How to Grow and Care Bobo Hydrangea: Easy Tips

Bobo hydrangea, also known as Hydrangea paniculata ‘Ilvobo’, is a dwarf variety of the panicle hydrangea. How to grow and care Bobo Hydrangea; It shares the same care requirements as other hydrangeas, but its compact size, reaching only two to three feet in height and width, makes it an ideal choice as a foundation shrub or short hedge. It can also be used effectively in mixed shrub borders, especially when larger hydrangeas might be too overpowering.

How to Grow and Care Bobo Hydrangea

During the early to late summer, Bobo produces beautiful flowers in large panicles with a pyramidal shape, a characteristic feature of all paniculata hydrangeas. How to grow and care Bobo Hydrangea; These blooms start off white but gradually change to pink and then deepen into a purplish hue as fall approaches. Unlike some hydrangeas whose flower color depends on soil pH, Bobo’s color remains constant. For those seeking to manipulate hydrangea colors, varieties of Hydrangea macrophylla can be grown.

How to Grow and Care Bobo Hydrangea

While most panicle hydrangeas are rapid growers, Bobo’s dwarf nature makes it a bit slower-growing. However, with the right conditions and care, it can reach its full size within two years, depending on the initial size of the nursery plant. How to grow and care Bobo Hydrangea; The best time to plant Bobo hydrangea is in the spring, once the soil temperatures have warmed.

As with all hydrangeas, it’s important to note that Bobo is toxic to pets. Caution should be exercised to keep pets away from the plant to avoid any potential harm.

How to Grow and Care Bobo Hydrangea

Common Name:  Bobo hydrangea

Botanical name:  Hydrangea paniculata ‘Ilvobo’

Family:  Hydrangeaceae

Plant Type:  Deciduous shrub

Mature Size:  2–3 ft. tall, 3–4 ft. wide

Sun Exposure:  Full, partial

Soil Type:  Loamy, well-drained

Soil pH:  Acidic

Bloom Time:  Summer

Flower Color:  White

Hardiness Zones:  3–8 (USDA)

Native Area:  Cultivar, no native range

Toxicity:  Toxic to dogs and cats

How to Grow and Care Bobo Hydrangea

Bobo Hydrangea Care

Taking care of a Bobo hydrangea closely mirrors the care required for any panicle hydrangea. To ensure its thriving, it is recommended to plant it in slightly acidic, nutrient-rich, and well-draining soil. In case the soil is alkaline, it should be acidified before planting by incorporating ample peat moss or agricultural sulfur. Given that this plant is not fond of extremely hot weather, especially in the southern part of its hardiness range, it will flourish best when planted in shadier areas.

How to grow and care Bobo Hydrangea; at the conclusion of the growing season, it is essential to rake up and remove any fallen foliage. This precautionary measure helps prevent the accumulation of fungal spores, ultimately reducing the risk of fungal diseases affecting the plant.

How to Grow and Care Bobo Hydrangea


Bobo hydrangea thrives when planted in a full sun setting in the majority of regions, but it exhibits excellent tolerance for partial shade as well. In warmer southern climates, providing some shade from the intense afternoon sun is necessary for its well-being, though it cannot withstand conditions of deep shade.


Panicle hydrangeas have a preference for acidic soil, with a pH range between 5.8 and 6.2, which is comparable to the soil conditions favorable for azaleas’ growth. If the soil happens to be neutral or alkaline, it can be modified by adding sulfur or peat moss to lower the pH. However, unlike some other hydrangea species, altering the soil pH won’t impact the flower color of panicle hydrangeas.

How to Grow and Care Bobo Hydrangea


For optimal growth, Bobo hydrangea thrives with approximately one inch of water per week, which can be provided either through natural rainfall or irrigation.

How to Grow and Care Bobo Hydrangea

Climate and Moisture Level

Panicle hydrangeas, including the Bobo variety, show great adaptability to climate conditions spanning zones 3 to 8. Compared to certain other varieties, Bobo is relatively less affected by winter burn. However, in regions with very humid weather, it may become vulnerable to leaf spots and other fungal issues, although such problems are seldom severe.


When planted in nutrient-rich soil, Bobo hydrangea does not require any additional feeding. However, if the soil is poor in nutrients, a gentle application of fertilizer in the spring is recommended. Opt for a fertilizer blend specifically designed to enhance flowering, like 15-30-15. Be sure to follow the product label instructions regarding the appropriate amount to use. How to grow and care Bobo Hydrangea; It’s essential to avoid excessive nitrogen feeding, as this could result in abundant leaf growth but limited flower production.

How to Grow and Care Bobo Hydrangea

Related Varieties

While dwarf varieties of panicle hydrangea are relatively rare, there are several other cultivars of Hydrangea Paniculata worth considering:

Little Lime: Ranging from 3 to 5 feet in height, this variety displays blooms that start as pale green but transform into a deep pink as the fall season approaches. Its flowering period extends from July to September.

How to Grow and Care Bobo Hydrangea

Little Quick Fire: Similar in size, standing between 3 to 5 feet, this plant showcases white flowers that transition to pink with striking red highlights during its blooming phase from July to September.

How to Grow and Care Bobo Hydrangea

Lavalamp Flare: A remarkably compact plant, reaching heights of 2 to 3 feet, ‘Lavalamp Flare’ produces white flowers that take on a pinkish-red hue. Its blossoming period spans from July to August.

How to Grow and Care Bobo Hydrangea

How to Prune

Due to its naturally dense and compact growth, Bobo hydrangea does not demand frequent pruning. However, if you wish to shape it as a hedge shrub, the best time to do so is in early spring or late winter before new growth emerges. For this purpose, simply prune the tips of the branches to achieve the desired shape. It’s important to remember that Bobo blooms on the current year’s wood, so pruning too late in the spring could adversely affect flower production for that year.

How to Grow and Care Bobo Hydrangea

How to Propagate

Bobo is a patented variety, and propagating it through cuttings or seeds would be a violation of intellectual property rights.

Potting and Repotting

Bobo, being small and compact, can be successfully cultivated in a container. When transferring it from the plastic nursery pot, opt for a terra-cotta pot, as it facilitates better water absorption and helps maintain cooler soil conditions for hydrangeas. Choose a container that is one or two sizes larger than its current pot, and ensure it has a broad, stable base to prevent the top-heavy hydrangea from tipping over. Adequate drainage is essential, so the pot should have sizeable drain holes.

Fill the chosen pot with enough potting mix and gently press it down. Thoroughly water the plant until water starts to flow out of the drain holes. Keep in mind that potted hydrangeas, like all container plants, require more frequent watering compared to plants growing in garden soil.

How to Grow and Care Bobo Hydrangea


In garden soil, Bobo generally doesn’t require winter protection, though it’s advisable to apply a layer of mulch around the base to provide insulation for the roots during colder months.

On the other hand, potted hydrangeas need protection from winter chill. While bringing the containers indoors is not necessary, extra insulation is essential. You can achieve this by either placing the pot in a larger container and filling the space with mulch or sand, or constructing a silo-like structure around the pot. Another option is wrapping the sides of the container with bubble wrap or burlap to shield the plant from the cold.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

Bobo hydrangeas may be vulnerable to bud blight, bacterial wilt, leaf spot, rust, and powdery mildew. These conditions are more likely to occur in warm, humid climates or areas with limited air circulation. To minimize the risk of fungal infections, it is best to water the plant at the base rather than from overhead. In case of fungal issues, applying a fungicide spray, such as copper, can serve as a preventive or treatment measure.

Occasionally, aphids and mites may also pose a problem. These pests can often be dislodged by spraying the plant with water. Alternatively, they can be treated using horticultural oil or pesticide sprays.

How to Grow and Care Bobo Hydrangea

How to Get Bloom

For promoting the blooming of Bobo hydrangea, opt for a fertilizer with high phosphorus content and limited nitrogen, as excessive nitrogen encourages foliage growth rather than flowers. Ensuring the right amount of sunlight is crucial, as both too much and too little can impact blooming. Avoid pruning during spring to prevent accidentally removing new buds.

If you have followed these guidelines and your Bobo hydrangea still fails to bloom, it’s possible that the flower buds were damaged by a late spring frost, or there could be other reasons affecting its blooming, such as the plant not being fully established yet.

How to Grow and Care Bobo Hydrangea