The Tree Center


Limetta Invincibelle Hydrangea

Hydrangea arborescens 'NCHA8' (PP# 30,431)


How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me


The Invincibelle Limetta® Hydrangea is an improved form of the old-fashioned ‘Annabelle’ hydrangea, and a big improvement on it. It has a compact habit, to just 3 or 4 feet tall and broad, with many sturdy upright stems, each topped with a large dome of blooms. These begin lime-green, and then turn white. Later they become jade-green, lasting for months in the garden, and they can also be hung up to dry as winter decorations. This bush is hardy even in zone 3, and always a reliable bloomer. Grow it around your home, out in your garden beds, along wooded areas, or as an edging on a driveway or along a fence.

  • Big domes of long-lasting blooms on upright stems
  • Compact bush with many stems
  • Flowers begin lime-green and then turn white
  • Jade-green in late summer and fall
  • Blooms perfectly even in zone 3

The Invincibelle Limetta® Hydrangea will grow in full sun in cooler zones, and with afternoon shade in zones 7 and 8. It also grows in partial shade. Moist, well-drained soil is needed, and this plant is not drought resistant, so keep it well watered. Mulch will help conserve moisture, especially when growing in full sun. Pests and diseases are normally never a problem, and a simple pruning in early spring is all that is needed to grow this fabulous plant. It normally needs no staking to keep the flowers upright.

Plant Hardiness Zones 3-8
Mature Width 3-4
Mature Height 3-4
Soil Conditions Moist, Well-Drained Soil
Sunlight Full Sun to Partial Shade
Drought Tolerance Light Drought Tolerance
Zones 3-8

When it comes to background shrubs, nothing beats hydrangeas. Their incredibly long blooming season, their bushy form, and their large flower heads all make for a great garden show that goes on and on, starting after the spring shrubs and flowers are over. Right into fall you can have color and interest with a hydrangea bush. In colder zones there are fewer choices, and the old-time standard has been the Annabelle Hydrangea. But that plant is not ideal. It blooms well, with large, creamy-white heads, but the plant is large and the stems are weak, and flopping is a big problem. Until now. The Invincibelle Limetta® Hydrangea is an improved form of that old-timer – more compact, with sturdy stems holding up the big heads, and a great neutral color palette of lime-green, white and jade-green, perfect tones to go with any other color at all.

The Invincibelle Limetta Hydrangea grows rapidly into a rounded bush between 3 and 4 feet tall and 4 feet across. The large green leaves cover the stems right to the ground, filling garden spaces perfectly. The leaves are round ovals, over 3 inches long, with an attractive serrated edge, and a rich green color. In late May or June we begin to see a cluster of buds at the end of the growing stem, and this soon expands into a dome-shaped flower head which is 5 to 6 inches across. Each head contains about 500 individual flowers, each with four small petals. As well, there are another 300 tiny, fluffy flowers hidden among them, which give the head greater visual density. A fully-grown bush can have more than 50 flowers heads in a single season, bringing lots of interest and beauty to your garden. 

The flower domes begin in a glowing lime-green, a super-fashionable garden color featured in all the top designs. It fits perfectly with all other colors and has a bright warmth all its own. Once the flowers are fully open, they turn white, looking bright and vibrant all the way across the garden. After several weeks they begin to turn to a muted jade-green, and stay that way into the fall, perhaps taking on pinkish tones in colder weather. For months of interest and color, nothing in the garden can beat hydrangeas. You can also cut the flowers heads with some stem attached, at any stage of their development. Hang the bunches upside down to dry, and strip off the dead leaves. These dried heads retain their color and they last for months in the house as great winter decorations.

Grow the Invincibelle Limetta Hydrangea among evergreens around your home, where it gives seasonal interest and beauty for months. Plant it in the middle of beds, behind flowers and smaller bushes, as the perfect background plant. A row is a great way to edge a driveway, or separate one area of the garden from another, and this bush is also great for planters and boxes, with its long seasons of color. Plant it at the foot of a fence or wall or use it to hide unsightly foundations. Wherever you grow it, this bush fits in perfectly, and always looks great.

Unlike most other hydrangeas with big, dome-shaped flower heads, the Invincibelle Limetta Hydrangea is hardy all the way through zone 3, making it ideal for colder areas. It blooms on new stems, so even if the old branches are killed back by cold, it will re-sprout from the base and be covered in blooms by summer. It will have the best blooms and sturdiest stems when grown in full sun, but in warmer zones it benefits from afternoon shade, and plants in sun should have a steady supply of water. It will also grow well in partial shade, and even in the bright shade along the foot of a north-facing wall, for example. It grows best in rich, moist, well-drained soil, and in both acidic and alkaline soils. Water regularly, especially during the first couple of seasons, as hydrangeas need regular water to grow well. In spring, wait until you see new growth, and then remove any dead stems. Shorten back the remaining stems by one-third to two-thirds, cutting back to a pair of plump buds. After a few years, remove some of the oldest stems completely each spring, to encourage fresh new growth. No other care is needed, and this plant is usually free of pests or diseases.

While the blue or pink mop-head hydrangeas came from China, the Invincibelle Limetta Hydrangea is a form the American smooth hydrangea, Hydrangea arborescens. This tree grows wild in woods all the way from New York to Florida, and west to Oklahoma. This is why it is hardy in colder regions. It was created in a breeding program at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Mill River, North Carolina, part of North Carolina University. There Dr. Tom Ranney created many new seedlings by crossing different forms of this plant, and in 2012 he selected this one, which is officially called `NCHA8`. It was patented in early 2019, and proceeds from the patent support further plant research. It is released by Proven Winners®, a division of Spring Meadow Nursery, with the trademark name of Invincibelle Limetta®. This plant is a true winner, and a great improvement on the older ‘Annabelle’. It is going to be very popular, and our stock will soon all be sold, so order now and see for yourself just how good it is.


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Limetta Invincibelle Hydrangea

Hydrangea arborescens 'NCHA8' (PP# 30,431)