is also actively developing the agency’s NEO Surveyor mission , which is designed to finish discovery of 90 percent of asteroids 140 meters in size or larger that can come near Earth within a decade of being launched.

In 2022, working together with the Italian Space Agency, NASA’s   Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission successfully demonstrated the world’s first-ever test for deflecting an asteroid’s orbit. Launched in 2021 , DART successfully collided with a known asteroid – which posed no impact threat to Earth – demonstrating one method of asteroid deflection technology using a kinetic impactor spacecraft. Since DART’s impact, Planetary Defense experts have been continuing to analyze data returned from the mission to better understand its demonstrated effects on the asteroid, which contributes to the understanding of how a kinetic impactor spacecraft could be used to address an asteroid impact threat in the future if the need ever arose.

The Chelyabinsk impact was a spark that ignited global conversation in Planetary Defense, and much progress in the field has occurred since then. However, there is still more work to be done, and NASA is actively at the forefront. In addition to building NASA’s NEO Surveyor to find the rest of the population of asteroids that could pose a hazard to Earth, the agency is considering a “rapid response reconnaissance” capability to be able to quickly obtain a more detailed characterization of a hazardous asteroid once it is discovered. NASA is also considering sending out a reconnaissance spacecraft to study an asteroid making a close approach to Earth in 2029.

“A collision of a NEO with Earth is the only natural disaster we now know how humanity could completely prevent” said NASA Planetary Defense Officer Lindley Johnson. “We must keep searching for what we know is still out there, and we must continue to research and test Planetary Defense technologies and capabilities that could one day protect our planet’s inhabitants from a devastating event.”

Learn more about  NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office

Keep up to date on NASA’s Planetary Defense efforts by following Asteroid Watch on twitter

  • Five Years after the Chelyabinsk Meteor: NASA Leads Efforts in Planetary Defense
  • Around the World in Four Days: NASA Tracks Chelyabinsk Meteor Plume
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Around the world in four days: nasa tracks chelyabinsk meteor plume.

Madison Arnold

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Atmospheric physicist Nick Gorkavyi missed witnessing an event of the century last winter when a meteor exploded over his hometown of Chelyabinsk, Russia. From Greenbelt, Md., however, NASA’s Gorkavyi and colleagues witnessed a never-before-seen view of the atmospheric aftermath of the explosion.

Shortly after dawn on Feb. 15, 2013, the meteor, or bolide, measuring 59 feet (18 meters)  across and weighing 11,000 metric tons, screamed into Earth’s atmosphere at 41,600 mph (18.6 kilometers per second). Burning from the friction with Earth’s thin air, the space rock exploded 14.5 miles (23.3 kilometers) above Chelyabinsk.

The explosion released more than 30 times the energy from the atom bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. For comparison, the ground-impacting meteor that triggered mass extinctions, including the dinosaurs, measured about 6 miles (10 kilometers) across and released about 1 billion times the energy of the atom bomb.

Model and satellite data show that four days after the bolide explosion, the faster, higher portion of the plume (red) had snaked its way entirely around the northern hemisphere and back to Chelyabinsk, Russia.

Some of the surviving pieces of the Chelyabinsk bolide fell to the ground. But the explosion also deposited hundreds of tons of dust up in the stratosphere, allowing a NASA satellite to make unprecedented measurements of how the material formed a thin but cohesive and persistent stratospheric dust belt. 

“We wanted to know if our satellite could detect the meteor dust,” said Gorkavyi, of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., who led the study, which has been accepted for publication in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. “Indeed, we saw the formation of a new dust belt in Earth’s stratosphere, and achieved the first space-based observation of the long-term evolution of a bolide plume.”

Gorkavyi and colleagues combined a series of satellite measurements with atmospheric models to simulate how the plume from the bolide explosion evolved as the stratospheric jet stream carried it around the Northern Hemisphere.

About 3.5 hours after the initial explosion, the Ozone Mapping Profiling Suite instrument’s Limb Profiler on the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite detected the plume high in the atmosphere at an altitude of about 25 miles (40 kilometers), quickly moving east at about 190 mph (more than 300 kph).

The day after the explosion, the satellite detected the plume continuing its eastward flow in the jet and reaching the Aleutian Islands. Larger, heavier particles began to lose altitude and speed, while their smaller, lighter counterparts stayed aloft and retained speed – consistent with wind speed variations at the different altitudes.

By Feb. 19, four days after the explosion, the faster, higher portion of the plume had snaked its way entirely around the Northern Hemisphere and back to Chelyabinsk. But the plume’s evolution continued: At least three months later, a detectable belt of bolide dust persisted around the planet.

The scientists’ model simulations, based on the initial Suomi NPP observations and knowledge about stratospheric circulation, confirmed the observed evolution of the plume, showing agreement in location and vertical structure.

“Thirty years ago, we could only state that the plume was embedded in the stratospheric jet stream,” said Paul Newman, Chief Scientist for Atmospheres. “Today, our models allow us to precisely trace [the dust from] the bolide and understand its evolution as it moves around the globe.”

The full implications of the study remain to be seen. Every day, tens of metric tons of small material from space encounters Earth and is suspended high in the atmosphere. Even with the addition of the Chelyabinsk debris, the environment there remains relatively clean. Particles are small and sparse, in contrast to a stratospheric layer just below where abundant natural aerosols from volcanoes and other sources collect.

Still, with satellite technology now capable of more precisely measuring tiny atmospheric particles, scientists can embark on new studies in high-altitude atmospheric physics. How common are previously unobservable bolide events? How might this debris influence stratospheric and mesospheric clouds?

Scientists previously knew that debris from an exploded bolide could make it high into the atmosphere. In 2004, scientists on the ground in Antarctica made a single lidar observation of the plume from a 1,000-ton bolide.

“But now in the space age, with all of this technology, we can achieve a very different level of understanding of injection and evolution of meteor dust in atmosphere,” Gorkavyi said. “Of course, the Chelyabinsk bolide is much smaller than the ‘dinosaurs killer,’ and this is good: We have the unique opportunity to safely study a potentially very dangerous type of event.”

By Kathryn Hansen NASA’s Earth Science News Team


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  1. Phantom Hydrangea Care: Everything You Need to Know

    Light Place your Phantom Hydrangea in a sunny location. Sunlight will ensure vivid blooms and enhance production. However, if you live in a hot region, you might have to provide your plant with some protection from the afternoon sun rays that might scorch its leaves.

  2. Hydrangea paniculata 'Phantom'

    Sun or partial sun lover, it thrives in rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils and tolerates heat and urban environment. Afternoon shade in hot summer climates is recommended. Easy-to-grow plant with reliable flowering and flower color regardless of soil PH.

  3. Plant 101: Phantom Hydrangea

    96 likes A Symphony of Colors Throughout the Seasons According to my actual experience, the Phantom Hydrangea showcases a captivating color transformation. The blooms, opening in creamy white with subtle lime green flushes in midsummer, undergo a magical shift to soft to deep pink as the fall season approaches.

  4. Phantom Hydrangea

    Full Sun to Partial Shade If you're looking for all the lovability of a hydrangea but with a twist of uniqueness? The Hydrangea paniculata 'Phantom' is the top pick! It has thick, conical blooms that reach up to fifteen inches. The colors provide creamy white blooms in the summer and as fall nears, they turn a pale and dark pink.

  5. Phantom Hydrangea, Hydrangea paniculata 'Phantom'

    Phantom loves full sun and will tolerate partial shade. I actually cut mine back in very early spring because I collect the branches that I remove and use them to make hardwood cuttings. I now do all of my hardwood cuttings in the late winter, early spring because it just works so much better for me.

  6. Hydrangea paniculata 'Phantom'

    Sun: Full sun to part shade Water: Medium Maintenance: Medium Suggested Use: Hedge Flower: Showy, Good Cut, Good Dried Invasive: Where is this species invasive in the US? Garden locations Culture Best grown in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade.

  7. Phantom Panicle Hydrangea

    Description. A remarkable panicle hydrangea with the largest flower heads of any of its species - up to 15 inches long. The conical color-changing blooms unfold midsummer as a creamy white, then graduate to a blushing, soft pink as the summer progresses. A heavy bloomer with sturdy-stemmed flowers that do not flop. Deciduous. Light. Partial sun.

  8. How to Grow Phantom Hydrangea

    Water the cutting generously and place it in a bright, indirect sunlight. The cutting will root within 4-6 weeks. Once the cutting has rooted, fertilize it with a balanced fertilizer. Water the plant regularly and allow the soil to dry out between watering. Pinch the tips of the plant to encourage bushiness. Enjoy your beautiful phantom hydrangea!

  9. Hydrangea paniculata 'Phantom'

    It does well in full sun to light shade and is moderately drought - tolerant. This is a hybrid of Hydrangea paniculata which is native to Japan, China and Korea where it grows at altitudes up to 4,000 ft. In 2008 Phantom received the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society. Soil: Moderate Plant Shape: Upright Exposure: Full Sun

  10. Hydrangea paniculata 'Phantom'

    Height: 2.5m Spread: 2.5m Hardy Flower colour: Foliage colour: Position Soil The panicle hydrangea, Hydrangea paniculata, bears broad flower cones rather than rounded heads like mophead or lacecap hydrangeas. Most cultivars flower from late summer to autumn.

  11. Panicle Hydrangea, Tree Hydrangea 'Phantom'

    Panicle Hydrangea, Tree Hydrangea 'Phantom' Hydrangea paniculata. ... Sun to Partial Shade Danger Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested Bloom Color Pink Cream/Tan ... I haven't had the Phantom for long--I bought it last summer, 2009, at the garden center of a home improvement department store. ...

  12. Hydrangea paniculata 'Phantom' Tree Form

    Product Details Shipping Reviews Growing guide The giant, densely packed, conical blooms of the award-winning 'Phantom' Hydrangea paniculata measure up to 15", and they're held upright on strong stems that prevent flopping. The flowers emerge creamy white, turn to sweet pink as summer evolves, then become dark pink for fall.

  13. Online Plant Guide

    - A large shrub, with long branches, each bearing big panicles of creamy-white flowers, becoming pinkish-red as they age. This cultivar probably has the largest inflorescence of all. Some have measured 12' in heigth and 26" in circumference. It is not as floriferous as most other Hydrangea paniculatas. Requires sunny position and moist soil.

  14. Phantom Panicle Hydrangea

    Grow in Full Sun or Light Partial Shade Winner of the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit Phantom Panicle Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata Phantom') is a beautiful tall variety that grows massive, 15-inch flower panicles that are well supported by sturdy, strong stems.

  15. How to Care for Panicled Hydrangea 'phantom'

    Panicled hydrangea 'Phantom' (Hydrangea paniculata 'Phantom') Care Guide. Panicled hydrangea 'Phantom' is an early-blooming hydrangea with white flowers that give it its ghostly name. It actually grows two types of flowers: small fertile blooms and larger infertile ones. This cultivar reaches 1.8 m high and 1.8 m wide and is therefore considered a medium size cultivar. It is native to Japan ...

  16. Phantom Hydrangea

    Reliable color change, regardless of soil pH Blooms shift from creamy white to rose pink over the season Boasts large panicle flowers Tolerant of salt and other urban conditions A reliable performer regardless of location, Phantom does it all--with little input from anyone else.

  17. Hydrangea, Panicle 'Phantom'

    Planting & Growing. Phantom Hydrangea will grow to be about 8 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 8 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

  18. How Fast Do Phantom Hydrangeas Grow

    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.

  19. Buy Phantom Hydrangea

    Shrubs 6' or Over. Phantom Hydrangea - 3 Gallon Pot. The Phantom Hydrangea is prized for its enormous cone shaped flower clusters of up to 15 inches in length held on very sturdy stems that don't allow the clusters to flop. The flowers open ivory and progress to white with pinkish tips. Phantom produces LOADS of flower clusters that are ...

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  23. Explainer: What Have Scientists Learned From The Chelyabinsk Meteor?

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