Planting limelight hydrangeas couldn’t be easier and I’m sharing my experience with how they’ve done in our yard and climate here in Georgia. Limelight hydrangeas are easy to grow from my history with them and so I wanted to share them with you and show the progress these plants have made in the last 3 years. You know what they say. The first year they sleep, second year they creep, and the third year they leap. Well, mine have certainly leaped!
You may remember that I ordered what I thought were dwarf Limelight hydrangeas, the Proven Winner brand from Home Depot back in March of 2019. When I got them delivered in boxes to my house they looked like this.
Sticks with little green nodes on them. They were ready to be planted and spring or fall is the perfect time to plant anything. This gives them a chance to get established before it gets too hot or cold.
I prepared this bed in front of our fence by the driveway and put in 4 dwarf limelight hydrangeas. I do not think they are dwarf as you’ll see when I show you the pics. Dwarf ones grow to about 3 to 5′ tall and the regular ones are 8′ or more. I went back and checked my order and it does say Little Limelight hydrangeas. They have a lot of different varieties from Proven Winner on Home Depot’s website. Here’s the link to the Proven Winner 2 gallon Little Limelights (affiliate link) if you want to try them, but again those are supposed to be 5×5′ tall and wide.
After I planted them in March of 2019, I then did a post about them in May and here’s where they were by May of that year, just 2 months or so in the ground.
The first year I planted them, by July they grew much bigger and bloomed beautifully and I was so happy with them. This is the very first year’s blooms, can you believe that?
It’s so nice to have hydrangeas outside so you can cut them and bring them inside.
I’ve done plenty of that over the last 3 years.
As you can see, they make a gorgeous display when cut fresh or dried. Drying hydrangeas is very easy too and I did a post about that. These are freshly cut.
And these are dried. They turn a beautiful pink color at the end of the season and are so nice to display.
This is the 3rd year since I planted the 4 plants and here they are now, July 2022! Can you believe how tall they are. The fence is 5′ tall and they are way over that, I’d say at least 7 to 8′ tall, so again I don’t think I got the dwarf variety, but I’m very happy with them no matter what they are. I might even add more of these to more sections of the fence outside, they are so pretty and make such a statement during summer. There’s one little section to the left that grows back but doesn’t get as big as the rest of the stems and that section doesn’t bloom, so I have no idea what’s up with that.
The blooms are so full and lush and limelights are drought resistant too. We usually get enough rain during the season that I don’t have to worry at all about these. They are hardier than regular hydrangeas and I’ve never had to water them. In fact, I’ve never even fertilized them. They seem to love this spot. The only thing I do is cut them back in January before they start sprouting out again for spring. I cut them back to about 2 to 3′ tall, back to where they branch out from the previous year. That’s what I’ve read to do and it definitely works. They grow this tall in one growing season and I will continue to hack them back year after year.
The stems are nice and sturdy and they are just gorgeous in a full display.
So if you’ve never tried limelights, maybe think about giving them a try. I think I’m seriously going to add more to our yard. There’s also one that has pink blooms and I think those are really pretty too. These are called Little Lime Punch (affiliate link) with pink flowers too. I think I’m smitten with those as well and I think I may have to try these. I’m starting to see more and more limelights being used in commercial settings too and they are prolific in Atlanta. Have you noticed if your’re in the area too? Where I am in Georgia is Zone 7 for reference.
You can bet I’ll be cutting these to bring inside for a fall home tour. They make such a grand statement with their big full lush heads of blooms. I love limelights and can’t help but gush about them!
Do you have any limelights and how have they done for you? I thought it would be good to share how well mine have done here in Georgia and you’d enjoy seeing the growth and progress.
Barbara Moore says
My ‘dwarf’ limelights are around 5’+ tall, too. Yours are just lovely!
I’m in california how often do I water my lime light hydrangeas in the summer?
HI, Michael, limelights are very drought tolerant and I have never had to water mine, we get enough rain, so just watch them and see how they do. They are heat and drought tolerant.
I just ran across your limelight post and I wanted to share this morning I was out looking at mine that I planted three years ago but started with a twig. They are not as tall but a good size bush with lots of buds. I am in zone 6b and actually thinking of making them in tree form so I can underplant them. I was wondering if you fertilize yours and how often. Thanks
Hi, JoAnn, I haven’t fertilized mine at all and as you can see, they have taken over that bed. I will continue to cut them back in January or February after blooming.
There is no such plant as a “dwarf limelight”. There is Limelight and Little Lime. Both are pannicle hydrangeas. Also, you should prune only the top 1/3 of the plant to ensure sturdy stems.
I love limelights, too, for their ease of care and their beauty. Mine, however, look like a vase now, as the deer have eaten the leaves and buds off mine, from the ground to their head height!
Hi, Debbie, that’s too bad, the deer do like to eat a lot of hydrangeas. So far they haven’t bothered mine.
Julie Hawks says
Hi Rhoda, Mine are huge like yours; however, they are not yet in bloom. This is probably year 5 for us. In 2019, I used them for centerpieces for my daughters rehearsal breakfast. Stunningly beautiful! As I recall, it has been their habit to bloom a little late. I’ve also cut them back in late winter each year. I’d like them better if they burst into bloom sooner. Any suggestions?
HI, Julie they do bloom later than the other hydrangeas, July for me here in GA, so I don’t think you can change their habit.
They are bred to bloom later than smooth or big leaf hydrangeas.
Sherry Mullis says
Limelight’s are beautiful- they are planted all around my new home in an independent living community much like your parents – these are such a joy to have all around on my walks – I had a number of blue hydrangeas at my former house and so enjoyed cutting them for inside
Beautiful, especially with a nice fence background. I live in Kansas and have Limelights. I should have gotten Little Limelight. My limelights easily get 8 foot tall if I don’t trim down to 3 feet each early spring or fall. And even then they easily get to 6 foot each season, with big as your head blossoms. So even with cold winters, these are great bushes. I enjoy seeing how you decorate indoors with them.
How did you prepare the bed for these limelight’s? What’s their sunlight exposure on the fence. They are BEAUTIFUL! Thanks for sharing these.
HI, Paula, I added a bit of starter fertilizer if I remember right, but really didn’t do much more to the beds. I think I added some potting soil around them when I planted, but nothing really special. They get about 6 hours of sun a day, I think, but limelights are really heat and sun tolerant and I see them planted in full sun all around Atlanta.
Darleene Moore says
I plant 1 bush the year I watch you plant these, and for last two summers I have blooms. I love them and planning on planting more those fall. Love watch your garden tours. Just beautiful.
Love hydrangeas! Yours are beautiful ! I’m going to plant some in the fall since they tolerate the heat. I live in Richardson, Tx ( most of the time.. Arkansas part time) and it’s so hot here that keeping my flowers looking pretty is a challenge. Your pool and backyard is beautiful…love it!
Linda HICKEY says
Your Hydrangeas are so beautiful. One of my favorite plants. Your pool look so good.
They are lovely! I love hydrangeas, but my yard doesn’t get enough sun for them. The side garden does, and I have some regular hydrangeas over there. If I didn’t already have several really nice bushes on that side, I’d consider some Lime Lights.
Joan Moore says
This is year 2 for my Little Limelight’s. Both plants were full of blooms until the deer came by and ate every single bloom off of one of the plants!! So sad, but at least I have one pretty plant this year!
I love all types of hydrangeas!!
Becky in 'Bama says
Yours are stunning! I finally dug up my sickly hydrangea bush this past spring and have started over with a new plant. I hope mine looks half as good as yours. The one I dug up was at our current house when we moved in; beautiful purple blooms the first and second year; then, the third year, the leaves began turning black and the blooms were pitiful. I tried everything for two seasons. This past spring I gave up. It cannot be that difficult. I have hydrangea envy for your plants. 🙂
HI, Becky, I hope the new ones will do well for you. I sure love hydrangeas and our backyard is going to be filled with them.
If plamting in clay, plant them a little high, about 2 inches. I add Espoma root Tone to the planting hole for everything I plant. I hate to contradict the person who posted this, but you never want to use potting soil for in ground plantings. Fertilize with Espoma Rose Tone in the Spring. Remember not to prune any more than 2/3 off the top in early spring. If you prune a 6 foot plant to 2 feet the new growth will not be sturdy enough to support the flowers.
HI, Zoey, you sound very knowledgeable and I’d love to see your garden. I’m not an expert, but have learned by doing, so I think my plants speak for themselves. Even if I pruned mine back more than 1/3 of the plant, as you can see they did great with the pruning. I went by what I’ve read online by websites that know more than I do.
We have 12 little lime and 9 limelight we planted 3 years ago. I’ve just planted a new panicle variety called “Berry White”. It is said to have the most color of the panicle varieties. I look forward to seeing it in 3 years.
They are lovely plants and I think I’m going to make room for more!
Will these grow in an area with morning sun only?
Hi, Dori, I think they would do OK, but they really like a lot of sun too.
I’m in zone 8b Southeast. They need at least 6 hours of sun, cumulative. I have some Little Lime in mostly a.m.sun and some in full all day sun. The ones in full sun do much better!! If you are north of zone 7 they really need full sun.
They are beautiful!! You must be in north Georgia. I’ve not seen any looking that good in South Georgia.
We’re in the Atlanta area and they are all over here in Atlanta.
Kathy M says
I love my Limelight Hydrangeas and they have done very well for planted against our brick house with an Eastern exposure and we are in Zone 7b in N.C. I cut them back hard in Feb and they do wonderfully. Only problem this Msummer has been some heavy rains beating them down.My blooms have been abundant and huge . Enjoy yours. Great plants.