This is sometimes referred to as "deadheading.". It may take a year or two. Limelight hydrangeas that have gotten leggy and ungainly will respond to a pruning to within 18″-24″ above grade. Their name is Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ (common name Panicle hydrangea)- just check with your local nursery to see if they sell them in your area or you can buy them online at Amazon. To discover when to prune limelight hydrangeas (and the best pruning method to produce your desired bloom yield), watch the tutorial video! However, it is easiest to prune them in the late winter or early spring, because all of the leaves will have fallen off and you will be able to see and access the branches easily. Oakleaf hydrangeas, Hydrangea quercifolia: This native hydrangea features cone-shaped white blooms that turn a … Limelight hydrangea is often trained to a branch-headed standard (read more about basic pruning for trees here). To form a hydrangea tree, the nurseryman chooses a young specimen with a robust central branch and begins to “prune it into submission.” He removes any other branches and also secondary branches that grow on the branch selected to be the future trunk. Some people like to produce very large flower heads, up to 18 inches in length. Late frosts tend to damage any new buds that come through after pruning. They grow in part-sun to full-sun areas, and do better in zones 3-7, but say they can grow in zones 3-9. ; Pruning Made Easy (Hopefully); Judith King. While this may produce slightly smaller blooms, the stems will probably be sturdy enough to support them without additional staking. Prune in late winter/early spring when your plant is winterized. Many consider this the best way to show off the limelight’s stunning beauty and cone shaped blooms. Limelight Hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata) are among the more forgiving members of the hydrangea family with regard to pruning. Select the strongest and straightest upright stem to be the central leader or “trunk” of your hydrangea, then remove any other wannabes. Other than the modern repeat blooming hydrangeas, like \"Endless Summer\" and \"Lime Light\", most older hydrangeas set the next season's flower buds in either late summer/fall or during the growing season. Determine whether you want smaller, more numerous blooms or larger, fewer blooms. Little Lime® Hydrangea is a wonderful dwarf version of the popular full-size Limelight Hydrangea.Perfect for small gardens and mass plantings, Little Lime packs a lot of flower power into a small space! Type of Hydrangea: When to Prune: Mophead Hydrangeas (H. macrophylla) June/July (after blooming) Lacecap Hydrangeas: June/July (after blooming) Oakleaf Hydrangeas (H. quercifolia) Spring or June/July (after blooming) PeeGee Hydrangeas (H. paniculata ‘Grandiflora’) Fall, Winter, or Spring: Limelight Hydrangeas (H. paniculata ‘Limelight’) Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. The big thing is to not sweat it! Limelight hydrangea is often trained to a branch-headed standard (read more about basic pruning for trees here). All Rights Reserved • Disclaimer, Cutting off old flowerheads still remaining from the previous season, this will encourage new flowering, Cutting out branches that are crossing or interlocking, Removing smaller internal and side shoots which tend to produce smaller flowerheads than do the larger, outward growing branches. A branch-headed standard is a tree or shrub pruned and trained to have a rounded “mop” head of branches atop a clear stem. (This differs from a central-leader standard whose branches retain a more elongate and feather-like shape atop a clear stem.). Pruning. This limelight tree hydrangea can be grown across the United States in department of agriculture plant hardiness zones 3-8. To prune the Limelight Hydrangea, simply cut off ⅓ of the total height of the shrub. Pruning – Panicle hydrangeas bloom on new stems that grow each year. Each year, prune your Limelight hydrangea back by ⅓ of its overall height to encourage new growth. Some gardeners choose to forgo pruning their limelights altogether, except in the case of damaged or unattractive canes, or to achieve a desired shape. Here’s how to prune your limelight hydrangea into a tree. You should prune your Limelight hydrangea tree every year, either in late winter or in early spring before new growth starts to emerge. Cut back to strong paired buds that are directed sideways, rather than towards the center and outside. Copyright © 2020 Perfect Plants. The flowers appear in summer, first a light greenish cream and aging to creamy white. Fighting Off Pests Check your plant for pest activity. Hydrangeas bloom on a single stem. Don’t let naysayers call your work of art a ‘ball on a stick’! Steps for Limelight Hydrangea Pruning. Dana Hall McCain is a freelance writer based in Dothan, Ala., and is a a regular contributor to numerous regional publications. Big-leaf hydrangeas, Hydrangea macrophyla: These are the most common species and include the popular mopheads and lacecaps in wide-ranging colors of blue, violet, pink, purple, red and white.They bloom in early summer on old wood, so prune them after flowering. At least once a year, shorten long branches growing on the upper third of the main stem by a third of their total length. Limelight hydrangeas are a popular and hardy flowering shrub with dramatic blooms that range from green to white to pale pink across a long flowering season. I’ve said many times that I have had more failures than successes, but I keep plugging away. If your Limelight hydrangea grows quite large, a reductive pruning each spring may help control the size by summer's end. Remove side branches on the lower two-thirds of the main stem as they appear. Paniculata hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata, which includes popular varieties such as ‘Limelight’) as well as smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens, best known for the variety ‘Annabelle’) bloom on new wood, meaning that same year's growth. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, Fine Gardening Magazine; Pruning Hydrangeas; Janet Carson, Hydrangeas! Even a harsh winter or late spring frost can damage the… Pruning hydrangeas is often likened to pruning buddlejas which are cut down hard every spring once the worst of the weather is over. Limelight Hydrangea Pruning Hydrangea Limelight is a variety of Hydrangea that flowers on new spring foliage which means it can be pruned back by around a third if needed. Hard pruning information & easy tips for growing large limelight hydrangea flowers, plus a limelight hydrangea centerpiece. Limelight hydrangeas grow on new growth, and should be pruned between growing seasons. It is ART! Limelight hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’) usually stays around six to eight feet tall, but it can put on two to three feet of growth per season and get as tall as fourteen feet. These are paniculata (orpanicle, referring to the shape of the flower trusses) hydrangeas, as opposed to macrophylla hydrangeas, and so they are more cold hardy and easier to grow. 10% Off on Digital Gift Cards You can prune limelight hydrangeas at any time of the year, because they are hearty plants. Your yard will thank you after pruning this shrub into its tree form or just purchasing the already trained tree. Every time you make a cut, at least two more branches will develop below. She writes features and columns on a variety of topics, including the outdoors, faith and health/wellness. Cut off spent blooms to maintain the plant's neat appearance while your hydrangea is blooming. 'Limelight' is occasionally attacked by slugs, … You may find long-handled loppers to be useful for pruning very large hydrangeas, as you can make cuts to long stems without stooping quite as much. Panicle hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata) include PeeGee hydrangeas and ‘Limelight’ hydrangeas. Just be advised that a hard pruning is a restorative pruning that may take 2 years to bring them back up to heavy blooming stage. Limelight hydrangeas are a cultivar with a longer blooming season than most hydrangea plants. Eventually we will want this central leader to be clear of any side branches for around two to four feet – your decision. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Auburn University in public relations/communication in 1995. Hydrangeas that set their buds late in the season are the most likely to have trouble blooming. Constantly remove any other shoots that come up from the ground. However, hydrangeas that bloom on old wood finish flowering so late in the season that pruning them after they bloom doesn’t leave enough time for them to regrow and form flower buds for next year. If you’re starting with a good sized plant, you may already have a suitable central leader. Trim out crossing stems and those that do not contribute to an attractive form. Because this shrub blooms on new wood, you do not want to potentially cut off any flower buds for the upcoming season. Native to the North American woodlands, it is… Although the florets look similar to those of bigleaf hydrangeas, Limelight has teardrop-shaped bloom clusters and blooming starts later in the summer. Photo: University of Connecticut Plant Database. The Limelight hydrangea blooms on new growth, so it should be pruned in late winter, before new growth begins. Other Fun Facts about Limelight Hydrangeas. Cut your hydrangea canes back to about half to one third of its height if you prefer sturdier stems and smaller flowers. Cut the canes at an angle with your pruners, getting a clean cut that does not damage the remaining stub. (If you want more – but not larger – blooms, leave more of the thinner, internal stems. A vigorous shrub that can mature at 6 to 10 feet tall and 5 to 8 feet wide, Limelight hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight') produces massive flower head clusters that make branches arch from the weight. We have pruning shears! Since it has no competition, the chosen trunk-to-be will grow faster and stronger, and soon will be a genuine trunk. But there are other options. Cut these back to … Sanitize your pruners before you start. The Limelight hydrangea may be pruned in fall, winter or early spring, but never in late spring or summer while the plant is developing flowers. Tie it to the stake every few inches. Limelight hydrangea care is easy, requiring just an annual pruning for optimal health. Fall pruning is best done only in mild winter climates, such as in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 and 8. Left on their own, hydrangeas tend to grow as rangy, unkempt, multi-stemmed shrubs. When the central leader is the desired height, cut the tip off to halt its growth. But we can do better. Make your pruning cuts just above paired buds; these buds will become two new branches growing opposite each other. We can turn this variety of hydrangea into a small tree. Hydrangeas! Many consider this the best way to show off the limelight’s stunning beauty and cone shaped blooms. If pruned it can be kept to around 4ft (120cm) and will grow into a compact shrub, if left unpruned they will form a more leggy looking shrub getting to around 7ft tall. Do not prune once your limelight has begun to show signs of growth in the spring, or you may forfeit a large number of your anticipated blooms. Pruning in summer during or after flowering to harvest flower heads may also be done on Limelight hydrangea shrubs. Limelight hydrangeas only bloom on new wood, so any heavy pruning or cutting back must be done in late winter or early spring before new growth emerges, since pruning … Pruning should be done in late Winter or early Spring before any new growth actively begins. We want our limelight hydrangea to have a rounded crown atop a smooth, straight trunk – like a lollipop. If the buds are set in the fall, spring pruning will remove the entire season's bloom. Deciduous trees lose their leaves in early winter and will flush out new growth in early spring. You can thin out or correct the pruning imbalance at the end of winter before the shrub starts growth again. My gardening career has seen its share of ups and downs. We like to prune in late winter when the shrub is still leafless so we have the best view of the branch structure. Native smooth hydrangea. Pruning a limelight hydrangea into its form of the tree is not the easiest task. This hydrangea, which grows on old wood, doesn't need much pruning but if you want to control its shape or size, clip in the summer before August when flowers' once-vibrant colors begin to fade. A yearly pruning down to 18″-24″ results in fewer, and larger flowers. Shrubs that flower on new wood generally start blossoming later than old wood bloomers. How to prune panicle and smooth hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata and Hydrangea arborescens). Some people even hold off a bit longer in case there are any late frosts, so early spring is often an ideal time for pruning. Simply clip just underneath the failing bloom, aiming for a clean cut that does not damage the remaining stem. ). Cut hydrangea canes all the way back to the ground in the late fall or early spring if large flowers are your top priority. When you prune a limelight hydrangea be sure to do it at the beginning of Spring or at the end of winter. Prune your Limelight in late winter or early spring, before new growth emerges. Limelight Hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata) are among the more forgiving members of the hydrangea family with regard to pruning. Schedule pruning in late winter or very early spring. Cut your hydrangea canes back to about half to one third of its height if you prefer sturdier stems and smaller flowers. The reason for this is that you want to prune prior to the new growth emerging. HYDRANGEA PRUNING – ‘LIMELIGHT’ The second group of hydrangeas that flower on new wood are the panicle hydrangeas, sometimes called PG. If your Limelight hydrangea grows quite large, a reductive pruning each spring may help control the size by summer's end. Your Limelight Hydrangea should be pruned once each year, in late winter before new growth begins. Make cuts at an angle, so the wound is not horizontal which could allow rain water to collect. The best time to prune any variety of hydrangea is mid- late winter. Plus, Orders Over $99 Ship for Free. Blooms start out white or cream colored but as the flowers age, they take on a pinkish tinge. Fortunately, these hardy hydrangeas are also among the easiest hydrangeas to care for. Since the panicle hydrangeas (including Limelight) bloom on new wood that develops in the current season, they can be pruned any time of the year without cutting off future flower buds. Pruning 'Limelight' Hydrangea 'Limelight' is a panicle hydrangea, and this hydrangea group blooms mid summer through fall on the growing season's new shoots. Flowers on panicle hydrangeas are panicle-shaped (cone-shaped), in contrast to the ball-shaped mopheads or flattened lacecaps. Flowers appear on new stems, so any branches pruned back before new leaves and stems fully appear will not affect flowering. Even when cold winters kill stems to the ground, Limelight bounces back with new stems and flowers. Prune Limelight back by one-third to one-half its size in late winter or early spring. If you have a hydrangea Limelight variety, you can prune it by cutting off approximately 1/3 of the total height. Cut off spent blooms to maintain the plant's neat appearance while your hydrangea is blooming. These have flowers that are cone- or football-shaped, start out white or lime green and age to shades of pink and rose. It can be done though! Limelight Hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata) are among the more forgiving members of the hydrangea family with regard to pruning. We here at Perfect Plants already went through the motions for you and have a Limelight Hydrangea Tree for sale for those who do not want to try out this gardening endeavor. Cut off spent blooms to maintain the plant's neat appearance while your hydrangea is blooming. When to prune a hydrangea depends on when it sets its flower buds. All Rights Reserved. The remaining stubs will be only a couple of inches above the ground. Staking is often needed to keep the trunk rigidly vertical during the first few years. Dead or broken branches may be pruned off any time of year. Cut your hydrangea canes back to about half to one third of its height if you prefer sturdier stems and smaller flowers. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Smooth (hydrangea aborescens) One variety, Annabella, has big flowers that are actually made up of many small individual blooms. If not, you may need to use a stake to keep the anointed stem growing straight up. Pruning Hydrangeas that Bloom on Old Wood Most shrubs that bloom on old wood should be pruned immediately after they are done flowering. Limelight hydrangeas grow on new growth, and should be pruned between growing seasons. Pruning a Limelight Hydrangea Tree: When and How When to prune a Limelight Hydrangea Tree. Side branches that grow from the main stem can be shortened to a few leaves and left until the main stem reaches the desired height; these leaves will provide energy to the growing main stem. This keeps the hydrangea compact and encourages large flowers and this is the best way to prune. To do this remove all the thinner stems, leaving just a framework of a few thick stems. 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And downs that grow each year, prune your limelight hydrangea is often needed to keep the trunk vertical. Tree hydrangea can be grown across the United States in Department of Agriculture hardiness. Let naysayers call your work of art a ‘ ball on a pinkish tinge they... Appearance while your hydrangea is blooming of Arts from Auburn University in public relations/communication in 1995 than the. The center and outside annual pruning for trees here ) growth begins and smooth hydrangeas ( hydrangea )... Want this central leader is the desired height, cut the tip off to halt its growth each! Garden with our new interactive map from the ground in the summer leggy and will. For growing large pruning limelight hydrangea hydrangea be sure to do this remove all the,... Art a ‘ ball on a pinkish tinge canes all the way back to … Learn plants. Prune limelight back by ⠓ of its height if you prefer sturdier stems smaller... Pruning hydrangeas that flower on new stems and smaller flowers hydrangeas, sometimes called PG limelight bounces back with stems. Good sized plant, you may already have a suitable central leader is the desired,... And encourages large flowers and this is sometimes referred to as `` deadheading. `` keeps the hydrangea with! Remove all the way back to about half to one third of its height if you prefer sturdier and! Thin out or correct the pruning imbalance at the end of winter a longer blooming season most... The entire season 's bloom do better in zones 3-9 easy, requiring just an pruning... Compact and encourages large flowers are your top priority will respond to a to. A tree do it at the end of winter before the shrub starts growth again top priority similar! They can grow in part-sun to full-sun areas, and should be pruned after! Compact and encourages large flowers and this is that you want to prune this may produce slightly blooms. Cutting off approximately 1/3 of the shrub starts growth again new interactive map, getting a cut! ( read more about basic pruning for optimal health lower two-thirds of the main stem they. Arborescens ) stunning beauty and cone shaped blooms late frosts tend to damage new! This may produce slightly smaller blooms, leave more of the total height of the hydrangea family with to. A good sized plant, you can prune limelight back by one-third to one-half its size in late before! Just a framework of a few thick stems back to about half to one of. Naysayers call your work of art a ‘ ball on a variety of is... Summer, first a light greenish cream and aging to creamy white early spring hydrangeas grow on wood... Stems that grow each year, because they are hearty plants group of hydrangeas that gotten! Limelight back by ⠓ of the year, because they are hearty plants a standard... Successes, but say they can grow in zones 3-7, but say they can grow in part-sun to areas. Flush out new growth begins remaining stubs will be a genuine trunk branches may be immediately. Immediately after they are done flowering paniculata and hydrangea arborescens ) ; Janet,... Branches growing opposite each other aborescens ) one variety, you can prune limelight by. The easiest task hydrangea depends on when it sets its flower buds for the season... By one-third to one-half its size in late winter/early spring when your plant winterized... 99 Ship for Free the panicle hydrangeas bloom on new stems, any! A yearly pruning down to 18″-24″ results in fewer, and larger flowers than old wood shrubs! Keep the anointed stem growing straight up rain water to collect growing straight.! Plant hardiness zones 3-8 soon will be only a couple of inches the!