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Summertime Color in the Limelight

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Summertime Color in  the Limelight

In addition to the display from some evergreens such as azaleas and rhododendron, we are most often accustomed to a magnificent springtime show of flowers from many deciduous shrubs.  There are others, however, that begin their great display in mid summer and extend that beauty well into the fall.

While we have become accustomed to the extended summertime bloom of many of the crape myrtles, It’s hard not to notice the show being put on by a number of the Hydrangea paniculata such as  Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ pictured here.

This panicle hydrangea produces clusters of creamy white flowers that turn lime green before adding pink tones as they mature in the fall. Panicle hydrangea cultivars are generally larger growing shrubs that are often available in a tree form and make an excellent summer blooming specimen in a mixed planting.

 If you like the features of ‘Limelight’ but would like a plant that doesn’t get as big, look for the dwarf version, Hydrangea paniculata ‘Jane’, most often sold by its common name of Hydrangea Little Lime™.

Flowers of the panicle hydrangea are borne on current season’s growth so pruning in late winter or early spring encourages vigorous growth and larger flowers. Not sure when and how to prune the other hydrangeas in your landscape? Our FAQ on How do I prune my hydrangeas will tell you the proper procedure to use depending on the species of hydrangea that is in your landscape.

There are a number of hydrangea species and cultivars that do well in the St. Louis area. Our visual guide on Hydrangeas for St. Louis showcases eleven varieties that have been successfully grown in our climate by area enthusiasts.

Now would be an excellent time to visit the Missouri Botanical Garden and see what other flowering shrubs are in the limelight. Additionally, you can use the “advanced search” features of the Plant Finder to find other deciduous shrubs that will bloom in the summer.

For additional information and/or answers to your gardening questions, you can also talk to us in person.  Just call the Horticulture Answer Service (Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. @ 314-577-5143) or visit the “doctors” at the Plant Doctor Desk (Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.) in the Center for Home Gardening.

Posted in: Summer | Tags: hydrangea , shrubs , pruning | Comments (0) | View Count: (4917)
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