Limelight vs little lime

Asked August 1, 2016, 12:29 PM EDT

I have 7 hydrangea that are approximately 3 feet tall and were planted 3 months ago. They are full of creamy white flowers and look beautiful. I need 7 more to run along the fenceline and want to be sure I'm getting the correct ones. My landscape plan says Limelight, however the limelights at the nursery look completely different then what I have. Mine are full and have a ton of flowers that are smaller in size then the flowers on the limelight at the nursery. The company only planted them about 3 1/2 to 4 feet apart which has me wondering if what was planted were little limes. Pictures on Internet of little lime look like what I have but so do limelights. Mine bloomed white not green (little lime at nursery had green flowers) but are profuse on a nicely full branched shrub (limelight at nursery looked nice but was branch sparse). Any suggestions to identify would really help as landscaper hasn't gotten back to me. Thanks!

Delaware County Ohio

2 Responses

With two newer cultivars - Little Lime and Bobo - this series is like the three bears from the Goldilocks fairy tale. Limelight is the papa, Little Lime the mama and Bobo the baby.

Limelight is the 'Papa'

Limelight is the largest, reaching 6-8 feet tall and wide. It is a panicle-type hydrangea that is native to China and Japan. It has an exceptionally strong framework and produces enormous cone-shaped flowers which can measure 8 inches across. These change dramatically in color as the season progresses.

The show begins in late June when the buds unfold and the lime-colored blooms emerge. The flowers, which later become pure white, are so abundant that they totally cover the branches, leaving the green leaves to peek out of this glorious display. By August, the blooms change to a cotton candy pink. The plant is like a beacon in the landscape.

Little Lime is the go-to plant if you do not have the space that Limelight requires. It has all the spectacular attributes but less stature, maturing to just 3-5 feet tall and wide. It will reward you with a spectacular show of flowers that follow the same color changes.

Bobo, the baby in the family, is also called Ilvobo. This is a very compact cultivar - 2-3 feet tall and wide at maturity. Bobo forms a compact mound with a sturdy framework and blooms abundantly with the same enormous flowers as Limelight. This is a perfect plant to showcase at the front of the border.

Just some added suggestions: Check around the base of each shrub to see is there is a nursery tag still attached. Also check you landscapers invoice to see what he has charged you for and/or the pick up list from the wholesale nursery. If the wholesale nursery was, say Acorn Farms, and you know the landscaper and the PO or job number, you might also try the nursery and see what the landscaper picked up. Good luck.