When the calendar says late winter…

…. I pay attention. Spring officially arrives in less than a week but this week, it’s still late winter, the time when I like to trim our Little Lime hydrangea…. even wearing muck boots in the snow. The garden is still dormant but the spring thaw has begun.

late winter snow on ground Mar. 2019

We like to keep these hydrangeas about 4 1/2-ft. tall and fairly well-shaped. For winter interest, we allow the spent blooms to overwinter on the shrubs. Little Limes bloom on new wood so a quick trim of 5-6″ will allow all 5 of our Little Limes in a mass planting to produce an abundance of new flowers sometime in July.

Little Lime in March 2019

We trim out weaker limbs that produce smaller blooms but don’t over trim as some gardeners prefer. We like to have them more natural and sprawling, even touching the ground here and there. It won’t be long now…

Little Lime Hydrangea

20 thoughts on “When the calendar says late winter…

  1. Should they be pruned annually? Our lime is a smaller variety but I would like for it to get thick. The oak leaf hydrangea is taking over the back yard by the pond – just what we wanted.

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    • Oh, I wish I had room for the oak leaf hydrangea. Count your blessings. I grew the Little Limes in Virginia and occasionally shaped them but not annually. I had more room in the garden there. I don’t think any panicle hydrangea needs it every year unless you see dead branches or weak branches or want to control the size. If you need to make it fuller, that’s a good reason to prune.

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    • Ha ha. I would think hydrangea would be very happy and carefree in your landscape. I’m constantly on the lookout for powdery mildew and leaf spot though.

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  2. Even in the Old Dominion we have squishy soil because of so much rain: so soggy that I actually saw rabbit tracks in the grassy soil! We do love our limelight, and are getting another! We cut back an overpowering oak-leaf this winter. Our yard is colorful with varieties of flowers & flowering trees, and beautiful songbirds. Some tree leaves have just started to peek out. Most nights are still in the mid-30s.

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