which is truly everything a hydrangea lover could want. This
cultivar of H. paniculata blooms exuberantly and consistently.
With two newer cultivars -
- this series is
like the three bears from the Goldilocks fairy tale. Limelight
is the papa, Little Lime the mama and Bobo the baby. Each one
deserves a space in your landscape and your heart.
Limelight is the 'Papa'
Limelight is the largest, reaching 6-8 feet tall and wide. It is
a panicle-type hydrangea that is native to China and Japan. It
has an exceptionally strong framework and produces enormous
cone-shaped flowers which can measure 8 inches across. These
change dramatically in color as the season progresses.
The show begins in late June when the buds unfold and the
lime-colored blooms emerge. The flowers, which later become pure
white, are so abundant that they totally cover the branches,
leaving the green leaves to peek out of this glorious display.
By August, the blooms change to a cotton candy pink. The plant
is like a beacon in the landscape.
This robust showstopper will succeed if placed in sunlight and
rich loamy soil. Other than that, it is not at all demanding.
Just keep it well-watered the first year so it can be
permanently established and give it sufficient space. Prune just
for shape in late winter or early spring before the new growth
emerges and fertilize with compost or a balanced granular.
Spray-on Deer Protectant
Murrysville's deer have not touched any of my Limelight
hydrangeas - they are too busy eating my daylilies. However, I
routinely spray them and other susceptible plants with Plotsaver,
a totally organic product that works by both smell and taste,
and is available at
Lowe's and some local nurseries. Here is the thing, though: We
have had a very, very rainy summer.
These products do not continue to work if there is more than an
inch of rain. They must be reapplied.
is the go-to plant if you do not have the space that Limelight
requires. It has all the spectacular attributes but less
stature, maturing to just 3-5 feet tall and wide. This cultivar
can be positioned mid to back of the border. Its demands are
similar. Give it full sun, well-drained soil and room to
develop. It will reward you with a spectacular show of flowers
that follow the same color changes.
Bobo, the baby in the family, is also called Ilvobo. This is a
very compact cultivar - 2-3 feet tall and wide at maturity. Bobo
forms a compact mound with a sturdy framework and blooms
abundantly with the same enormous flowers as Limelight. This is
a perfect plant to showcase at the front of the border. The only
drawback is the fact that it is so captivating that it is
impossible to look at this perfect little one without searching
your landscape for other spaces where it can work its charm.
Just like potato chips, you can't stop at one Bobo. I have
I have saved the best for last. My most spectacular landscape
addition is the
hydrangea tree. This Limelight has been trained
and pruned to grow high and wide above a sturdy supporting
branch that serves as a trunk. It becomes a dwarf tree that will
top out at 6-8 feet. The crowning glory is the mounded top
filled with blossoms. It creates an all-season show that is
unparalleled. My tree made it through the intensely cold winter
and came back with an even more vigorous beauty. Give it full
sun, good loose soil and enough water the first year to get it
well-established. This tree will be the WOW factor in any
landscape. It demands attention and deserves it.
Great new hydrangeas