With their large, deep green leaves and expansive flower heads bursting with blue, pink, white, or purple beauty, hydrangeas are gorgeous shrubs that add a stunning pop of color and life to your garden.
For those eye-catching blooms, however, hydrangeas need to grow in the right conditions and be taken care of properly to ensure they have everything they need to flower.
How do you take care of hydrangeas? Does it matter when you plant them? What side of the house do you plant hydrangeas? Keep reading to find out.
Best Conditions for Planting and Growing Hydrangeas
Before buying and planting hydrangeas, you first want to make sure the variety of hydrangeas you purchase can thrive and flower where you live. Find your plant hardiness zone, research shrub varieties, and purchase hydrangeas suitable to your location.
When it comes to planting and caring for your hydrangea, always defer to the recommendations for your specific type of hydrangea. However, there are many characteristics and requirements hydrangeas share.
When To Plant Hydrangeas
Hydrangeas do best when planted in early spring or fall. The idea is to give them enough time to establish themselves and develop a healthy root system before either the extreme heat of summer or the severe chill of winter causes stress they’re not strong enough to handle.
Plant them early in the morning or late in the afternoon, before or after the hottest time of the day.
How To Plant Hydrangeas
To plant your hydrangea, dig a hole as deep as the root ball and two to three times as wide. Hydrangeas prefer well-draining soil rich in organic matter. Add soil, compost, and fertilizer to the hole.
The flowers’ colors in some hydrangea varieties are affected by pH levels. A pH above 7 encourages pink and red, while a pH between 6 and 7 promotes blu-ish pink to purple flowers. To lower the pH of your soil, add garden sulfur or aluminum sulfate. Add ground lime to raise the pH.
Once the soil and additions are well mixed in the hole, remove the hydrangea from its container. Inspect the root ball and snip off any rotting or dead root parts. Before placing it in the hole, gently run a tool around the root ball to tease the roots.
Ensure the plant is leveled slightly above the top of the planting hole. Once covered with soil, give the hydrangea a deep and thorough watering.
Where To Plant Hydrangeas
Hydrangeas prefer partial sun. Ideally, they should be planted where they will receive full sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon to protect them from the scorching direct sun during the heat of the day. Hydrangeas do well near the front of the house, where walls and eaves can help provide protective shade.
Best Side of the House To Plant Hydrangeas
Hydrangeas thrive best with partial sun. It makes sense to work with nature and plant them on the side of your house that gets the most sun in the morning, with shade in the afternoon.
Generally, this will be on the north of the east side of your house. The south and west sides of your home get the most afternoon sun. So, it would not be the best place to plant hydrangeas unless there was another source of shade for them in the afternoon, such as structures, trees, or other plants.
Some factors affect this, depending on where you live and where your house and neighboring houses cast their shadow. A good trick is to walk around your yard or garden during different times of the day, paying attention to where the light falls.
Hydrangea Care Tips
As long as hydrangeas have the water, fertilizer, sun, and shade they need, they are relatively easy to care for.
Water your hydrangeas in the morning. It should be warm enough for the moisture not just to sit but not hot enough for the water to evaporate quickly. Water them regularly during the growing season through late fall. Water occasionally during the winter if the weather has been dry.
Fertilize your hydrangea in the early spring. Adding compost and mulch will give your shrubs the nutrients they need for their beautiful flowers.
Hydrangeas don’t need to be cut back for winter, and other than cutting off dead matter, they do not require extensive pruning.
Stunning Hydrangeas Anywhere
No matter where you live or what side of the house you’d prefer to plant your hydrangeas, all it takes is a little research into the specific types of hydrangeas. This will ensure you give them everything they need to thrive and produce their beautiful flower clusters.