Is anyone growing 'The Swan' in Zone 5. Wondering what it likes with regard to sun, soil, water, and how it grows such as fast or slow grower, strong or weak limbs, height, cold tolerance, etc. Love the big flowers and flower heads.
Thanks for sharing your experience.
Hello, I have been growing The Swan for about 5 years in my personal garden, and for nursery sales. It has the growth rate of most paniculatas. A one gallon pot after two years is about 4-5 ft tall, mature height about 8 ft. Can be trained as a tree. I find the branches on The Swan tend to be a little floppy at first, but when the green growth for the year hardens off they are strong limbed, but you want to keep the new growth as upright as possible. It takes full sun to quite a bit of shade. I would recommend part shade if you have it. Average soil and water. Cold tolerance Z5 fine. The flowers are absolutely gorgeous, and I would highly recommend it. I grow a number of the paniculatas hybridized by Jelena DeBelder, including The Swan, Little Lamb, Pink Diamond, and Unique, and all are outstanding. Not by Jelena DeBelder, but a new intro is Quickfire, a paniculata that blooms in Z5 in early June, a bright pink. Anyway, I think you will be happy with The Swan. Polly
Thank you Polly....I think I will give it a place in my garden. Will be on the lookout for the others as well. I have three oak leafs but they just won't bloom here...I know Z5 is pushing it for them but have been disappointed with them...so slow to leaf out too. I really like their woodland look...very handsome shrub. Guess I will get better results with the paniculatas.
You will definitely get better results with the paniculatas. If you are going to get some others, I would also recommend Limelight. I don't recommend Tardiva in our Z5 as it blooms so late, even though it's a lovely plant. Also what blooms well for us here are the arborescens, such as Annabelles, but there are newer ones, Samantha, White Dome, and Hayes Starburst, for instance that are really nice. If you like that woodland look take a look at White Dome. As you can tell, I really like Hydrangeas. Polly
Polly,Could you recommend a small hydrangea - something that doens't get more than 4 feet wide and tall? What about Sike's Dwarf?
Hydrangea quercifolia 'Sikes Dwarf' is an Oakleaf Hydrangea. If you have other Oakleaves that do well, then I would recommend it, but they are not routinely bud hardy in Z5. Considering you are Z4-5, it probably would not do well. Sorry. The Paniculata Hydrangeas all grow quite large, and as far as I know there are no dwarf ones. Even Pee Wee gets about 10 feet tall at maturity. However the Paniculatas such as Limelight are very easy to keep cut down to size. I would think Limelight could be easily kept at 4' X 4'. Also consider the arborescens such as Annabelle, and White Dome. White Dome, I think is very nice, and gets about 5' X 5'.
Polly, did a little research on paniculatas and arborescens...sounds like the way to go here in Z5. There are some nice varieties. Found my way to the color choice website where they have 'The Swan', 'White Dome', 'LimeLight', a new one for next year that is supposed to turn pink before 'Pink Diamond' even starts blooming...'Quick Fire' I think. Size is not an issue for me...have 20 acres of which I am gardening probably 4. Sun and shade...pine trees mostly. Now I have another addiction along with hosta and phlox. My wife loves hydrangeas so I have to please right...the more the merrier. If you have any suggestions with the macs for Z5 that would be great. This is the first year with 'Endless Summer'. Any others that are more hardy in our zone than others? May have to find my way to your nursery as well.
In general, H. serrata are more hardy than H. macrophylla, though not to extend to be GUARANTEED to be bud hardy for z5.For example, after the harsh winter of 2004 neither of them bloomed for me (except one crazy Nikko that decided to bloom in August on a new wood), but in ordinary years serrata 'Grayswood' planted in pretty much open location blooms reliably in my garden. Friend of mine have a 10-12 years old 'Preziosa' planted in a center of a full sun bed that exposed to all possible winds in a winter and it never skipped a year of bloom. Even in 2004 it had some blooms.
H. macrophilia Dooly is advertized for zone 5 by Forest Farm. I am going to try one from them.
Mark and Gary, we don't sell the macrophyllas or serratas here because they just aren't reliably bud hardy, so I really can't recommend any. That's not to say they might not do well in certain locations. I personally have grown Dooley in my own garden. Last year it did really well. This year one bloom. Also they do not grow very large. Mine is only about 2 ft tall. But it's beautiful. And that's the only one I grow of those. Mark, we have 63 acres here, and I garden on about 10, sun and shade and pine trees too. Nothing more beautiful than a row of Paniculatas, or a large grouping of Arborescens White Dome, in my opinion. And your wife will love them, the Paniculatas are so good for cutting, fresh and dried, and you can spray them with color, and they stay lovely for years. I'm glad you like them. Polly
She does love the flowers...house has several vases/pots full of cut and dried PGs. She is way too far into crafty stuff. Now I guess I have to find some of these paniculata cultivars. Thanks for all the info Polly.
Mark, if you'rs still reading---- Forestfarm has quite a few of the paniculatas in tubes. Also consider going to the Spring Meadow Nursery site- color choice, and look for the retailers near you (notice New York state has a drop down for more retailers). With the property size you have I would suggest you start propagating. Softwood cuttings, May-July root READILY in sand/peat. They will root in about 1 month. Seedlings grow really fast. You can fill that property up in no time. Dont propagate the patented ones. Polly
Thanks Polly for the leads...I am already picturing where I am going to put them. I will have to propagate...or go broke. Off I go collecting !!! Thanks again Polly.
the Swan is a personal favorite. Have had it for at least 10 years. I have always had a trellis for it to lean on and it has always been lovely.