The Best Tips for Limelight Hydrangea Trees

My latest hydrangea crush is the Limelight hydrangea tree! Have you heard of or seen these lovely trees? These low maintenance plants produce beautiful and charming blooms that will leave you wanting more. Today’s post is all about the best tips for Limelight hydrangea trees.

The Best Limelight hydrangea tree tips.

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Disclaimer

Just to be clear I am by no means a plant or garden expert. I just love getting my hands dirty and sharing what works for me in hopes that it will work for you too. I encourage you to do limelight hydrangea tree research like I did (mainly on google and Pinterest) to see how they will best work for you and your garden zone. We live in northern Colorado which is zone 5b, but these tips are very general and will work for all zones.

What Is a Limelight Hydrangea Tree

Like I mentioned above the Limelight hydrangea comes in a tree variety and is gorgeous! This tree requires very little maintenance and is known for being drought tolerant.

The tree itself has a rounded shape with dark green leaves and a large topiary look to it. They can be beautiful mixed into a landscape or even in a lovely pot on your patio.

The blooms start out as a lovely pale green and are about 10-inches in size when in full bloom. They look like mini footballs in shape and have a dramatic look because of their size.

In the summer months the flowers turn to cream, white, or pink through fall. These blooms are wonderful for cutting and drying! They can cost anywhere from $130-$200 making this low maintenance tree more affordable as far as trees go. We chose ours from O’Tooles Garden Center who carries the Proven Winner variety.

The limelight hydrangea tree loses its leaves in the winter.

The best tips for shopping and growing  limelight hydrangea Trees
My Proven Winner Limelight hydrangea tree and bushes.

Buying Tip: Make sure the leaves and branches on your tree match or closely resemble, what you are seeing in yards around you (a natural environment). If they are not naturally blooming in your area don’t buy blooming plants from a nursery.

How Do You Care For A Limelight Hydrangea Tree

These trees are very popular because they require very little maintenance and are very hardy.

  • Spring care: you can fertilize your Limelight hydrangea tree each spring before new growth using a slow-release, balanced fertilizer designed for woody plants with an NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) value of 10-10-10. I love this one!
  • Summer care: During the summer months make sure to keep your tree watered. You will know when it needs water if you poke your finger 2 inches down into the soil and it is dry. You can also clip flowers off during the summer to enjoy inside your home!
  • Fall care: Continue to water your hydrangea and feel free to prune them back in the fall after the blooms die back. The blooms will be perfect at this time to clip off for drying!
  • Winter care: The limelight hydrangea tree loses its leaves in the winter. In late winter (even early Spring) you should cut back it’s leaves to ⅓ of its overall height which will encourage new growth.

What Hardiness Zone Is Best for Limelight Hydrangea Trees

Limelight Hydrangea trees are known for tolerating cold winters (including frost) as well as warm summers. This is why this variety is so popular and can be found in a variety of climates. They are known to do best in Zones 3-8.

If you need to look up your hardiness zone you can visit this website and enter your zip code. We live in Zone 5b and these do great here in Colorado.

A limelight hydrangea tree planted in a container.

Do Limelight Hydrangea Trees Need Full Sun?

Limelight hydrangeas need full sun depending on what zone your tree is planted in.

By rule of thumb if you are in a cooler hardiness zone such as zones 4-6, they will do best in 6 hours of direct sunlight.

But for zones 7-8, which tend to be more intense, they need partial sun to do best. This is where it is important for you to know your zone.

A Proven Winner Limelight hydrangea tree ready to be planted.

Where Should I Plant My Limelight Hydrangea Tree

The first question most gardeners ask is where they should plant their limelight hydrangea tree. Like mentioned above it will be critical for you to know the zone in the area you are considering so you can decide if you will plant your tree in full sun or partial sun.

We chose to plant ours in our front yard, in a container, that receives full sun for 6 hours or more of the day. This is because we are located in Zone 5b. It is also important to plant your Limelight tree in soil that drains well and does not get waterlogged.

Proven Winners Limelight Hydrangea Tree
Source: Proven Winners

Soil for Limelight Trees

Limelight hydrangea trees can do well in a wide variety of soils but it must be well-draining as they don’t like overly wet soil or wet feet. They do typically prefer soil with a neutral to acidic pH. But unlike some other hydrangea varieties, the soil pH does not change the color of their blooms.

Can They Grow In Containers

Can limelight hydrangeas grow in containers? Yes, yes they can! And they actually do great in containers. Ours in planted in an old wooden tree form right next to our front door! A large container is recommended for the size of this tree. They look wonderful in containers on patios, porches, entries or even settled into a landscape in a container. The same care is recommended for this tree no matter where it is planted.

Tip: Plant a Limelight hydrangea tree in a container and it will thrive.

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How Big Does A Limelight Hydrangea Tree Get

It is a very good idea to do some space planning for your Limelight hydrangea tree. These trees can get up to 6-8 feet tall and sometimes taller. They are still technically classified as a dwarf tree. Their span can get as wide as 7 feet but pruning and shaping helps this tree stay manageable for it’s space. How fast does a limelight hydrangea tree grow? They grow 1-2 feet per year.

Proven Winner Limelight Hydrangea tree from O'Tooles Garden center in Colorado.

How Do You Prune a Limelight Hydrangea Tree

The number one question most people have about any type of hydrangeas is how to prune them. The good news is that the Limelight hydrangea grows on new wood and so you don’t need to worry about pruning too far. Just make sure to never cut off new blooms and you should be good to go!

You should prune your Limelight hydrangea tree every year, either in late winter or in early spring before new growth starts to emerge. Prune your Limelight hydrangea back by ⅓ of its overall height to encourage new growth.

It is ok to trim or deadhead any dead, damaged, or diseased branches, you may notice throughout the year.

Limelight Hydrangea Tree vs Bush

Limelight hydrangeas also come in a shrub variety. A hydrangea tree is simply made by pruning a shrub (only the paniculata variety) so that the trunk is bare or exposed. This is usually done at the nursery when they are very young.

We have two limelight bushes on the side of our house and I can’t wait for them to bloom!

When deciding on a bush over a tree it is a good idea to look at how you want it to fill your space. If you need something to draw your eye up or fill in some height, a tree is best. But if you are looking for more of a hedge or filler on the ground the bush is perfect. Either one offers the same gorgeous blooms and ease of care!

Just make sure to plan enough space because they can get large and wide. It is recommended they be planted 8 feet apart.

How Do You Winterize A Hydrangea Tree

My best tip to protect your Limelight hydrangea’s roots from winter chill in colder climates by adding a 2-3 inch layer of mulch at the base or bottom of your tree. Some people even cover the stem with burlap bags, newspaper, etc. to protect it from the wind, but this is not always necessary.

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The Best Tips for Limelight Hydrangea Trees

Hopefully I have provided you with the best tips for limelight hydrangea trees! Happy planting my friends and don’t forget to enjoy those gorgeous blooms. Feel free to ask any questions by leaving a comment below.

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18 Comments

  1. Hi Kelly. Love the hydrangea tree. I’m not sure but I think their height is gained by being grafted on to a different tree. If you look at the area where the branches start, you will see a bulbous area where the graft is.
    Be sure and watch this area as this is the only area where disease can come in. I had a beautiful weeping cherry tree which was grafted and had to fight that area to be sure no disease entered it.
    You are such a delight and your smile is contagious.
    Blessings to you

  2. YES! Next year it’s on my list. I have been stalking them out because I love hydrangeas.

    Can’t wait to see this beautiful tree grow

    1. Hi Shawn! Since my tree is in a pot/container I have a few options. I can cover it with a burlap sack after pruning it and line the base with mulch or pine straw. Next, I would wrap the stem with burlap. If possible, move it to my garage. I won’t be able to do this last one though because I did not put wheels under the planter. Luckily this variety is very hardy! Hope that helps!

  3. Kelly,
    This is such great information. I’d love to add one of these to my landscape. I’d also like to add a link to my Sunday, Dirt Road Adventures. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Kelly thanks for this information! Best advice on this tree & will have to wait until next summer but I am getting one 🤗!

  5. I love your Lime Light tree. I have the shrubs around my home and LOVE them! Anyone sitting on the fence about getting Lime Lights, buy them. They are gorgeous. Mine are only in the third season and the blooms are huge. I would love to have a tree too. One of the prettiest blooming plants!

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