All products were chosen independently by our editorial team. This review contains affiliate links and we may receive a commission for purchases made. Please read our affiliates FAQ page to find out more.

Hydrangeas, with their lush foliage and big, vibrant blooms, are like the Instagram stars of the garden world. They’re not just pretty faces, though; these plants are surprisingly hardy and versatile, thriving in everything from coastal sands to shady woodlands. So, if you’re dreaming of adding some serious flower power to your garden, let’s dive into the world of hydrangeas!

How to grow Hydrangea

To grow Hydrangeas, plant in well-drained soil with partial sunlight. Water consistently, keeping the soil evenly moist. Adjust pH for blue or pink blooms. In the UK climate, Hydrangeas thrive with regular care, offering stunning and diverse flowerheads, adding beauty to your garden.

Register for our latest in-depth reviews and product round-ups from the experts.

Enter your email address below to receive our monthly review emails.

By entering your details, you are agreeing to our terms and conditions and privacy policy. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Introduction to Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are the divas of the garden, known for their large, showy flower heads that range in color from blues and purples to pinks and whites. They’re not just about looks, though. These plants are also known for their resilience and adaptability, making them a favorite among both novice and experienced gardeners.

Types of Hydrangeas

Types of Hydrangeas

When it comes to hydrangeas, variety is the spice of life. Here’s a quick rundown of the most popular types:

Bigleaf Hydrangeas

  • Visuals: Large, colorful blooms
  • Soil pH and Color: Acidic soil for blue flowers, alkaline for pink
  • Sunlight: Partial shade works best

Panicle Hydrangeas

  • Shape: Cone-shaped flower clusters
  • Size: Can grow quite large, up to 20 feet
  • Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade

Smooth Hydrangeas

  • Bloom Color: Usually white
  • Size: Around 3 to 5 feet tall and wide
  • Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade

Oakleaf Hydrangeas

  • Leaf Shape: Resembles oak leaves
  • Bloom Color: White, aging to purplish-pink
  • Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade

Selecting the Right Hydrangea for Your Garden

Choosing the right hydrangea for your garden is like picking the perfect outfit – it’s all about the right fit. Consider your climate, soil type, and the amount of sunlight your garden gets. For more detailed info, check out The Spruce’s guide on hydrangeas.

Planting Hydrangeas

Planting hydrangeas is like setting the stage for a grand performance. Here’s how to ensure your hydrangeas take center stage in your garden:

  • Best Time to Plant: Spring or fall
  • Soil Prep: Rich, well-draining soil with plenty of organic matter
  • Spacing: Give them room to grow – spacing depends on the variety

Watering and Feeding Hydrangeas

Watering and Feeding Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are a bit like us when we’re thirsty – they need a good, deep drink, but they don’t like to sit in water. Here’s the lowdown on keeping them happy:

  • Watering: 1-2 times a week, more in hot weather
  • Fertilization: Once in spring, but don’t overdo it

Pruning and Maintenance

Pruning hydrangeas can seem daunting, but it’s really about understanding what your plant needs. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Bigleaf and Oakleaf: Prune after blooming, as they bloom on old wood
  • Panicle and Smooth: Prune in late winter or early spring, as they bloom on new wood

Hydrangea Care Table

Type Sunlight Soil Watering Pruning
Bigleaf Partial Shade Acidic for blue, Alkaline for pink Consistent moisture After blooming
Panicle Full to Partial Adaptable Deep, 1-2 times a week Late winter/early spring
Smooth Full to Partial Rich, well-draining Regular, avoid waterlogging Late winter/early spring
Oakleaf Full to Partial Well-draining Regular, avoid waterlogging After blooming

Changing Hydrangea Colors: A Rainbow in Your Garden

Ever dreamed of customizing your garden’s color palette? With hydrangeas, it’s possible! Here’s how soil pH plays a role:

  • Acidic Soil (pH < 6.0): Blue hydrangea blooms
  • Neutral to Alkaline Soil (pH > 7.0): Pink hydrangea blooms

Pest and Disease Management: Keeping Your Hydrangeas Happy

Even the healthiest gardens face pests and diseases. Here’s how to keep your hydrangeas thriving:

Common Pests

  • Aphids and Spider Mites: Treated with insecticidal soap or neem oil
  • Japanese Beetles: Hand-pick or use environmentally friendly traps

Common Diseases

  • Powdery Mildew: White, powdery coating, treatable with fungicides
  • Leaf Spot: Dark spots on leaves, improved by better air circulation

Hydrangeas in Containers: Blooms on Your Balcony

No garden? No problem! Hydrangeas can thrive in containers too. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Pot Size: At least 16-24 inches in diameter
  • Soil: Mix of potting soil and compost
  • Watering: More frequent than ground-planted hydrangeas

Winter Care for Hydrangeas: Cozying Up for the Cold

Winter can be tough on hydrangeas, but with a little care, they’ll emerge in spring as good as new:

  • Mulching: Protect roots with a layer of mulch
  • Burlap Wraps: Shield from cold winds and frost

Propagating Hydrangeas: More Blooms to Love

Want more of these beauties? Propagating hydrangeas is easier than you think:

  • Stem Cuttings: Take cuttings in early fall, use rooting hormone, and plant in damp soil
  • Layering: Bend a branch to the ground, secure it, and wait for roots to develop

Hydrangea Care Table: Advanced Tips

Aspect Tip Details
Color Change Adjust soil pH Acidic for blue, alkaline for pink
Pest Control Regular checks Use gentle treatments like neem oil
Winter Prep Mulch and protect Burlap wraps for harsh climates
Propagation Stem cuttings or layering Easy ways to multiply your hydrangeas

Frequently Asked Questions

Prefer partial shade, especially in hot climates. Morning sun and afternoon shade are ideal.

Avoid full sun in hot climates and areas prone to waterlogging or strong winds.

Yes, most are deciduous and return each spring.

They require some care, but with the right conditions, they’re not overly demanding.