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Bobo Hydrangea vs Little Lime: 3 Main Differences

Today’s pair of contenders are from the Hydrangea paniculata species, both boasting abundant clusters of amazing flowers and vivid green leaves. However, there are some differences to note between these two.

The Bobo Hydrangea is known for its compact size and white flowers that bloom in summer. It typically grows up to 3 feet tall and wide, making it ideal for small spaces. On the other hand, the Little Lime Hydrangea is slightly larger, reaching up to 5 feet in height and width. It produces bright lime-green flowers that gradually turn pink in the fall.

Bobo Hydrangea vs Little Lime

Bobo Hydrangea and Little Lime Hydrangea

Bobo Hydrangea Little Lime Hydrangea
Hardiness zone 3-8 3-8
Mature height 3′ (0.9 m) 5′ (1.5 m)
Mature width 4′ (1.2 m) 6′ (1.8 m)
Growth rate medium fast
Light exposure partial shade, full sun partial shade, full sun
Soil moist, drained moist, drained
Soil pH 6.2-6.5 6.0-7.0
Watering 1-2 times per week in a drought 1-2 times per week in a drought
Color white, pink light-green, pink
Diseases fungus fungus
Pests insects, mites insects, mites

Color

Starting with Little Lime, its flowers initially display a vibrant light green hue. As the season progresses, the color fades slightly but maintains its lime shade. By late summer or early autumn, this hydrangea shifts to a pink tone.

Bobo, in contrast, begins with a subtle green tint but soon transforms into a brilliant snow-white. Mid-season, the flowers take on a creamier shade. Approaching fall, Bobo, much like its counterpart, also blossoms into a striking pink spectacle.

Read also: How To Care For Hydrangeas

Size

Little Lime outgrows its counterpart in size, reaching up to 5 feet in height at full maturity, with a slightly wider span of around 6 feet.

Conversely, Bobo typically stays smaller, seldom growing beyond 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Achieving this size requires diligent watering and feeding of Bobo.

Another notable distinction is Little Lime’s faster growth rate compared to Bobo.

These characteristics significantly influence how these hydrangeas are used in landscaping. For instance, if you’re aiming for a tall hedge, Little Lime is an excellent choice. It quickly forms a natural barrier, ideal for privacy from neighbors or alongside driveways. Plus, you’ll need fewer Little Lime plants to establish a hedge.

Read also: Bobo Hydrangea Care Guide

Blooming time

Bobo typically begins its blooming phase in early summer, though the exact timing can vary slightly depending on the climate zone and weather conditions.

Little Lime, in contrast, starts blooming about 7 to 10 days later, often not until mid-July at the earliest. However, in southern states with warmer springs, it can begin flowering as early as early summer.

Bobo not only enjoys the benefit of blooming earlier, but it also boasts a marginally longer blooming period, as both hydrangeas tend to finish flowering around the same time in the fall.

Another point to note is that Bobo produces more flowers than Little Lime. Given Bobo’s smaller size, this abundance of flowers is especially striking.

Similarities

Despite their differences, Bobo and Little Lime Hydrangeas share similar care requirements.

Firstly, ample light is essential for vibrant flowers. In northern regions, they need a minimum of eight hours of direct sunlight, while in the south, six hours suffices. These hydrangeas favor morning sunlight over harsh afternoon rays.

Soil quality is also crucial. They thrive in loose, well-drained soil. Enhancing garden soil with 15-20% high-quality compost is recommended, ensuring a pH no higher than 7.0. Both varieties can develop yellow leaves in alkaline conditions.

Regular watering is key. Hydrate them at least weekly, unless there’s rainfall. During extreme droughts, increase watering to 2-3 times weekly, ensuring the soil doesn’t dry out more than an inch deep.

Annual feeding with a slow-release, phosphorus-rich fertilizer is beneficial, promoting large, splendid flowers. Avoid nitrogen-heavy fertilizers, which lead to more foliage than flowers.

Mulching is vital for retaining soil moisture. A mix of compost and pine bark, layered 1-2 inches thick, works best. Leave a gap of at least an inch between the mulch and the hydrangea stems.

Lastly, both varieties are prone to disease and pests. Regular monitoring is important, and proactive treatment with fumigation and pesticide solutions can prevent issues before they arise.

Summary

In conclusion, when choosing between Bobo Hydrangea and Little Lime Hydrangea, gardeners should consider size, bloom time, and flower color. Bobo, with its earlier and longer blooming season, is ideal for those seeking a more compact shrub with abundant snow-white flowers turning pink in fall. Little Lime, larger in stature, is perfect for creating tall hedges, offering a later bloom of lime-green flowers that also turn pink.

Whether you choose the petite elegance of Bobo or the stately presence of Little Lime, both hydrangeas will add beauty and charm to any garden.

Donna Rust

Sunday 17th of September 2023

My tree limelight’s branches are not adequate to support the blooms; what am I doing wrong?

Maria Brooks

Friday 12th of April 2024

@Donna Rust, I think you cut back your Limelight's branches too much in the late Winter. The less you cut back the smaller the flowers are and then less weight. You'll have smaller but more flowers.

Igor Viznyy

Thursday 28th of September 2023

Hi, Donna Rust. You're doing everything right, it's just that hydrangeas often produce blossoms that their branches can't handle. To solve this problem use a plant support.