Vanilla Strawberry and Limelight Hydrangeas

Asked February 5, 2015, 1:39 PM EST

Do the Vanilla Strawberry hydrangeas need lime added to the soil to keep them their intended color? And the same question for the Limelight hydrangeas. If so, how much, and when do I doit? I was told I don't have to do a thing to them.

Saginaw County Michigan trees and shrubs hydrangea

1 Response

Your information is correct. Both of these hydrangeas are the paniculata (sometimes called PeeGee) type. These hydrangeas' bloom colors are not sensitive to the pH of the soil.

You mentioned adding lime to your soil. Adding lime is done to raise the pH of your soil. Unless your pH is very low, say below 4.5, there is no need to add lime for these hydrangeas. If you haven't tested the pH of your soil in the last 2-3 years you should do this before adding any lime. A home test kit from a garden center will give you an idea of your pH within about one full point (that is, a reading of 6 could mean a soil between 5-7). MSU Soil Lab has a more accurate test. Go to for info on a soil test. A pH only test is available, too --- call the lab at 517-355-0218 for info on that.

Remember that Vanilla Strawberry blooms white to light pink first, and the blooms gradually turn more pink. On Limelight, my references say that the green color is enhanced when the plant is located in part shade, and is more white in full sun. Both of these bloom on new wood, so you can prune them in fall, winter, or early spring and still get flowers in the summer that follows.

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