How to Grow and Care for Hydrangea


Share post:

Hortensia is another name for hydrangea, a group of over 75 kinds of plants that have flowers. They grow in Asia and the Americas.

An iconic presence in many gardens, hydrangeas are much loved for their magnificent blooms that light up the landscape with their beauty.

They are a diverse group of flowering woody shrubs that are widely appreciated for their showy blooms which come in a fantastic array of colors.

Adding to their charm is their rapid growth rate with some larger varieties reaching up to 15 feet tall.

Available in a broad range of varieties, there’s a hydrangea suitable for every garden, be it a cozy cottage garden or a contemporary urban landscape.

The key to nurturing these blooming wonders lies in understanding their needs and catering to them adequately.

How to Grow Hydrangea

Hydrangeas, known for their stunning blooms and rapid growth, are an essential part of any vibrant garden.

These beautiful plants are not particularly demanding, but there are a few key steps that need to be followed to ensure they flourish.

Let’s delve into the nitty-gritty of growing hydrangeas to make your garden the envy of the neighborhood.

To start with, while hydrangeas love water, it is important that they are planted in well-draining soil. The incorporation of plenty of organic matter into the soil will be greatly beneficial.

While hydrangeas are quite tolerant in terms of soil pH, having an acidic, neutral or alkaline soil doesn’t pose much of a problem, but the pH can influence the color of some varieties.

When planting hydrangeas, dig a hole that is two times the width of the pot. The plant should be placed 1 to 2 inches above the ground soil level.

To ensure the roots can penetrate beyond the hole, roughen the sides of the hole with a shovel. Upon removing the plant from the pot, make sure to loosen or cut any circling roots.

Then, set the plant in the hole and backfill with existing soil. After planting, water the area thoroughly and cover the soil surface with 1 to 2 inches of mulch, ensuring to avoid the area closest to the stem to prevent fungal issues.

Where to Grow Hydrangea

Choosing the right location for your hydrangea can make all the difference in the world.

Now that we’ve discussed the process of planting, let’s take a moment to delve into where exactly you should be planting these delightful flowering shrubs.

Hydrangeas have a preference for moist, well-drained soil and dappled shade – a spot that isn’t too sunny or too shady. South-facing positions should be avoided, especially if the soil is particularly dry.

They do very well in the partial shade provided by tall deciduous trees, especially if they get morning sun.

This does change with climate, as in hot areas they would prefer morning sun, whereas in moderate climates they can tolerate full sun.

For very shaded spots, like a north-facing wall, the climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris) is an excellent choice.

Keep in mind that the young growth of hydrangeas can be prone to frost damage in spring, so avoid planting in frost pockets and try to plant them away from strong winds.

There are also sun-loving hydrangeas such as some forms of Hydrangea paniculata like ‘Candlelight’ and ‘Diamond Rouge’ which are more sun-tolerant.

These varieties bear creamy white flowers that gradually turn pink and red respectively. They can grow in full sun or part shade, demonstrating the versatility of the hydrangea family.

Remember, each hydrangea has unique needs and preferences. By paying attention to these needs, your hydrangea plants will reward you with a bounty of delightful blooms, adding charm and color to your garden.

How to Care for Hydrangea

Hydrangea plants are known for their stunning flowers and lush foliage, making them a popular choice for gardens and landscapes.

Caring for hydrangeas involves understanding their specific needs and providing the right conditions for optimal growth and blooming. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to care for hydrangea plants.

Hydrangea plants require well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Prepare the planting area by amending the soil with compost or well-rotted manure to improve its fertility and drainage.

Choose a location that receives partial sun to partial shade, as hydrangeas prefer some shade during the hottest part of the day.

How to Plant Hydrangea

  • Dig a hole that is two times wider and slightly deeper than the root ball of the hydrangea plant.
  • Gently remove the plant from its container and loosen the roots.
  • Place the plant in the hole, ensuring that the top of the root ball is level with or slightly above the soil surface.
  • Backfill the hole with soil, firming it gently around the roots.
  • Water thoroughly after planting to settle the soil.

How to Care for Hydrangea

  • Watering: Hydrangeas require regular watering to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Provide deep waterings to promote deep root growth and avoid shallow watering that may lead to shallow root development. Water at the base of the plant to prevent wetting the foliage, as this can increase the risk of disease.
  • Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the plant, such as shredded bark or compost. Mulching helps retain moisture, suppresses weed growth, and insulates the roots from temperature fluctuations.
  • Fertilizing: Feed hydrangeas with a balanced slow-release fertilizer in early spring before new growth appears. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging for application rates. Avoid excessive fertilization, as this can result in lush foliage but fewer blooms.
  • Pruning: Prune hydrangeas after they have finished blooming. The timing and method of pruning depend on the specific hydrangea variety. Remove dead or damaged wood, as well as any old or weak stems. Pruning can help maintain the plant’s shape, encourage new growth, and promote better flowering.
  • Changing flower color: Some hydrangea varieties have the ability to change flower color based on soil pH. To obtain blue flowers, acidic soil with a pH below 6 is needed, while alkaline soil with a pH above 6 will result in pink flowers. White hydrangeas are not affected by soil pH.

By following these care guidelines, you can ensure that your hydrangea plants thrive and produce abundant blooms.

Remember to monitor the plants for any signs of pests or diseases and take appropriate measures to address them promptly.

Hydrangea Plants Pruning and Propagation

Hydrangeas are beautiful flowering plants that can bring vibrant colors and lush foliage to any garden or landscape.

Pruning and propagation are important aspects of hydrangea plant care, as they help maintain the health and shape of the plants and allow for the creation of new hydrangea plants.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to prune and propagate hydrangea plants.

How to Prune Hydrangea Plants

Pruning hydrangea plants is essential for promoting healthy growth, removing dead or diseased wood, and maintaining an attractive shape.

The timing and method of pruning depend on the specific hydrangea variety.

Here are some general guidelines to follow when pruning hydrangea plants:

  • Prune at the right time: The best time to prune hydrangeas depends on whether they bloom on old wood or new wood. Hydrangeas that bloom on old wood, such as bigleaf (macrophylla) and oakleaf (quercifolia) hydrangeas, should be pruned immediately after flowering. Hydrangeas that bloom on new wood, such as panicle (paniculata) and smooth (arborescens) hydrangeas, can be pruned in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.
  • Remove dead or damaged wood: Start by inspecting the plant and removing any dead, diseased, or damaged wood. Cut back the affected stems to healthy growth, making clean cuts just above a bud or branch junction.
  • Thin out overcrowded branches: If the hydrangea plant has become dense and crowded, selectively remove some of the older or weaker branches to improve air circulation and sunlight penetration. This will help reduce the risk of disease and promote overall plant health.
  • Shape the plant: To maintain an attractive shape and size, selectively prune the outer branches to achieve the desired form. Avoid cutting back too much of the new growth, as this can reduce flowering in some varieties.

How to Propagate Hydrangea

Propagating hydrangea plants allows you to create new plants from existing ones, either for expanding your garden or sharing with others.

Here are two common methods of hydrangea propagation:

  1. Softwood cuttings: Take softwood cuttings from the current season’s growth in early summer. Choose healthy stems that are non-flowering and have a few pairs of leaves. Trim the cutting just below a leaf node, remove the lower leaves, and dip the cut end in a rooting hormone. Plant the cutting in a well-draining potting mix or propagation medium, keeping it moist and in a warm, shaded area. After a few weeks, roots should develop, and you can gradually acclimate the new plant to outdoor conditions before transplanting it into the garden.
  2. Division: Divide mature hydrangea plants in early spring or late fall. Dig up the plant and carefully separate the root ball into multiple sections, ensuring that each division has several healthy stems and a good root system. Replant the divisions in prepared soil, water thoroughly, and provide appropriate care to promote their establishment.

Pests and Diseases

Hydrangeas, like many other plants, can be susceptible to certain pests and diseases.

Some common pests that can affect hydrangeas include aphids, black vine weevils, Japanese beetles, and slugs. These pests can cause damage to the foliage and flowers of the plants. It’s important to monitor your hydrangeas regularly and take appropriate measures to control and prevent pest infestations.

In terms of diseases, hydrangeas can be affected by fungal and bacterial infections such as botrytis blight, leaf spots, and bacterial wilt.

Proper cultural practices, including providing adequate air circulation, avoiding overhead watering, and removing diseased plant material, can help prevent the onset and spread of these diseases. In severe cases, fungicides or other treatments may be necessary.

By following proper pruning techniques, practicing effective propagation methods, and taking preventative measures against pests and diseases, you can ensure the health and vitality of your hydrangea plants.

Buying Hydrangea Plants

Hydrangea plants are beloved for their stunning blooms and can be a beautiful addition to any garden or landscape.

If you’re looking to buy hydrangea plants, there are several options available.

Here’s some advice and information on where to buy hydrangea plants online.

Advice On Buying Hydrangea Plants

When buying hydrangea plants, it’s important to consider a few factors to ensure you choose healthy and thriving specimens:

  1. Choose a reputable source: Look for nurseries, garden centers, or online stores with a good reputation for providing quality plants. This ensures that you’re buying from knowledgeable growers who can offer healthy and well-cared-for hydrangea plants.
  2. Select the right variety: Hydrangeas come in various species and cultivars, each with its own unique characteristics. Consider the specific variety you want, such as mophead hydrangeas with their large rounded flower clusters or lacecap hydrangeas with flat clusters of tiny flowers surrounded by larger showy ones.
  3. Consider your climate: Hydrangeas have different preferences for sun exposure, soil type, and hardiness zones. Make sure to choose varieties that are suitable for your local climate and growing conditions to ensure the plants thrive in your garden.
  4. Inspect the plants: If possible, personally inspect the plants before purchasing. Look for healthy foliage, well-developed stems, and no signs of pests or diseases. Avoid plants with yellowing or wilted leaves, as this may indicate poor health.
  5. Check for guarantees and return policies: Inquire about any guarantees or return policies offered by the seller. This provides reassurance that you can seek assistance or replacement if the plants don’t thrive after purchase.

Where to Buy Hydrangea Plants Online

If you prefer to buy hydrangea plants online, there are several reputable online stores that offer a wide selection of hydrangea varieties.

Here are a few options:

  1. Noah Garden Centre: They offer an extensive range of plants and pots, including hydrangeas, and provide convenient online shopping in Singapore.
  2. Little Flower Hut: This online florist specializes in plant delivery, including fully grown potted hydrangea plants. They offer a selection of low-maintenance indoor plants, flowering plants, and even air plants.
  3. Giftblooms: They provide hydrangea plants delivery services in Singapore, making it convenient to send hydrangeas as gifts. They have a thoughtful collection of hydrangea plants suitable for various occasions.
  4. Garden Goods Direct: This online store offers a variety of hydrangea plants for sale. They grow their hydrangea bushes from high-quality stock plants, ensuring healthy and vibrant specimens.
  5. Proven Winners Direct: They specialize in selling New Proven Winners® hydrangeas online. They offer a range of pink, purple, blue, white, and green varieties to suit different garden aesthetics.

When purchasing hydrangea plants online, be sure to read customer reviews, check shipping policies, and inquire about plant health guarantees to ensure a positive buying experience.

Hydrangea Varieties

Hydrangeas are beloved flowering shrubs known for their stunning blooms and ability to add beauty and charm to any garden or landscape.

With a wide range of varieties available, each with its own unique characteristics, there’s a hydrangea for every preference and gardening style.

Whether you prefer the classic mophead blooms, delicate lacecap flowers, or the distinct oakleaf-shaped foliage, hydrangeas offer a diverse array of options to choose from.

Hydrangea Varieties to Grow

  • Mophead Hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) are famous for their large, round flower clusters that resemble puffy balls. They come in various colors, including shades of blue, pink, purple, and white. Popular varieties include ‘Endless Summer,’ ‘Nikko Blue,’ and ‘Bloomstruck.’
  • Lacecap Hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) have a more delicate appearance compared to mopheads. They feature flat clusters of tiny flowers surrounded by larger, showy ones. ‘Teller Blue,’ ‘Twist-n-Shout,’ and ‘Bluebird’ are some notable lacecap hydrangea varieties.
  • Oakleaf Hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercifolia) are known for their distinctive foliage, which resembles oak leaves. These hydrangeas produce cone-shaped flower clusters that turn pink or deep red as they age. Varieties such as ‘Alice,’ ‘Snow Queen,’ and ‘Ruby Slippers’ are popular choices.
  • Panicle Hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata) are known for their elongated flower clusters, which start off white and may turn pink or red as they mature. They have a more upright growth habit compared to other hydrangea types. Notable varieties include ‘Limelight,’ ‘Pinky Winky,’ and ‘Little Lamb.’
  • Smooth Hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens) are native to North America and are valued for their reliable and abundant blooms. The most well-known variety is ‘Annabelle,’ which produces large, round clusters of white flowers.
  • Climbing hydrangeas (Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris) are vigorous climbers that can attach themselves to walls or other structures using aerial roots. They have lacecap-like flower clusters and are well-suited for vertical gardening. ‘Miranda’ and ‘Firefly’ are popular climbing hydrangea varieties.

These are just a few examples of the many hydrangea varieties available to gardeners.

Each variety brings its own unique beauty and characteristics to the garden, offering a range of colors, flower shapes, and growth habits to choose from.

Consider the specific growing conditions, such as sun exposure and soil type, in your garden when selecting the right hydrangea variety for your landscape.


What type of soil is best for Hydrangea?

Hydrangeas prefer well-draining soil that has organic matter mixed in and adequate moisture. Heavy soil can hold too much moisture, encouraging root rot. They grow best in sandy loam soil that is rich in organic matter. The soil should have good drainage and be kept consistently moist while allowing excess water to drain away easily. Soil amendments like compost and rotted manure can help with nutrient content and tilth, while mulch can help keep the soil moist and cool during the growing season.

How much sunlight do Hydrangea plants need?

Hydrangeas require full to part sun to grow and thrive. They need at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Plant them in a location that receives ample sunlight throughout the day. In hot climates, they may benefit from some afternoon shade to protect them from the intense sun.

How often should I water my Hydrangea plant?

Hydrangeas require moderate moisture levels and should be watered deeply but infrequently. Water the plants thoroughly once a week, providing enough water to moisten the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. Avoid overwatering, as excessive moisture can lead to root rot. Hydrangeas are relatively drought-tolerant once established.

How can I fertilize my Hydrangea plant?

Hydrangeas generally do not require heavy fertilization. However, applying a slow-release, balanced fertilizer in early spring can provide some nutrients to the plant. Organic options, such as compost or well-rotted manure, can also be used to provide nutrients to the plant. When growing Hydrangeas for their flowers, a high-phosphorus organic fertilizer can support the development of abundant and fragrant blooms.

Can Hydrangeas be grown in containers?

Yes, Hydrangeas can be grown in containers, making them suitable for small gardens or patios. Choose a container with good drainage and fill it with a well-draining potting mix. Place the container in a location that receives ample sunlight. Container-grown Hydrangeas may require more frequent watering and fertilization compared to those planted in the ground.

How do I prune my Hydrangea plant?

Pruning Hydrangeas is typically done for aesthetic purposes or to remove dead or damaged branches. It is best to prune them in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Use clean, sharp pruning shears to make clean cuts. Avoid heavy pruning, as Hydrangeas have a delicate structure and excessive pruning can negatively impact their shape and overall health. Regularly removing any dead or damaged branches can help maintain the plant’s health and shape.

Are Hydrangea plants susceptible to any pests or diseases?

Hydrangeas can be susceptible to pests such as aphids, spider mites, and slugs. Regularly inspect the plants for any signs of pests and take appropriate measures to control them, such as using insecticidal soap or horticultural oil. Hydrangeas can also be affected by fungal diseases, such as gray mold or powdery mildew. Proper care, including providing good air circulation, avoiding overwatering, and maintaining proper hygiene, can help prevent these issues.

When do Hydrangeas typically bloom?

Hydrangeas typically bloom in mid to late summer, depending on the specific variety. The exact blooming time can vary depending on the growing conditions. The flowers are usually large and come in a range of colors, including pink, blue, white, and purple.

Can Hydrangeas be grown indoors?

Yes, Hydrangeas can be grown indoors in pots during the winter months. Plant the Hydrangea in a well-draining potting mix and place it in a cool, dark location for about 12 weeks to allow it to develop roots. Once the shoots emerge, move the pot to a location that receives ample sunlight. Water the plant thoroughly once a week, providing enough water to moisten the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. Fertilize the plant with a balanced fertilizer every two weeks. After the flowers have faded, cut the flower stalks down to the base of the plant and allow the foliage to die back naturally.

How can I change the color of my Hydrangea blooms?

The color of Hydrangea blooms can be influenced by the pH level of the soil. Acidic soil (pH 5.5 or lower) produces blue flowers, while alkaline soil (pH 7 or higher) produces pink flowers. To change the color of the blooms, add aluminum sulfate to the soil to make it more acidic or add lime to make it more alkaline. The amount of the amendment needed will depend on the current pH level of the soil and the desired color of the blooms. It is important to note that some Hydrangea varieties, such as white-flowering ones, are not affected by soil pH and will always produce white flowers.

Additional Resources

Here are some additional resources that provide helpful information on how to grow and care for hydrangeas:

We hope that these resources provide you with the helpful information you need to successfully grow and care for hydrangeas in your garden.

Related articles

How to Grow and Care for Wisteria

Wisteria is a twining vine known for its beautiful, fragrant violet-blue or lavender blooms that cover the plant...

How to Grow and Care for Willow Tree

Willow trees are a beautiful addition to any landscape, known for their graceful, drooping branches and love for...

How to Grow and Care for Walnut Trees

Growing and caring for walnut trees can be a rewarding endeavor. These majestic trees not only provide shade...

How to Grow and Care for Potatoes

Potatoes are a versatile and hearty crop that can be grown in a variety of climates and conditions....