How To Plant A Hydrangea Plant Outside

Learning the fundamentals of how to plant hydrangeas can help you save time and money, just like with most other items in your garden. You’ll improve your chances of enjoying big, vibrant hydrangea flowers for years to come by picking the appropriate site, getting the soil just right, and planting correctly.

When should I plant hydrangeas?

The best time to grow hydrangeas is in the fall, followed by early spring. The goal is to provide the shrub lots of time to develop a strong root system before it blooms. Early in the day or late in the day are the ideal times to plant. The day’s cooler hours provide relief from heat exhaustion. Water new plants frequently until they get established.

Locations to plant hydrangeas

The first step is knowing where to grow hydrangea plants. Hydrangeas are frequently grown in beds adjacent to houses or fences. This is so because hydrangeas prefer the mild early sun to the hot afternoon sun. A protected area with sunny mornings and shaded afternoons is the ideal spot to plant hydrangeas. This is frequently found on the north or south side of a house. Avoid planting underneath trees since it could cause competition for nutrients and water. Flowers and leaves can both be destroyed by strong winds.

hydrangea-friendly soil

The soil needs to be rich in organic matter for hydrangeas to thrive. Drainage is important. Although hydrangeas prefer damp soil, they cannot stand standing water. Root rot can be brought on by wet, poorly draining soils. Your hydrangeas could pass away in a matter of weeks. Consider adding a lot of compost to your heavy soil before planting to increase the soil’s quality.

Methods for planting hydrangeas

Simply dig planting holes that are 2 feet wider than the root ball for planting hydrangeas. So that your plant lies level with or just higher than the surrounding soil, match the depth of the hole to the size of the root ball. You can improve water drainage away from the plant’s base by making a small mound.

The best way to grow hydrangeas

Simple propagation methods can multiply a single hydrangea into several more. The optimal time to layer bigleaf and panicle hydrangeas is in the early to mid-summer. You only need to:

  • Close to your hydrangea plant, make a tiny trench.
  • Bend a branch such that the middle of the branch meets the earth in the trench (six to 12 inches of branch should extend past the trench).
  • Where the branch meets the trench soil, make scuff marks on the bark.
  • After the trench is filled, cover it with a paver, brick, or stone.
  • The branch can be transplanted to a different area once it has established its own root system over time.

Hydrangeas with smooth or oakleaf leaves produce new growth from underground stems. Simply separate the baby plant from the main plant by digging it up. After then, it can be moved to a new spot.

Can I grow a hydrangea in a pot outside?

“For Mother’s Day, my daughter handed me a lovely hydrangea. It has done so wonderfully that I’m curious if I should plant it outside or keep it within as a houseplant.”

Hydrangeas with foil encircling the pot, whether they were a gift or something you bought yourself, frequently differ from those bought at a nursery. The foil-wrapped hydrangea is often grown for a single, grand performance. The plant has been specifically fed to produce a lot of huge blooms quickly, frequently at the price of the plant’s long-term health.

The hydrangeas selected for this project are exclusively grown in greenhouses and might not be winter hardy where they are purchased.

If your locale isn’t warm enough to cultivate hydrangeas outdoors, you might wonder if you can grow them indoors as a houseplant.

A. There are a variety of reasons why growing hydrangeas inside in a home environment is not particularly successful. When hydrangeas may experience a period of dormancy brought on by chilly weather, they thrive. Hydrangeas rarely blossom indoors, attract insects, and lose their leaves unless they are in a greenhouse. They frequently dry out too rapidly and wilt, which makes them weaker.

However, some gift/florist-type hydrangeas may be grown extremely well in the landscape, as you can see from the images below.

Although growing hydrangeas indoors is not the optimal answer, it is conceivable if one lives in an apartment or in an area where they cannot survive:

1) Put the hydrangea in the coolest part of your house; ideally, an unheated room.

2) Position it close to a window so that it receives the most light possible.

The third and most crucial tip is to not overwater the plant by letting it sit in water or by watering it too frequently. It’s preferable to keep it dry during the winter, but it shouldn’t ever get too dry that it wilts.

Whenever possible, it is ideal to plant the potted hydrangea outside. It should only be planted outside in the early to mid-summer because it needs time to get used to the weather before winter.

In conclusion, unless it may be planted in the garden, foil-wrapped hydrangeas are best employed as a temporary plant in a person’s home.

Where to plant hydrangeas:

  • A location with morning sun and afternoon shade is ideal. They’ll take more sun if you reside further north (possibly full sun all day).
  • Think about the mature size and give it lots of room to expand.
  • Pick a location with great drainage. If necessary, add compost to the soil.
  • Plants won’t thrive if they are planted too close to a tree because of root competition and a lack of sunshine.
  • Planting should not be done in open locations where strong winds could snap stems.

How to plant hydrangeas:

  • By amending your soil with up to 15% organic matter and an all-purpose slow-release fertilizer, you may give your plant a good start (use half of what is recommended).
  • Plant a little higher than you did while you were in the nursery container.
  • In order to give the roots plenty of freedom to expand, the planting hole should be two to three times broader than the root ball.
  • Before planting, gently untie the roots from their pots.
  • Add the modified dirt back in and thoroughly water it.
  • Planting in groups requires a minimum distance of 3 feet (more, if planting larger varieties).

Planting hydrangeas in pots:

  • Use a bagged potting mix rather than garden soil.
  • Slow-release fertilizer should be added.
  • For watering, leave 1 to 2 inches between the soil’s top and the pot’s rim.
  • Make sure the pot includes space for the plant to grow and drainage holes.

How should a hydrangea be inserted into the ground?

Planting hydrangeas is a present you can give yourself. These lovely flowering plants are a great addition to any environment thanks to their profusion of vibrant blossoms.

How to Choose Hydrangeas

The hydrangea plant comes in a variety of varieties. Although one is a vine called climbing hydrangea, the most grow as shrubs. The most popular hydrangea varieties in zones 6 through 9 may be mophead and lacecap varieties, which can serve a variety of purposes in the landscape.

Choose panicle, smooth, or oakleaf hydrangeas to grow as a hedge; these varieties also have attractive fall foliage.

Choose an oakleaf hydrangea or a climbing variety if you intend to cultivate hydrangeas in complete shade.

The panicle hydrangea, which can be grown as a tree, is the variety you want if you’re growing hydrangeas in colder climates because it has the most winter hardiness.

Where to Plant Hydrangeas

Light and moisture are the most crucial elements to consider when deciding where to plant hydrangeas. Plant them in the South where they’ll get early sun and afternoon shade. You can grow the wildly popular French (also known as bigleaf) hydrangea or panicle hydrangea under these circumstances. These identical varieties of hydrangeas can withstand full-day sun in northern regions.

The root term “hydra” (as in hydration) in the name “hydrangea” provides a hint as to how much water these plants require. Make sure the location you choose is near a water source. Also be aware that French hydrangeas typically require the most water to flourish.

What Kind of Soil to Use for Hydrangeas

Concentrate on enhancing the native soil if you want to cultivate hydrangeas in planting beds. Mixing equal portions of Miracle-Gro Garden Soil for Trees and Shrubs and existing soil is one quick and easy way to do so. You can also plant hydrangeas in containers in warmer climates (zones 7 and higher), where winters are often not too harsh. Use Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix to fill pots to provide the ideal habitat for them.

It is important to note that the pH of the soil, which indicates how alkaline or acidic the soil is, affects how the blossom color of lacecap and mophead hydrangeas changes. In alkaline soil, flowers bloom pink to red, while in acidic soil, they turn lavender to blue.

When to Plant Hydrangeas

The ideal time to plant hydrangeas is typically when you see them on sale at neighborhood garden centers. By region, this timing will change. For instance, hydrangeas should be planted in the early spring or early fall in regions with freezing winters and snow (as soon as summer heat breaks). The planting window for hydrangeas is longer in warmer climates with moderate winters, lasting from fall until early April.

Planting Hydrangeas In-Ground

The type of hydrangea you are growing will determine how far apart you should space your plants. The plant tag should ideally be examined. Keep in mind that hydrangeas grown in the shade typically develop slightly larger and wider leaves. Dig a hole that is twice as wide as the container the hydrangea arrived in when planting it. Fill the hole with the 50-50 soil mixture mentioned above after setting the plant in the hole so that the root ball is at the same level as it was in the container. After planting, thoroughly water.

Planting Hydrangeas in Containers

Verify once again that plants are planted at the same depth as they were growing when planting hydrangeas in containers. The size of the container you should choose will depend on how big your hydrangea will get. It’s generally okay to begin with a pot that is 2 inches bigger than the one the plant is currently in.

Watering Hydrangeas

After planting, give the plant plenty of water, making sure to moisten the soil around the root ball. You might not need to water the hydrangeas again until growth picks again if they are dormant (without leaves).

In soil that is consistently moist, hydrangeas flourish. At least once per week, check the soil. It’s time to water when the top inch of soil is dry. Except in times of drought, hydrangeas can usually thrive on rainfall after they are established.

Mulching Hydrangeas

After hydrangeas are planted, mulch the area surrounding the plants (but not on top of them) with a 2- to 3-inch layer. Mulch inhibits weed development and sunlight availability, helping to keep soil moist and prevent weed growth. Pick the mulch that complements your landscape the best, whether it’s Scotts bagged mulch, chopped leaves, pine straw, or another locally accessible material.

Feeding Hydrangeas

When hydrangeas first start to grow in the spring and again right before the summer, fertilize them. After August, especially in areas with chilly winters, refrain from feeding hydrangeas. It is best to use a slow-release plant food. Try Miracle-Gro Shake ‘n Feed Flowering Trees & Shrubs Plant Food, which provides nutrition for up to 3 months, for the greatest results.

Pruning Hydrangeas

The sort of hydrangea you are growing will determine when to prune it. You should prune plants as soon as flowering is ended because French and oakleaf hydrangeas both produce flowers on old wood (stems from the previous year). Hydrangeas, both smooth and panicle, bloom on new growth, so you can clip stems in late winter or early spring. In general, hydrangeas shouldn’t require much pruning beyond removing dead or broken wood as long as you give them enough space to spread and grow to their full size.

Protecting Hydrangeas in Winter

In order to assist safeguard flower buds that have already grown for the following year, many gardeners in cooler regions create a burlap screen around oakleaf and French hydrangeas. Making sure the hydrangea you’re growing is hardy in your gardening zone, though, is the most crucial component of winter protection.

Using Hydrangeas in Your Landscape

The garden can use hydrangeas for a variety of purposes. Plant hydrangeas as a foundation planting around a house or as a privacy hedge. Potted hydrangeas can add beauty to a deck or entry garden, and a single hydrangea can serve as the garden’s focal point. Additionally, hydrangeas blend in well with diverse borders of perennials and shrubs and offer a natural-looking element to a woodland scene.

Wedding bouquets and vase fillers both love using fresh hydrangea flowers. Most experts advise waiting to allow flowers age and dry naturally on the plant if you want to dry hydrangea blooms. Harvest when you favor the color stage.

Ready to begin hydrangea cultivation? To learn more about a product, to buy it online, or to locate a retailer near you, click on any of the product links above.

Will a hydrangea in a pot last the winter?

Hydrangeas in potsWinter Care Bring potted plants indoors before the first frost for the greatest hydrangea winter protection. They can stay outside and be protected by covering the entire pot and plant if they are too heavy to transport.