Plant of the Week: Zinfin Doll Hydrangea

Zinfin Doll Hydrangea paniculata from Proven Winners

What do you get when you combine puns with alcohol? Usually nothing good, but in this case you get a really nice hydrangea. Zinfin Doll™ Hydrangea paniculata has the same appealing two-toned coloration as Pinky Winky® hydrangea but with the fuller panicles of a 'Limelight'. Like Pinky Winky, Zinfin Doll hydrangea's flowers will open white then start to turn pink at the base, eventually transforming to a fully pink panicle.

Zinfin Doll hydrangea will grow in full sun or partial shade and is hardy to USDA Zone 3. It will get 6-8' tall and wide and is a good cut flower. It will be available at retail in spring 2016.

Zinfin Doll Hydrangea paniculata from Proven Winners
The blooms of Zinfin Doll hydrangea will transform to a fully pink pancile in fall.

There is an abundance of Hydrangea paniculatas in the market. I have heard some people grumble that there are too many, that we just don't need that many choices. I disagree.

First you need to consider size. For a long time, Hydrangea paniculatas came in one size: big. You can still go big if you want to (think 'Limelight' and Pinky Winky hydrangeas) but you can also go with something more compact like 'Little Lamb' or Fire Light® hydrangeas.

New dwarf varieties like Little Lime® and Little Quick Fire® hydrangeas fit into even more applications, and the petite Bobo® hydrangea is just 3' tall!

Next there's flower color. The default for hardy hydrangeas is white, but you can also find green (Little Lime), pink-red (Fire Light) and pink and white bicolor (Zinfin Doll). No blue. Sorry.

Finally there's bloom time. The earliest bloomers are Quick Fire® and Little Quick Fire hydrangeas. Then a typical progression would be Fire Light, Pinky Winky, Zinfin Doll, Little Lime, 'Little Lamb' and 'Limelight'. Plant them all for months of color!

So go ahead and explore the different sizes, colors and bloom times of Hydrangea paniculata. I think you'll find that you shouldn't limit yourself to just one or two 'go-to' varieties.

Zinfin Doll Hydrangea paniculata from Proven Winners
Zinfin Doll hydrangea: the color of Pinky Winky hydrangea with the shape of 'Limelight'
Plant of the Week is written by Jane Beggs-Joles.

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