Hydrangea 'Little Lime' Vs. Hydrangea 'Little Lamb' (Comparison)
‘Little Lamb’ Hydrangea and ‘Little Lime’ Hydrangea are two newer varieties of paniculata hydrangeas introduced by Proven Winners over the last few years. They share a lot of similarities in terms of size, bloom time and sun requirements, yet have some distinctive differences. Deciding which plant to incorporate into the landscape might be a bit difficult because of the many options of hydrangeas in general, let alone trying to discern among hydrangea varieties that appear to be very similar. So, here is a basic side by side comparison of both plants.
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Little Lime’ has been on the market since 2011 and is a smaller version of hydrangea ‘Limelight’. It grows 3-5’ tall and about 5’ wide which makes ‘Little Lime’ an excellent choice for a smaller area in the landscape where it can be used as a foundation plant or as a border plant. It has green foliage and produces soft green panicles in the summer that turn a pink to burgundy color in the fall. One of the really nice features of ‘Little Lime’ is that the stems on the plant are very sturdy and hold the flower heads up really well. So far, it has proven to be a good growing plant in a container at the nursery as the stems don’t flop over. Like most other hydrangeas, ‘Little Lime’ may require supplemental watering in periods of dry weather or drought conditions. This hydrangea can be heavily pruned in late winter or early spring, but no pruning should be done once the flower heads begin forming because it flowers on new wood. Hydrangea ‘Little Lime’ is best grown in good, loamy soil in full sun to part sun and is hardy from zone 3a-9b.
Hydrangea ‘Little Lamb’ is a compact hydrangea from Belgium. It has a mounding habit and grows 4-6’ tall and about 4’ wide. Some good landscape uses for this hydrangea are to plant it in groupings or large quantities as a hedge. ‘Little Lamb’ also makes a good shrub border or specimen plant in the landscape. The pure white blooms are an attractive contrast to its green foliage and would make a striking backdrop to a long row or grouping of Red Drift Roses. Characteristics specific to ‘Little Lamb’ are that it is claimed to be more urban tolerant and less dependent on water as other hydrangeas, particularly the macrophylla species. It is also said to be more adaptable to different types of soil as well as being very winter hardy within its defined zones of 3a-9b. One disappointing feature of Hydrangea ‘Little Lamb’ is the tendency of its stems to be floppy when grown in containers in the nursery. When planted in the landscape it doesn’t appear to be as big of an issue, but not as appealing as other, strong stemmed, hydrangeas like ‘Little Lime’ when presented in the garden center. As with other paniculata hydrangeas, pruning should be done late in the winter or in early spring and fertilize in early spring with a fertilizer recommended by the local garden center.
Each one of these hydrangeas has some specific attributes that may be appealing for different reasons. The biggest decision to make is to determine which plant will be the best fit for the appropriate space in the landscape. The success of any plant can be largely determined by its proper placement and of course the ongoing care and maintenance after planting. For more information on Hydrangea paniculata ‘Little Lime’ and Hydrangea paniculata ‘Little Lamb’ check out this video by Proven Winners.