How To Grow and Care For Limelight Hydrangeas

One of my favorite flowering shrubs are Limelight Hydrangeas. I have some tips on how to grow and care for Limelight Hydrangeas.

Currently, there are six Limelight Hydrangeas in my yard. The blooms on a Limelight Hydrangea shrub are magnificent and massive. I love to cut blooms every week to display in my home. These shrubs are fast growing and stunning in a garden or landscape.

Caring for Limelight Hydrangeas

What is stunning about the large blooms are they range from lime green to creamy white. They will change to dusty rose and even burgundy as the bloom ages. They are a perfect cut flower to dry for wreathes, baskets, and vases. You can read about how to dry Hydrangeas in this post.

Quick Facts About Limelight Hydrangeas

Common Name: Limelight hydrangea

Botanical Name: Hydrangea Paniculata ‘Limelight’

Plant Type: Shrub

Bloom Color: Green to white

Grows: 6-8 ft. tall, 6-8 ft. wide

Space: 84-96 inches a part

Sun Type: Full, partial

Soil type: Well-drained

Zones: 3-9

How To Grow and Care For Limelight Hydrangeas

Beautiful Limelight Hydrangeas

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When to plant Limelight Hydrangea? It is recommended to plant Limelight Hydrangea in the early spring or fall. Mine were planted in early May.

Where to plant Limelight Hydrangeas? These shrubs do best in full to partial sun. Select a location where there is morning sun but partial sun in the hot part of the afternoon. Unlike other hydrangeas that need more shade, a panicle hydrangea loves the sun. It will thrive in full sun.

To plant your shrub, start by digging a hole twice the width of your Limelight hydrangea root ball and roughly the same depth of the root ball. Your shrub should be slightly higher than the surrounding soil. Backfill the hole with soil halfway and pour water into the hole until it rises to the top. Mulch around the plant.

soil & Water

These shrubs prefer rich, well-drained soil. Limelight Hydrangeas require moderate watering once established. They do best in evenly moist soil.

Limelight Hydrangeas

How much water does Limelight Hydrangeas need? You will want to give the roots a good soak a few times a week during dry seasons. It is best to water your plants in the early morning or evening when it is cooler. The plants can absorb the water supply better. These shrubs do tolerate drought once it gets established, but regular watering keeps flowers and leaves hydrated. Water thoroughly and deeply then allow the soil to dry slightly before watering again. It is important to never leave Limelight with overly soggy soil.

zones for growing

Limelight Hydrangeas are hardy plants that do not need winter protection in zones 3 to 9.  I live in zone 7a. and these shrubs thrive well. I do recommend that you insulate the roots of your Limelight Hydrangeas by adding a layer of mulch around the base of the plant. It will serve two purposes: 1) help to hold in moisture during the hot summer; and 2) protect the roots from the code weather.

Limelight Hydrangeas for backyard


When to fertilize Limelight Hydrangeas? To care for Limelight Hydrangeas you need to fertilize in early spring and late summer. Hydrangeas benefit from light fertilization. I prefer to use a slow-release organic fertilizer such as Holly-Tone. Holly-tone’s natural organics break down slowly to provide a long-lasting reservoir of plant nutrients. It’s also good for other flower shrubs such as Azaleas, Rhododendrons, blueberries, evergreens, strawberries, etc.


When should you prune? We have been in our new home for three years. My Limelight Hydrangeas were were in 2-gallon pots from Lowes.

Within the three-year span, they have grown to 7 feet. The last two-years we have cut the shrubs to 5 feet. In two months our hydrangeas have grown to 6 feet tall.

‘Limelight’ hydrangeas bloom on new wood. The leaves will begin in late spring. To care for Limelight Hydrangeas you will need to prune in the late winter or early spring. It is important to prune before any new growth begins.

The small branches that you see in this photo should be cut off. It will give your shrub a better shape.

Limelight Hydrangea shrub showing the lower leggy branches to be pruned.

These smaller low leggy branches will produce small blooms. You will want the water supply to go up the plant to hydrate the larger blooms. If you notice any dead, damaged, or diseased branches, remove them throughout the year.

I have small hands. When pruning my hydrangeas and rose bushes, I find that Titanium Bypass Pruning Shears work the best. I am able to easily grasp the shears. These shears work more like heavy duty scissors.

What happens if you do not prune Limelight Hydrangeas? The first year, I mildly pruned the shrubs to promote new growth. Year two and three, the shrubs were pruned back. Why? By pruning, it helps to promote new growth for good blooming season. A Limelight left alone will have lots of growth on the top with smaller low leggy branches. These shrubs do and will grow big. You want the water supply to go to the blooms and leaves. It will help to shape your shrub.

diseases & Pests

What diseases could affect my Limelight Hydrangeas? Limelight Hydrangea is a trouble-free shrub that can get bud blight, rust, leaf spot, powdery mildew, and bacterial wilt. These fungal diseases occur in humid weather from a lack of air circulation.

What are the pests on my limelight hydrangeas? Common pests for hydrangeas are aphids, Japanese Beetles, Spider Mites, and Slugs. Aphids and Spider Mites will not affect the plant’s health. Japanese Beetles and Slugs will eat your plant.

To care for Limelight Hydrangeas and rid your hydrangeas of beetles and slugs, you can spray the plants with soapy water. Use a teaspoon of dawn or joy dish soap with a quart of water in a spray bottle. Spray the leaves, branches, and the ground beneath the plant. The soap water will not hurt your shrub.

Wash Your Hydrangeas

Washing Limelight Hydrangeas

I highly recommend washing your blooms if using them in the house. It will remove any bugs. I often see small spiders. You can fill the sink with warm water and dunk the blooms. You can turn the spray nozzle on your sink to rinse your blooms. Allow your blooms to sit in a vase of warm water in the sink to dry.

displaying your cut Hydrangeas

Look at these amazing blooms! The blooms look gorgeous in a vintage pitcher.

Here I am using the blooms in a mason jar in the first photo. The second photo a couple large blooms are in a glass vase.

final words

These flowering shrubs are specular and will bring you a summer season of beauty to your yard. Need privacy during the summer from neighbors? Try planting them in a row along a fence. It will create a beautiful privacy hedge. I love them in along the side of the house.

Limelight Hydrangeas cuttings

Limelight Hydrangeas are easy to grow. Their showy blooms are stunning in floral arrangements. If you love bringing flowers indoors, you will definitely enjoy growing this flowering shrub.

shop my favorite vases

Affiliate links are used for your convenience at no additional cost to you. It helps to support my blog so that I can bring you more free tutorials. Thank you! Read my full disclosure here.

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Make it an amazing day, sweet friend!

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    1. Cindy, I feel the same. I cut them way back to try and shape them more. They are already 6 feet. One of my favorite flowering shrubs along with lilacs (white & purple).

  1. I am thrilled to read this! I planted some and they did not bloom this year, but not many of my others did. This was such a help and now I will think of you and how beautiful yours are each time I pass them…great post!

    1. Alda, you give them time and that fertilizer that I recommended. You will have beautiful blooms. My blooms where as large as a football last year. They were so stunning. The key also is to make sure they are getting enough sunlight. They are a little different from other hydrangeas that like shade with partial sun.

  2. Limelights are one of my favorites Tammy! We have two plants out front and every year I am anxious for them to bloom in the late summer and fall. Thank you for sharing all your tips and tricks. Susan

  3. Beautiful! I love any hydrangeas, but limelight are so much easier than others. Thanks for sharing!

  4. These are such great and actionable tips! I have some hydrangeas that I’ve never quite known how to prune and now I feel comfortable doing it this year. Sharing with our readers in our Sunday roundup! Xoxo

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