Rekindle Your Love of Hydrangeas
- Blooms reliably every year
- Large panicles of creamy white flowers that age to pomegranate red
- Neatly shaped and easy to maintain
- Perfect size for foundations and hedges
- Strong grower in part sun to sun
- Extremely cold hardy
- 4.5-6′ tall x 4.5-6′ spread
- Hardy in USDA Zones 3-8
If you’re tired of hydrangeas that fail to bloom, it’s time to make the switch to panicle hydrangeas like this gorgeous cultivar named Fire Light. Every summer and fall, you’ll enjoy opulent blooms that transition from creamy white to deep pomegranate–a deeper shade of red than any we’ve seen. Strong stems keep the flowers upright in the garden and are ideal for fresh and dried bouquets. This is one hydrangea that everyone can grow.
how to grow fire light® hydrangea
Panicle hydrangeas are far less fussy about where they will grow than some other types. Think of them like any other shrub in your landscape–undemanding and easy to grow.
In USDA Zones 3-7, Fire Light hydrangea will be the most vigorous and produce the most flowers if it is grown in full sun. In warmer zones, some afternoon shade is preferable. No matter where you live, your hydrangea will benefit from a 2-3 inch layer of mulch to keep the roots cool and moist.
Panicle hydrangeas will tolerate most soil types as long as they are well-drained. This plant doesn’t grow well in soggy soil so if that sounds like yours, you may need to improve the drainage before planting. While many types of hydrangeas prefer acidic soil (pH less than 7.0), panicle hydrangeas can live in acidic and neutral (pH 7.0) soils.
When planting, dig the hole about twice as wide but just as deep as the container it is growing in. If the roots are densely circled around when you take the plant out of the pot, loosen them up a bit to break the “root memory”. This will encourage them to grow outward instead of continuing to grow in a circular pattern.
Set the plant in the hole, making sure that the top of the rootball is level with the top of the surrounding soil. Then backfill the hole with the soil you dug out. Press it down with your hand firmly to eliminate any big air pockets around the roots.
Lastly, water the plant again to help the soil settle. Spread some mulch around the base of the plant, taking care to keep it from touching the plant’s stems. The mulch will help to retain soil moisture and protect the roots during winter.
Panicle hydrangeas like Fire Light produce their flowers on the current season’s stems. That means there’s no risk of the buds being damaged by winter—a useful trait for northern gardeners. As long as you prune them before late spring, you’ll see flowers that year.
You could prune Fire Light hydrangea in late fall if you don’t want to keep its flowers for winter interest. We typically prune them in early spring so we can enjoy those blooms as long as possible. Cut the branches back by about 1/3 of their total length. This will help to create a fuller plant with large blossoms. No other pruning should be needed throughout the growing season.
When you prune your panicle hydrangeas in early spring, that’s also a good time to scratch some granular plant food formulated for trees and shrubs into the soil. Doing so will encourage them to start the season off strong.
- Fire Light hydrangea’s medium size makes it easy to fit into most landscapes. You could plant a row of them along your home’s foundation, group them together to fill a large space near the edge or back of your yard, plant them as a privacy hedge, or grow a single plant as a specimen in a flower garden.
- Since many shrubs bloom earlier in the season, panicle hydrangeas are unique in that they add color to the garden from midsummer to frost. If there’s not much going on in your landscape after the spring flush, consider planting a few panicle hydrangeas.
- Since it blooms on next year’s growth, it won’t hurt your panicle hydrangea at all if you cut its flowers in summer or fall. This is one of the reasons they are so popular in craft projects. And since there is such an abundance of flowers produced, you won’t even miss the ones you cut.
- Panicle hydrangeas like Fire Light are often used in summer and fall bridal bouquets and arrangements since they are in such plentiful supply this time of year. They have a certain romantic air about them, don’t you agree? So if you have a special event coming up in the next year or two, plant this shrub now so you’ll have plenty for picking.
top 3 reasons to grow Fire
it blooms reliably every single year
No more crossing your fingers and hoping your hydrangea will bloom this year. Fire Light is a sure thing!
its dynamic flowers will knock your socks off
While all panicle hydrangeas start off white, Fire Light exhibits one of the strongest shifts to pomegranate red you’ll ever see.
it’s as easy to grow as any other shrub
Finicky is not in Fire Light’s vocabulary. You’ll find this is one of the easiest hydrangeas you’ll ever grow.