Plant of the Week: Hydrangea ‘Vanilla Strawberry’

Hydrangea ‘Vanilla Strawberry is this week’s Plant of the Week. In our gardens and those of our customers’, there has not been a better blooming hydrangea. Hydrangea paniculata, aka the Panicled Hydrangea, is native to Southeast Asia. However, it has been cultivated and grown here in the United States since the 1860’s.

We use a lot of different cultivars of panicled hydrangea at Grimm’s Gardens, but this one blooms the best. It grows 6 to 8 feet tall and wide, but is easy to prune. Panicled hydrangeas bloom on new growth, making pruning easy.

Hydrangea Vanilla Strawberry

As the maintenance supervisor at Grimm’s, I like ‘Vanilla Strawberry’ because it rarely gets any diseases, and it is easy to maintain. Once the first 2 years in the ground are over, the stems strengthen and can be pruned vigorously.

Despite having many sterile flowers, bees and other pollinators are attracted to the flowers. They may have to work to get any nectar, but the pink flowers are attractive to them.

This hydrangea begins to bloom in July with large, white, showy panicles of flowers. The flowers age gently from white to pink to mauve. They are great for cut flower arrangements, either fresh or dried. The dried flowers are also great for winter interest.

I love this hydrangea because it blooms every year and has red and white blooms – Nadine Champlin, Landscape Designer at Prairie Place Designs

You can find this hydrangea and more at Grimm’s Gardens garden stores in Nebraska City or outside Hiawatha. Or check out our online availability at

3 thoughts on “Plant of the Week: Hydrangea ‘Vanilla Strawberry’

  1. I find the blooms are very large, when it rains the stem are not strong enough to keep them from dropping. Otherwise, they are beautiful and transform from a light pink to a very deep pink as fall progresses.

    1. Hi Kenneth, Thank you for reading and for your comment. We discovered, after selling these for several years, that the growers knew about the weak stems, and did not inform us. What happens is that the stems are weak for the first 3 to 5 years, then they bulk up as after age and repeated pruning. There are now better cultivars which stand up better, including Berry White and Firelight.

      Happy planting!

      The Kansas Gardener

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