I have never been one of those gardeners who plants something and it automatically thrives. Truth be told, I have had more plants die than have lived. I usually try something twice and if I can’t get it to grow, I give up. Not the case with hydrangeas. I have tried over and over again to have big bushes with big, beautiful blooms. I have seen a bit of success with one lone Annabelle but my real success story has been growing limelight hydrangeas.
I was trying to achieve an old-fashioned, farmhouse feel when I planted these hydrangeas in front of the porch railing last spring. I honestly thought it would take several years to grow them tall enough to hide the foundation and part of the railing. As you can see in the picture below, they grew much faster than expected.
When I planted them I had no expectations. I honestly didn’t think they would make it. I have learned the hard way to not get my hopes up! Anyway, last year (their first) they bloomed beautifully. Not huge blooms but big enough for me to have confidence that just maybe, finally, I would have real hydrangeas with legit blooms.
Well…legit they are. The three bushes have bloomed abundantly and I couldn’t be happier. So…if you have always wanted hydrangeas but didn’t think you could do it, try a limelight. Of course I can’t promise anything but they have been pretty easy to grow.
Here are my best tips:
- Take into consideration their rapid growth when spacing them in your landscaping. Give them a little more room than you think they need.
- When pruning or cutting blooms, cut as close to the root as possible. Where you cut each branch, two or three branches form. This means if you cut all your blooms from the top, the next year your bush will be very top-heavy. With blooms as big as these that would be tragic!
- Remember that they don’t bloom until mid to late July in most growing zones. Do not prune them in the late spring or early summer because you will be cutting off the buds.
- If possible, wait until the blooms have started to dry and change color before cutting. Believe me I know that will be hard…if you have a ton of blooms you could cut some early and it won’t make a difference. Just don’t cut all of them.
- In late fall, shape your bushes and prune if needed. Limelights bloom on new wood so you can trim them a bit even in the early spring but fall is recommended.
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