How are those limelight hedges looking? (pic)

joannembJuly 3, 2010

I know a lot of us were planting limelight hedges this spring.... They are starting to bloom--how 'bout some pictures! Here is mine---the flowers are so pretty...can't wait for this to get higher and wider in the years to come. To compare planting notes, I planted mine about 3.5 ft. out from the house and 3.5 feet apart (per landscaper Deborah Silver's instructions--she has a wonderful blog online and does a lot with limelights.) There are 8 planted.

From this angle it looks like they are touching...they aren't quite, but they are filling in much faster than I thought they would.

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melaroma(6)

Those look lovely! I might be planting a limelight hedge in the fall. Do you have a link to Deborah Silver's website?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 4:37PM
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unprofessional(5)

Keep in mind this is what your 3.5' spaced shrubs are going to turn into: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNP6CpY4Dzo

I know everybody here's going crazy over how Deborah does hers, but I would really worry about the long term health of plants spaced that closely. Will post a pic of my 15 in the next coming weeks, as they open up.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 9:24PM
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joannemb

Unprofessional, I know you have a different position on how to space them, but I asked several landscapers/nursery owners before I planted and they all assured me that that was a fine distance. The only benefit to spacing them further is cost...which is of course a good enough reason in and of itself. That does not mean though that it is the right or only way....it is simply a matter of how long you,re willing to wait.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 10:28PM
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unprofessional(5)

Yeah, I hope my post didn't come across as overly negative. I really hope it does work out for everybody planting them this way, yourself included. I would just worry too much about them at that distance to feel comfortable with it.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 7:43AM
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echinaceamaniac(7)

Looks beautiful! I'm working on a hedge too, but I'm mixing Pinky Winky and Limelight and Vanilla Strawberry. I hope it's not too tacky having the different colors together.

These are such tough plants. I'm sure being close together will be fine. You could always prune them back a little each Spring to keep them from being too crowded.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 3:23PM
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gardenerzone4(5b)

Hi Joanne!

Glad to see you finally got your limelights! I'll try to take some pictures of the ones I planted in April and post those. After the April batch, I got carried away and planted more in early May and late May, finally ending up with 75 Limelights along a 300 foot perimeter fence around my property! But the early and late May batches aren't doing as well as the April ones, which were bigger plants to begin with...

I ended up planting all of them at 4' b/c all my fence panels are 8' wide and 4' was an easier distance for me to calculate in the landscape. :-)

Hey, did any of the Limelights you planted have any yellowing (even banana yellow) of the lower inner leaves? My local nursery told me that it's most likely a transplant shock thing, but wanted to know if you'd experienced any. It's not obvious from a distance, and I think the plants are getting over it, but it did occur in about 15% of my plants.

Thanks for reviving this topic!
gardenerzone4

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 5:06AM
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joannemb

Wow---75! Please post pictures! That will be just a beautiful sight to see in bloom once they take off. About the yellowing, yes I did experience it, as did many people on the forum (you might be able to find the thread) Someone mentioned the weather this year being an issue.... For me I noticed them start when I had cut back on the watering (They were growing so nicely I stopped babying them I guess.) I went back to watering them really deeply every 3-5 days and the yellowing almost disappeared. Now, at the same time I also treated them for fungus because some of the yellowed leaves had brown spots (my nursery said the moisture we had early in the season contributed.) So I'm not sure which actually solved the problem--- but my guess is that it was a bit of both. If your plants are getting over it---and if your weather was anything like ours (really wet April/May, dry and hot July), my bet is that is was the fungus and now that the weather has dried out, the problem solved itself on it's own.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 8:03AM
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joannemb

In full bloom.... Really, for shrubs just planted 3 months ago these darlings really deliver! I can't wait until they get taller, but goodness, for newly planted shrubs they still put on quite a show---limelight is my new favorite hydrangea for sure.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 9:30PM
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joannemb

The picture might help.... ;)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 9:39PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Joannemb, what a lovely sight! Give it a couple years and you will have a dense and tall hedge!!! Now, you will be very busy pruning in the spring..... :-)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 10:33PM
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unprofessional(5)

Nearest were purchased on clearance in one gallons. Furthest are from a wonderful local nursery as overwintered plants in three gallons. Approximately 6' spacing, and the tips of furthest are around a foot and a half apart right now; I expect they'll come together within the next two years, and then mature within one another.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 3:24PM
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rmac78

That will be a sight to behold in a couple years!! Very nice mr. unprofessional

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 1:35AM
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pearlgirl

How can anyone NOT love those Limelights!!? I have quite a
few large ones scattered around in my garden and I'm about
ready to go on the prowl for more after seeing your hedges.
Unprofessional...your blooms are so huge. What do you feed
them? Have you ever propagated any from cuttings? That is
one beautiful show!
Margaret

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 9:31AM
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unprofessional(5)

All I do is two scoops of Osmocote per plant in the spring, and then a layer of mulch spring and fall - my soil is pretty terrible hard clay. I've rooted accidental cuttings from weeding (just shove them in a pot with a quick draining mix, water, put in a plastic bag, and wait a month or so), and then generally give them away to less fortunate family members. I don't intentionally prune, but like you said, panicles are still a wonderful size.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 11:17AM
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lynseyb

I am so impressed with all your pictures ... I think I want to plant a Limelight or two now! What are your recommendations for sun exposure? Most of my backyard gets sun most of the day, so I was wondering how much sun they could tolerate. Thanks for your help!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 2:45PM
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unprofessional(5)

Mine basically don't get any shade at all. That big tree in the background blocks the earliest morning sun for some of them, and a smaller tree behind me blocks the very latest, but they definitely classify as full sun.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 5:15PM
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vivian_2010

They are absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Is late summer or early fall too late to plant them? And do you know if Home Depot or Lowels carry them? May already be too late this year for them to still be available?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 6:14PM
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unprofessional(5)

Early fall's probably the best time to plant anything, in my opinion. Be aware that Limelights tend to show shock when going in the ground; as long as they make it to the winter, they'll be fine.

Haven't seen any in the box stores this year, but it may vary by location. I would think right now would be their prime selling time.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 8:39AM
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lynseyb

I saw a BUNCH of them in Home Depot about a month ago (in KY). I'm not sure if they still have some, but I think I'm going to check tomorrow! Glad to hear they can handle the sun, because that's where I would be planting them!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 9:11AM
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pearlgirl

I DID go on the prowl and bought four more today at my
favorite nursery...still need more and they said that there
would be plenty next month.
Unprofessional, thanks for the feeding info.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 5:54PM
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gardenerzone4(5b)

Hi Everyone,

Some flowers on several of my Limelights are turning brown. I thought that Limelight flowers open green, turn white in summer, then pink in the fall, before drying up and turning brown in the late fall/winter. Is the premature browning in my flowers a sign of some kind of stress? Lack of water? Is it typical for hydrangea flowers to turn brown early during their first year in the ground?

I'm trying to post pictures of my hedge, and the brown flowers, but it seems to require a URL and I don't have a place to upload the pictures to on the web. Is there another way?

Also, do the leaves on your flower stalks fold downwards against the stalk? None of the stems or flower stalks look droopy at the tips, but most of the leaves on the flower stalks fold downwards rather than stand up horizontally. Is this normal?

Thanks,
gardenerzone4

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 11:07PM
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unprofessional(5)

Drooping leaves are a sign of drought - same with the premature panicle browning. Limelights have a hard time during that first year in the ground (mine did, too); you'll find lots of records of it on this forum. Keep them watered, and as long as they make it to the winter, they'll be fine. I've only had to water mine twice, this second year, where last year I was out nearly every other day.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 7:58AM
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gardenerzone4(5b)

Hi Unprofessional,

Thanks so much for responding! I'm glad to finally find an explanation for the browning panicles. It's been worrying me. Normally, when are Limelight panicles supposed to turn brown? Is it at first frost? Also, do Limelight panicles turn pink first?

I tested the soil under the limelights with the browning panicles, and the soil is not dry (to a depth of 3 inches). Is it just that the immature plant roots can't deliver enough water to the flower heads even though the soil has moisture in it?

Regarding the downward folded leaves--I'm still wondering if that's just the way it is. The video of that giant Limelight on Youtube also has downward folded leaves along its flower-bearing stems. The leaves point downward, like an insect's wing. That's how my leaves are looking. They started out erect when the flower heads were still green, but as the blooms whitened, they started folding downward. Droopy stems are a sign of drought, but are downward folded leaves on flower stems just the way it is? Help me understand.

Thanks for sharing your expertise! This has been a year of worrying over my Limelights. First the banana yellow leaves. Now the browning panicles. Ai ya ya! Hopefully, next year will be better...I really don't want to think that it was a mistake to plant 75 of these.

gardenerzone4

Here is a link that might be useful: Youtube Video on Giant Limelight

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 5:05PM
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redsox_gw

We inherited a Limelight with the purchase of our home 4 years ago. The previous owners planted it so I would put it at about 6 years old right now. It is ENORMOUS. Insanely so. I would say it is about 10 feet wide and 8 feet tall.

Our neighbors had some landscaping done 2 years ago and the landscaper put 2 limelights in front of their front door. I said to my Husband "those are too big for an entrance" and two years later, they are already huge. In another year or two they won't be able to get in their front door.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 11:07AM
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joannemb

If you prune them way back in the winter they will still get quite large---but most likely, not 8 ft. tall large by Summer. I'd like to keep mine around 6 ft.---so I do intend on pruning them each year to keep them in check.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 12:33PM
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kathielo

Here's my Limelight. It is at the back of my gardening shed and helps to block the neighbors driveway. I rarely prune it...maybe every other yr. It gets pruned when I cut the flowers for arrangements.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 10:57AM
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unprofessional(5)

That's a lovely specimen.

Panicle size, unpruned:

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 8:35AM
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joannemb

Wow---beautiful! Unpruned usually means smaller panicles doesn't it? Goodness, can you imagined the 'pruned' size???? lol--very pretty!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 9:50AM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

Kathy, how old is your limelight? this pic just made me realize i need to space my roses many feet away from the limelights i just planted. Beautiful!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 10:22AM
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unprofessional(5)

Year 3 update. Limelights really took off this year, but with increased number of panicles, panicle size did indeed go down. Hedge is looking gorgeous - some of the plants are already 6' wide.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 9:09AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

unprofessional, love your hedge. And it's looking better each year. What must your yard look like in person at peak blooming season--must be a sight to see!

Kate

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 1:48PM
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ATekk(6nj)

Wow Unprofessional! That is a hedge I would love in my yard! I may have to start thinking about where I could possibly find a spot that would support that size but man what a show.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 1:00PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

How do they stand up in the rain? I know they flop like crazy but do they bounce back up fairly well?

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 3:03PM
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madeyna(7/8)

Stunning!!!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 5:24PM
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ATekk(6nj)

Another year has passed...would love to see some updated pictures...especially from your hedge Unprofessional!

I just planted my 5 2-gallon plants this spring. Already impressed with the growth in half a season. Was going to go with the 6ft spacing but due to the space I was going to fill it was either close to 7 foot spacing or 5 foot spacing so went with the 5. Can't wait to see it in bloom in another two years.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 4:47PM
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unprofessional(5)

Hard to believe it's been five years since I planted these, mostly as one gallons. Biggest ones are over 6' now. Very few places have any space between bushes, and they're getting big enough that they're choking out the thistles that have always plagued this spot.

Even my kid approves!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 7:05AM
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joannemb

Here is my hedge 5 years later.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 1:46PM
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CreatedToCook(CA 10a/SunsetZn. 22)

joannemb, I couldn't get your link to work... :-(. I was looking forward to seeing your photos.

unprofessional, It was SO COOL and helpful to see the progression of your limelights as they grew. Thank you for sharing. I am just about to plant my first few limelights, and I'm trying to figure out a cost effective way to plant them... So seeing the progression of your limelights planted 6 feet apart has given me a clear idea about how far I should plant them.

Here's my QUESTION for all of you Limelight growers:

How close to a house wall can I plant them. I live in Semi-Coastal Southern California, where yard space is a premium... So all of the areas where I would like to grow them are all along the perimeter of the house where they would be planted about 1.5 feet from the house. Is this too close to the house wall? Or do I need to create a larger flower bed? What would be the minimum amount of space away from a wall you would recommend planting them???

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 6:30PM
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CreatedToCook(CA 10a/SunsetZn. 22)

joannemb, I couldn't get your link to work... :-(. I was looking forward to seeing your photos.

unprofessional, It was SO COOL and helpful to see the progression of your limelights as they grew. Thank you for sharing. I am just about to plant my first few limelights, and I'm trying to figure out a cost effective way to plant them... So seeing the progression of your limelights planted 6 feet apart has given me a clear idea about how far I should plant them.

Here's my QUESTION for all of you Limelight growers:

How close to a house wall can I plant them. I live in Semi-Coastal Southern California, where yard space is a premium... So all of the areas where I would like to grow them are all along the perimeter of the house where they would be planted about 1.5 feet from the house. Is this too close to the house wall? Or do I need to create a larger flower bed? What would be the minimum amount of space away from a wall you would recommend planting them???

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 6:39PM
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unprofessional(5)

Here's my yearly post for the hydrangea forum!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 9:02AM
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Tired_of_this

Wow, thank you so much for the updates on the gorgeous hedge you planted! I put in a semicircular hedge in at the bottom of a steep slope that was planted with forsythias. My Limelights are only about 2" tall now, but it's so reassuring to see what a few years and a little patience will bring. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 1:00PM
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emrogers

OMGoodnes!! I love to see this and see how beautiful they get!!! I'm also a tad bit jealous because I literally planted a little lime last year that has not even bloomed this year :( it's not dead so I'll keep hoping and praying mine will eventually bloom and semi look like this. :)
Elce

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 10:32AM
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rsislow

Hi!

Wow - I'm blown away by your hedge unprofessional!

I'm looking to do something similar.

Can you tell me how tall and wide the hedge is at this point?

Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2015 at 8:18PM
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NVL4

Would anyone be willing to post a picture of their hydrangea hedge in the winter? I am trying to visualize the bare stems on a large scale.

1 Like    Bookmark   January 28, 2015 at 1:31PM
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