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?

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.

Paper Hydrangeas For Decorating

silk flower arrangement hydrangeas green

Many brides choose hydrangeas for their wedding bouquets and decorations, but using real flowers means they must be arranged and created (in the case of the bouquets) shortly before the ceremony because flowers only look fresh for a short time.  Once a flower is separated from it’s water supply, it’s only a matter of time before it will begin to die.
To do some decorating with hydrangeas yourself, maybe you would like to consider artificial flowers. We all know there are silk replicas of every type of flower, but I’ve come across an Etsy crafter who will create hydrangea flowers from paper according to the color you want for your event.

If you don’t know what Etsy is, it’s a place online where people can show off their crafts and creations and sell them.   Wanda at TreasuredEditions is the woman who makes the flowers, and if you are interested, there is contact info on her page to get pricing and all the details.

Just thought I’d pass on another way to achieve the hydrangea look for your wedding or event.