Summer’s Last Blooming Hydrangea

Close-up of limelight Peegee hydrangeas opening

July through fall is peegee hydrangea time. This is the last of the species that generally blooms in our area. Popular for years in Appalachian gardens it really did not become popular in our area until the introduction of the selection limelight. Really limelight hydrangea was the first of a series of types of the peegee species that varies in size and color from various shades of white and all kind of pink tints. Little Limelight is also popular in our area because they do not get as big (that includes flower size). But in my mind the “big limelight” is my preferred choice. The ones shown in the pictures are a bit over three years old from a five gallon container. They were planted in terrible clay soil that was slightly amended. These have been watered when needed and fertilized several times since spring. They were also pruned back in late winter to about 2 feet off the ground. So to be in such bad soil, this plant in full sun is a winner for several reasons. Since they should be pruned annually you can control the height by how low they are pruned in late winter before any foliage appears, and second it can tolerate poor soil if watered and fertilized. The question of the day is “Can I plant these now?” Yes you can, as long as they are cared for during the hot dry days of summer.

Cluster of 3 limelight peegee hydrangeas

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.

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