Everything You Need to Know About Limelight Hydrangea Trees
Limelight hydrangea trees are a stunning variety, with an enormous display of 10-inch, pale green blossoms each summer that transition to soft white, cream, and pink through fall. These cold-hardy, drought-tolerant hydrangeas are exceptionally low-maintenance and yield gorgeous blossoms perfect for cutting and drying.
Whether you are looking for a striking specimen plant, a lively hedge, or a container piece for your patio, limelight hydrangeas are your answer.
Limelight Hydrangea Trees at a Glance
Limelight hydrangea trees grow in a rounded shape with deep, dark green foliage. In summer, their 10-inch, pale green flowers bloom from new wood growth. These enormous blooms change color throughout the season, shifting to creams, whites, and even pinks through fall before the leaves drop in winter.
Rounded shape with dark green leaves and pale green, 10-inch blooms in summer that turn to cream, white, or pink through fall. Loses leaves in winter
Type of tree
Full sun to partial shade
Highly adaptable, prefers neutral to acidic and requires well-draining soil
USDA Hardiness Zones indicate the regions where plants can grow based on minimum winter temperatures. Limelight hydrangea trees grow in Zones 3-8, which covers a very large swath of the country. They tolerate both hot summers and cold winters, including frost.
The ideal times to plant Limelight hydrangea trees are early spring or fall. We recommend taking these steps when planting:
- Choose a sheltered planting site that receives full sun in cool climates or partial sun in warm climates.
- Start by digging a hole twice the width of your Limelight hydrangea root ball and roughly the same depth of the root ball. Your plant should be just slightly higher than the surrounding soil.
- Backfill the hole with soil halfway and pour water into the hole until it rises to the top. After it fully drains away, finish filling in the rest of the soil. If you do not have well-draining soil, you’ll want to plant your Limelight hydrangea tree in a 24-inch mound to make sure it doesn’t get soggy roots.
- To create a privacy hedge, plant your Limelight hydrangea trees 7-8 feet apart, center to center.
Limelight hydrangea trees can grow in a wide variety of soils and are drought-tolerant after they’ve been established, making them low-maintenance and almost hassle-free.
Sun and shade
The sunlight requirements for Limelight hydrangea trees depend on the zones they are grown in. In warmer zones 7-8, they need partial shade—about four hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight per day. In cooler zones 4-6, they get the best bloom growth from being in full sun, or at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight per day.
Limelight hydrangea trees can adapt to a wide variety of soils but prefer a neutral to acidic pH. Whatever the soil type, it must be well-draining. These trees do not like wet feet. Unlike some other varieties, the soil pH does not affect the color of the blooms.
Protect your Limelight hydrangea’s roots from winter chill in cold climates by applying a 2-3 inch layer of mulch.
To maintain evenly moist soil, water every week to 10 days. Do not overwater—only give your Limelight hydrangea water when the top two inches of soil are dry. You can test this by inserting your index finger into the surrounding soil to check for moisture.
Feed your Limelight hydrangea tree every spring before new growth with a slow-release, balanced fertilizer designed for woody plants with an NPK value of 10-10-10.
You should prune your Limelight hydrangea tree every year, either in late winter or in early spring before new growth starts to emerge. Each year, prune your Limelight hydrangea back by ⅓ of its overall height to encourage new growth. Keep in mind that Limelight hydrangeas bloom only on new wood, so you don’t want to accidentally cut off any flower buds.
If you notice any dead, damaged, or diseased branches, trim them throughout the year.
Frequently Asked Questions
How tall do they grow?
Limelight hydrangea trees grow to be 6-8 feet tall.
Do they need full sun?
In Zones 4-6, Limelight hydrangea trees grow the best blooms when planted in sites with full sun.
Do their flowers change color?
Yes. In fall, blooms may be pink, white, or cream.
Can they grow in a container?
Limelight hydrangea trees do well as container plants.
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