Garden Foundary Garden Maintenance Way to Grow Hydrangeas from Start to Finish

Way to Grow Hydrangeas from Start to Finish

Many inexperienced gardeners may be frightened by the catchy hydrangea. Fortunately, we are here to help you grow hydrangeas and count on your talent to take care of these beautiful family flowers!

There are many varieties that vary in size and color of flowers. You can even grow pink or purple flowers depending on the pH of the soil, and they all have unique requirements.

Most people do not know that hydrangeas have existed for millions of years in the wild of Japan and Indonesia. Some hydrangea fossils are almost 60 million years old! The Japanese were the first to start growing hydrangeas, a plant described in the verses of 710 AD.

Hydrangea flowers are said to embody love, understanding and gratitude that can encourage many to plant hydrangeas in their garden. Let’s dig deeper into this detailed guide to learn everything about growing hydrangeas in your own garden!

Quick maintenance guide

All about hydrangeas

There are about 70 species of hydrangeas in Asia and it was not until the 1700s that hydrangeas were planted in England. The botanical name of the hydrangea is hydrangea spp., known simply as hydrangea or hydrangeae. Each species has a common name, such as French hydrangeas and oak-leaved hydrangeas.

Hydrangeas are deciduous perennials, provided that they are not exposed to extreme temperatures. In the Mediterranean, hydrangeas are evergreen. Hydrangeas are dicotyledonous plants with simple leaves that have jagged edges and mesh veins. The attributes vary depending on the hydrangea species, but the flowers are the center of hydrangea plants.

The color of the bouquet varies from white and lime green to pink and sapphire. Each star-shaped flower has four to five petals. The blooming flowers produce a sweet, pleasant and original fragrance. Hydrangeas are beautiful as ornamental plants and as a way to attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies to the garden.

The most common hydrangeas are shrubs, but there are varieties and curly trees, so you can find one that suits your landscape. The size of mature plants varies from species to species, but some can grow up to 15 feet tall and 10 feet wide. You can also find varieties that bloom in containers to add beauty to your outdoor space.

Hydrangea species

Although there are many species and varieties of hydrangeas, let’s limit ourselves to some of the most popular hydrangea species. H. arborescens, H. paniculata, H. quercifolia, H. macrophylla and H. serrata are the five that we treat in this section.


Once you have mastered the basics, caring for hydrangeas will not be difficult. You will find that growing hydrangeas is fun and worth it. The following section describes what to do if you are planting hydrangeas in your garden.

Lighting and temperature

Plant hydrangeas in partial shade in a sheltered place. Generally, this is where you can get the warmth of the morning sun and protection from the full sun in the shade in the afternoon. They tolerate full sun when it is not too hot; some varieties are more heat-resistant. Growing zones 5-7 of the US Department of Agriculture are most suitable for these ornamental plants.

They grow best at a temperature of 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are not growing a winter-hardy variety, you want to protect your plants from the cold. To do this, cover the roots with a thick layer of mulch and plant them in a sheltered place. To protect yourself from the strong wind, cover them with a metal net wrapped in burlap or a plastic bag.

Water and humidity

Hydrangeas prefer constant humidity and should be watered at least three times a week until the roots take root. After rooting, water at a rate of 1 inch per week to keep the soil moist. Watering the base of the plant in the morning prevents the leaves from wilting under the scorching sun and prevents the growth of fungi. Watering from garden hoses or drip irrigation can help with watering.

Excessive watering can provoke root rot, stunting and yellowing of the leaves. They tolerate humid climates well if they are protected from the scorching sun. To prepare your hydrangea for the winter, water it abundantly until it freezes. If the soil does not freeze, water deeply and in sufficient quantities to prevent drying out.


Fertile, alkaline or acidic soil is ideal for optimal hydrangea care. If you have clay or sandy soil, remove some of the soil and add a lot of compost so that enough water enters the soil to prevent root rot, while retaining enough for the plant to be satisfied. Otherwise, your plants will thrive on soil that contains a lot of organic matter.

The cultivation of these plants does not require a certain pH of the soil. However, if you have a large-leaved hydrangea (H. macrophylla), you can change the color of the flowers by adjusting the pH of your soil. On acidic soil at a temperature below 6.5, the flowers turn sapphire, while on neutral or alkaline soil, pink flowers are formed. Add lime to obtain alkaline soil or aluminum sulfate to obtain sapphire hydrangeas.


In order for the plant to be the healthiest, fertilize your hydrangea regularly. During the growing season, apply general compost once a month. Then, during the winter months, after winter or in early spring, add a prolonged-release fertilizer so that it has food for growth, the formation of flower buds and flowering when it wakes up.


Transplant hydrangeas in early spring until they come out of their dormant state. Inspect the Root ball for rot and carefully spread out all the roots surrounding the root ball. Use an organic pot mix in your new pot that ensures good drainage to avoid damaging the roots with water.


Pruning hydrangeas is not difficult, and the technique depends on the variety of hydrangeas you are growing. Pruning hydrangeas helps to control ripening and prepare them for the next growing season.

Large-leaved hydrangeas (H. macrophylla), oak leaves and mountains (H. serrata) should be pruned after the flowers bloom after the summer, as the flowers bloom on an old film, also called old wood. This way it will be easier for you to see which wood is old and which wood is young. Pruning these varieties only serves to remove dead or damaged wood. Do not prune in the fall, winter or spring to avoid accidentally removing the flower buds.

The flowers that bloom on the young shoots (i.e. the new wood), such as the smooth hydrangea (H. arborescens) and the panicle hydrangea (H. paniculata), are pruned after winter before the start of new growth. Cut these varieties at the base if you want the flowers to be larger next season. For stronger stems with smaller flowers, cut the stems to a height of 18 to 24 inches.


Root rot is common in plants suffering from drought and affects deciduous hydrangea (H. quercifolia) more than other varieties. This fungal infection causes yellowing or browning of the leaves, wilting of the plants and/or darkening of the root ball and stem. The best treatment is prevention. Do not overwater your hydrangeas and plant them in well-drained soil. If you are already infected, you can use an organic copper fungicide if the ailment does not progress.

Powdery mildew is another fungal ailment that can affect hydrangea. Most often it is observed in large-leaved hydrangea (H. macrophylla). The signs are a white powder on the leaves or yellow and purple spots on the leaves. If you become infected early enough, you will be able to remove the affected leaves and make sure that there is enough air flow between the plants to prevent spread. Otherwise, natural neem oil can be effective.

Bacterial leaf spot is caused by a bacterial infection in which purple or red spots form on the leaves. It can often be seen on smooth-leaved hydrangeas (H. arborescens). Usually it starts at the base of the plant and spreads upwards. Remove the affected leaves as soon as possible to prevent this infection from spreading. If the ailment is severe, remove the affected hydrangea. Sometimes copper-based fungicides are recommended, but they are not 100% effective.

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