Growing Limelight Hydrangeas | Late Summer

I’ve been growing limelight hydrangeas for a few years now…this is my third growing season. I planted in the late spring of 2014 and even though they were tiny, my three plants produced lovely blooms. Last summer (you can see how they looked HERE) the bushes doubled in size and so did the blooms. I left them dry on the bushes and then cut all the blooms to make a dried hydrangea wreath. I would call that a hard pruning because not much was left after I harvested all the dried blooms!

Growing Limelight Hydrangeas | Late Summer | Tips for getting huge blooms in late summer from a DIY gardener.I planted the bushes in front of my porch to give my house a casual, farmhouse feel. They are, without a doubt, my favorite plant ever. There’s not much to growing limelight hydrangeas. A little sun, water and good soil are all they need to thrive. 

Growing Limelight Hydrangeas | Late Summer | Tips for getting huge blooms in late summer from a DIY gardener.The one thing that puzzles me this year are the super long stems. The stems that produced blooms are so tall, and the blooms are so heavy, that some are falling over. I did some research because I wondered if the hard pruning may have caused this. 

Growing Limelight Hydrangeas | Late Summer | Tips for getting huge blooms in late summer from a DIY gardener.I discovered that after a hard pruning, the new branches may not be strong enough to support the weight of the massive blooms. Clearly this is what happened to my bushes. I should have left some of the old wood last fall to support the new blooms that appeared this summer. (At least I think that’s what I should have done. The honest truth is that I’m not sure.) 

Growing Limelight Hydrangeas | Late Summer | Tips for getting huge blooms in late summer from a DIY gardener.So…back to the drawing board! No hard pruning this year. I will cut the bushes back in a few months but not as severely as I did last year. Even though the blooms are weighing down the stems, I still think they look beautiful. I couldn’t resist the urge to cut a few blooms and bring them inside. 

I want to take just one more minute of your time to thank everyone who read and/or commented on my post What To Do When It All Falls Apart. It was not an easy post to write but I’m so glad I did. Many of you gave encouraging advice (which I am taking to heart for sure) or offered suggestions. I read every single comment and made pages of notes. I told you I was working on something to grow my email list and it’s almost finished. If you subscribe to my blog by email, you will be the first to see. If you don’t, and would like to subscribe, just click HERE. It’s totally free and I never, ever send spam. There are check boxes so you can customize what information lands in your inbox. I post two or three times per week so don’t worry about getting an email every day. I am fairly certain that will never happen!

More on growing limelight hydrangeas:

Thanks for stopping by…see you soon!


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  1. Mine did the same thing & my new strawberry vanilla hydrangea is full of blooms & toppling over

  2. Sheila DelCharco says:

    Because of your posts about limelight hydrangeas, I asked for them for Mother’s Day! I received two plants and have planted them but have not gotten any blooms on them. Maybe because they’re in their first year?

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Yes Sheila be patient. I’m sure you will have blooms next year. Don’t prune them if they aren’t too out of shape. Good luck!

  3. I love hydrangeas & I am still upset that the new owners of my old property dug up a huge hydrangea bush & discarded it. It was huge & had pink & blue blooms on it . I guess it must have had different soil underneath, I don’t know if you get hard frosts where you live . Here in England we are told not to prune the wood back till all danger of frost has passed to wait till about June. This is supposed to encourage new growth, although it does look unsightly over the winter months. I have just read your post” What to do when it all falls apart”. ( I have over 700 unread Emails!). I am sorry to hear about your falling traffic & can offer no explanation. I can’t remember how I came across your site- was it from a link party? And living where I do you will not gain any income from me. I do know I enjoy your posts & you ALWAYS respond to my comments.

  4. The Limelights in my garden were here when we moved in. They are right outside my kitchen window and I get so much enjoyment from them. The woman that lived here previously had them supported by tomato cages. I wasn’t crazy about the cages at first, but I think she was on to something. The blooms are large and heavy on their own and with a hard rain they droop. Without the cages they don’t always bounce back. The cages are only an eyesore for a short time. The Hydrangeas fill out enough that you don’t see them. Also, they face toward the South/East. They get a lot of morning sun and shade in the afternoon. This year, I plan to try drying them like you did. Love you blog Ann! Don’t stop sharing your creativity!

  5. Thank you for your posts on limelight hydrangeas. We bought our first two bushes this year and they are blooming very well so far. I am already enjoying the cut blooms in my home, and I’m looking forward to drying them. I appreciate reading your helpful tips.

  6. No problem with the link, and I don’t care if the limelight’s did fall over, they are beautiful. Thanks though for trying new things and letting us know how it work out. I love reading this.

  7. I really like hydrangeas so it was nice to see what you do with them. I have tried cutting and drying them, but they often wilt that way. I agree that the best way to dry them is to leave them on the bushes to dry out with the help of mother nature.

    Thank you for your posts.

  8. Barbara Kemp says:

    Ann, thank you for your hard work! Has anyone told you that lately?

    The flowers are beautiful and I love all things flower. Ask my family! Years ago I had a beautiful flower garden spurred on by my landscape architecture friend. Those days are gone, we moved to different parts of the country and now my yard is full of shade. Flowers are a challenge but the trees, shrubs and hosta have their beauty too.

    Oh, and I love your sugar recipe and so does my husband.

    1. I have a lot of shade too Barbara and it does have it’s good points!

  9. Your Limelight Hydrangeas are beautiful. I enjoyed this post so much – always look forward to hearing from you in my inbox! So many great thoughts, tips and ideas!

  10. Check out the blog Three Dogs in a Garden. Her post today explains how to prune hydrangea.

    1. Thank you Carla! I will look right now…

  11. Hi Ann, I also received 2 emails from you …almost 2 hours apart …but I never mind reading your posts twice ! Beautiful limelights…I have blue and pistachio hydrangeas and I love them…be well ….Anne

  12. Your limelights look beautiful, Ann. I’m enjoying all the comments and tips. I’m gonna try the banana suggestion!

  13. Beautiful as always Ann. I clicked on it and it took me right to your post, no problem!

  14. Mimi Harmon says:

    Ann, I had lanky hydrangeas several years ago. My research showed they may need potassium. I put sone banana peals in the blender with water and poured it on the soul at the base of the plants. I only did this once and did not have the problem again. It may be worth a try!

    1. Oh my gosh this is amazing…I will definitely try this! Thanks for letting us all know. :)

  15. Mary Rose says:

    The most beautiful plant! They look just great in your garden, fresh cut and the wreath too. I plan to plant one next spring if I can find a shady area. I have very little shade. I do have an Endless Summer hydrangea, I think it’s bridal veil, can’t remember for sure. It’s huge and so beautiful too. Love your posts!

  16. I love hydrangeas. Im still trying to grow them. Maybe some day! Yours are lovely.

  17. Love your emails and your wonderful ideas. Have not had any problems! Thanks for sharing!

  18. Hi Ann, Because you wanted to know. I also received two emails this morning. One at 7:12 and one at 9:00. Central time. Both were the “Growing Limelight Hydrangas” . Technology is so much fun! Hahagaha
    Love your Hydrangas. Very pretty!????

  19. Ann, I bought two small limelight hydrangeas after your previous post. They are still small but hope they bloom next year. They’re gorgeous!

    1. Just be a little bit patient Nanci. Next year you will have blooms!

  20. Margaret Canavan says:

    Hi Ann
    I’m so glad for this post☺ I have followed all of your hydrangea articles previously with great interest as I would love to grow them here in my tiny suburban garden. My all time favourite shrub and also my favourite cut flowers!
    I had bwen wondering how your plants were doing this year after they had been cut back last year, so it’s great to get another update. I look forward to your future limelight posts and seeing how they continue to grow and give you pleasure.
    Thanks as always

  21. Ann, this is not a complaint at all :) Just want to let you know that for some reason I got 2 of your emails today but they are exactly the same about grown Limelight Hydrangeas.

    1. Thank you Bonnie! That was a glitch with my email company…it’s so hard for me to figure out what’s in my control to change and what is not! I appreciate you letting me know. <3

  22. Ann, I always enjoy reading your blog. I didn’t have a problem when I hit the link today.

  23. I am on your mailing list and read your blog without fail whenever there is an update. I received a note several weeks ago indicating that your stats show that I do not link to your site from the e-mails. This is true; but it doesn’t mean that I’m not reading your new content. I use the Goodshop search engine to access all of the blogs that I follow — doing this earns a penny a search for my chosen “cause”. Not a lot of money, but it adds up!!! Just wanted you to know why it appears that I am no longer a reader.

    1. Oh my gosh thank you so much for telling me! You are a good soul and very generous with your time. Some people would not take that extra step. I have not heard of Goodshop so thank you for sharing with us. :)

  24. We did a bit of hard pruning last fall too – my bushes have yet to recover. Those blooms are beautiful. Your link worked just fine, BTW.

  25. Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things says:

    They are such a beautiful flower!

  26. Got the Limelight blooms.

  27. I receive your posts by email and have no problems with links today. I did one day last week.

    I think your hydrangea are stunning. Wish mine were. My gardener trimmed mine so hard that all I have left are wimpy stems and leaves. I am not happy. You should see what he did to the azalea!

    Glad you have been able to sort some things out. My primary blog reads involve quilting and sewing with very select decor blogs. Interestingly, there are lots and lots of opinion articles showing up the last couple weeks about how blogs are dying out and nobody wants to read content or comment. These people, very informed people I might add, feel this trend will burst the bubble in what they referred to as “the bloated quilt industry.” To remain current in this fast moving cyber world is really difficult, no doubt about it. Whether your focus is craft, decor, quilting or garment construction. I surely hope their predictions are untrue, so many people maintain their blogs for business. These small businesses have given birth to many new designs and trends while supporting independent quilt shops, sewing machine dealers and instructors with their books and tools.

    In any case, best of luck, I think there will be changes and the strong will survive. I think your blog is lovely. I like the format and content and feel that you contribute to the enhancement of our lives in troubled times.

    1. Thank you for your heartfelt comment Corrine. I agree with everything you have said. The only way to survive is to keep trying new things and learning as much as you can.

      I think this year I will lightly prune my hydrangeas but no hard pruning for me!
      Enjoy the weekend,

    2. ps my gardener is the same person as my mechanic …. my husband!

  28. Love the limelights! Yours are beautiful. Thank you for the work you put into your lovely and informative blog. Everything is working fine for me. Have a day filled with creative ideas!

  29. No issues with the link Ann, it worked just fine!

  30. Wonder if we have Limelight Hydrangeas in Florida? I’ve seen Endless Summer, but that’s it!

    1. Yes Nancie, we do have limelights in Florida. I bought and planted my first one ever this year. Thank you Ann for sharing your results. Mine are in process.

    2. It depends on where you are in Florida Nanci…they are hardy through zone 9. The bottom tip of FL would most likely be too hot. They should have a little extra water too I would think. Hope you find some!

  31. Love your hydrangeas! Maybe next year I will plant the limelights. The ones I have are nice and bushy but not a bloom in sight…sigh…

  32. Ann,
    I clicked on your link and went straight to the hydrangea link. No errors. Comment on hydrangeas….my problem is the deer keep eating the leaves – they have yet to bloom this summer. So now I have black netting over them – real pretty. I give up – can’t fight the battle with the deer.

    1. Yes some battles are not worth fighting. I used deer spray once to keep the squirrels out of my pots but it smelled so bad I couldn’t sit on my deck. Probably not a good choice. Good luck though!

  33. Christine Hodgkinson says:

    HI Ann
    I have bee growing Limelights for years, both at home and at the cottage. After a couple years of crazy out of control growth I learned that it I prune back very hard in the fall, I can control the structure of the plant for next year/growing season. I take everything from the bottom, leaving only straight, uncrossed branches. These branches become the “old growth” that next year’s new/flowering growth grow from. The result is a much sturdier upright hydrangea
    Loving my Limelights
    Christine Hodgkinson

    1. Thank you Christine! I am definitely doing exactly this in the fall. Hopefully next year the branches will stand tall! :)

  34. Hi Ann,
    My hydrangeas are doing the same thing. I did cut off most of the blooms last year and they are huge this year. I have a Limelight tree too which is gorgeous, but very few or no flowers at all on my Endless Summer hydrangeas. I can’t figure these plants out!

    Love OSP!

    1. Renee I have 3 endless summer and 3 blooms between all of them. It is frustrating. I am not cutting them back in the fall so maybe I’ll have more blooms next spring. Fingers crossed!

  35. Hi Ann, I got two emails that are the same today. Thought I would let you know since you are having problems with your site.Jonita

  36. These beauties are on my list of ‘must have’ for the garden. I have a few pink and purple hydrangeas and I battle with the deer for them. We are fencing, and when the fence is done the hydrangeas, old and new will go behind it!

    1. Hello there! Glad to hear from you. I think fencing is the only thing that keeps the deer out. Good luck with everything. <3

  37. I have three lime lights…and they are all doing well! I did not prune mine last year, just cut off the dead flowers. But, my endless summer gets radically pruned every year, amd I have great success with that one! This is Wisconsin, so I wonder if that makes a difference? Yours are beautiful….and look lovely in front of your home! ;)

    1. I don’t know Donnamae…My endless summers were hard pruned last fall and they have a total of 3 blooms. So not sure if that was the right thing or not? I am going to just shape them this fall and see what happens. Enjoy what’s left of the summer!

  38. Sheri house says:

    Love your blog. Pictures of your home and landscaping always inspire me! Loved the picture of you at the wedding with my sweet friend Beth.

    1. Thank you Sheri! It was SO good to see her…we had such a good time. <3

  39. April Lopez says:

    I got in just fine through my email. Love those flowers.

  40. My sister gave me a Limelight for my birthday last July and I am so happy to say that survived the freezing temps and snow we had last winter in Northern California and is covered in flowers. However it also has very long branches. Because I have never had a Limelight before I thought it was just it’s nature to grow this way. Thank you for any more info you can get. And I have to add that your blog is one of my very favorites that I read and I read ALOT. God bless and have a great day!

    1. Thank you Suzanne…I will for sure post one more time about the limelights with my plan for this fall. Trial and error for sure!

  41. Priscilla Marshall says:

    I love your site, Ann. I have gotten so many constructive ideas from you. I
    wish you were my neighbor. Thank you
    For what you do and for “hanging in
    there” during the dilemma. Blessings to you dear Ann.

    1. What a lovely thing to say Priscilla…thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. Blessings to you too. <3

  42. These plants are beautiful.

  43. It opened just fine through my email. Have I told you lately that you are my favorite bit of sunshine that comes through the world of blogging? Thank you for all the work you do on your site.

  44. I live in North Carolina, so my gardening experiences are going to be different from anyone living up north. I have grown a variety of hydrangeas for over 30 years, and I love them all. My acquaintance with hydrangeas has led me to one conclusion: hydrangeas are unpredictable! Despite that, I wouldn’t ever have a garden without them.

    1. Oh my gosh well said! Unpredictable describes them perfectly…but I agree. Can’t image a garden without them. Enjoy the rest of the summer!

  45. Sheran Steading says:

    I snipped some of my own limelight so yesterday. I love them, too.

  46. I, too, have 3 year old limelights, and I have never pruned them or cut any of the blooms. My bushes are doing the same thing as yours, long stems that are flopping over and laying down, so I don’t think it has anything to do with your pruning. I would love to dry some, but I left them on the bush last year and they seemed to turn brown rather than the beautiful green. We’ll see what happens this year.

  47. Morning Ann, same happened to my limelights this year and I didn’t know why. Thanks for the help. I had also done a good pruning in the fall.