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Why aren’t my Limelight Hydrangeas blooming?

Debbie Asked

A professional landscaper planted lime hydrangeas two summers ago. They did not bloom last summer and haven’t so far this year. The plants have grown taller, but no blooms…what to do?

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The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Debbie: I assume you are referring to the hydrangea cultivar named ‘Limelight’. These are one of my personal favorites and such a wonderful addition to any sunny garden. It sounds like your shrubs are healthy but just not blooming. Of course, the reason for growing them is their stunning, cone-shaped blooms and when they don’t bloom we need to look at  the available sunlight, nutrients and pruning practices. These deciduous shrubs should be grown in full to part sun. A minimum of six hours per day is ideal. Another possibility is not enough available nutrients or perhaps too much. They are not heavy feeders but if you have not had your soil tested this may be a good idea. You can contact your county Cooperative Extension Service to have this done. On the other hand, if you have possibly over-fertilized, this can prevent blooms but encourage leafy growth. Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ blooms on new wood which means that it produces flowers on the current seasons growth. They do not require annual pruning but if needed they can be taken back by one-third of the size of the plant in the spring. I hope this is helpful.

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