Known as the seasonal garden chameleons, limelight hydrangeas produce large blooms in the spring that change from creamy white to bright lime green in the summer to soft pink in the fall and back again to creamy white in the winter. They are considered deciduous shrubs that are planted in the outside garden during early spring when the soil is warm and moist. Limelight hydrangeas require minimal care, grow almost anywhere in North American and are also known for having a long life span.
* Limelight hydrangea shrub
* Organic compost
* Garden fork
* 10-10-10 fertilizer
* Grass clippings
* Slow-release fertilizer
* Pruning shears
Step 1: Choose an area of the garden with full sun to partial shade and well-drained, loamy soil.
Step 2: Dig a hole three times the width of the limelight hydrangea’s root ball with a shovel, then mix in copious amounts of organic compost to retain moisture. Use a garden fork to clear any stray weeds.
Step 3: Place the root ball in the hole. Some nurseries sell limelight hydrangeas with their roots wrapped in burlap or plastic material. Remove the wrapper once the root ball is in the hole and fill the hole with soil. Firm the soil around the plant’s base to prevent any air pockets.
Step 4: Sprinkle 10-10-10 fertilizer around the base of the hydrangea after planting. Mulch with a 2-inch layer of grass clippings and water well.
Step 5: Water once a week at a rate of 1 to 2 inches during the spring and summer. Fertilize once in the fall with slow-release fertilizer to discourage winter growth. Prune in late fall by cutting back stems 4 to 5 inches at ground level to encourage plant growth and healthy shoots. Trim away any dead or diseased foliage with sharp pruning shears.
Dried limelight hydrangea leaves may be used in floral arrangements or made into holiday wreaths. To do this, cut blooms in late summer with a kitchen knife. Remove the healthy leaves and arrange them in baskets or vases without water. Silica gel can be applied to help leaves retain their natural color.
Limelight hydrangeas are prone to aphid infestations, which destroy new growth. The first sign of a problem is the appearance of ants on the hydrangea’s leaves and tiny aphid egg clusters. Treat with an insecticide spray or insecticidal soap and dispose of infected leaves.