"Little Quick Fire" & "Little Limelight" Hydrangeas

Jami-in-NYSAugust 5, 2014

Hello Fellow Gardeners ~ I'm considering planting either "Little Quick Fire" or "Little Limelight" hydrangeas. Prior to making any final decision, I'd like to know your experience with either of these shrubs: Good or bad; pros/cons; hardiness; growth habit (shrubby/open/compact); how they look in bloom & out of bloom; foliage, etc. I live in a Zone 4 area, Mid-Hudson Valley of NYS. Thank you in advance for your help ~

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I have no experience with the quick fire and little experience with little-limes. I just planted 8 little limes and they are very nice except the fact that they are stressed and have either lost some foliage or are weeping but that should clear up next year. The little limes should stay compact and tight in the right growing conditions (6+ hours of sun and moist soils) they should get about 4-5 feet tall and wide but I plan on pruning my back to stay about 3'x'3. I little limes look the best of the small tight shrubs. Limelights are the same just bigger and stemmy-er. Little Lambs look really nice too, very similar concept to little limes except the blooms are white. The limes blooms are the nicest I have seen in a compact, the lime green color is very cool but over exposure to sun will cause them to turn white and subsequently pink faster. These are very hardy shrubs and should grow fine in my zone 6a, not sure about your zone 4. Check Proven Winners website for more info.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 2:56PM
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springwood_gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

You can Google image search for various states of bloom. All hydrangea paniculata begin mostly white and fade to pinks and browns.

Both are "dwarf" hydrangea paniculata, as they aren't supposed to exceed 5' in diameter. There would be zero dieback down to zone 3. All paniculata are drought tolerant and require full sun in zone 4. 'Long as the soil stays moist and mostly shaded, little manual watering would be needed.

Little Quick Fire just came out this year, so not many people have it. It would be a wise choice for mixed borders as full size QF (like mine) can exceed 7' in diameter. QF (a rare case) should NOT be pruned past early fall (when the leaves turn), and never after the plant begins to leaf out in spring - otherwise you will eliminate blooms before they happen.

Little Lime is a top-rated shrub. Each spring, simply prune out tiny outer branches and leave the thickest toward the middle. There are no pruning restrictions on Limelight.

QF stems are ruddy in color and have dark, rough, medium sized leaves. Limelights have much lighter stems and leaves (light green across the board).

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 7:23PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Google Limelight and Quickfire to see the difference in blooms.

Quickfire blooms 6 weeks earlier than Limelight. The same holds true for their dwarf versions.

Consider the point above regarding the leaves.

Not sure what is being pointed out about pruning. You prune back H. paniculata late winter/early spring as the buds start to swell. Quickfire isn't any different.

Personally I like the shape and texture of my Quickfire and Little Quickfire more so than my Limelight and Little Lime. The latter WILL flop until they put on some caliper with their stems. I'd rather see blooms on the plants all summer vs. waiting until late July/early August for Little Lime and Limelight to finally bloom.

This was Quickfire in early July. My Limelight and Lime Light is just transitiioning from the lime to white.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 11:35PM
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Thanks to all who responded to my post regarding "Little Quick Fire" and "Little Lime" hydrangeas. Very helpful!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 8:41PM
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ked1985(7a NoVA)

I have no experience with little quickfire, but I did recently plant a little lime in a half barrel container... gets about 4-5 hours of sun and seems to be doing okay. Similar to sampson's, mine is slightly transplant stressed and has been losing its inner leaves a bit. It's blooming beautifully though and the flowers are still green (I see a bit of pink creeping in on the edges). It rained recently and a couple of the larger clusters fell over, but I lightly shook the water off and they're popping back up as they dry out.

I'm really enjoying the LL so far!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 12:15PM
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tnremodel(z6 TN)

Does anyone know which has a longer bloom time - Little Lime or Quick Fire?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2014 at 4:06PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

The blooms stay "on" and last thru winter so whichever blooms first would have blooms that last longer. In the earliest department, Quickfire is probably the earliest or one of the earliest. In Zone 6 for example, it can bloom in June.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2014 at 2:00AM
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My QF started blooming in mid June and Vanilla Strawberry Sundae and Vanilla Strwberry in mid July. My guess for Little Lime would bloom around the same time as my VS.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2014 at 3:01AM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

LL bloomed quite early for me two years ago. Had no blooms in May but it had started the broccoli phase in May and managed to get a handful of blooms open. Of course, it was quite a warm winter that year and you will not see that happen in Zone 4/NY. I did not pay attention to this year but it may have been blooming by mid June or so. Again, not likely to happen this early for you in Zone 4/NY.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2014 at 2:51PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Limelight and Little Lime are the last to bloom of the H. paniculata in my zone. I don't think it was until mid August that they had fully bloomed. There is an advantage to this as you get the white vs most others are pink.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2014 at 7:45PM
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