Cultivating Hydrangea – Tips, Tricks & How-Tos

With dozens of species and more cultivars, hydrangeas (Hydrangea spp.) have been a popular ornamental garden plant for decades with flowers that come in a wide range of colors, including white and many shades of blue, pink, maroon, red, and even pale green. Some of the hydrangeas have large, round flower heads, while others have a smaller, flatter, more delicate flowers, along with different foliage shapes depending on the species. Plant them in fall or early spring to ensure that hydrangea bushes have time to establish a healthy root system. Hydrangeas are fast-growing growers, with an average of two or more feet per year. Know that the plant is toxic to humans and animals.

Tips for Hydrangea Fall Care

Once the flowers and foliage die back in the fall, you’ll need to head out into the garden for your annual hydrangea maintenance session. These tasks are essential to keeping your plants looking great and ensuring they return more decisive the following year.

This maintenance can be challenging, especially when it comes to pruning. So, complete these five essential jobs this fall to prepare your plants for the upcoming seasons.

  1. Pick the Remaining Flowers
  2. Prune
  3. Tidy
  4. Mulch

How to do Hydrangea Care easily?

Most hydrangea plants can adapt to a wide range of growing conditions. They are generally hardy from the USDA hardiness zones 5 through 9. They should grow well if planted in well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter. These versatile shrubs thrive in the sandy coastal soils, shady woodland locations, and just about everything.

Plan to regularly water the hydrangea to keep it moist, especially in hot, dry weather, and fertilize it once in the spring.


The appropriate time to prune hydrangea varies according to the hydrangea species and the time of year you set buds.


Too much shade can reduce flower production. The Hydrangeas do well in the partial shade provided by tall deciduous trees, especially if they receive morning sun and partial shade occurs in the afternoon heat. They will also thrive in the full sun but may need additional water on hot summer days.


In general, the hydrangeas can tolerate a wide range of soil types but grow best in fertile, humus-rich soil. A notable feature of Hydrangea macrophylla is that you can control the color of the blooms by adjusting the pH of the earth. The acidic soils with a pH of 6.0 or less produce blue flowers, while neutral to alkaline soils with a pH of 7.0 or higher produce pink flowers.


Hydrangea plants need constant hydration throughout the growing season: Give the hydrangea a deep drink of water one to two times each week. If your area experiences heavy rainfall, you can reduce additional watering. Each time you water, water it deeply until the ground is saturated but not soggy. Light watering daily is not enough because the water will not reach the root system to moisten the plant.

During scorching weather, increase the amount of water you give your plants so that the soil stays moist, but make sure they are not sitting in wet soil. To see if you need to water the hydrangea, put your finger down about 4 inches into the ground, and if your fingertips feel dry, it’s time to water.

In hot weather, hydrangea plants may curl their leaves and look wilted. This is built-in protection and does not necessarily mean the plant needs water. If you notice this behavior, look at the plant at dusk to see if it recovers once temperatures drop.

Temperature and Humidity

Hydrangea plants prefer relatively moderate temperatures. In regions with severely cold winters, hereditary death can be a problem if the hydrangea is located in an unprotected area or an area that receives a lot of winter sun.

Because hydrangea plants prefer to grow in partial shade, they usually do best when grown in a north or east-facing location, where winter temperatures remain relatively constant. Avoid planting on the south and west of your property, where the warmth of the winter sun can cause the buds to swell prematurely and become susceptible to cold spells.

Hydrangeas prefer moderate to high humidity, and a dry climate can cause their leaves to turn brown and dry out.


You likely won’t have to fertilize your hydrangea plant if your soil is nutrient-rich. If a hydrangea plant is given plenty of high-nitrogen fertilizer, the foliage will be complete and lush but with fewer blooms. If the soil is not a fertile, in the spring, spread a layer of rich compost around the plants or use a fertilizer suitable for flowering shrubs.

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