Zinfin Doll hydrangea is a type of panicle, or "panicled," hydrangea and similar in appearance to the popular Pinky Winky. It furnishes the landscape with two-toned flower heads in summer, as well as fall interest. A cold-hardy plant, it can be grown either as a bush or as a small tree.
|Botanical Name||Hydrangea paniculata 'SMNHPRZEP' Zinfin Doll|
|Common Name||Zinfin Doll hydrangea|
|Plant Type||Deciduous shrub|
|Mature Size||6-8 ft. tall, and 6-8 ft. wide|
|Sun Exposure||Partial sun to full sun|
|Soil Type||Fertile, well-drained|
|Soil pH||5.8 to 6.2 pH|
|Flower Color||White, pink, reddish|
|Hardiness Zones||3 to 8, USDA|
|Native Area||Hydrangea paniculata is native to China, Japan, and other parts of the Far East.|
How to Grow Zinfin Doll Hydrangeas
Panicle hydrangeas can suffer from bacterial wilt, blight, leaf spot, powdery mildew, and rust. To prevent these diseases from attacking your plants, make sure they are spaced far enough apart. Proper spacing allows air to circulate more freely, which reduces the incidences of these diseases.
In terms of insect pests, be on the lookout for aphids and spider mites. Inspect the undersides of the leaves to make sure these pests are not present. If you do find any, spray the undersides of the leaves immediately with Neem oil, which is an organic pesticide. Happily, Zinfin Doll hydrangea is a deer-resistant shrub.
Prune back Zinfin Doll hydrangea by about one-third annually in late winter or early spring if you wish to treat it as a multi-branched shrub. This bit of landscape maintenance not only helps keep the bush compact but also stimulates new growth. New growth is what you want on these shrubs since Zinfin Doll hydrangea blooms on new wood. Reducing the number of branches can cause the flower heads to grow bigger, as well. As an alternative, you can also prune the plant so as to train it to take on a tree form.
Grow Zinfin Doll hydrangea bushes in full sun at the northern end of their range and in partial sun at the southern end of their range.
Make sure that the soil for these plants drains well. If it does not, amend the soil with compost to improve drainage.
The shrub has average water needs, but you should irrigate it so as to keep the soil consistently moist. Avoid watering so much that the ground becomes waterlogged.
Fertilize Zinfin Doll hydrangea bushes annually in spring with compost or with manure tea.
Zinfin Doll Hydrangea vs. Pinky Winky Hydrangea
Zinfin Doll hydrangea is similar to Pinky Winky hydrangea, but it sports fuller flower heads and blooms earlier.
Both Pinky Winky and Zinfin Doll hydrangeas have a number of landscape uses, including:
- As specimen plants (due to the showiness and long-lasting nature of their flower heads)
- In foundation plantings
- In hedges (but expect privacy from them only in summer and fall since they are deciduous)
Pros and Cons of Zinfin Doll Hydrangeas
Gardeners enjoy the two-toned look that the flower heads provide for much of the summer. The flower heads start out white. But then they begin to turn pink, starting at the bottom of the cluster. The pink color slowly works its way up to the top of the cluster. By autumn, the flower heads take on a reddish look.
Other strong points of Zinfin Doll hydrangea bushes include that they:
- Are very cold-hardy
- Offer fall interest, too, because the flower heads are composed of long-lasting sepals that take on a reddish color in fall
- Offer a compact growth habit that is well-suited to small yards
- Make for excellent cut flowers, due to their sturdy stems
- Tolerate urban pollution
A weak point of the plant is that it undergoes these color changes less reliably at the southern end of its range. Cool nights trigger the color changes. In the South, drought may dry up the flower heads and turn them tan before the nights have a chance to cool off enough to change them pink, let alone red. So if you are growing Zinfin Doll hydrangea for its two-toned effect, you may be disappointed if you garden in zone 8.