Hydrangea Variety Paniculata Pinky Winky

By David Marks
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Pinky Winky’ is a very hardy hydrangea which is suitable for fullsun and partial shade positions.

Unlike many hydrangeas it will grow well in both alkaline and acidicsoils. It withstands drought well when establiched.

Masses of cream, pink and lime coloured, conical flowers cover the shrub fromlate July to early October. Can be grown in a large container.

BACKGROUND

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Pinky Winky’ was bred by Dr. Johan van Huylenbroeck at the Research Station Melle, Belgium during 2003. 

He named this variety after the Teletubbies character Tinky Winky, changingthe name slightly to suit the colour of this hydrangea.

APPEARANCE

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Pinky Winky’ will grow to a height of 1.1m / 3ft 6in and a spread of 1.5m / 4ft 9in after four or five years. It is suitable for growing in a large container.

The blooms, which cover most of this shrub from early August to early October,start off as lime to white coloured turning pink at the base as the flower age.With flowers of different ages this gives this shrub a most attractive multi-coloured appearance. Colours are not affected by the acidity or alkalinity ofthe soil.They are cone shaped, similar to a lilac tree’s blooms but slightly larger.

Hydrangea paniculata 'Pinky Winky'
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Hydrangea paniculata ‘Pinky Winky’

Stems are strong and upright, well able to support the blooms which can reach35cm / 14in in length.

Both fresh (a short life) and dried flowers aresuperb for flower arrangements. The leaves are mid green turning yellow asautumn approaches.

HOW TO PLANT HYDRANGEA PANICULATA ‘PINKY WINKY’

To plant Hydrangea paniculata ‘Pinky Winky’ follow these instructions:

  • Choose a free draining soil which receives a good supply of rainfall.
     
  • Improve poor soils with garden compost and fish, blood and bone fertiliser.
     
  • Hydrangea paniculata ‘Pinky Winky’ will grow well on alkaline or acidic soils unless they are extreme
     
  • April to May or mid September to October are the best times to plant hydrangeas. Make sure they are well watered.
     
  • The best position is one which receives sun in the morning and late afternoon, however this particular variety will tolerate full sun very well.
     
  • Dig a hole twice the width of the rootball. Sprinkle in a handful of
    blood, fish and bone and work into the ground.
     
  • Place the plant into the hole.
     
  • Fill around the root ball and firm the soil down gently but firmly. Water well to settle the surrounding ground around the root ball.
     
  • Plant to the same depth as your hydrangea was in the pot.

CARE OF HYDRANGEA PANICULATA ‘PINKY WINKY’

Each spring apply a mulcharound the plant to lock in moisture and provide a wide range of low levelnutrients as the mulch rots down.

Each spring and autumn scatter a couple of handfuls of
fish, blood and bonearound the shrub and work it in gently with a trowel.

There are more expensive fertilisers but this one is very cheap andideal. It provides nutrients over a long period of time and avoids releasingtoo much nitrogen. Do not apply a nitrogen rich plant fertiliser, it willencourage weak stems and foliage at the expense of flowers.

Although this shrub will tolerate drought it will reduce its floweringability. It’s best to water the plant well in summer during extended dryperiods or where the soil drains very easily.

HOW TO PRUNE HYDRANGEA PANICULATA ‘PINKY WINKY’

Your Hydrangea paniculata ‘Pinky Winky’ flowers on growth made in the current year. Prune as follows:

  • Prune during mid March in warmer parts of the UK to early April in cooler areas.
     
  • Prune back stems to four buds above the base of the shrub. This sounds quite harsh but it will bounce back with vigour.
     
  • Cut out, as low as possible, any diseased or damaged stems.

     
  • Feed with two handfuls of fish, blood and bone and apply a mulch as described in the previous section.

WHERE TO BUY HYDRANGEA PANICULATA ‘PINKY WINKY’

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Pinky Winky’ is a very common shrub and should be available in very many garden centres.It is also readily available online.From past experience we would recommend Crocus if you want buy this shrub online, see their
page here
.

 
SUMMARY OF HYDRANGEA PANICULATA ‘PINKY WINKY’

HEIGHT: 1.1m / 3ft 6in if pruned annually

SPREAD:  1.5m / 4ft 9in if pruned annually

FLOWER COLOUR: White / light lime, base turning to pink asthe flower ages

FRAGRANCE: Minimal

LEAVES: Mid green

HARDINESS: -20C (USDA zones 3a to 8b)

DISEASE RESISTANCE: Very good.

GROWING CONDITIONS: Partial sunlight to full sunlight

SOIL CONDITIONS: Almost all soil conditions except dry or water-logged soils

CONTAINER GROWING: Yes in a large container

AWARDS: RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM)

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