Stages of the Limelight Hydrangea Flower

The huge blooms of the limelight hydrangea change from white to pale green to pink.

One hydrangea that has cone-shaped, panicled flowers is the limelight variety.  I’m using my own photos on this post to show the stages of the limelight hydrangea flower, as it grows from spring through the fall season.  All pictures on this page were taken from the same flowering shrubs in my front yard, but throughout their growth period.

Hydrangeas can produce some of the most spectacular light green flowers, and the limelight does not disappoint. Brides love this flower to accent any wedding theme, and it’s often chosen to create stunning centerpieces.

In spring, this perennial sends out tall stems.  Eventually buds form, with many little clusters of flowers shooting out along the end of the branch. This is the panicle, which makes this a hydrangea paniculata.   These tiny clusters will each grow and merge to form a resulting, huge single bloom.

panicle hydrangea limelight
Panicle Hydrangea Buds

The flowers are the greenest when they are first growing. The buds open from the bottom to the top, creating a flower that is a combination of soft white to light green.

limelight hydrangea flower
Filling In, The Flower Expands

My limelight shrubs are fairly new to the yard. They were planted in 2012, and I am still learning about how to prune and grow them successfully. Fortunately hydrangeas are very hardy, and even if you do something ‘wrong’ they will continue to grow nicely.

white limelight hydrangea
White Hydrangea Flowers

Once the blooms fill out they are mostly white, and big and puffy looking. This hydrangea creates some of the most stunning blooms you’ll ever see.

As summer passes, the white flowers begin to turn pale pink and become darker during the autumn months. They can be cut to use in an inside arrangement, or left to dry on the bush (see my last photo on this page).

white hydrangea bouquet
Big White Limelight Bouquet

My photos above and below show the pink-tinted hydrangea flowers as they appear in the fall season. The flowers are massive, and the petals that were once a creamy white are now turning partially pale green and mauve pink.

limelight fall flowers
Fall Limelight Blooms

My plants are fairly young. As the plants age, the stems will fill in and become stronger. I’ve seen them staked to hold the flowers upright, as they are heavy and tend to flop downward.

The Limelight hydrangea can be pruned into a little tree, but that takes skill and patience. I have never tried to create a hydrangea tree, but they are stunning accents to any landscape. The flowers hold up well into fall and become dried garden decor.

fall hydrangeas - limelight
October Limelight – Dried Flower With a Late, White Bloom

Hydrangeas are fun to grow.  You just never know what they may do, like pop out a new bloom in October!  When all the other flower heads were dried and brown, suddenly a new white flower emerged from my Limelight (photo above).

I hope you have enjoyed my photos, and maybe I have inspired you to grown one (or more) of these lovely hydrangea shrubs.

Now, would you like to see the stages of the Pinky Winky blooms?

I’m a Little Concerned – Where Are the Flowers?

white peony flower buds
White Peony

As i travel around the neighborhood and general area where I live, I see hydrangeas already in bloom.  Just down the road I found a huge Pinky Winky “tree” which is covered in blooms.  (I must get a photo)  But my Pinky Winky is not blooming at all.  Not even any buds are showing.  The mopheads have blooms just beginning, but the limelight is also without buds.

So what does this mean?  Usually hydrangeas bloom in July here, so there is still time.  I do have a lot of shade around this place, so it might be what’s keeping them from budding.  I hope not, because I have little choice but to grow them where they are.  Besides, I won’t be digging them up!

My peonies are just opening too, whereas just down the road the peonies are in full bloom.  I’m very happy with all the buds on them this year.   But, how can the fact that I live just up the hill provide such a blooming contrast?  I’ll wait and see what happens.  What else is there to do?

Bloom Hydrangeas, Bloom !!!

My hydrangea shrubs are blooming!  The Blushing Bride is mostly white with a slight green tint.  Maybe the pink color will show up later.  That is part of the fun in growing hydrangeas – they tend to change color as they age.  They don’t bloom and die and look hideous, they bloom and gradually dry out on the stem, changing slowing day to day.

My blue hydrangea is full of light blue flowers.  It’s really pretty – even though our torrential rainstorm from a couple weeks ago flattened the stems.  The shrub itself is quite small, but it’s giving me some gorgeous photos and pretty color for the front yard.  Can’t wait to see it next year, when it should be larger and more amazing.

Still to come is the Pinky Winky, which has tiny buds just beginning.  I don’t think the Pee Gee or the Limelight (I have 2) will have flowers this year, but I am happy with what I am seeing.  The white flower on the Blushing Bride is huge – I put my glasses on it to show the size.  View my pics below.

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Please Don’t Poison The Wedding Guests!

Green fern wedding cake.
Image via Wikipedia

Hydrangea flowers are popular for weddings and many brides choose to carry that theme onto the cake they will show off (and cut into) at the reception.   Hydrangea flowers can be made out of frosting or sugar in the form of gum paste and fondant. I am not a cake decorator, but it looks like hydrangea flowers take a lot of time and patience to create in this way, and I’ve seen some frosting ideas that look truly horrible.

You may be tempted to just add real hydrangeas to your cake, but wait, before adding real flowers to anything, do your research.  Although many flowers are edible, the hydrangea flower is not one of them.  In fact, they have poisonous parts and therefore I would want to keep them in my bouquets only.

The cake pictured here seems to have real green and white flowers tucked in between the raised layers and then piled up on top.  I would not think that this is a good idea since parts of the hydrangea are poisonous, and I wouldn’t want them on a cake that would be fed to hundreds of people.  Not a good wedding memory.  If those flowers are not real, they sure fooled me!

A tiered cake could have a large blossom on top, such as the Periwinkle Hydrangea Blossom Ball Wedding Cake by the Pink Cake Box.  Or have an all white cake with a scattering of blue petals- made of sugar -around the bottom.  It all depends on your preference, time, connections, and bank account.

Some modern brides will incorporate cupcakes into the reception which make for easier grabbing by the guests and no need for cutting and serving.  Gumpaste flowers can be used to create blue petals, such as the chocolate cupcakes featured on Confections, Cakes & Creations website.  Or buy some hydrangea petal shaped cutters and make your own realistic looking sugar paste hydrangea toppings.  Better yet, buy them for someone else to use and pay them for their efforts.  After all, as the bride, you will be too busy for such things.