One of the hottest shrubs that’s a recent newcomer to the plant world is Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea. It’s beautiful. Best of all it’s winter hardy and well-adapted to the Upper Midwest in our Hardiness Zones 3 and 4.
Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea is a member of the Hydrangea paniculata group, which is winter-hardy. The botanical name paniculata means the large flowers are in panicles, or pyramid shapes. The colorful flower clusters start out white, becoming pink, and eventually turn strawberry shades. Vanilla Strawberry blooms for much of the growing season beginning in early July. As new flowers are produced there’s a wonderful combination of white, pink and rosy-red.
It’s a low-maintenance shrub. The dried flower clusters are even attractive in the winter landscape, and can be easily pruned off in spring.
Vanilla Strawberry hydrangea can be planted in full sun or partial shade. It should receive at least 4 hours of sun each day. The word hydrangea means water-loving. Vanilla Strawberry, like all members of the hydrangea group, prefers moist locations rather than hot, dry exposed sites. Covering the surrounding soil with landscape fabric and wood mulch helps maintain the cool, moist soil hydrangeas love.