LImelite : Sun or Shade?

vpeterson(4)August 24, 2013

Just purchased a nice limelight. I have gotten different advice from two different nurseries about where to place it. One place said that I should be planting it in full sun. Today another nursery said that it should have some shade. I live in Minnesota in zone 4. What has been your experience?

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Congratulations, vpeterson. Paniculatas can withstand a lot of sunlight and, in the northern states, can be placed in full sun. Here in the South, the leaves need protection from the afternoon sun. However, Limelight is special. The more sun it gets, the faster the green blooms turn white. If you wish to keep the blooms looking green longer, aim for a location that gets around 2-4 hours of sun in the summer months.

This post was edited by luis_pr on Sat, Aug 24, 13 at 22:31

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 10:13PM
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Thank you for your response Luis. I also am getting and Vanilla Strawberry and a Tickled Pink(?). I was told that those were shade tolerant than the Limelight. What do you think? What about Everlasting Summer? I may be looking at one of those this afternoon. The late summer sales are really great.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 11:06AM
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Yes, sales are always great. My hydrangeas go on sale locally around late May, 30% off or so. The weather starts reaching into the 100s soon after that so local nurseries want to clear all or most of the hydrangea inventory asap. Except for one local nursery that I know of, there is hardly any hydrangea of any type available now in my local nurseries. What a drought!

The other paniculatas (VS and TP) can be put in more sun, all the way to full sun where you live. They can also do well in bright shade or dappled sun.

The macrophyllas can take more sun in the north but since they are understory shrubs, will probably do best with some afternoon shade in the summer months.

I am not familiar with Everlasting Summer; if you meant H. Macrophylla Endless Summer, it may do better in warmer locations; a lot of people have posted questions about theirs not blooming in Zone 4 or 5 so check before you buy. Compare it to the Together & Ever Series. I am really not saying not to try ES, just that for some reason, a lot of posts have been written by people who had blooming problems with ES in Z5 or colder (not as many by people with the T&E Series). Of course, one does not hear here from everyone who has no problems.

H. macrophylla Everlasting Revolution is not hardy to Zone 4 so you might have to experiment with winter protection techniques.

This post was edited by luis_pr on Sun, Aug 25, 13 at 13:07

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 12:35PM
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Thanks for that information.
I looked on the tag and it said Endless Summer Bella Anna and it also said, Hydrangea arborescens. Hopefully it will do well in Zone 4. I have seen this one in two different trustworthy nurseries around my home. I wouldn't think that they would sell plants that aren't hardy for this area, but you never know.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 3:37PM
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'Bella Anna' is a form of Hydrangea arborescens, as noted. These are the hardiest of the hydrangea species and should be fine in your climate. But the arborescens are distinct shade lovers -they will wilt on a daily basis if planted in too much sun. I would restrict sunlight to just a few hours in the morning and then shade for the rest of the day.

Endless Summer The Original is reportedly root hardy to zone 4 so it is sold very widely. However, it is not a very reliable bloomer, even in rather mild climates like mine. I would not consider planting it without winter protection in colder zones just to ensure whatever flowering potential the plant can muster. Bella Anna blooms on new growth like your paniculatas) so no worries with cold at all.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 5:24PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I grow Vanilla Strawberry in full sun in Zone 6. It puts out gorgeous big fat white blooms, but several of us have been speculating that the reason it didn't start turning pink for the past couple years was because the sun was too hot and direct. This summer has been unusually cooler and for the first time VS turned pink. However, our usual hot late summer sun finally came out (along with temps in the 90s), and the blooms on VS are getting fried brown around the edges.

For my zone, I think a couple hours of shade or partial shade later in the day would be ideal. In your area (Minnesota) I would think it can take full sun easily, but it might not hurt to give it a bit of passing shade later in the day.

As for the paniculatas tolerating shade, yes and no. I planted Pinky Winky in part sun/part shade all day long. It grows, it blooms--it just doesn't grow and bloom with vigor and enthusiasm. In other words, with more sun (and remember I'm talking about Kansas sun), I think Pinky Winky would be much more prolific and showy. In Minnesota, I'd guess at least a half day of sun (not part sun)--for maximum performance.

I love my paniculatas and am always glad to see others broaden their horizons by trying a couple. They are lovely, at a time in the summer when most other plants are beginning to look a bit run down.


    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 11:58AM
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Joopster(5 (Chicago))

i just bought 5 gallon Limelight from a nursery. It was cut back completely. They told me that it will come back next year. I bought it thinking it was only $5. I'm thinking about training it grow like a tree. Like I see some nurseries did with some other hydrangeas. Is it possible to grow Limelight like a tree in Zone 6?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 3:50PM
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Yes, you can. I saw the tree form Limelights for sale at one of my local plant nurseries last March. 30% off in May. Of course, you will need to do all the work (selecting the leader stem, cutting off the others, etc) but as long as it is fun, go ahead! Consider planting it later if your temps are still high.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 9:27PM
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Joopster(5 (Chicago))

Our local nursery put a lot of their hydrangea on sales for $5 each. Probably because of too much sun so they got burned badly. So i bought several. I'm debating which is a better candidate for tree shaping: Nikko Blue, Limelike, Lime Soda, Glowing Embers, or Pinky Winky.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 5:27PM
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Give hydrangeas some afternoon shade in MN. Even the paniculatas like limelight for best results. A lot of folks like to complain about Endless Summer, but is has been a reliable bloomer for me with minimal effort and about the only option for a blue hydrangea in MN. I don't know why they included Bella Anna in the Endless Summer line (different species), but it is kinda of a dud.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 9:59PM
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Paniculatas are the ones normally selected for tree form. They get much larger than H. macrophyllas like Glowing Embers and Nikko.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 2:44AM
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Hi. I bought a limelight hydrangea at a local nursery around October. I believe it was a 5 gallon and had some leaves on it but of course they all fell off. I'm hoping this is very normal since they are deciduous shrubs. (I'm slowly learning, I think) My husband said it was dead and I should throw it out. I couldn't and didn't. I had kept it in the container all winter and sometime about 3 weeks ago I planted it in the ground and of course there are little leaves all on the branches!!! Tiny, BUT visible and it's very much ALIVE!!!!! However, I did plant it on my part shade side of the house but ended up planting it in more shade due to the fact that when I first started to want to garden I bought hydrangeas from Lowe's and did not do well at ALL. Now, I'm scared to move it to the other side where it would get more sun but I'm scared that this Texas heat will ruin it. Plus, since it's doing fabulous where it's at I'm scared to move it!!!! Should I let it be? Move it now? Also, will I see any blooms this year on this LL? Or not? I'm super excited for it that I can't stand it.
I just picked up 2 hydrangea's from Lowe's last night (Nikko Blue and Pee Gee) but they are in bags? Can someone explain this? If I need to post elsewhere about the latter I will.

Thanks for all the help.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 9:21AM
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Congrats on your purchases, Elce! Select planting locations where they get morning sun (only) & afternoon shade or locations where they get bright shade (indirect sun). The east side and, sometimes, the north sides have worked for me.

At this time of the year, the leaves will not suffer even if you plant it on the west side but, come summer time (mid-to-late May over here), the leaves will suffer from sunscald when temperatures are near their highest, winds cause wilting and there is little moisture. Be careful selecting locations by looking at our current sun exposures as the sun is âÂÂweakerâ this time of the year.

If the current location meets those requirements (you said it is doing fine) then leave it where it is. If it gets more morning sun elsewhere and you reeeeally want to move it, go ahead. You may get more blooms that way but many times one may not notice a difference. Another thing to consider: Limelight blooms will remain green longer if kept in less direct sun.

Do not worry about transplanting much; many of us have had to transplant hydrangeas because the first location did not work. In general, hydrangeas are quite tough and should handle transplanting a second time provided you move as much of the root ball as you can, keep the root ball moist before/during/after the move and do not disturb the roots (much). Yes, a few leaves may dry out but, keep them well mulched (3-4â up to the drip line or further) and keep the soil evenly moist to minimize the stress of transplanting.

If you decide to transplant, pick locations with bright shade or locations where the leaves get morning sun from dawn through 11am-12pm in the summer. I timed sun exposures years ago and, locations where the leaves got sun past 1pm resulted in sunscald. It may be different for you but use that as a reference point or goal. Sometimes, additional water can help in sunny locations but, with our clay soil, I would not recommend it.

Regarding the bags, some nurseries ship plants in bare root form (with no soil). Others ship with some soil because it is less stressful and cheaper to send by mail; in that case, the roots and the soil would be placed in the plastic bag that you are probably talking about. They are not meant to be in those bags for long periods of time to plant them as soon as you can.


This post was edited by luis_pr on Tue, Mar 18, 14 at 8:03

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 5:30AM
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