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Caring For Your Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas add the perfect addition to any garden and if you are a hydrangea lover like me, you want to keep them beautiful for as long as possible! From planting to fertilizing to deadheading, you want to know the best way to care for them to ensure they come back year after year. I always get so many questions regarding hydrangeas and how to care for them, so today I want to share some of my knowledge with you!

You will first want to identify exactly which type of hydrangeas you have. The four most common types are: Panicle, Oakleaf, Bigleaf and Smooth.

Panicle Hydrangeas are cone shaped. The most common are “Limelight”, “Vanilla Strawberry” and “Peegee.”

Oakleaf Hydrangeas bloom on old wood. The most common types are “Pee Wee” and “Snowflake.”

Bigleaf Hydrangeas are sometimes called French hydrangeas. The most common types are “Endless Summer” and “Nikko Blue.”

Smooth Hydrangeas most common types are “Annabelle” and “Incrediball.”

When is the best time to plant hydrangeas?
Fall is the best time to plant your beautiful hydrangeas. Planting them during the early fall gives them enough time to establish a healthy root system. Always make sure to maintain an adequate watering schedule with any new plantings.

What kind of soil do hydrangeas like?
Hydrangeas need well-drained soil that is plentiful in organic matter. Without well-drained soil, the soil can become waterlogged which can potentially result in root diseases. To increase organic matter, simply mix in compost before planting!

Where should I plant my hydrangeas?
Hydrangeas prefer a location that receives morning sun and shady afternoons. Consider planting near your home, a privacy fence, or trees that may offer a shady haven to protect your hydrangeas.

How often should I fertilize my hydrangeas? 
– Panicle and oakleaf hydrangeas prefer to be fertilized in April and June.
– Bigleaf hydrangeas prefer to be fertilized in March, May, and June.
– Smooth hydrangeas prefer to be fertilized in late winter or early spring.

When is the best time to prune my hydrangeas? 
– Pruning hydrangeas can help encourage big, beautiful blooms.
– Bigleaf hydrangeas and oakleaf hydrangeas should be pruned after they bloom in the summer. These types of hydrangeas bloom on old wood, which is growth from the previous year. If you prune them in late winter/early spring, you run the risk of removing their dormant flower buds.
– Panicle hydrangeas and smooth hydrangeas should be pruned in the late winter before they have new growth.

Should I deadhead my hydrangeas? 
Deadheading hydrangeas will encourage new growth and more blooms late into the summer and early fall. They make excellent cut flowers and are a beautiful accent when dried and used in fall decor.

Can I control the color of my hydrangea bloom?
Not all hydrangeas are capable of changing their bloom color. Bigleaf hydrangeas have flowers that are influenced by the soil pH in which the plant is growing.
At a low soil pH, hydrangeas are able to absorb aluminum which results in gorgeous blue flowers. To lower pH, you can ass sulfur, peat moss, or aluminum sulfate to the soil surrounding the hydrangea.

How do hydrangeas perform if planted in a heavy shade area? 
Hydrangeas will not bloom if planted in full shade. They prefer some shade in the afternoon but require sunlight for beautiful blooms!

Can I plant hydrangeas in a container? 
Absolutely! They make a stunning accent for any container. I recommend using a container that is at least 18 inches in diameter to allow the hydrangea plenty of room to grow. There are also several varieties of dwarf hydrangeas such as ‘Little Lime’, ‘Buttons and Bows’, and ‘Mini Penny’ that are great for containers.

I hope some of these tips will help out in caring for your hydrangeas! If you have any questions that I did not answer, please send us a message on social media.

Happy Gardening!