Limelight Hydrangea or Hydrangea paniculata limelight is a panicle (strand) of hydrangea/hortensia that grows shorter than other hydrangea species. The flowers are smaller, with a mature plant growing only about 2 to 2.4 m. In contrast to the height of adult hydrangeas of other species, which can reach 2.4 to 4.5 m. Hydrangeas are hardy plants that can be grown in both the tropics and subtropics, and tolerate average winter temperatures as low as 40 °C. If cared for properly, limelight will grow to a height of 1 to 1.2 m per year with deep dark green leaves and flowers that bloom profusely all summer long.
Method 1 of 4: Watering and Fertilizing Hydrangeas
Step 1. Water limelight as needed to keep the soil slightly moist during the first year since planting
In general, watering 1 to 2 cm3, 2 to 3 times a week is sufficient, but this depends on the soil and weather where the limelight is planted.
Step 2. Pay attention to the type of soil when you water
If limelight is planted in soil that drains more slowly, water only twice a week.
If the soil is sandy loam and drains quickly, the plant will need to be watered daily when the weather is hot
Step 3. Check the soil by sticking your finger to a depth of 5 cm or more before watering
If the soil feels damp, wait another day or two to water it.
If the soil feels dry, water it immediately
Step 4. Reduce watering as the hydrangeas mature
After the first year, water limelight only once a week. Provide about 11 to 23 liters of water or 2.5 to 5 cm3 of water at a time, depending on how quickly the soil dries.
Step 5. Use a hose to water clumps of limelight or flush with a squirt (embrat) to prevent the leaves from getting wet
Dry leaves will reduce the risk of fungal diseases.
Step 6. Place a 2.5 cm deep bowl or can next to the hydrangea
This can is used to measure how much water is poured when you use the hose. Water the clump of hydrangeas and the cans next to them and keep a close eye on the cans as you water.
If the can is full, the hydrangea has received 2.5 cm of water
Step 7. Spread mulch (such as straw, sawdust, husk, or leaves) 5 to 8 cm deep around the limelight clump to help reduce moisture loss through evaporation
“Limelight” that does not get enough water will wither during the day. If this happens, water immediately, check the soil for moisture more often, and add water when the soil starts to feel dry.
Limelight clumps will also wilt if the soil is too wet. If the plant wilts while the soil is still damp, don't water it again until the soil begins to dry out
Step 8. Fertilize limelight as soon as the plant begins to grow new leaves
Use a slow-release fertilizer in a balanced ratio such as 10-10-10 or 16-16-16.
This type of fertilizer will provide the plant with a steady supply of the nutrients it normally needs
Step 9. Sprinkle fertilizer around the hydrangea
Spread the fertilizer 15 to 30 cm across the outer edges of the outer leaves. That's where most of the roots are and where the fertilizer should be spread.
The usual amount of fertilizer applied is to cup, but this amount varies depending on the fertilizer formula. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer package carefully. Do not overfertilize limelight
Step 10. Change the composition of the fertilizer if the plant does not flower
If the limelights do not bloom or bloom only slightly, apply fertilizer at a ratio of 10-30-10 the next blooming season. The middle number indicates the amount of phosphorus in the fertilizer. Phosphorus will stimulate flower growth.
- Yellowing leaves in the center of the clump indicate that the plant is not getting enough nutrients. If this happens, apply to cup of quick-release granular fertilizer in a 10-10-10 or 16-16-16 ratio as a quick nutrient injection in addition to a slow-release fertilizer.
- If the limelight has lots of green leaves but isn't blooming yet, the plant is getting too much nitrogen. If this happens, use a fertilizer in a ratio of 0-30-10 or something similar. The first number listed on the fertilizer package indicates the nitrogen content.
Method 2 of 4: Pruning Limelight Hydrangeas
Step 1. Prune the plant at the start of the rainy season
Limelights can be pruned at the end of the dry season or at the beginning of the rainy season to reduce clump size, tidy up, or stimulate the plant to produce larger flowers.
Limelight produces flowers on new stems each year so trimming the plant will not reduce the number of flowers it produces
Step 2. Prune stems no more than 10 to 20% at the end of the dry season or the beginning of the rainy season
Limelight stalks don't really have to be trimmed, but you can do this to even out any sticking stems and smooth out the appearance of the clump.
All dead stems should be cut from the base
Step 3. Prune the plant more intensely as the limelight matures
After the limelight has grown for a year or two, the entire stem can be trimmed to a clump height of about 15 cm to prevent the limelight from growing too tall.
Trim the clump leaving five to ten main stems for larger flower bunches. Select five to ten healthy new stems to maintain, then prune the rest to a height of 10 to 15 cm. This pruning will allow the limelight to focus its energy on the remaining stems, producing larger flowers
Step 4. Use sharp cutting shears to trim the stems one by one
Using pruning shears will only tear the leaves and make the limelight look unevenly jagged.
Method 3 of 4: Getting Rid of Pests
Step 1. Check if the plant is attacked by pests
Limelights are occasionally attacked by snails, slugs, aphids, spider mites, Cercopidae, and trips. Check the leaves for slugs or snails. Snails and snails will eat flowers, leaves, and stems.
Step 2. Kill snails and slugs
If this is the case, remove the snails and snails from the clump in the morning and submerge them in a bucket of soapy water, or sprinkle a lot of table salt on the snails and snails to kill them, or bury cans of tuna or cat food cans around the limelight clumps and fill cans. with beer.
Snails and snails will crawl into the beer and drown. The rim of the can should be level with the surrounding ground. Check the can every afternoon. Throw the dead snails and snails in the trash and replace the can and fill it with new beer
Step 3. Find out what aphids, spider mites, Cercopidae, and trips look like
Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that move slowly and can be of any color.
- Spider mites are actually tiny spiders that can barely be seen without a magnifying glass. They create a fine web between the leaves and stems.
- Trips are also very small. They are yellow to black in color and when they eat they will leave a black discharge on the underside of the leaves that looks like dust. Infected flowers will usually have brown streaks.
- Cercopidae measure 6 to 8 mm in length and are brown, green, or yellow in color. This one pest secretes a white foamy substance on the stems of plants.
Step 4. Use water to kill pests
All of the insect pests mentioned above suck the sap from the leaves and stems of plants. These pests can usually be eradicated by spraying the plants in the morning several times each week with a strong spray from a garden hose. Spray the tops and bottoms of the limelight leaves and stems.
Step 5. Spray plants with insecticidal soap if pests persist and cause serious damage
Spray all over the tops and bottoms of the leaves and stems until they are soaked and the soap begins to drip. Insecticidal soap is available as a liquid that has been diluted in a spray bottle or in the form of a concentrate.
- Insecticidal soap concentrates are generally diluted at a ratio of 5 tablespoons (74 ml) per 4 liters of water. Spray the plant in the morning or evening.
- Spraying plants during the day when the sun is hot or when the air temperature is over 29 °C will damage the leaves.
- Spray water over the clumps to rinse off the insecticide about an hour or two after applying the soap. Soap will only kill pests that are sprayed. So there is no benefit in leaving soap residue on the plant because it can damage the leaves.
Method 4 of 4: Getting Rid of Disease
Step 1. Monitor limelight for certain diseases
Flower blight, leaf spot, rust, and powdery mildew occasionally attack limelight. Flower blight will cause brown spots on the flower crown and make mature flowers rot.
- If the weather is cold and damp, brown spots and gray mold may appear on the leaves and stems. Leaf spot is caused by a fungus that causes brown or black spots to appear.
- Rust is also caused by a fungus that coats the leaves with a powdery orange substance.
- Powdery mildew can be a problem for limelight. Powdery mildew will make the leaves appear white and powdery, while downy mildew will cause yellow blotches on the leaves with a fine gray dew underneath.
Step 2. Pay attention to watering habits to eradicate this disease
All of these diseases are caused by fungi. To help prevent this, don't let the leaves get wet when watering and water in the morning so the leaves can dry before the afternoon.
Step 3. Prune the diseased plant parts
If limelight is infected with any of the above diseases, immediately prune the affected leaves, flowers, and stems and throw them in the trash. After pruning, disinfect the cuttings by soaking them in a homemade disinfectant solution for 5 minutes, then rinsing before you use them to trim other clumps.
Rake up any fallen leaves and plant debris from around the base of the limelight clump and discard them all. Fungal spores live on plant debris and can be splashed back onto plants when it rains
Step 4. Kill bacteria
Bacterial wilt is another disease that can infect limelight hydrangea. The bacteria infect plants from the base of the clump, interfering with the passage of fluids and nutrients throughout the plant.
Unfortunately, not much can be done for clumps already infected with bacterial wilt. The leaves and stems will wither and the entire clump will die in a matter of weeks. If this happens, proper watering is the only way that can be done to help the plant. If the soil appears wet, allow it to dry before watering again. If the soil seems dry, water the plant more often
- In early summer, limelight will produce clusters of 20 cm long cone-shaped flowers that are white when they first bloom, then turn lime green. In summer, the flowers turn pink again, then deep pink, and finally beige in early fall.
- Flowers on this type of hydrangea will not turn blue or pink even if you change the pH of the soil.
- With its appeal that lasts for several seasons and its large bunches of flowers, the limelight is an attractive plant specimen.
- Limelight may be too large to be planted as a main plant, but it is suitable to be planted as a garden divider and living fence.
- Plant limelight in the dry season to give it time to get good air circulation and reduce the chance of contracting a fungal disease.
- Limelight clumps can grow 2 to 2.5 m wide. Plant at least 1 m away from clumps of other plants and trees so that limelight can grow optimally and with sufficient space.