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Full Guide To Growing a Limelight Hydrangea Tree

Limelight hydrangea trees produce prolific, enormous, pale green blooms that turn cream or pink as summer turns into fall. Here’s what to know about these beautiful trees.

Author Image Written by Brenda Woods Updated 03/11/2024

Limelight hydrangea trees are stunning, with displays 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’re looking for a striking specimen plant, a lively hedge, or a container piece for your patio, limelight hydrangeas can work. Here’s what to know about limelight hydrangea trees.

Limelight Hydrangea Trees at a Glance

Flowers transition from pastel green to cream, white, or pink
Enormous 10-inch blooms
Bloom from summer through fall
Great for long-lasting cut flowers

Limelight Hydrangea Appearance

Limelight hydrangea trees grow rounded 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 in 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


6-8 feet

Hardiness zones

Zones 3-8

Type of tree


Sunlight requirements

Full sun to partial shade

Soil composition

Highly adaptable, preferring neutral to acidic and requiring well-draining soil

Limelight Hydrangea Hardiness Zones

Plant hardiness zones from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) indicate the regions where plants can grow based on minimum winter temperatures. Limelight hydrangea trees grow in zones 3-8, which cover much of the U.S. They tolerate both hot summers and cold winters, including frost.

Planting Limelight Hydrangea Trees

The ideal times to plant limelight hydrangea trees are in 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 as 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 the water fully drains away, finish filling in the rest of the soil. If you don’t have well-draining soil, plant the 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 variety of soils and are drought-tolerant once established, making them low-maintenance and relatively hassle-free.

Sun and shade

The sunlight requirements for limelight hydrangea trees depend on the zones they’re 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 dislike having wet feet. Unlike some other varieties, the soil pH does not affect the color of 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 the plant every week up to every 10 days. Don’t overwater—only give your limelight hydrangea water when the top 2 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 a nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (NPK) value of 10-10-10.


Prune your limelight hydrangea tree every year, either in late winter or early spring before new growth starts to emerge. Each year, prune your limelight hydrangea back by 1/3 of its overall height to encourage new growth. Keep in mind that limelight hydrangeas only bloom on new wood, so don’t accidentally cut off any flower buds.

If you notice any dead, damaged, or diseased branches, trim them throughout the year.

FAQ About Limelight Hydrangea Trees

How tall do limelight hydrangea trees grow?

Limelight hydrangea trees grow to be 6-8 feet tall.

Do limelight hydrangea trees need full sun?

In zones 4-6, limelight hydrangea trees grow the best blooms when planted in sites with full sun. In warmer regions, they’ll prefer partial shade conditions instead.

Do limelight hydrangea trees' flowers change color?

Yes. In fall, limelight hydrangea blooms may be pink, white, or cream.

Can limelight hydrangea trees grow in a container?

Limelight hydrangea trees do well as container plants.

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