How to Grow and Care for Hydrangeas

Common Names Hydrangea, hortensia
Botanical Name Hydrangea spp.
Family Hydrangeaceae
Plant Type Deciduous shrub
Mature Size Up to 15 ft. depending upon variety
Sun Exposure Full, partial
Soil Type Any 
Soil pH Any pH but it can influence bloom color
Bloom Time Mid-summer through fall
Flower Color Varies depending on species: white, blue, pink, maroon, red, purple, and pale green
Hardiness Zones 5—9 (USDA)
Native Area Asia, the Americas
Toxicity Toxic to humans and animals

Hydrangea Care

Most hydrangeas can adapt to a wide roll of growing conditions. They are broadly audacious from USDA robustness zones 5 to 9. If they are planted in well-draining soil with batch of organic matter, they should grow well. These versatile shrubs thrive in flaxen coastal soils, fishy forest sites, and about everything in between .

plan to water your hydrangeas regularly to keep them systematically moist, specially in hot and dry weather and fertilize them once in the jump .

The right time to prune a hydrangea varies according to the hydrangea species and the meter of class when they set buds .

blue hydrangeas

​The Spruce / Claire Cohen Bates

bright blue hydrangeas

​The Spruce / Claire Cohen Bates

oakleaf hydrangeas

The Spruce / Adrienne Legault


besides much shade can reduce flower output signal. Hydrangeas do good in the partial shade provided by tall deciduous trees, particularly if they receive dawn sun and the overtone shadow occurs in the heat of the good afternoon. They will besides thrive in full sun but might need extra water on hot summer days .


In cosmopolitan, hydrangeas can tolerate a wide scope of soil types but they grow best in fertile, humus-rich dirty. A luminary characteristic of Hydrangea macrophylla is that you can control bloom color by adjusting the land ph. acidic dirt with a ph of 6.0 or lower produces blue flowers and neutral to alkaline soil with a ph of 7.0 or higher produces pink blooms .


Hydrangeas need consistent moisture throughout the growing temper : give your hydrangeas a deep toast of water one to two times every week. If your area has had meaning rain, you can cut back on supplementary lacrimation. Each prison term you water, water deeply until the ground feels saturated but is not waterlogged. A light water every day is not sufficient because the water will not reach the etymon system to hydrate the plant .

During particularly hot weather, increase the amount of urine you give your plants so the dirt remains damp, but make sure they ‘re not sitting in inert land. To know if you need to water your hydrangea, stick your finger down about four inches into the ground and if it feels dry to your fingertip, it ‘s time to water system .

In highly hot weather, hydrangea might curl their leaves and appear wilted. This is a built-in protection and does not necessarily mean that the plant needs body of water. If you observe this behavior, take another look at the plant at twilight to see if it has recovered once temperatures have cooled down .

temperature and Humidity

Hydrangeas prefer fairly meek temperatures. In areas with piercingly cold winters, dieback can be a problem if the hydrangea is located in an unprotected area or one that receives besides much winter sun .

Because hydrangeas prefer to grow in partial shade, they normally do best when planted in a north- or east-facing web site, where winter temperatures remain reasonably changeless. Avoid planting on the south and west side of your property where the heat of winter sun could cause buds to swell prematurely and become vulnerable to cold snaps .

Hydrangeas prefer control to high humidity and dry climates can cause their leaves to brown and become dry .


If your soil is fat in nutrients, you likely wo n’t have to fertilize your hydrangeas. In fact, if hydrangeas are given excessively much high-nitrogen fertilizer, the leaf will be fully and exuberant but with fewer blooms. If the dirty is not fertile, in the spring spread of layer of organically rich compost around the plants or apply a fertilizer desirable for flowering shrub .

Types of Hydrangea

From the many species of hydrangea, the following are the most normally used as cosmetic shrub. Some of these hydrangea species bloom on new emergence ( the current year ‘s new stems ) and those that bloom on old growth ( last year ‘s stem ) .

  • Hydrangea macrophylla: Also known as bigleaf, mop head, or lacecap hydrangea, this species grows six to ten feet tall and wide and has six-inch leaves. Bloom color is affected by soil pH; acidic soil produces blue blooms and alkaline soil produces pink blooms. Buds for the following year are set in mid-summer through fall.
  • Hydrangea arborescens: Known as smooth hydrangea, this shrub reaches around three to five feet tall and wide and produces white to pink flowers. Buds are set on new stems in spring.
  • Hydrangea quercifolia: Commonly called oakleaf hydrangea, this plant reaches around seven feet tall and wide with white to purplish-pink flowers. Its leaves look similar to the oak tree, thus its common name. Buds are set in mid-summer through fall.
  • Hydrangea paniculata: Commonly called panicle hydrangea, the blooms on this species are cone-shaped rather than round or flat. For many cultivars, the flowers start out white and gradually change to light pink and then to a darker pink as they mature. This plant grows quite large if left unpruned, up to 15 to 20 feet tall and wide. This species blooms on new stem growth.

Propagating Hydrangea

Hydrangeas rarely produce seeds, but there are two coarse ways to propagate the plant. Taking root cuttings at the justly clock time may result in stronger, more bouncy roots that closely guarantee success when transplanting them into the ground. The second method acting is to root the hydrangea right into the ground without having to cut into the shrub until the last measure. This is the preferable method if you want to fill gaps between shrubs in your garden or you want a more dense stand of shrubs .

Propagating by cuttings

  1. In the very early fall, select a new growth stem at least six-to-eight inches long that does not have a flower. New growth will be lighter green than old growth.
  2. With a sterile, sharp pruner, cut the stem below a leaf node (a node signifies where a set of leaves are set to grow). Keep a set of leaves on the stem in addition to a node.
  3. Strip the bottom leaves, but keep the top set of leaves. Carefully cut the remaining leaves in half horizontally (crosswise), not vertically.
  4. Dip the bottom of the cutting in rooting hormone.
  5. Place the end of the cutting into a small eight-to-ten inch pot filled with damp potting soil. (One pot can hold several cuttings.)
  6. Make a mini-greenhouse by covering the pot with a plastic bag and closing it at the bottom of the pot. Cut a couple of small slivers on top of the bag so the cutting can breathe. Do not let the bag touch any of the leaves.
  7. Put the pot in a spot that is away from any direct sunlight and keep the soil slightly damp.
  8. In two to four weeks, a root system should begin to develop. You can transplant the cutting so that it can have the winter to establish a strong root system.

Propagating by rooting branches directly in the dirty

  1. Bend down a long stem/branch so that a large piece of it touches the soil.
  2. Trim leaves from the part of the branch that is touching the soil.
  3. Push the branch down into the soil as best as you can without breaking the branch. You could also push the tip of the branch into the soil.
  4. Secure the branch by weighing it down with a brick or large rock. You won’t injure the branch.
  5. Water the branch just as you typically water the parent hydrangea.
  6. Occasionally remove the weight and gently tug on the branch to see if it has rooted. Once rooted, you no longer need to weigh it down.
  7. Once it has rooted, you will need to clip the branch from its parent plant so the new shrub will be self-sustaining.
  8. If you do want to dig up the newly rooted shrub to move it, wait a couple of more weeks after you’ve clipped it so it can be strong enough for transplanting.


Some types of hydrangeas, such as the bigleaf hydrangea, can be susceptible to winter bud price. If you live in a very cold area with harsh winters, protect your hydrangea plants from cold winds by wrapping them with burlap or putting up burlap screening. You can besides tie the branches together along with the burlap to give them extra avail to survive winter. Remove the burlap when the bud begin to swell.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

The usual types of garden pests can affect hydrangeas, including aphids, black vine weevil, the four-lined plant hemipterous insect, japanese beetles, and spider mites. Rose chafer pests can injure the plant by eating and leaving skeletonized leaves behind. Chemical insecticides or less harsh insecticidal soaps may help eliminate most of these insects, but avoid using them during the flower time period. rather, hand clean these pests into pails of saponaceous water .

Hydrangeas are susceptible to diseases including botrytis blight, powdery mildew, and other viruses such as yellow or embrown flick spotting. Fungicides can help with most problems, but destroy plants infected with viral detection.

common Problems With Hydrangea

here are the most park problems that can occur with hydrangeas .

No Blooms

Hydrangeas may not bloom every temper. The reason could be pruning at the wrong clock time of year, wrong to buds during unexpected give or winter cold snaps, or at some detail you may have overfertilized the implant .

The right clock to prune a hydrangea varies according to the hydrangea species and the clock of year when bud are set. frankincense, it is authoritative to know the type of hydrangea you are growing in order to know when to prune it.

Drooping Leaves

Hydrangea leaves can droop due to lack of water. This happens during bloom time or very hot, dry weather, so keep hydrangeas systematically moist .

however, drooping leaves might not always be a sign that a hydrangea needs water. These plants have a built-in security mechanism where they will curl their leaves down In highly hot weather and appear to be wilted. When day temperatures are around 90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and you observe this behavior, take another attend at the plant at dusk to see if it has recovered once temperatures have cooled down. If the plant is hush wilted as temperatures cool, that could be a sign of dry dirt that requires a trench water.

Yellowing Leaves

Yellowing leaves can indicate that a plant has been overwatered, underwatered, or overfertilized. It might be possible to save the shrub by saturating the roots if the problem is that it ‘s besides dry or overfertilized. differently, you may need to dry out the roots of an overwatered shrub in the hope that it save the plant.

Brown Leaf Tips or Edges or Tips

This problem can occur if the roots have been burned by over-fertilization. Brown edges or tips can besides occur if besides much aluminum sulfate was added to the land to change the color of the blooms. If this occurred, flush the land with water to remove the excess salts or fertilizers. then, let the dirt surface dry for a day or two before watering again, and abstain from fertilizing until the plant is healthy once again.


  • Can hydrangeas grow indoors?

    Yes and no. Oftentimes greenhouse-grown potted hydrangeas are given as spring gifts that can be kept indoors, but it can be crafty to maintain them. For model, an indoor hydrangea plant can be finical ; It will be happiest in a room between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, but unhappy in warm spaces. It might be best to plant your potted hydrangea outdoors in your garden for well results .

  • How can I change the color of my hydrangeas?

    You can change the color of your hydrangea flowers by tinkering with the territory ph. Change blue flowers to pink flowers by decreasing the acidity of your soil. Do this by adding hydrate linden to the land in the bounce. To change pink flowers to blue flowers, increase the sourness of the land. Do this by adding aluminum sulfate to your dirt in the spring. Color-change does not happen immediately, it can take a while for the plant to acclimate itself to adjustments to soil ph .

  • How can I tell if my hydrangea blooms on new wood or old wood?

    These terms can be confusing, which often leads to pruning off the woody stems that could hold the bud for adjacent temper ‘s blooms. Make a note of the type of hydrangea you have, when it blooms, and the best pruning practices for the plant. If your hydrangea flowers in the early summer, you have a plant that blooms on old wood ( previous year ‘s stem turn ). If your hydrangea flowers mid- to late summer, you have a plant that blooms on new wood ( the current year ‘s stem ) .

  • Can I train a hydrangea shrub to grow into a flowering tree?

    Yes, you can train a hydrangea shrub into a humble blossoming corner with a single proboscis, but be patient because the procedure can take a few seasons to complete. many gardeners prune limelight hydrangeas into trees because they grow to good the right field stature for an ornamental corner. In addition to limelight, there are other types of tree hydrangeas ( Hydrangea paniculata ) that are slowly to train into cosmetic trees.


Watch Now: How to Prune Hydrangeas

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Category : Tutorial

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