Plant of the Week: LIMELIGHT PRIME® Panicle hydrangea

Ready for prime time?

Then you’re ready for Limelight Prime® panicle hydrangea. It has everything you love about the original ‘Limelight,’ but it’s even better.

It blooms earlier than ‘Limelight’ with flowers that start out green and stay green longer in the summer before turning a richer pink in fall. It has darker green foliage that looks healthy throughout the season, too. And best of all, it has really sturdy stems that hold those amazing flowers above the foliage without flopping, on an overall more upright habit.

Limelight Prime® hydrangea is a little smaller than ‘Limelight’: 4-6′ tall and 4-5′ wide. That’s a great size for home gardens and even large containers. Like ‘Limelight,’ it’s also super hardy, down to USDA 3.

Panicle hydrangea care

Remember, Hydrangea paniculata flowers are not affected by soil pH, so color change from green to pink (or red) occurs naturally. If you find your panicle hydrangeas aren’t transitioning to pink or red, two factors may be at play.*

  1. The plants experienced water stress. This can be due to too much or too little water, but in either case, it causes the plant to conserve its resources, resulting in flowers that simply go brown instead of aging to pink. Because panicle hydrangeas bloom during what is the hottest, driest part of the year in many areas, they may need supplemental water now and then during their bloom time, especially if rainfall is scarce or they aren’t on irrigation. Mulch helps this a lot too.
  2. High temperatures. If temperatures, particularly nighttime temperatures, are high, the color change may be muddy or not occur at all. They would ideally like to have temperatures that are consistently below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. A few warmer nights here and there won’t affect the coloring drastically.

*Source: The Ultimate Guide to Panicle Hydrangeas, by Stacey Hirvela

Flowers develop the same season on new wood, so no worries that an early cold snap, improper pruning, or deer browsing will destroy your long-awaited blooms!

For a quick reference on all types of hydrangea blooms, keep Hydrangeas Demystified handy.

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