Three year old Limelight

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

Bought this for my dad 2 years ago so this is its 3rd summer. Must've planted it in the right location (well not really since it got so big but the growth and blooms say it is right). Gets morning sun through afternoon. No special treatment - needs a good pruning.

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Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

Yes, I agree! Look at those huge blooms touching or almost touching the top of the garage door! So what paniculata is it? Reminds me of pictures I have seen of Unique.

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

I put the name in the Subject Line - it is a 3 year old Limelight.

The biggest hydrangea I've see was at the Atlanta Botanical Garden last month. Had never noticed it before. Not the most floriferous but definitely the biggest. Maybe 15 to 20 feet tall by 15 to 20 feet across. It was White Moth. The tiger lilies were around 4 to 5 feet tall for comparison.

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Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

Ah, saw it now. There is one called something like Mount Everest. It had claims to be the tallest when I saw the advertising a few years ago but I do not remember what did it say. I know that, if many hydrangeas find a sweet spot in the garden, get mild winters so they suffer little dieback and are not pruned, they will easily exceed the dimensions on those plant labels that come on the pots.

White Moth is advertised to get 6' at www.hydrangeasplus.com but it did not say that it could get that huge: "Creamy white irregular shaped flower heads start blooming early in July and continue well into the autumn. The flower heads age to a gorgeous pale green. This hardy plant blooms on new wood and will attract lots of interest in your sunny garden." Another place in Vermont got closer to the 15' mark: "Like other Hydrangea, 'White Moth' performs better when pruned heavily in the spring. Will get to be 5-8' tall if left unpruned." LOL!

Is your Dad's Limelight planted in Georgia too? I would have expected to see the blooms a bit more pinkish. I did not see any paniculatas in Georgia (the Atlanta Area) when I was there in the 70s-80s. Mostly mopheads and lacecaps. The ones planted here suffer from our 100-degree weather and it is a pain to keep the blooms looking well and not turning brown early.

I am trying a Little Lime that gets almost no sun but, since it gets no sun, the blooms stay green and do not turn white. At least that is what it has done for the last two-three years. Which is ok with me as I like the green blooms and put it there on purpose so the length of the green blooms would extend longer than usual. I just did not expect them to keep until November-ish.

I have my eyes set on a VS that a local plant nursery is selling. I am hoping it is difficult for them to sell it in the middle of the hot summer because I want to see how the blooms do here. The VS whites should normally turn pink and then magenta. Not sure how the hot summer will affect them (they can turn brown early) so I want to know. If the color change happens while it is for sale at the store, I may be able to see that happen. If I like the shade of pink then I may buy it. But if they turn brown early due to the heat, I may skip it.

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

Never heard of Mount Everest. Sounds interesting though.

I heard of White Moth before but that was my first sighting of it and this one was extra-large. More like a small tree instead of a shrub. Wished it had more blooms and larger trusses…
That Limelight I showed is in middle TN. My Limelight while taller is not as heavy in bloom or as robust. I know my problem is too much shade so I cut two small trees down in front of it and also removed some lower limbs on taller trees. Too late this year but hopefully next year it will be much better. They had paniculatas in the 80’s here in Atlanta but the only thing I remember was the old P.G. (as I had one – hard to beat at times). We haven’t broken the 100 degree mark this year but we certainly have weeks of mid-90’s. My biggest disappointment have been the macs these past two years. They’ve really taken a hit from cold winters, late freezes, and hot dry summers. I dug up six hydrangeas a couple weeks ago just to save them from hot dry area where large trees take all the water up in no time leaving the hydrangeas struggling. They are all in big pots right now and seem to be doing somewhat better. GRRR!

I don’t have Little Lime but saw many at HD recently. I have Little Lamb that was wonderful the second year but nothing since then. May be too shady?

I have two VS that are okay but no strawberry. Again probably too shady. I won’t dig them but maybe take some cuttings to get some in the sun. My Fire and Ice is a slow grower but I have it in full sun and it is only on its second year. But then I have Phantom which is now in its 3rd summer and has exceeded expectations. Full sun and it grew like a weed. Hard to garden at times.

Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

God, I know what you mean about the last two years' bloomage. This year was not as bad as the previous one for me but both were bad. Macs suffered big time unless they were in areas where they were protected. It surprised me that an oakleaf on the north side of the house this year did not bloom. But another one located elsewhere did. It is on the opposite end of the property, where the property fence has Nelly R Stevens Hollies with a few oakleafs and hostas underneath. So, Pee Wee did fine but Ruby Slippers did not. PW never lost the leaves this last winter, which tells me the temperature fluctuations were the problem. Always blooming Mme. Emille Moulliere and an unnamed lacecap did fine on both years. Due to all on those two years, I have started trying to add panics due to the bloomage trouble.

Update on my previous post: Stopped by my local nursery today to check the VS's. Last week, their blooms had turned an off white color and today they were starting to turn green. Unexpected. I thought the VS went from white to pink directly. We will see what happens on the next few weeks.

Then a surprise... this week they received a shipment of Fire & Light Hydrangeas in tree form. They should be similar to VS but they appear to have started opening the flower buds a short time ago. Only a few white sepals open per bloom. Guess I have another one to check on my weekly travels to that store. Ha!

What color progressions have you gotten from Phantom, VS and F&L?

This message was edited Aug 14, 2015 6:51 PM

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

My oak leaves all did pretty good. The only one that did not bloom was Snowflake which was odd but at least it put on some growth this summer. Snow Queen, Little Honey, Ellen Huff, Alice, Munchkin, Harmony, and Ruby Slippers all bloomed. Cannot complain about that class of hydrangea.

Macs are another story. They are half the size they were two years ago except for 3 - Lady in Red, some old blue - probably Nikko, and Penny Mac but hardly any blooms. I bought some new ones and put them under crepe myrtles and a watering system 3 times a week. They are Purple Princess, some florist one from HD, Amethyst, Shooting Star, LA Dreaming, and Pistachio. Hopefully they will take off next year.

Phantom stays white until it fades to brown. VS is a disappointment since it stays white and then brown (not enough sun I suspect). Fire and Ice (never heard of Fire and Light) has not bloomed since it is kind of small and was a favorite watering post for my dogs. I put cut rose canes around it earlier this summer and that seems to have cured the dogs from relieving themselves in this area. Maybe next year it will grow and bloom.

Ah, I did a search and found Fire Light which must be relatively new and looks to be a stunner. Have not seen it locally and I think I am done buying on line as they are small and usually die in a few weeks.

Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

Fire Light is what I should have said.

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

Fire Light looks to be a nice hydrangea but I would like to see it in person before buying. Thought about taking cuttings of my old P.G. and lining one side of a long fence with a hedge of them. That or Limelight.

Hurst, TX(Zone 7b)

Update on VS - some of the green blooms appear to be having some small areas turn brown so maybe those will not turn pink... too early to tell though. The good news is I noticed newly opened white blooms.

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

I will need to move or start some new VS in full sun as mine never got strawberry in them and this year the blooms weren't that good. Too much shade.

I pruned the heck out of the big Limelight above this weekend. I kept a lot of the bigger stems for propagation. Two large 30 gallon trash bags filled with cuttings - perhaps 100 or more. Was about half way through the second bag yesterday cutting the blooms off and bottom leaves when it started to rain. Hopefully finish it later today.

The height was probably 8 feet and the spread at least 8 to 10 feet before pruning. After pruning - a skeletal frame for next year. Two piles of cuttings (one from behind the bush and one from the front side). A close up of one of the piles. An equal amount of discarded limbs went on the compost heap (not shown since DG only allows five pics).

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