I have Limelight, Vanille Fraise, Pinky Winky, Rouge Diamant and another creamy one whose label has gone. They are all in full sun on rich, alkaline loam on a clay subsoil. This year they were hammered by a hailstone tornado in May but have recovered so I'm expecting reat things next year.
I get them froma specialist grower at a plant fair here and the advice is to prune hard in mid February to early March and feed them a general fertiliser with some added rose food for flower power once growth starts.
I like these plants because they flower despite what winter throws at them and I like the cone shaped flower heads an dthe way the colour fades. I did try the mophead/lacecaps but they were always frozen solid in winter and, whilsts they produced new stems every year they never survived to flower the following spring.
The problem here is that my soil is very acid, thats why they all turn blue eventually.
Those do need pruning hard in the Spring but mine are mostly the plain old sort that only need their old heads cut off or they wont flower that year. Funny how 2 plants from the same family need completely the opposite type of pruning.
Well, for those of us interested in paniculata Hydrangeas, it might be informative to review the 2008 Wisley trial of these, in case you haven't already seen this, as it contains all those listed here and many more... the cultivar 'Dolly' for instance looks one to seek out...
..as regards pruning, Wisley does point out that light pruning, just removing the old flowerheads can have its advantages, in that the plant will flower earlier, be more floriferous but the flowerheads will be smaller... medium pruning is recommended for most, as this prevents the top heavy flowerheads from flopping, which can result from hard pruning...
..worth a read if only to refresh... (in PDF format)...
We've never had a hailstorm that late either and certainly not one in tornado form. It was devastating. Flattened my rhubarb, scalped and shredded my hostas and clems and so many other plants, wiped out most of my pumpkin, chilli and tomato babies and left pitted scars on roses' and other shrubs' stems and leaves.
Now to see what this winter throws at us.