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?

Hydrangeas With Cone-Shaped Flowers

Hydrangeas with cone-shaped flowers are of the paniculata variety.  In my yard I grow the ‘Limelight’ and ‘Pinky Winky’ which are both paniculata grandiflora.  This type of hydrangea can be grown as a bush or shaped into a tree over time.

The flowers are long and sometimes really huge in size.  My limelight bushes have produced some amazing white to pale green blooms that are stunning.  And they did this the first year after they were planted!  Hydrangeas are very hardy and fast blooming.  You won’t have to wait for years for them to produce showy blooms.  The exception to that may be fewer and later blooms after a hard winter.  I have that happening in my yard this year.  (See Pictures of My Hydrangea Plants 2015)

limelight hydrangea flowers
The Limelight Hydrangea in Summer

Last year the blooms on the Limelight hydrangea were huge, and as the Fall season approached, the blooms began to turn light pink. They were just gorgeous.
Because this type of hydrangea flowers on long stems, many people trim them into trees, with one or a few main branches that grow tall with hanging branches.
Do a Google search for the paniculate grandiflora and you’ll see many lovely images. The picture below shows the same flowers shown in the picture above, just later in the season.

cone shaped limelight hydrangea flowers
Late Summer Limelight Flowers Turning Pink

Possibly my favorite, the Pinky Winky is also a paniculata variety which produces white flowers that gradually turn dark pink.
Here is one of my photos of a little Pinky Winky bouquet made up of cut flowers before they turned pink.  Please click this link to see the progression of the bloom growth and color change in the photos on a previous post.

pink hydrangea paniculata
Most flowers are pink by late summer
white hydrangea pinky winky in vase
White Hydrangea, Pinky Winky Bouquet

There are many other types of paniculatas, and the Pee Gee is very lovely with white flowers. I bought one, but it was crushed and never had the chance to grow. I can’t give you a personal account of it, but the Pee Gee is loved by many hydrangea fans.  And there are many more.  Search for what will grow well in the climate where you live, and be sure to plant the paniculata hydrangea in a space that can accommodate it’s growth.

Hydrangeas in My Yard: The Paniculatas

My last post was about the macrophylla varieties of hydrangeas growing in my yard. Those have big, rounded blooms and large leaves. This post contains pictures of my two types of paniculatas, which are hydrangeas with elongated type flowers.

In general I have found the paniculatas to be very easy to care for. They seldom droop in a drought, as the macrophyllas (Blushing Bride and Endless Summer) wilt quite easily in hot sun, and when they are dry.

The first photo is of the Limelight hydrangea. It was taken in August 2015, and as you can see it is not flowering, but it does have buds. The second photo is from last year at approximately the same time.  As you can see, this year I will not get the blooms like last year.  Again, I blame this on our incredibly horrible winter.  The extreme cold and piles of snow have done a number on just about everything in my yard.   Some of my Hostas never grew back, and the perennials I thought had died, are still living, but they are way behind on growth, like the hydrangeas.

limelight hydrangea shrub
Limelight Hydrangea – Aug. 10th, 2015
flowering limelight hydrangea
Limelight Hydrangea – August 20th, 2014

The last picture I have is of the Pinky Winky hydrangea. I have come to love this plant for it’s beautiful, long-lasting blooms. It is also a very easy plant to grow. Plant it and forget it.
pinky winky hydrangea
Unfortunately, I could have chosen a better spot for this one to grow. Without a lot of yard space, I thought it would have plenty of room to expand next to the garage. Then the snow came and my plow guy pushed loads of snow over the poor thing. It came back and grew fine.
This year I had to have a broken tree taken down, and as the tree-cutters brought the big beech down, the branches landed on my Pinky Winky. It was enough to break one of the main, low branches. I will have to cut it, as it’s split. I want to wait until the blooms go by.

Pinky Winky 8/20/14
One year ago – Pinky Winky, August 20th, 2014

The only problem I have with this one is that the deer eat it – see how lopsided it is in the photo above?  There is a big deer population around my house and they come up from the woods at the side of the house to check the yard for dinner.  After they munch on my rhododendron, they chew down the stalks of the hydrangea. It’s the only hydrangea they eat, and I think it’s placed just right (or wrong).
So between the broken branches and deer trimming, I may not get to see this perennial grow too large before I move, but it’s still beautiful.

This is the only hydrangea that doesn’t seem to have been bothered as much by the extremely cold winter.  I would love to have more Pinky Winky hydrangeas in my yard.

Hydrangea Trees and The End of Summer

hydrangea treeI’ve been enjoying the big hydrangea trees that I see blooming in my neighborhood. How lovely it would be to have a big tree with these lovely blooms! For one thing, hydrangea flowers last a long time, so the tree would look beautiful all summer and into fall.

None of my hydrangea shrubs are very large yet, and this year the blue one did not bloom well. I have only one blue flower, which is disappointing. But the only hydrangea in my yard that will become a small tree is the Pinky Winky.

Certain hydrangeas can be trimmed to become trees. The Limelight can be purchased as a tree, so obviously you could trim it to become one.

My Limelight bushes had long stems and I was experimenting with ways to get them to grow more compactly, but then I moved away.   I planted a Limelight hydrangea on each side of my front steps, and they really needed to be in a place with more space to grow.  Their long lanky stems may have been caused from lack of sun, although they did get sun, but not all day.

flowering limelight hydrangea
Limelight Hydrangea – August 20th, 2014

One of my favorite hydrangeas is the Pee Gee (Paniculata grandiflora – PG). I bought one but it died (photo below), due to my poor choice of planting location. I never had a chance to get another one while I lived in New Hampshire and now in Florida, they won’t survive.

The Pee Gee has beautiful white flowers and can be trained into a tree by choosing one main stem, or possibly two, and removing the others. This is the basic way to train a shrub into a tree. Spring is the best time to do this, as the shrub will be ready to take off and grow. Pee Gee’s bloom on new wood, so all new growth in Spring has the potential to produce flowers. For that reason, never trim late in the season when flower heads could be removed.

The website The Spruce has more information about the Pee Gee and how to care for it and turn it into a tree.

white flowers pee gee
Beautiful White Flowers of the Pee Gee Hydrangea