Shrub of the Month - Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'
Posted: October 9, 2012
Flowers on many species of hydrangeas can be a problem because their large size bows the stems to the ground, especially during rainstorms. This is most often a problem with panicle and smooth hydrangeas.
A relatively new release, Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’, incorporates the long flowering season and eliminates the flopping problem of heavy blooms. ‘Limelight’ hydrangea has been selected for its strong, upright stems that hold the showy, eight-inch blooms aloft. Flowers emerge in July and turn from light green to white and remain this color for several weeks. The floral display is even more impressive if planted in groupings. Heading into fall, the blooms may change to a pinkish color before turning brown. If left alone, the brown blooms will remain intact atop the leafless stems for most of winter, adding some textural appeal to the winter landscape.
Give 'Limelight' adequate space as it will grow 7-8 feet tall with an equal spread. To keep it from getting too large, consider pruning back to several inches above the ground in late winter or early spring. Unlike some other hydrangea species which bloom on old wood, ‘Limelight’ flowers on new growth. This attractive shrub is hardy in zones 3-8 and grows best in full sun to partial shade and well-drained, average garden soil.