Growing Limelight Hydrangeas | An Update

Growing Limelight Hydrangeas | An Update | A self-taught, DIY gardener shares tips and advice on growing this show-stopping, summer bloom.Last summer I shared with you all my excitement when I finally, after many years of trying, grew three hydrangea bushes that actually bloomed. I was able to cut some fresh blooms to bring inside and there were enough blooms left on the bushes to make a Dried Hydrangea Wreath. After that, I was left with bushes that looked a bit chopped up and uneven. I thought I might be taking a big chance, but decided to cut them back to about a foot tall. I did some research and all the experts said that limelight bushes could take a hard pruning. One article said that the first blooms would most likely be smaller but that was OK with me. 

So this is what the bushes look like now.

Growing Limelight Hydrangeas | An Update | A self-taught, DIY gardener shares tips and advice on growing this show-stopping, summer bloom.They are just starting to sprout some green so for that I am very grateful. I sprinkled them with a continuous feed bloom booster about a month ago. We’ve had plenty of rain so it should be doing its job. 

Growing Limelight Hydrangeas | An Update | A self-taught, DIY gardener shares tips and advice on growing this show-stopping, summer bloom.I’m trying to be confident and not question my decision to cut the bushes back. Of course I won’t know if that decision was good or bad until July…which seems a long time away! I don’t mind that the bushes are smaller as long as there are blooms. So literally, time will tell.

Growing Limelight Hydrangeas - On Sutton PlaceI’ll leave you with this lovely picture from last summer. I hope you all are having a good week and have been able to enjoy some spring sunshine. 

Click the images below for the whole story on my limelights!

Growing Limelight Hydrangeas | On Sutton Place

Drying Limelight Hydrangeas | On Sutton Place

Dried Hydrangea Wreath Tutorial | On Sutton Place

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  1. I’m going to use your experience and hard cut mine back in Oct. Have you ever grown a Quick Fire Hydrangea? They are the first to bloom and while not as showy as Limelight, they are beauties!

  2. hydrangea says:

    Does limelight hydrangea hold its unique color?

  3. Sheila DelCharco says:

    Because of your post last year I have “plant limelight hydrangeas” on my list! We are in the midst of a backyard makeover and have some more construction to do before I can. I look forward to an update in July!

  4. After reading your article on the LimeLights, I purchased two, planted in my front beds, so am hoping for the best! I am not good with plants, but am going to be positive these will survive!

  5. I went to the Farmer’s Market the other day and what did I see, Limelight hydrangeas! Of course I had to jump on the bandwagon and buy a Limelight too! I just couldn’t resist the urge after reading the discussion, hints, ideas, etc.

  6. Limelights are super hardy. I live in zone 6B and have a few. Every fall I cut off a profuse amount of blooms that are about 10″ long to bring indoors and every third year or so give them a pruning to about a couple of feet. The other years I just dead head and tidy up the bushes. Water is the key with hydrangeas…they are thirsty plants. It does take a couple of years for them to become established though. I’m sure yours will do great this year.

  7. Gayle M Kesinger says:

    I am from Dallas and our drought is over for the moment. I have lace cap hydrangeas in front of the raised bed azaleas and this year they look as though they will be wonderful. However, I am never sure about pruning, cut back or not? I definitely want to try the Limelight hydrangeas because this is one of my favorite colors. Just need to find the right place to plant them. I am interested in all comments.

  8. Wish you lived closer. I’m thinning out my 20 +year old Annabelle hydrangea that bloom profusely no matter when I prune them. They’re VERY hardy. You could have all you want! LOL Seriously our local landscaper told us we may have to get rid of them all together. They are getting too tall and look great until the first thunderstorm then are a falling over mess. It breaks my heart as they were 3, 1 gallon plants I received for Mothers Day one of the first years after we built our house. They’re right in front of our porch and and walkway. We could build a fence to prop them up. They still produce dinner plate size blooms and dry beautifully. We’re having some new landscaping done so we’ll have to wait and see. Maybe we’ll plant some “Limelight”!

    1. Sheila DelCharco says:

      I want some! I adore hydrangeas!

  9. Mary from Virginia says:

    If you get a chance get Espomia Holly Tone. Hydrangeas are Acid loving plants, Espomia is all organic. I use Holly Tone for acid-loving plants, such as hollies, azaleas, camellias, evergreens, hydrangeas, dogwoods, blueberries, strawberries and rhododendrons. It is rich in natural organics and enhanced with Bio-tone® microbes.

  10. I planted 2 lime lights last fall and they survived our snowy winter. Right now they look about like yours do, only shorter. I hope they grow and bloom this year. I have them fenced off from my free ranging chickens so at least they won’t get nibbled by “the girls”. Keep us updated!

  11. Dawn Cain says:

    I bet they’ll do great this year. I wrote a post about beating my fruit trees into producing and I had a comment saying the same method could be used on hydrangeas. So if you see no blooms this year come over and read the post and give it a try. BTW love your new look!

  12. I planted Limelights 3 years ago when we moved, and they are doing fantastic! They were hit by hail last summer, but still produced, although not as much. I cut them back each year, and they look like yours do now, with leaves starting to sprout. The blossoms vary from medium to very large. I love them!

  13. Heather Chapplain says:

    I have a couple of these plants in my garden and I love them. They are so pretty and for some reason remind me of all things French.

  14. Your front porch looked adorable last year. Love the flag pillows. I think I’ll have to hunt some of those up. As for Hydrangeas, I have several and struggle with the whole pruning thing and the correct timing. When and when not to. This year we tried not pruning t all. We just left everything. I hope does the trick.

  15. Amy Renea says:

    Yours look very healthy!! I would feel quite confident in their victorious return :) I have been tossing around the idea of a hydrangea hedge on the front of our home — need to find a clearance to get enough buckets of them!!

  16. Catt in Kentucky says:

    Limelight hydrangeas are so incredibly hardy! They definitely can take an early (mid March where I live) hard pruning. Mine got so big and the blossoms were often a foot long and very heavy and the long, unpruned branches had problems supporting those mammoth blossoms after a rain (they soak up a ton of water when it rains).
    I cut mine way back this year and they have already put forth lots of leaves and will be fine. Frankly I would welcome smaller sized flowers!
    Also they really don’t need feeding. Pruning yearly, regular water and heavy mulching over the root area before a cold winter is all they require.
    One early summer I transplated 2 Limelights in full bloom cutting the blossoms back a bit and within 6 weeks they are blooming away.

    Seriously, they are not delicate at all.

  17. Jane Windham says:

    Ann, I have been meaning to plant some limelights and your post is reminding me to do so. Keep us updated on their growth!

  18. Shirley@housepitality designs says:

    I hope you get lots of beautiful blooms this year…I planted a Limelight last summer…and I am watching it sprout new leaves and keeping the deer spray on them….so crossing my fingers for blooms this year.

  19. Sandra@lookingforpotential says:

    Hi Ann, I have 2 bushes of limelight Hydrangeas one is at 7ft the other is on its way. I have never cut them back I heard to leave the old stems on and I just snap them off when the new comes in. I just take off all dried flowers in spring. My sister and I bought the one together and her’s is not been growing that fast, she has moved it a few times. Hope yours will produce and grow fast!!

  20. I have 8 limelights that line the side of my house. We cut them back every fall and each year they come back bigger and more showy! They are quite massive now, and the blooms on some are quite enormous! As you found, limelights are wonderful for drying. Yours should be fine.

    1. Oh Janice this is good news! I hope the same happens to mine. Thanks for letting me know!

  21. Ann love your new look!! Can you share the name of the booster you used? Thanks!

    1. Hi Nancy…I picked it up at Lowe’s. It’s in a green jug and made by MiracleGro. It’s called Shake ‘n Feed Rose & Bloom. It’s for roses and other flowering plants. It may not have been the best choice but I thought I would give it a try. Time will tell!

  22. Ann, I started out five years ago with four Endless Summer hydrangeas. Ohio winters took two and left one other very weak. I potted that one and kept it in our garage the past two winters. It has so many bright green leaves on it and three beginning blossoms today. My faithful, surviving, in ground hydrangea looks a bit under the weather. A hint of green is showing. I truly hope it does well in another month. I have dried their beautiful pinkish green flowers the past two Septembers. Yes, I know Endless Summer gives a blue flower with the right ingredients in the ground, but my siding is blue, and I prefer the pink blooms. This past Christmas, I had a slim artificial tree in our dining room with all shades of blue bulbs and loaded the tree with all my dried hydrangeas. Gorgeous. I will send you a picture. Your Limelight show they are doing well with all their new green. They may not be as tall as last year, but they will look beautiful.

    1. I hope you are right Sandy! Your Christmas tree sounds beautiful. :)

  23. Hydrangeas – perfect timing. I was just presented with beautiful hydrangeas and hope to be able to plant them and actually grow them, which will be hard with a brown thumb! Thank you. You have given me encouragement and courage to give it a whirl. They are so beautiful. Thank you!

  24. I love hydrangeas. I’m actually moving some rose bushes that aren’t doing well (not enough sun) and planting more hydrangea. I have 2 bushes right now, 1 limelight. Keeping my fingers crossed I didn’t prune them too much. Love your tips on growing them, plus all your other flowering posts.

  25. Mary Choi says:

    Hi Ann:

    I have Limelight Hydrangeas that were planted by my yard guy. They had little tiny blooms last year. What kind of flowering feed did you use. My actual bushes are tiny too….I hope they grow soon!

    1. Hi Mary! They will definitely grow so just be patient! The fertilizer is by MiracleGro and it’s called Shake ‘n Feed Rose & Bloom. It comes in a green jug. I don’t know if it was the right choice so time will tell on that! It comes in a green jug and is for roses and flowering plants.

  26. Kirby Carespodi says:

    I am interested to see how they fare…we have 7 different hydrangea varietals in our gardens, and I’ve never been that brave!