Q. When and how should Limelight Hydrangea be trimmed?
'Limelight' is a hydrangea macrophylla (big leaf). Each year new shoots rise from the plants crown, they have no side branches. The following year, in late summer, they produce flowers from terminal buds and from side shoots that grow during that summer, so the flowers are on new wood that comes from year-old wood. Pruning should be done as soon as the flowers become disreputable looking, remove the stems that have flowered down to the ground. Prune only stems that have side branches. Those without side stems are the one that will branch out and flower next year so don’t prune them as leaving them whole encourages both food production this year and larger flowers next year. You might also like to know that they have just come out with a new hydrangea called `Little Lime` which is, as you might guess, a smaller version of 'Limelight'.