Planting And Caring For Hydrangea

Planting And Caring For Hydrangea

Emma DowneyByEmma Downey
Updated on 10/4/2022

  • Name of the plant: Hydrangea spp
  • Plant Class: Trees, Shrubs, and Vine
  • UV Radiation: Full Sun, Part Sun, Shade
  • soil pH: Acidic, Neutral, Neutral to Slightly Alkaline, Slightly Acidic to Neutral

Planting And Caring For Hydrangea

  • Bloom Period: Summer, Fall
  • Plant Color: Blue, Green, Pink, Purple, Red, White
  • Durability Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Features unique to: Attracts Butterflies

How To Grow And Maintain Hydrangeas

Hydrangea have an aura of antiquity due to the enormous flower heads they produce, which have a look that is a throwback to bygone eras and give them their appearance. Not only does our Hydrangea Growing Guide provide information on how to plant and care for these magnificent shrubs, but it also includes information on various other topics related to hydrangeas. These topics include: You will also find the answers to often asked questions, such as why your hydrangeas aren't flowering this year, among other remedies to common issues.

The Hydrangea Genus and Its Relation to the Environment in Which It Is Cultivated

How To Grow And Maintain Hydrangeas

These cultivated plants are simple to care for, can thrive in practically any soil, and produce a substantial number of blooms, in addition to having some of the most breathtakingly beautiful blossoms of any shrubs. In addition to this, they have the capability of thriving in virtually any kind of soil. Bright blue, flaming pink, icy white, lilac, and rose blossoms are some of the fascinating hues, and sometimes you'll see flowers of all these colors blooming on the same plant!

Hydrangea is a fantastic choice for use in the garden in various settings, including container gardens, group plantings, and shrub borders. Hydrangeas are also an excellent choice for use in flower arrangements. It would appear that breeders are giving us access to an increasing number of options with each passing year! There are many different kinds, and the possibilities for bloom size and color that gardeners may achieve are practically unlimited. It is vital to pay attention to the species defined below to get an idea of how your hydrangea will develop, as different species require different kinds of care. 

How to Grow Hydrangeas in Pots - Feeding, Pruning and Complete Care Guide

It is essential to pay attention to the species to get a sense of how your hydrangea will grow. It is necessary to pay attention to the kind of hydrangea you have to obtain an understanding of how it will develop over time. When you are well-prepared for something, the joys and satisfaction that result from it will substantially influence you. That is true for both positive and negative outcomes.

After you've finished reading our homage to the beauty of hydrangeas, check out the growing instructions we've included below to learn how to care for and cultivate these plants. We hope you have a pleasant time doing both!


Where To Plant Hydrangeas And Related Species?

  • Planting hydrangeas in soils rich in nutrients that have adequate drainage and receive an abundance of moisture will typically yield the most outstanding results for most hydrangea varieties. Compost should be incorporated into the mixture so that who can improve the overall quality of the soil.

Where To Plant Hydrangeas And Related Species?

  • Hydrangeas, in general, fare best when grown in an area that receives ample sunlight but is not subjected to excessive heat. In a perfect world, they would be in the sun for the entirety of the morning, and then they would be provided with some shade in the afternoon to offer them some relief from the sun's heat through the middle of the day
  • That would be the ideal arrangement. That is especially true for the Bigleaf hydrangea, also known as H. Macrophylla, which is sensitive to wilting due to the enormous size of its leaves. Some varieties can withstand prolonged exposure to direct sunlight more successfully than others.

When Planting Hydrangeas?

  • You should provide anywhere from three to ten feet of space between each plant, but the exact distance may vary depending on the variety. 
  • Always leave sufficient space between plants, considering the size each is expected to attain when fully mature.

When Is The Most Appropriate Time Of Year To Plant Hydrangeas?

When Is The Most Appropriate Time Of Year To Plant Hydrangea

  • It is strongly encouraged that hydrangeas be planted in the fall, with growing them in the spring coming in a close second. Since the idea is to give this shrub plenty of time to build a robust root system before subjecting it to the great heat of summer or the harsh cold of winter, the optimum times to plant are during the more quiet shoulder seasons when there is a less substantial temperature difference.
  • What should plant the bushes very early in the morning or late in the afternoon to give them the best chance of survival? In general, the temperature is lower, and there is a lower probability that the plant would experience heat stress as a result of exposure to direct sunlight.

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Where To Start With Planting Hydrangeas In Your Garden

  • Carefully remove the hydrangea from its container, inspect the root ball, and cut off any sections of the root ball that are decaying or have died off. To free the plant's roots from confinement, you must work very carefully if the plant is particularly tightly bound.
  • Dig a hole twice to three times as large as the root ball and at the same depth as the root ball. It is essential to ensure that the top of the planting hole is at the same level as the bottom of the plant's base (where the stem meets the soil).

How to Plant Hydrangeas

  • After positioning the plant within the hole, continue filling the gap with dirt until it is approximately fifty percent full of its total capacity. It is necessary to use a substantial quantity of water after it has been absorbed into the ground; who should backfill the space in the still vacant hole with dirt.
  • Saturate in water thoroughly and repeatedly until the substance is entirely soaked.

How to Root Hydrangea Cuttings and Grow New Plants

Hydrangea cuttings can easily take root and develop into new plants when given the proper care. They are simple to source, and the process provides an excellent learning opportunity regarding propagation. The specific steps to take to do it are as follows:

How to Root Hydrangea Cuttings and Grow New Plants

1. Find a branch on an existing hydrangea that is new growth and has not yet produced any blooms. It is inappropriate for the department to have any flowers on it. The younger, more recent development will have a paler appearance than the older, more established growth, and the stem will not be as stiff as the older growth.

2.The very tip of the branch should be used as a starting point for a horizontal cut that should move around 4 to 5 inches down the length of the unit. Before using the cutting, ensure it contains at least three to four separate leaf sets from the original plant.

3.Remove the two leaves situated at the cutting's base before trimming the other leaves to flush with the stem. If you can remove more than one pair of leaves from the plant without harming its health, you should do so. Roots can grow more rapidly and easily from the nodes found on the leaf. However, towards the end of the cutting that you are performing, you should keep at least two sets of the leaves you have cut off.

4.If the remaining leaves are on the larger side, you should trim them in half and remove the top halves from both parts of the trimmings. That is only necessary if the leaves are on the larger side, preventing the leaves from rubbing against the sides of the plastic bag that will place over the cutting in the subsequent steps (to keep the humidity up).

5.This step is optional, but it is recommended that a rooting hormone and a plant antifungal powder be dusted onto the portion of the stem that does not have any leaves (both available at a local hardware or garden store). That will encourage the growth of roots while at the same time preventing the formation of rot.

6.Prepare a small pot, and then fill it with potting mix that has been soaked in water. Do this step in two separate steps. Put the cutting in the soil, and then press it down so that it is buried up to the first pair of leaves. Who can eliminate any air pockets around the base of the stem with only a few drops of water?

Tips to propagate and care for Hydrangea flowers make your yard more brilliant

7.Who should cover the entire cooking pot with a plastic bag, and then who should tie down the bag with string? It is essential to take precautions to prevent the plastic bag from touching the leaves of the cutting since this could hasten the process by which the leaves deteriorate. (You can prevent the bag from touching the leaves by propping it up with chopsticks or some similar object, or you might use something different.)

8.Place the pot in a warm location protected from the wind and any direct sunlight that may be shining on it at any one time.

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9.You must check on your cutting every few days to ensure it is not rotting. If you are fortunate, it shouldn't take more than a few weeks for the cutting to take root. If not, try again. (By giving the cutting a light pull, you may determine whether or not roots have formed; if you feel resistance, roots have formed.)


Hydrangea Care

  • Ensure that hydrangeas receive enough water for the first year or two after they have been planted, as well as during any drought that may occur.
  • Throughout the growing season, you should water at a rate of one inch each week. Instead of sprinkling water on the ground at a shallow depth, it is preferable to moisturize the plants three times per week, which stimulates the growth of roots.


  • The bigleaf and smooth kinds of hydrangea need more water than the other forms, although they all do well with constant hydration.
  • If the soil is overly dry, the plant leaves will droop, and blossoming will be stunted because of the lack of water.
  • Utilize a soaker hose to thoroughly water while preventing excess liquid from reaching the flowers and leaves.
  • To protect hydrangeas from illness and get the most out of their plants, That is best to water them first in the morning.


  • The organic mulch around your hydrangeas will help maintain a wet and relaxed soil environment, contribute nutrients over time, and improve the soil's texture.

That is possible that you will not need to fertilize hydrangeas if the soil in your garden is particularly fertile. Excess fertilizer will promote the growth of leaves at the price of flower production. A soil test is the most accurate method for determining the fertility level required for your plants.

Utilize a fertilizer that is appropriate for the hydrangeas you have. Each variety has unique requirements, so who should tailor its application's timing specifically to it.

  • March, May, and June are the best times to apply a few thin doses of fertilizer to bigleaf hydrangeas.


  • Two applications, one in April and the other in June, are ideal for oakleaf and panicle hydrangeas.
  • Fertilizing smooth hydrangea plants is only necessary once in the late winter months.
Protection Against The Winter
  • Cover your plants with a layer of bark mulch, leaves, pine needles, or straw in the fall to a depth of at least 18 inches. Make cages out of snow fencing or chicken wire and loosely fill them with leaves to cover the entire plant, including the tip, if possible. Covering the plant will help protect it from predators. (You should not use maple leaves because they have a propensity to the mat when they get wet, which can cause the plant to die.)
How to Prune a Hydrangea

hydrangea care

Our audience frequently brings up the topic of hydrangea trimming. And it's no wonder why; it isn't straightforward and varies greatly depending on the type of hydrangea. It is fortunate that so long as you are aware of the kind you own, determining the appropriate pruning method will not be difficult. Read on to get the basics, then come back here to learn more about prune different hydrangea kinds.

Pruning Common Hydrangeas

After the flowers on Bigleaf (H. macrophylla), Oakleaf (H. quercifolia), Mountain (H. Serrata), and Climbing (H. anomala subsp. petiolaris) hydrangeas have fallen off in the summer, these types of hydrangeas are clipped. These types produce flowers on the stems from the previous season, referred to as "old wood."

  • It is the late summer when flower buds form and flowers do not appear until the following year; therefore, you should refrain from trimming after August 1st.
  • You should only remove dead wood in the autumn or very early in the spring.

Q&A | Soil | Hydrangeas | Fertilizer

  • When you prune, you should remove one or two of the oldest stems down to the ground to promote branching and fullness.
  • If the plant is old, has been neglected, or is injured, prune all of the stems until you reach the base of the plant.
    You will not get any blossoms from the plant for the following season, but you will be revitalizing it for the years to come.
  • You should not deadhead (remove faded blooms) the large Mopheads; instead, you should let them sit through the winter and then prune them in the early spring (to the first healthy pair of buds). It is acceptable to remove the spent flowers off the Lacecaps by cutting back to the second pair of leaves that are located below the flower head.

  • When growing cultivars of H. macrophylla (and H. Serrata) in Zones 4 and 5, do not prune the plant unless required and then do it shortly after the flowering period has ended. In that case, the only stem that should remove in the spring is the dead one.
Other Hydrangeas Have Been Pruning

Hydrangeas of the panicle (H. paniculata) and arborescens (H. arborescens) varieties are trimmed BEFORE the formation of flower buds. These types produce flowers on the stems from the current growing season, often known as "new wood."

  • When the plant is dormant in the late winter, it is the best time to prune it. That indicates that even if the buds on the plant die off throughout the winter, the plant will grow new buds in the spring, ultimately producing blooms.
  • In general, you should only prune dead branches and avoid pruning the bush to "form" it.

How To Make Hydrangeas A Different Color

hydrangea facts

It is possible to modify the colors of the flowers, albeit the change will not take effect immediately. The color correcting process can take several weeks or even several months. It would help if you held off on doing anything to the plant until it is at least two years old, and this will allow it enough time to recuperate from the trauma of having been planted in the ground for the first time. Who should also note that changing pink flowers to blue is far more complex than changing blue blooms to pink?

There are some hydrangeas whose colors never shift, but not all of them do. The pH of the soil can influence the appearance of the flowers of some cultivars of the Bigleaf hydrangea (H. macrophylla), particularly those of the Mophead and Lacecap varieties as specific H. Serrata cultivars.

Changing the Color of your Hydrangeas

Flowers with a blue hue are delivered from grounds with a pH level of less than 5.5, and flowers with a pink shade are delivered from backgrounds with a pH level of more than 6.0. There is no correlation between pH and the color of white flowers.

Recommended Varieties

There are two primary categories of hydrangeas, which are as follows:

Group 1 Plants bloom on new growth (the stems of this year's plant) and makeup.

1.Panicle hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata)

  • The following hydrangeas, which begin to create their flower buds in the early summer on new growth, will consistently flower each year and do not require any more maintenance or attention.
  • The 'Grandiflora' type of Panicle hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata) is a significant, floppy, old-fashioned variation. The 'Tardiva,' 'White Moth,' and 'Pee Wee' varieties are well-suited for the scale of small gardens. 'Limelight' has bluish-green flowers, and they may reach a height of between 6 and 8 feet.

group one

2.Smooth hydrangeas (H. arborescens)

  • In the late summer, look for the cultivars H. arborescens 'Grandiflora' and 'Annabelle,' which produce several huge (up to 14 inches across), tightly packed, symmetrical blooms.

Group 2 consists of plants that bloom on old growth (the stems from the previous year).

Choose plants from this group if you reside in a zone warmer than 8, such as 9 or 10. Because they set bloom buds in the autumn, many of them will present a challenge to gardeners who live in cool temperature zones. 

Despite being hardy in Zones 4 and 5, the buds are susceptible to harm if an early frost occurs in the fall, a late frost occurs in the spring, or severely cold temperatures occur when the buds are dormant in the winter. That, in conjunction with improperly timed pruning, can lead to erratic flowering or even the complete absence of flowering altogether.


1.  Oakleaf hydrangeas (H. quercifolia)

  • The cultivars known as 'Snow Queen,' 'Snow Flake,' and 'Alice' produce excellent fall color.

2. Bigleaf hydrangeas (H. macrophylla)

  • We are big fans of the Mophead variety known as 'All Summer Beauty,' which has an abundance of dark blue flowers that can take on a pinker hue in soils with a pH closer to neutral. Even if its buds perish over the winter, the plant will produce new buds in the spring and continue to bloom.
  • The 'Nikko Blue' (Mophead) variety is a robust plant with huge, rounded, blue blooms.
  • "Blue Wave" (Lacecap) is known for producing flowers that range in color from deep blue to mauve to lilac-blue to pink.
  • "Color Fantasy" (Mophead) features either reddish or deep purple flowers with glossy and dark green leaves. It can reach a height of roughly 1 meter.

3. Hydrangeas of the mountains (H. Serrata)

  • The names "Bluebird" and "Diadem" are two examples. When grown in soil with a high acidity level, the 'Preziosa' cultivar produces blossoms with an unusual combination of light blue, mauve, violet, and green hues.

4. Climbing hydrangeas (H. anomala ssp. Petiolaris)

  • The recently patented variant known as 'Firefly' has foliage that is variegated in appearance.


Instructions On How To Cut Hydrangea Flowers And Store Them Dried

Create a wreath or other decorations for the interior of your home using dried hydrangea flowers by arranging them as follows:

1. Cut them off when the flower heads have reached maturity and grown a papery quality.

2. Take the leaves off the stems and hang them in an upside-down position in a warm, dry, dark room with good air circulation.

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3. It takes a couple of weeks of direct sunlight before reaching the burned stage, which should be stored in a dry, out-of-the-sun location.

4. Spraying dried flowers with fabric dye that has been diluted with water will result in a more vibrant flower color.

The Proper Way To Incorporate Hydrangeas Into A Flower Arrangement

1. To prevent the hydrangea stems from wilting once they have been freshly cut, place them straight away in a container of ice water.

2. Cut the woody stems at an angle while still submerged in the water. Take off the leaves that are closer to the base of the stalks.

cut plant

3. Put the flower stems in a vase, then put the vase in an excellent place to store it.

4. Every day, ensure enough water is in the vase and spritz the flowers with some additional moisture.

5. Flowers beginning to wilt can be brought back to life by soaking them in lukewarm water for ten to fifteen minutes.

Wit And Wisdom

  • The name "hydrangea" originates from two Greek words: hydro, which translates to "water," and ageing, which means "vessel." This refers to the seed pods that the plant produces, which look like miniature water jugs.

faq hydrangea

  • Depending on the circumstances, hydrangeas might mean anything from warm gratitude for being understood to distant callousness.


Pests are uncommon, but they could show up if plants are under a lot of stress. Common plant pests include aphids and red spider mites. Diseases such as powdery mildew, leaf spot, wilt, and bight can infect hydrangeas. Choose hydrangea kinds that are resistant to illnesses and insects, and make it a point to follow our recommendations for how to care for your plant so that you may shield it from harm.

The Reason Hydrangeas Do Not Flower

The inability of hydrangeas to bloom is a more widespread issue. A list of the five is provided in the following.most prevalent reasons why your hydrangea does not produce flowers:

Hydrangeas - everything you need to know about growing hydrangeas in your garden

1. As mentioned earlier, you need to know the variety of hydrangea you are working with since certain forms of hydrangea are clipped before flowering. At the same time, other types are pruned after flowering. Because of this ignorance, you risk removing its buds (aka blooms).

2. There is a specific meaning behind the inclusion of the prefix "hydra" in the term "hydrangeas." These plants require consistently moist soil to thrive (but not wet) and correctly water something.

3. A spot that receives a few hours of direct sunshine in the morning and then transitions to receiving dappled sunlight in the afternoon is ideal for growing hydrangeas. Flowering can be negatively affected by either a lack of sunshine or an abundance of the sun.

final question

4. Despite the absence of blossoms, the leaves have a lush green color. Then check your fertilizer. In the early spring and the middle of summer, you should not use a fertilizer high in nitrogen but rather one high in phosphorus (P).

5. There is a problem with the weather and climate. You have to select a variety that can thrive in the environment in which you live. It is still unclear what, if anything, could prevent a late spring frost from killing the plant's buds under these conditions. If there is a possibility of frost, you should wait until morning to uncover the hydrangea and shrubs you have covered with a sheet the night before.