Standard ‘Pinky Winky’ hydrangea


Please tell me what the bloom season and duration are for the above shrub?
What size should I buy to get the largest, most mature shrub?


Dear gardener, thank you for bringing this variety of hydrangea to my attention. The pictures of Hydrangea paniculata ‘Pinky Winky’ online, are simply gorgeous. Did you know that it is winner of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticulture Society?

‘Pinky Winky’ is a panicle hydrangea (the flowers are triangular rather than round); the blooms can potentially grow from 12” – 16” in length (but I think that the very large panicles would be on a very mature plant); it is bi-coloured (pink and white); it will thrive in our growing area (the plant is hardy from zones 3-8); it seems to be delightfully easy to grow as far as light demands go (partial sun or full sun); it is easy to grow in most soils although it likes a humus-rich soil (and it will therefore tolerate Toronto’s clay soil, but give it a big bag of compost when you are planting it); and water it often (since all hydrangeas are water-loving).

Pruning should be done at the end of winter or very early spring before the leaves come out since the blossoms grow on new growth. You can prune your plant so that it grows like a tree if you cut off the bottom shoots. ‘Pinky Winky’ is known for not being particular about soil PH levels, so there is generally no need to fertilize.

To answer your direct questions, they say ‘Pinky Winky’ flowers/blooms in the late summer and fall. As the days shorten, the white panicles turn pink. In Toronto, they may start flowering even earlier. This way, you could get blooms for a full two months. Also, don’t forget that if you cut the blooms, turn them up-side-down, and dry them, they make a lovely flower arrangement in winter. Sounds fabulous!

‘Pinky Winky’ can grow to about 8 feet tall and can spread about 8 feet wide when mature (if you do not prune it). That is a big plant. So in answer to your second question, try and buy the biggest plant/shrub that is available to you (and that you can afford) to get a good start to the growth of the plant. May I suggest that you take a look at this excellent guide on planting trees from Landscape Ontario:

I hope your tree brings you years of joy.