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Quick Fire Hydrangea vs Pinky Winky: Early Or Late Blooming?

Today, we delve into the characteristics of two remarkable hydrangeas, Quick Fire and Pinky Winky, both belonging to the panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata) species. They share some similarities, yet exhibit distinct differences.

The primary distinction lies in their blooming period; Quick Fire Hydrangea flowers earlier than Pinky Winky Hydrangea. Additionally, Pinky Winky stands out with its unique bicolor blossoms, displaying both white and pink hues, whereas Quick Fire displays a singular pink coloration.

Another notable difference is in their floral size; Pinky Winky boasts larger blooms compared to Quick Fire. When it comes to overall plant size, Pinky Winky Hydrangea tends to have a broader spread than its counterpart, Quick Fire Hydrangea.

quick fire hydrangea vs pinky winky hydrangea

Quick Fire Hydrangea and Pinky Winky Hydrangea

Quick Fire Pinky Winky
Hardiness zone 3-8 3-8
Mature height  6-8′ (1.8-2.4m) 6-8′ (1.8-2.4m)
Mature width  6-8′ (1.8-2.4m) 8-10′ (2.4-3m)
Growth rate fast fast
Light exposure full sun, partial shade full sun, partial shade
Soil moist, drained moist, drained
Soil pH 6.3-7.1 6.2-7.1
Watering 1-2 times per week in a drought 1-2 times per week in a drought
Diseases fungus fungus
Pests insects, mites insects, mites

Quick Fire blooms earlier

The key factor differentiating these two hydrangea varieties is their blooming schedule. Quick Fire leads the season, with flowering potentially starting in late May or early June, depending on the local climate. In contrast, Pinky Winky’s blossoms emerge later, typically around late June or early July.

Given that both hydrangeas maintain their blooms until fall, Quick Fire has an advantage for those seeking early floral displays, as it begins to showcase its beautiful flowers sooner.

They have different coloring of the flowers

Initially, both Quick Fire and Pinky Winky hydrangeas display white blossoms, which remain this color until mid-summer. After this period, the mature flowers start transitioning to pink.

Pinky Winky is unique in that it continues to produce new, white flowers at the top of the panicle throughout the summer. This results in a striking two-tone effect, with about 80% of the panicle in pink and the tips remaining white, resembling the appearance of a candle.

In contrast, Quick Fire, upon turning pink, either does not produce or produces very few new flowers, lacking the two-tone effect. Its blossoms are uniformly pink, often with a crimson or red tint.

A minor difference in coloration is observed in their response to intense summer sunlight. Quick Fire’s flowers may become brownish under strong sun, a change that is often not preferred. Conversely, Pinky Winky is more resilient to summer sun and only starts showing a rusty pink hue by late September. In comparison, Quick Fire’s flowers might lose their appeal as early as August.

The size of the flowers is different

Pinky Winky hydrangeas are known for their impressively large panicles, typically measuring around 12 inches (30 cm) in length. Under ideal conditions, some gardeners have even reported panicles growing up to 16 inches (45 cm). The ability of Pinky Winky to continuously produce new flowers until the end of summer contributes to the longer length of its panicles.

In contrast, Quick Fire hydrangeas feature notably smaller panicles, which seldom exceed 8 inches (20 cm) in length.

As summer progresses into its latter half, Pinky Winky’s panicles develop a distinctive conical shape with sharp tips. This pointed form, combined with the striking contrast between white and pink colors, lends Pinky Winky an extraordinary and expressive appearance.

Quick Fire’s panicles, on the other hand, are more rounded and lack the sharp tips seen in Pinky Winky.

Due to these characteristics, Pinky Winky stands out significantly more than Quick Fire, making it a prominently noticeable hydrangea even from a considerable distance.

Pinky Winky is slightly wider than Quick Fire

At full growth, both Quick Fire and Pinky Winky hydrangeas reach similar heights, typically between 6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 meters).

Pinky Winky, however, tends to be slightly wider, spanning about 8 to 10 feet (2.4 to 3 meters). This increased width is attributed to its larger and more substantial panicles, which add more mass to the branches, leading to a broader overall shape.

Despite the heavier load, Pinky Winky’s branches remain resilient, not breaking or bending. This variety has a somewhat more sprawling habit compared to Quick Fire.

Quick Fire, maintaining the same height, has a more compact form, extending about 6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 meters) in width. Its branches also stay upright, though they do not bear the same weight as those of Pinky Winky.

Quick Fire is more suitable for a hedge, owing to its lesser need for width. Additionally, it grows a bit faster, which is advantageous for hedge formation.

On the other hand, Pinky Winky excels as a standalone plant, particularly due to its two-tone panicles. When cultivated as a tree-form hydrangea, Pinky Winky presents an exceptionally stunning sight.

There’s also Little Quick Fire hydrangea

For enthusiasts of smaller plants, Little Quick Fire Hydrangea is an excellent choice. It shares the same early blooming benefit as the standard Quick Fire variety but is notably smaller in size.

Little Quick Fire typically reaches a height and width of up to 5 feet, making it a more compact option. The flowers exhibit a similar crimson-pink hue as its larger counterpart. This variety is particularly well-suited for smaller gardens or for creating low hedges, offering the charm of Quick Fire in a more manageable size.