The large white panicles open in mid to late summer, and as summer turns to fall the florets at the base of the panicles turn pink. The flower panicles continue to grow, producing new white florets at the tip. The result is spectacular two-toned flower panicles.
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Select a site with full sun to light shade and moist, well-drained soil. In regions with hot summers, choose a spot with afternoon shade.
Plant in spring or fall. Space plants 3 to 10 feet apart, depending on the expected mature size of the plant. Dig a hole only as deep as the root ball and 2 to 3 times as wide. If your soil is in very poor condition, amend the soil you’ve removed from the hole with a small amount of compost. Otherwise don’t amend it at all. Carefully remove the plant from the container and set it in the hole. Fill the hole half full with soil, then water it well to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets. Let the water drain, then fill the remainder of hole with soil and water thoroughly.
Apply a layer of compost under the tree each spring, spreading it out to the dripline (the area under the outermost branches). Add a 2- to 4-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds, keeping mulch a few inches away from the tree trunk. Hydrangeas like consistently moist soil, so water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week.