February 26, 2024

How to care for hydrangeas | Planting Guide

Hydrangeas are a beautiful addition to any garden, but caring for them can be tricky. 

Many people don’t know how to care for their hydrangeas and as a result they often end up dying.

This guide will show you how to care for hydrangeas, properly water and fertilize your hydrangeas so that they stay healthy and beautiful all season long.

Can hydrangeas grow in pots

Yes, hydrangeas can grow in pots. When planting a hydrangea in a pot, be sure to use a pot that is at least 18 inches wide and has drainage holes. 

Follow below steps and your hydrangea will thrive:

1. Choose a pot that is at least 18 inches wide and has drainage holes.

2. Fill the pot with a high-quality potting mix.

3. Water the potting mix until it is evenly moistened.

4. Plant your hydrangea in the pot.

5. Water the plant deeply, until water runs out of the drainage holes.

6. Place the pot in a location that receives partial sun.

7. Apply a slow-release fertilizer to the potting mix according to the package directions.

8. water the plant deeply every week during the growing season.

9. Bring the pot indoors before the first frost in autumn.

How to care for hydrangeas

Care for hydrangeas by planting them in an area of your garden that receives at least six hours of sunlight each day.

If you’re growing hydrangeas in pots, make sure the pots have drainage holes to prevent the roots from rotting.

Hydrangeas also prefer slightly acidic soil, so if your soil is alkaline, mix in some peat moss or compost to lower the pH.

When watering hydrangeas, be sure to give them a deep watering once a week to keep the roots moist. Mulching around the plants will also help retain moisture and keep the roots cool in summer.

Fertilize hydrangeas in early spring with a balanced fertilizer, and then again in mid-summer. Prune hydrangeas in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins.

To encourage more blooms, cut the stems back to about six inches above the ground.

With proper care, hydrangeas will thrive and provide you with beautiful blooms for many years to come.

When do hydrangeas bloom

Hydrangeas typically bloom in the late spring or early summer. However, there are some varieties that will bloom in the fall.

To ensure that your hydrangeas bloom to their fullest potential, it is important to care for them properly.

How long do hydrangeas bloom

Hydrangeas typically bloom from late spring to early fall. Depending on the variety, some hydrangeas will bloom for several weeks while others will bloom for just a few days. To extend the blooming period, deadhead the flowers regularly.

When it comes to watering, hydrangeas prefer evenly moist soil. Allow the top few inches of soil to dry out before watering again. During hot, dry periods, you may need to water your hydrangeas once or twice a week.

To keep your hydrangeas looking their best, fertilize them once or twice a year with a balanced fertilizer.

Do hydrangeas need full sun

No, hydrangeas can grow in partial sun or even in shade (1). The amount of sun will affect the flower color. Hydrangeas grown in full sun will have brighter flowers than those grown in partial sun or shade.

How much sun do hydrangeas need

Hydrangeas need at least six hours of sunlight each day to bloom properly. If you can’t provide them with that much sun, try planting them in partial sun or shade.

Do hydrangeas like shade

No, hydrangeas do not like shade. In fact, they need at least four to six hours of sunlight per day. If they don’t get enough sunlight, they will not bloom as well.

Hydrangea growing conditions

1. Potting mix

Fill the pot with a high-quality potting mix and water the plant well.

2. Fertilizer

Hydrangeas are heavy feeders and benefit from being fertilized every few weeks. Use a water-soluble fertilizer and follow the package directions.

3. Watering

Water your hydrangea regularly, letting the soil dry out somewhat between waterings.

4. Pruning

Prune your hydrangea in late winter or early spring to shape the plant and encourage new growth.

5. Winter care

When winter comes, protect your hydrangea from the cold by covering it with a layer of burlap or frost cloth.

Find out more: What is the temperature frost point for plants

How fast do hydrangeas grow

Hydrangeas can grow up to 1 foot per year. To encourage growth, make sure to plant them in an area with good drainage and full sun. Water regularly, especially during dry spells.

Fertilize in the spring with a slow-release fertilizer. Deadhead spent blooms to encourage new growth. Protect plants from extreme cold in winter by covering with a layer of mulch.

How to plant hydrangeas

Just follow these simple steps and you’ll have beautiful hydrangeas in no time.

1. Choose a location that gets partial sun and has well-drained soil.

2. Dig a hole that is twice the width of the hydrangea’s root ball and just as deep.

3. Remove the hydrangea from its pot and loosen the roots around the edges.

4. Place the plant in the hole and fill in with soil, tamping it down around the plant.

5. Water well.

How to take hydrangea cuttings

To propagate hydrangeas from cuttings, you will need:

  • A sharp knife or pruning shears
  • A clean, empty container
  • Perlite or vermiculite
  • Rooting hormone
  • Horticultural oil
  • Clean water

The Steps:

  1. Cut a 6-8 inch section from the tip of a healthy hydrangea branch that has not flowered yet.
  2. Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the cutting.
  3. Dip the cut end of the stem into rooting hormone.
  4. Fill your container with perlite or vermiculite.
  5. Make a hole in the perlite with your finger and insert the cutting.
  6. Gently firm the perlite around the cutting.
  7. Mist the perlite with clean water.
  8. Place the container in a spot that receives indirect sunlight and keep the perlite moist.
  9. After 8-10 weeks, the cutting should have rooted and you can transplant it into a pot or your garden.

Where do hydrangeas grow best

Hydrangeas grow best in moist, well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. Mulch around the base of the plant to help keep the roots cool and moist.

Hydrangeas are relatively drought tolerant once they are established, but they will bloom better if they are kept evenly moist.

Avoid overhead watering, which can promote fungal diseases. Fertilize hydrangeas in early spring with a general purpose fertilizer. Prune as needed after flowering.

What soil do hydrangeas like

Hydrangeas like soil that is acidic and moist (2). You can either amend your soil to make it more acidic, or you can water your hydrangeas with a mixture of one part vinegar and two parts water.

How often to water hydrangeas

Hydrangeas need to be watered regularly, especially during the summer. A good rule of thumb is to water your hydrangeas once a week, making sure that the soil is moist but not soggy.

How to fertilize hydrangeas

You can fertilize your hydrangeas with a slow-release fertilizer or compost in the spring. Be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can damage the roots of your plants.

Pruning hydrangeas

It is best to prune your hydrangeas in the late winter or early spring. You can cut back the stems by about one-third to encourage new growth.

How to care for hydrangeas in a pot

1. When you first bring your hydrangeas home, give them a few days to adjust to their new surroundings before you start to pot them.

2. Choose a location for your plants that receives indirect sunlight throughout the day.

3. Use a potting mix specifically designed for hydrangeas, or create your own mix using equal parts potting soil, peat moss, and perlite.

4. Water your plants thoroughly after potting them, and then water them on a regular basis, making sure to keep the soil moist but not soggy.

5. Apply a slow-release fertilizer to your plants every few months to keep them healthy and blooming.

6. Prune your hydrangeas as needed to shape them and remove any dead or dying branches.

7. Bring your potted plants indoors during the winter months to protect them from the cold.

With proper care, your potted hydrangeas will thrive and provide you with beautiful blooms for many years to come.

Common Pest & Disease

One of the main problems with hydrangeas is pests and diseases. Aphids and spider mites are common pests, while powdery mildew and leaf spots are common diseases.


Aphids are small, sap-sucking insects that can cause damage to hydrangeas. They are usually green or black, and they congregate on the undersides of leaves, where they suck sap from the plant. This can cause the leaves to turn yellow or brown and eventually drop off.

Find out more: Homemade insecticide for plants

Spider Mites

Spider mites are small, spider-like pests that feed on the sap of plants. They are usually red or green, and they spin webs on the undersides of leaves. This can cause the leaves to turn yellow or brown and eventually drop off.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a white, powdery fungus that forms on the leaves of plants. It can cause the leaves to turn yellow or brown and eventually drop off.

Leaf Spots

Leaf spots are brown or black spots that form on the leaves of plants. They can be caused by fungi or bacteria, and they can cause the leaves to turn yellow or brown and eventually drop off.

Final Thoughts

Hydrangeas are a beautiful addition to any garden, and with proper care they will provide blooms for many seasons. By following the tips we’ve outlined in this blog post, you can ensure that your hydrangeas thrive and produce stunning displays of color year after year.