Summer Show-Offs

Close-up of limelight hydrangea blooms

Massing these plants is a great summer blooming accent.

An evergreen background helps to emphasize the flowering effect.

You cannot miss a limelight hydrangea when it is in bloom. This mid to late summer blooming hydrangea has huge blooms, and all of the various selection are basically white with a tint of green or pink in some. Its parent, the pee gee hydrangea, is a late summer bloomer and is more popular in the mountains than in the metro area. Here is the good news about these limelight hydrangeas, they are easy to grow. They will tolerate full sun and light shade, and except for very wet conditions they are not particular about drainage. The more fertile the soil the bigger the blooms after the plants are established. These plants are somewhat new on the market, and that is why the blooms are so big. The older plants, unless well fertilized, do not seem to have quite as large a bloom as the blooms when you purchased them. They are in garden centers now, and it is perfectly okay to plant them now. One tip, since you buy these in bloom, often times the plants are root bound, so be sure when you place them in your garden to cut the roots where they will grow out of their root bound condition. Make several deep slits in the roots or pull the outside roots from going in a circular motion before you plant them. This will aid in establishing the plants and help them be ready for winter. Also the good news is that the blooms form on new growth, so you can treat these like other flowering shrubs.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

4 thoughts on “Summer Show-Offs

  1. John, You are right these are beautiful. We have 2 oand they are 2-3 years old, 3 fot high. We want ours to be as large as those in your pictures. Questions – should we prune only for shape? Should we deadhead & will that produce more blooms in season? Finally fertilizer when and winter treatment?

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