Its flowers age beautifully.

Gratysanna/Getty Images

Hydrangea paniculata 'Ilvobo' is more popularly known and marketed as Bobo® hydrangea, a panicle hydrangea with blooms that change color as they age. It's a compact shrub that grows to moderate heights, and it's one of the most popular hydrangeas for Southern gardens thanks to its small size and gorgeous summer blooms, which erupt en masse in summertime.

What's most distinctive about this hydrangea is the way it flowers: heavily, laden with big white blooms that appear in the early- to mid-summer months. It's a long-flowering hydrangea and blooms from its first summer flower through to the year's first frost. The massive white blooms change color as the summer months march on. The flowers age beautifully throughout the season and fade from bright white to a subtle dusty pink hue. Some reach an even deeper pinky bronze color in autumn. The pH of the soil does not affect the colors of these blooms, which keep their white-to-pink fade no matter where they're planted.

What makes Bobo® hydrangea's heavy blooming even more dramatic is the size of the shrub itself. It's a compact planting that won't get too tall, bushy, or leggy in the garden. Instead, it stays small, often just 3 feet tall and wide, and produces standard green foliage surrounded by masses of lush flowers that resemble shaggy snowballs. With appropriate pruning, it can also be tended to even more compact sizes, which makes it a great choice for a variety of spots, including small spaces in the garden. It's also a gorgeous choice for container gardens.

This hydrangea thrives in areas where it will receive full sun or partial shade. It needs moist, well-draining soil with regular water. They bloom on new growth, so you should plan to prune them in late winter or early spring. Other popular panicle hydrangeas that have similar planting requirements and can thrive in the South include pee gee hydrangea, H. paniculata ‘Limelight', and vanilla strawberry hydrangea. Their big, long-lasting blooms and pretty foliage make them perennial favorites in our region.

WATCH: Why Didn't My Hydrangeas Bloom?

Are you acquainted with this heavy-blooming hydrangea? Do you have one in your garden?

Advertisement