Bobo hydrangea

Bobo Hydrangea is a dwarf panicle hydrangea cultivar known for its beautiful flower clusters and its easy-care maintenance requirements in the garden. These attractive hardy plants bloom reliably with cream-white flower clusters in the summer months, with the blooms maturing to a blush pink in the fall. Bobo hydrangea shrubs can be grown on their own or in a mass planting as a flowering hedge or border.

Bobo hydrangea flower

Bobo hydrangea basics

Bobo Hydrangeas are a dwarf variety of panicle hydrangea or Hydrangea paniculata. As a smaller version of this plant, the bobo, or “Ilvobo”, requires similar care to common hydrangea varieties.

These plants only grow to be about 2-3 feet high, although some might get up to 4 feet tall in favorable conditions. This dwarf variety takes about two years to grow fully, making them an excellent foundation shrub or a short hedge to be planted around other plants. They are an especially great solution for anyone who loves the look and scent of hydrangeas but doesn’t have the space for the bigger, more traditional varieties.

Bobo hydrangea plants bloom all summer, the flowers forming the large pyramid shape that’s typical of hydrangea plants. They also have oval leaves with serrated edges. These flowers will bloom from the beginning of summer to the first frost. This time period usually spans from July to September. At first, the flowers will bloom white, and will gradually turn pink toward the end of the flowering season, and will then take on a purplish tint as fall approaches.

Some hydrangea plants can change flower color based on the pH of the soil; however, this is not the case for Bobo plants. The blooms on this plant will remain the same cream-white color no matter the soil acidity, only changing as the flowering season draws to a close.

Bobo hydrangea label from proven winners

Buying Bobo hydrangea plants

The Bobo Hydrangea is a Proven Winners Color Choice flowering shrub. You can usually find them at most garden centers since most shops tend to carry Proven Winners. You can also order from Proven Winners directly.

Bobo hydrangeas for sale at the garden center

How to plant Bobo hydrangea plants

Native to China and Japan, traditional hydrangeas are best suited to warmer weather and grow in full sun and specific soil pH. Fortunately, Bobo Hydrangeas aren’t this picky. Similar to Little Lime hydrangeas, they still grow best in full sun but can also handle partial shade. In fact, in hotter climates, the bobo hydrangea actually prefers shade. However, they don’t tolerate constant shade and they do require at least a few hours of direct sunlight to grow properly.

You should avoid planting your Bobo Hydrangea in mid-80s (Fahrenheit) or higher temperatures. The most ideal times to plant hydrangeas are in the spring or fall. This is perfect because the soil is warm, and the daily temperatures are relatively cool, but the night doesn’t bring frost.

Bobo hydrangea blossom

Growing tips for Bobo hydrangeas

The Bobo hydrangea variety is also less particular about the soil they are planted in when compared to other hydrangeas. They’ll do best in rich, well-drained soil with a 5 to 7 acidity level.

Soil for planting Bobo hydrangeas

A simple way to test for soil acidity or alkalinity is to place 2 tablespoons of soil in a bowl and add 1/2 a cup of vinegar. If the mix fizzes, the soil is alkaline, which means it has a high pH. Similarly, you can place 2 tablespoons of soil in another bowl, and moisten it with distilled water and baking soda. If this mixture fizzes, your soil is acidic, or of a low pH.

If necessary, alkaline soil can be acidified before planting by mixing in a blend of peat moss or some agricultural sulfur. Mulching is recommended for this hydrangea variety. Applying a layer of mulch three inches deep in the soil will cut back the need for watering, and will help protect the plant if it’s exposed to extreme temperatures.

Watering Bobo hydrangeas

Bobo Hydrangea plants only need about an inch of water per week, either from deliberate watering or rain. Keep the soil moist, but not soaked, especially in the summer and the plant’s first year of growth. In hot temperatures, bobo hydrangeas will do best with a once-weekly deep watering.

Fertilizer for Bobo hydrangeas

Fertilizer is usually not needed in rich soil; but if the soil is poor in nutrients, light fertilization is a good idea. Choose a slow-release fertilizer formula designed for flowering. Avoid overfeeding the plant with a fertilizer that’s too full of nitrogen. Too much nitrogen can lead to lush leaf growth in Bobo hydrangeas but few flowers. Spread your chosen fertilizer in early spring, just after the last chance of frost and just before the leaves begin to show.

Pests affecting Bobo hydrangea plants

Like most plants, the Bobo Hydrangea is susceptible to pests and disease. The best way to combat this is to provide the necessary care for your plant. Planting it in the proper location and providing water and fertilization should prevent most cases of disease and pests. Of course, it’s not a perfect solution, but it’s a good start.

Mites, scales, whiteflies, and aphids can be naturally treated with neem oil or insecticidal soap. For more severe infections, you can use organic pesticides. Be sure to follow the application instructions and frequency guidelines for your chosen product.

Diseases affecting Bobo hydrangeas

Humid conditions may make your Bobo Hydrangea plant susceptible to leaf spots and fungal problems. This is why it’s best to keep them in the sunlight and avoid overwatering. Fungal infections can be prevented by making sure the planting site has good drainage and avoiding too much overhead watering. These infections can be treated with a fungicide.

Unfortunately, treating fungus after an infection isn’t always effective. Sometimes plants need multiple applications of natural fungicides to thrive. If you’ve had fungal problems with other plants or had infections in the previous years, apply preventative treatments in early spring. Follow the application instructions and frequency guidelines listed on the product you choose.

Bobo hydrangea

How to prune Bobo hydrangea

Unlike some hydrangeas, the Bobo doesn’t require regular pruning, as it has a naturally dense and compact shape. If you do want to prune your shrubs, do so in early spring or late winter before any new growth has started. Pruning too late or too early in the season will compromise the plant, causing it to produce more leaves than flowers for that year.

Once the plant has bloomed, careful pruning can help encourage better growth and can renew a plant’s health by redirecting nutrients and energy within the plant.

Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a quintessential Canadian gardener. An engineer by trade, she tends to an ever-expanding collection of plants. In her world, laughter blooms as freely as her flowers, and every plant is raised with a dash of Canadian grit.

Mary Jane is a certified Master Gardener and also holds a Permaculture Design Certificate. She's also a proud mom of three, teaching her little sprouts the crucial difference between a garden friend and foe.

When she's not playing in the dirt, Mary Jane revels in her love for Taylor Swift, Gilmore Girls, ice hockey, and the surprisingly soothing sounds of bluegrass covers of classic hip-hop songs. She invites you to join her garden party, a place where you can share in the joy of growing and where every day is a new opportunity to find the perfect spot for yet another plant.

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