HYDRANGEA PANICULATA LIMELIGHT
By David Marks
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ is a very hardy hydrangea which is suitable for fullsun and partial shade positions.
Unlike many hydrangeas it will grow well in both alkaline and acidicsoils. It withstands drought well when establiched.
Masses of lime coloured flowers turning to white and light pink cover the shrub from late July to early October.
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ was bred from two unknown paniculata varieties byPeter Zwijnenburg Jr. at Boskoop in the Netherlands during 1990.
It has won several awards including the Gold Medal Award of the PennsylvaniaHorticultural Society and a Royal Horticultural Society AGM. Occasionallythis variety is also called ‘Jane’.
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ will grow to a height and spread of 3.5m /11ft after four or five years if it is not pruned annually. When pruned asrecommended below each year, it will reach a height of 2m / 6ft 6in.
The blooms, which cover most of this shrub from late July to early October,start off as lime coloured turning creamy white and with a pink tinge to them.They are cone shaped, similar to a lilac tree’s blooms but slightly larger.
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’
Both fresh (a short life) and dried flowers aresuperb for flower arrangements. The leaves are mid green turning yellow asautumn approaches.
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ is not suited to growing in containers.
To plant Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ follow these instructions:
- Choose a free draining soil which receives a good supply of ofrainfall.
- Improve poor soils with garden compost and fish, blood and bonefertiliser.
- Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ will grow well on alkaline oracidic soils unless they are extreme
- April to May or mid September to October are the best times to planthydrangeas. Make sure they are well watered.
- The best position is one which receives sun in the morning and lateafternoon, however this particular variety will tolerate full sun verywell.
- Dig a hole twice the width of the rootball. Sprinkle in a handful of
blood, fish and boneand work into the ground.
- Place the plant into the hole.
- Fill around the root ball and firm the soildown gently but firmly. Water well to settle the surrounding ground aroundthe root ball.
- Plant to the same depth as your hydrangea was in the pot.
CARE OF HYDRANGEA PANICULATA ‘LIMELIGHT’
Each spring apply a mulcharound the plant to lock in moisture and provide a wide range of low levelnutrients as the mulch rots down.
Each spring and autumn scatter a couple of handfuls of
fish, blood and bonearound the shrub and work it in gently with a trowel.
There are more expensive fertilisers but this one is very cheap andideal. It provides nutrients over a long period of time and avoids releasingtoo much nitrogen. Do not apply a nitrogen rich plant fertiliser, it willencourage weak stems and foliage at the expense of flowers.
Although this shrub will tolerate drought it will reduce its floweringability. It’s best to water the plant well in summer during extended dryperiods or where the soil drains very easily.
HOW TO PRUNE HYDRANGEA PANICULATA ‘LIMELIGHT’
Your Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ can be pruned in two ways. The firstis to simply cut off all dead flower heads to just above a healthy set ofbuds. After four to five years this will result in a shrub which will be3.5m / 11ft in height and spread.
Most gardeners however prefer to keep this shrub to a more manageable 2m /6ft 6in which results in the best display of flowers. Prune as follows toachieve this:
- Prune during mid March in warmer parts of the UK to mid April incooler areas.
- Prune back stems to four buds above the base of the shrub. Thissounds quite harsh but it will bounce back with vigour.
- Cut out, as low as possible, any diseased or damaged stems.
- Feed with two handfuls of fish, blood and bone and apply a mulch asdescribed in the previous section.
WHERE TO BUY HYDRANGEA PANICULATA ‘LIMELIGHT’
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ is a very common shrub and should be available in very many garden centres.It is also readily available online.From past experience we would recommend Crocus if you want buy this shrub online, see their
SUMMARY OF HYDRANGEA PANICULATA ‘LIMELIGHT’
HEIGHT: 3.5m / 11ft without pruning; 2m / 6ft 6in with anannual prune
SPREAD: 3.5m / 11ft without pruning; 2m / 6ft 6in with anannual prune
FLOWER COLOUR: Lime coloured turning to cream
LEAVES: Mid green
DISEASE RESISTANCE: Very good.
GROWING CONDITIONS: Partial sunlight to full sunlight
SOIL CONDITIONS: Almost all soil conditions except dry or water-logged soils
CONTAINER GROWING: No
AWARDS: Gold Medal Award of the Pennsylvania HorticulturalSociety and RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM)
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