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7 BEST Tips on Growing a Hydrangea Bush

7 Tips on Growing a Hydrangea Bush will help you add a romantic touch to your summer garden. With their large, showy flowers in varied shapes and colors, these easy-to-grow shrubs can boost your landscape design.

Ideas on How to Grow Hydrangeas

7 Tips for Growing Hydrangeas - Pink and Blue Hydrangeas
7 Tips to Growing a Hydrangea Bush

If you want more tips on growing flowers, 31 Secrets on Growing Roses and 35 Best Cottage Garden Flowers to Grow will help you on your gardening journey.

What’s so wonderful about hydrangeas is that during the heat of summer and into fall, the bush will still give your garden a burst of color when most perennials have already started to fade.

Hydrangeas are easy to grow, require little care, and are long-lived shrubs. Their showy blooms are gorgeous when planted as a shrub border along a driveway, under a tree if they get part shade, or as the star player in a garden bed.

Hydrangeas are native to both the Far East and America. They were traditionally blue, pink, or white, but today’s new varieties bring red, purple, violet, and lime green colors.

1. Choosing Your Plant

Hydrangeas are one of the most popular floral shrubs. There are over 75 varieties. Because of their popularity, much work has been done to create new varieties. They feature more intense colors, stronger stems, and longer bloom times.

The shapes of the flowers have different names. The flowers that look like pom-poms are called “mophead hydrangeas,” and the flatter-shaped blooms are called “lacecaps.”

2. Location is Key

Hydrangeas are happiest with full sun in the morning and some shade in the afternoon. Avoid deep shade areas, as they will produce fewer flowers over the years.

These beautiful blooms look best when planted in mass, so select a location to plant several shrubs together.

The Best Hydrangea Shrubs to Grow - Photo of Pink Hydrangeas and Blue Hydrangeas Planted under a tree
The Best Hydrangea Shrubs to Grow

3. Create the Perfect Soil

If you want picture-perfect blooms, plant your hydrangea bush in well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Amend your soil with aged compost if it is heavy clay or sandy.

4. How to Plant Hydrangeas

Early spring and fall are the best time to plant your bushes. You’ll want to make sure the last frost has passed in spring. For fall, you want to plant before the first frost. Plant the bush in the early morning or late afternoon.

Look at your planting recommendations for spacing. They require 3 to 10 feet apart, depending on the type of plant. You want to ensure enough space for the flowers to reach full maturity.

You’ll want to dig a hole slightly larger than the depth of the hydrangea bush’s root ball. Dig double or triple the plant’s width to loosen the soil and allow the roots to grow easily.

Set the bush in the hole and make sure where the stem meets the soil is level. Fill the hole halfway with soil and water, then finish filling the hole with water again.

5. Add Fertilizer

Hydrangeas do best with a slow-release fertilizer fed early in their growing season. A fertilizer that has a 14-14-14 timed release formula works well. If you plant your flowers in the fall, avoid high doses of fertilizer because it will stimulate growth before winter.

6. Watering Hydrangeas

Be sure to water your hydrangea bush at the base of the shrub. Watering your flowers on the top of the bush can lead to burning or powdery mildew. They do better when you drench the soil less frequently. Pay attention to the dryness of the ground and water as needed for your climate.

7. Care

After you plant your hydrangeas, you’ll want to add mulch to keep your bush moist and cool. Mulch will improve your soil texture and add nutrients.

Types of Hydrangea Plants

There are so many varieties of hydrangeas that narrowing down your preference will be hard.

Bigleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)

Photo of Bigleaf Hydrangea Bush
Bigleaf Hydrangea Bush

Known for their large, rounded flower clusters; bigleaf hydrangeas come in two main varieties: mopped, which has globe-shaped flower heads, and lacecap, which has flattened flower heads with a ring of larger flowers surrounding smaller ones. They thrive in partial shade and acidic soil.

Climbing Hydrangeas (Hydrangea petiolaris)

Climbing Hydrangeas
Climbing Hydrangeas

Climbing hydrangeas are vigorous, woody vines that can easily scale walls, fences, and arbors, adding vertical interest to gardens. They feature large, lacecap-like flower clusters that bloom in early summer, attracting pollinators and providing a stunning display against their lush green foliage.

The climbing variety is prized for its ability to thrive in the shade, making it an excellent choice for shaded areas where other climbing plants may struggle.

Oakleaf Hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercifolia)

Photo of Oakleaf Hydrangea Bush
Oakleaf Hydrangea Bush

The Oakleaf variety is distinguished by its unique foliage, which resembles the shape of oak leaves, reflecting its name. It produces elongated clusters of white flowers that gradually turn pink as they age, adding visual interest to gardens.

Known for its striking fall foliage, this flower bush provides year-round appeal with its textured bark and vibrant leaf colors.

Panicle Hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata)

Photo of Panicle Hydragea Bush
Panicle Hydrangea Bush

Panicle hydrangeas feature elongated flower clusters that start white and may turn pink or reddish as they age.

They are the most sun-tolerant hydrangeas and are relatively low-maintenance, making them a popular choice for landscapes. These flower bushes also tend to bloom later in the summer, extending the flower season.

Smooth Hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens)

Photo of Smooth Hydrangea Bush
Smooth Hydrangea Bush

The Smooth hydrangeas produce large, round clusters of flowers that start green and gradually turn white as they mature.

These flower bushes are hardy and can tolerate more sun than other types, but they still prefer some shade during the hottest parts of the day.

Photo of Pink Hydrangeas
Pink Hydrangea Bush

When cutting your flowers to make a bouquet for your home, bring the vase filled with water to the garden before cutting. Hydrangeas are thirsty flowers that need water right away. Harvest the flowers in the morning and cut the stems of the flower buds at an angle for the best results.

How do I change the color of my hydrangea plant?

Soil PH can influence bloom color. Acidic soil with a pH between 5.2 and 5.5 is ideal for blue blooms, while more alkaline soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.2 is preferred for pink blooms. You can adjust soil pH by adding amendments like aluminum sulfate for blue or lime for pink.

Why are my hydrangea blooms turning brown?

Several factors can cause the blooms to bloom, including insufficient watering, extreme temperatures, or fungal diseases like botrytis. To reduce the risk of disease, ensure your hydrangeas receive adequate water, are planted in well-draining soil, and maintain good air circulation around the plants.

When should I prune my hydrangeas?

The timing of pruning depends on the type of hydrangea. For varieties that bloom on old wood (like Bigleaf or Oakleaf), prune immediately after flowering in late spring or early summer. For those that bloom on new wood (like Panicle or Smooth), prune in late winter or early spring before new growth emerges.

How can I make my hydrangea bush bloom more?

Proper pruning, adequate sunlight, and appropriate fertilization can encourage more prolific blooming. Ensure your hydrangeas receive at least 4-6 hours of sunlight daily, prune them at the correct time, and fertilize with a balanced fertilizer in early spring.

Photo of Blue Hydrangea Bush
Blue Hydrangea Bush

We’re reached the end of 7 Best Tips on How to Grow a Hydrangea Bush. I hope you enjoy it.

Let me know in the comments below if you grow these gorgeous flowers and the variety you grow.

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7 Tips on Growing a Hydrangea Bush

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Thursday 27th of April 2023

i just bought pink and lime hydrangeas not sure where to put them i am re doing my backyard im excited have them in the shade now will plant when i find out more. thanks


Friday 28th of April 2023

You're very welcome Loni! - They are such a beautiful flower. - Kelly

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