Little Lime vs. Limelight Hydrangea



I have a chain link fence that runs along the side ofmy house. The space between my house and the fence is 12 feet wide. I would like to run a limelight hedge along the fence. In your experience, do full size limelights reach full height (8ft) in Canada. If so, is it possible to keep them to 6 feet high/wide or so with prunning or will this result in a droopy plant from weak stems (hard pruning each year).

I am also looking at the Little Lime, but I would like the hedge to be at least 5 ft tall (which is its max growing height).

Many thanks!


Dear Gardener,

Thank you for posing this interesting question about Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ to the Toronto Master Gardeners.

Reading different entries on the web about the ‘Limelight’ Hydrangea as a hedge, I found this website the most informative:

It seems that the ‘Limelight’ Hydrangea makes an excellent fence. It can be grown in the sun and in the shade. It does need well drained soil. In previous questions on the Toronto Master Gardener website on the ‘Limelight’, most people in Canada said it only grew to five foot, so you may want to buy it and not the smaller Little Lime.

For a comparison between the ‘Limelight’ Hydrangea and Little Lime, I found this interesting website from the American Cooperative Extension Agency:  The Little Lime only grows to 5 foot in ideal circumstances, but it has a wonderful flower.

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ blooms on last year’s wood (i.e., “new wood”, as opposed to older stems, or “old wood”) so you may not want to cut it back drastically.  If you wish to prune for size and shape, experts recommend doing this in winter or early spring. Some gardeners prefer to leave a framework of old growth to reduce flopping. This may result in smaller blooms but on sturdier stems.