Small but mighty – this lime-colored dwarf hydrangea packs a big visual punch.

Little Lime Panicle Hydrangea
Credit: Gratysanna/Getty Images

You loved your grandmother’s beautiful, showy hydrangeas so much that you made the decision to plant some in your yard, right? Good call, but, after a visit to your local nursery, you are a bit confused over which type you should plant. Grandma grew the tall French hydrangeas, overloaded with coarsely toothed leaves and balloon-shaped blue blossoms. As much as you love those flowers and would cherish cuttings from her plants, that particular hydrangea variety would grow too tall and wide for your small garden. No need to despair; amongst all the varieties, there is one that is the right size for your space.  If you are looking for a smaller plant with a big personality, the ‘Little Lime’ panicle hydrangea is exactly what you need.

Compared to its famous larger sibling, the ‘Limelight’, the ‘Little Lime’ hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata) may look, at first glance, like a pipsqueak. Don’t let this petite shrub fool you. Maintaining a compact and manageable size of 3-5’ tall and wide, this variety adds a visual “wow” factor to your garden. In summer, it has beautiful green foliage and produces soft green panicles (a loose branching cluster of flowers) in the summer. As the blooms age throughout the season, the green color turns pink and burgundy, extending the show into the fall. One of the nice features of ‘Little Lime’ is that the stems on the plant are very sturdy and hold the flower heads up really well.

‘Little Lime’ hydrangea is small enough to grow in containers but is also a good choice for a bold mass planting. Its dramatic bloom coloration makes it an excellent addition to your cut flower gardens – use them either fresh or dried. Unlike a lot of hydrangeas that bloom on old wood and should be pruned after flowering, this reliable performer blooms on new wood, so a quick trim in late winter or early spring will encourage fresh growth and an abundance of buds.

WATCH: Grumpy Gardener's Guide to Hydrangeas

Like most hydrangeas, ‘Little Lime’ may require supplemental watering in periods of dry weather or drought conditions. This variety is best grown in good, loamy soil, in full sun to part sun, and is hardy to Zone 3.