Limelight, help I cut it back level to the ground

sewnice50April 23, 2013

HI all,
Last fall I was a the Nursery where I bought my limelight, he said to cut it right down to the ground this spring and it will grow back thicker.
I did that last weekend. Now I am reading not to do that. Did I kill the plant?
Thanks in advance for your help.
Sue

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gardengal48

Did you kill the plant? Probably not :-) Level with the ground is a bit more than necessary (usually the instructions are to about 6"), but these are pretty tough shrubs and can take some hard pruning. However, you do want to be conscious of the timing of the pruning -- too late into the spring and you can affect the bloom potential. Also, while a hard pruning in its first spring will help the plant to establish well (a good root system), it can delay or impede some of the flowering. Not to worry - you should be able to enjoy this shrub for many years to come.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 3:06PM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

In terms of timing of the pruning and flowers, I'm also zone 5 and usually trim my Limelights in mid-April to very early May.

A couple years ago, I was trying to encourage maximum branching on one. I trimmed it in March then again on May 29th. I made a note that I should have done it earlier because it already had several sets of leaves on the new branches, but it bloomed just fine that year.

I hope you'll repost once your Limelight does whatever it's going to do. I'm interested to know the results!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 8:49PM
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sewnice50

ruth mi,
Thanks for the info. It's good to know I can prune it and still get blooms. I just hope it comes back. My DH did an amazing job of cutting it flush with the ground.
Sue

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 9:47AM
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springwood_gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

Also, fertilize about now and then once again in July. That should aide in growth and blooming combination, since about all hydrangeas have a hard time doing "both at once".

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 10:34AM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

I'd love to hear an update on this Limelight. I guess it's very early for "results," but how about a progress report?

I'd also be curious to know how old the Limelight is.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 3:09PM
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sewnice50

Hi Ruth,
Here is an update on the Limelight Hydrangea I cut to the ground in April 2013. ItâÂÂs come back but the stems are only up about 8 inches tall. There are about 10 -12 stems coming out of the original base. It looks like it will be fine, maybe bushier, this year. I am glad I did it now.

I also cut my 40 year old Arrowwood vibernum to the ground May 4th and they are coming back. I am shocked that they came back. I have lots of shoots and they are about 10 inches tall. The bush was about 12 feet tall but had lots of dead wood inside and weak stems. I am glad I did that too.

I will try to remember to update again in August.
Sue

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 4:32PM
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sewnice50

Hi Ruth,
I planted the Limelight in 2010. It was a 3 foot plant at that time.
Sue

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 4:35PM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

Sue - thanks for the update. I have one that I either have to prune a lot next spring or move this fall, so I really appreciate the update.

How old and big was it? And when you say "cut to the ground," do you mean literally to the ground (as in level with), or to a 6" - 12" stump?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 4:38PM
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sewnice50

Ruth,
The Lime light hydrangea was about 5 feet tall and not very bushy.
It had a nice shape but you could "see" through it, if you know what I mean. It looked âÂÂthinâÂÂ.
I cut it even with the ground. I asked the guy at the nursery if I heard him right and he said yes he cuts his even with the ground every 3 years. He said to do it in early spring or late winter while it is dormant.
Sue

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 8:55AM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

Thanks, Sue - very helpful information!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 9:25AM
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