How to grow and care for your Limelight Hydrangea. A beautiful deciduous shrub for your garden which is very forgiving and easy to grow.
Normally, I would say that my favorite plant is my Black-eyed Susan vine, but lately I've been having an affair with my Limelight hydrangea.
It's a beautiful plant!
Officially, they say the blooms are a chartreuse color, but around here they become this very pretty creamy white color with just tinge of lime green poking through.
They start blooming in late July and if you can bear to leave the yummy blooms on the plants until fall . . . BOOM . . they turn a deep pink color that looks wonderful in fall arrangements.
OK, you in the first row. Yes, you with the yoga pants on, eating a pint of Ben & Jerry's.
Do Limelight hydrangeas need full sun?
They like part-sun to full-sun. I have two of these and the one that gets more sun during the day gets twice as many blooms.
Now to be fair, when I planted them they were in equal sun vs shade positions, but the tree on the right side of the house grew so much it didn't do that Limelight any favors.
How do I find these guys?
Their name is Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight' (common name Panicle hydrangea)- just check with your local nursery to see if they sell them in your area or you can buy them online at Amazon.
How tall do Limelight hydrangeas get?
6-8 foot tall, so just a little shorter than Bigfoot.
Will they grow where I live?
Golly, that all depends where you live. They are hardy in zones - 3a- 9b. If you don't already know your gardening zone, you can go to the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, input your zip code and it will tell you your zone.
Do Limelight hydrangea bloom on old or new wood?
Glad you asked. They bloom on new wood, which is another way of saying new growth.
Do you cut back Limelight hydrangeas?
Since they bloom from new wood, any heavy pruning should be done in winter or very early spring before the new growth emerges. Otherwise you are going to drastically reduce the number of glorious blooms!
Limelight Hydrangea spacing?
If you are interested in growing your Limelight hydrangea as a hedge (gorgeous look by the way), you can space them 7-8 feet apart (center of plant to center of plant).
What to plant with my Limelight hydrangea?
Some wonderful limelight hydrangeas companion plants are:
Hostas - hostas will look wonderful planted around your Limelight. The variegated varieties can take a little more sun that your typical shade loving variety and come in some wonderful whites and golds mixed with green.
Coral Bells (Heuchera) - I have some plum colored coral bells planted near one of my Limelight hydrangeas and the color contrast is just beautiful.
Ornamental Grasses - Some of the striped varieties of ornamental grasses really play off the colors of the Limelight. One of my favorite varieties is Golden Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola') which has beautiful golden foliage with thin stripes of green running through them. The gold appears almost chartreuse in shadier areas.
I have four hydrangea already, do I really needs another hydrangea?
You betcha! They are footloose and fancy free. I water them if we're having an extended drought, but generally these guys are on their own!
And you can NEVER have enough hydrangeas in your outdoor lineup. Never. Ever. Ever.
So to recap,
How To Grow Limelight Hydrangea:
- Part-Sun to Full-Sun
- Grows 6-8 foot tall with a spread of 6-8 foot wide
- Hardy in zones 3a - 9b
- Blooms on new wood (new growth)
- Only prune in winter or very early spring
- Flowers from mid-July through fall
- Buy as many as will fit in the back seat of your car
What plants are you crushing on this year?
Other Posts You May Enjoy:
How To Grow Hydrangea In Pots
How To Dry Hydrangea The Easy Way
Quick And Easy Hydrangea Wreath
I'm crushing on Limelights right now too! I've had one, but planted two more this year. They are all just starting to bloom and I'm so excited. I'm a little sad that i don't have very many blooms yet. I didn't trim them back last year and I'm wondering if that is the problem. How do you maintain them?
Is this the first year you've had that plant? Gosh, it's big! I've been thinking that I'd like to try try limelights too or maybe the little lime variety. Have you seen those? I just got nine hydrangea bushes though, so I'd have to put some thought into where I could plant those.
Pam, this is my favorite hydrangea! I have one that is 8 feet tall and it consistently performs year after year. I have fresh long lasting blooms that I use for boquests for about 2 months. I also have a endless summer that looks great this year but last year only had 2 blooms. My blushing bride had 2 blooms this year too. I found out that these grow on old wood so don't trim them in the fall.
Oh how I wish we could grow hydrangeas here in South Tx. yours are gorgeous XO Marissa.
Any hydrangea! I love them all, and want some to dry for indoor arrangements. Gotta plant some!!
I envy anyone who has these beautiful bushes. Everything burns to a crisp where I live in TX.
Pam @ Frippery
Pam, they are my favorite too. I have 15 hydrangeas in the garden and 4 are Limelight. They are the easiest and most spectacular of all. My Annabelle's used to be the biggest but these guys have them beat. Looks beautiful!
Shabby chic Sandy
Okay--I so want those. You sold me.
Lynn @The Vintage Nest
wow...thank you for posting this. I have one of these and had no idea what it was called. Thought it was some kind of snowball bush. A former owner planted it on the edge of the woods of the front yard so it gets sun and shade. Didn't bloom for a few years but once it got going it's fabulous. Creamy white blooms that turn such a pretty greenish. Love the name....Limelight. Now I know. xoxo
I just got new landscaping for the front yard. The man put in 3 lime light hydrangeas in from of my pic window. They looked great for a week. The man said when the blooms get dry and brown looking cut them and new ones will come in there place. well I am afraid to do this as almost all the leaves are brown and fallen off. Is it not too late in the year to prune Lime Light?
@Jan - I've pruned them late in the year. Actually I normally prune off the dried and brown hydrangea blooms right before it snows and they do fine. They bloom on new wood which means new growth in the spring, so pruning shouldn't effect the blooms unless you do it too close to next year's bloom time.
[email protected] at the Crossroads
Pam, if I can find one more vintage picnic basket, I'm going to stack them up just like yours!!! I have been intending to plant one of these hydrangea bushes. I have one that blooms dark purple, but it didn't like the cold winter that we had and has given me less blooms this year! If I plant one of these, I'm going to name it PAM!
i have two regular hydrangAs and I live in the Carribean. I have them in partial sun/ shade and have followed all books and tips but they don't look good at all. There practically dead what do you advice?
I love your limelight hydrangeas!! My favorite type of hydrangea!! I wondered how you care for them after frost, to prepare for the next growing season? Thanks!
I do nothing special with them other than if I am going to prune them I do so in late winter. They bloom on new growth so you don't want to prune them after they have started to grow in the spring. No extra mulching or anything like that. I can't wait until they start blooming this year 🙂
How do they do in containers? I will be moving in 1 - 2 years and I dont want to dig them up.
Yes, you can grow them in containers. Just make sure to give them adequate water and fertilize them in the summer.
I absolutely LOVE limelight hydrangeas! But for those who don't need a 6-8 foot plant in their flowerbed, there is also a Little Limelight version that look spectacular in groupings. This is what I chose for my front slope area. Can't wait to see them bloom!
Happy Gardening ya'll!
I had not heard of those yet!!! I'll check them out!
I have a limelight hydrangea. The blooms ate beautiful. I also have one with pink blooms and one with purple blooms. I love them. I will bjy a Strawberry-vanilla. One. Just have to find room as i have lots of flowers.
My limelight hydrangea tree blooms beautifully but then when it rains, the blooms get weighted down and the whole thing droops :(. So we have to cut the blooms off because it’s so heavy and doesn’t look nice at all. I feel terrible because we picked it to be a center piece in one of our front gardens. Any suggestions? Cutting it back seems to be the only solution but then we don’t get to enjoy the whole tree for the season. I feel like it really wasn’t meant to be a tree!
I do not have a limelight hydrangea tree myself, so I looked around a bit and found this article for you that discusses that exact problem. I know with my limelight bushes they get quite floppy after a rain and that is due to the thin newer branches. A couple people on that site are saying they just leave the trees alone and don't prune them at all and that creates thicker stronger branches in future years. There's also a YouTube video listed in the 1st comment on that article that show you how to prune them (his is a different variety, but still a hydrangea paniculata). I was debating buying a limelight tree myself this year, so I might have to run out and get one just to see how it does!
They are such beautiful plants. I found a great article on how to prune a limelight hydrangea into a tree!