Elaeagnus ‘Limelight’ (Elaeagnus x ebbingei ‘Limelight’) is a variety of Oleaster that is primarily grown as a garden ornamental. It could also be grown as part of an edible garden or permaculture landscape.
It is an extremely resilient plant able to tolerate a variety of conditions, and is often grown as a windbreak.
Since Elaeagnus growing conditions are so varied, it can be utilized in a multitude of ways. The following article contains information on how to grow Elaeagnus ‘Limelight.’
Information on Elaeagnus ‘Limelight’
Elaeagnus ‘Limelight’ is a hybrid comprised of E. macrophylla and E. pungens. This thorny evergreen shrub grows to about 16 feet (5 m.) in height and about the same distance across. Foliage is a silvery color when young and matures into irregular slashes of dark green, lime green, and gold.
The shrub bears clusters of small tubular shaped blooms in the leaf axils, which are followed by edible juicy fruit. The fruit is red marbled with silver and when unripe is quite tart. Allowed to mature; however, the fruit sweetens. The fruit of this variety of Elaeagnus has a rather large seed that is also edible.
How to Grow Elaeagnus
Elaeagnus is hardy to USDA zone 7b. It tolerates all soil types, even overly dry, although it prefers well-drained soil. Once established, it is drought tolerant.
It will grow well in both full sun and partial shade. The plant is also resistant to salt laden winds and does beautifully planted near the ocean as a windbreak.
Oleaster ‘Limelight’ makes a fabulous hedge and is adaptable to rigorous pruning. To create an Oleaster ‘Limelight’ hedge, prune each shrub to at least 3 feet across and 4 feet tall (about a meter both ways). This will create a wonderful privacy hedge that will additionally act as a windbreak.
Elaeagnus Plant Care
This variety is very easy to grow. It has significant resistance to honey fungus and most other diseases and pests, with the exception of slugs, which will feed on young shoots.
When purchasing Elaeagnus ‘Limelight,’ do not buy bare root plants, as these tend to succumb to stress. Also, ‘Limelight’ grafted onto the deciduous E. multiflora branches tend to die out. Instead, purchase shrubs that are grown on their own roots from cuttings.
Although initially slow to grow, once established, Elaeagnus can grow up to 2.5 feet (76 cm.) each year. If the plant is getting too tall, simply prune it to the desired height.