Eazy Gardening

Growing Vibrant Hydrangeas: Best Practices and Common Issues

Growing Hydrangeas: Tips and Common Issues to Watch Out For

Hydrangeas are a popular choice for gardeners who want to add a touch of elegance and color to their outdoor space. With their showy blooms ranging from deep blues to pinks, these versatile plants can be the centerpiece of any garden landscape.

However, growing hydrangeas can be challenging, especially if youre not familiar with their unique growth requirements. In this article, well provide you with some helpful tips and common issues to watch out for to help you grow healthy, vibrant hydrangeas.

Spacing and Airflow

One of the most common issues with growing hydrangeas is a lack of airflow around the plants. This can lead to fungal diseases that can cause damage to the leaves and flowers.

When planting hydrangeas, make sure to space them at least 3 feet apart to give them enough room to grow. This will also help to increase the airflow around the plants, preventing the buildup of humidity that can lead to fungal diseases.

Choosing the Right Plant

Before you start growing hydrangeas, its important to choose the right plant for your garden. Different varieties of hydrangeas have unique sunlight requirements, and some are more hardy than others.

Look for plants that are labeled with the USDA hardiness rating system. This will help you to choose a plant that will thrive in your climate.

Getting to Know the Hydrangea

When you first get your hydrangea, its important to take some time to get to know the plant. The plant tag should provide you with some basic information about the plants growing conditions and sunlight requirements.

If youre unsure about the plants needs, do some research to determine the best way to care for your hydrangea.

Limit Feedings

Hydrangeas are heavy feeders, but its important not to over-fertilize them. Too much phosphorus can prevent the plant from absorbing other essential nutrients, leading to stunted growth and poor blooms.

Before adding any fertilizer to your soil, consider getting a soil test to determine the best way to enrich your soil. Consider using slow-release fertilizer or organic material such as manure to improve the health of your soil and your hydrangeas.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Hydrangeas prefer partial shade or filtered sunlight, so its important not to expose them to too much direct sunlight. Too much sun can cause the leaves to wilt and the flowers to dry out, leading to dehydration and a lack of blooms.

If your hydrangea is in a sunny location, consider adding a shade cloth or moving it to a more sheltered location.

Enrich Their Soil

Hydrangeas prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic material such as compost or manure. Consider adding a layer of mulch around the plant, but be careful not to cover the crown of the plant.

The mulch will help to prevent weed growth and retain moisture in the soil.

Water them Properly

Hydrangeas require plenty of water to ensure healthy growth. However, its important not to over-water them, which can lead to root rot and other problems.

Water your plants deeply on a regular schedule, making sure that the soil does not dry out completely between waterings. If your hydrangeas are showing signs of drought stress, consider using a soaker hose or drip irrigation system to provide them with a steady, consistent source of water.

Mulch, and More Mulch

Adding a layer of mulch around your hydrangeas will help to retain moisture in the soil and improve its overall health. Mulch also serves as a barrier against evaporation and can help to prevent weed growth around the plant.

Deadhead Regularly

Deadheading is the process of removing spent blooms from your hydrangeas. This will not only improve the appearance of the plant, but it will also encourage new growth and the production of more blooms.

Use pruning shears to remove spent blooms, making sure to cut just above the first set of healthy leaves.

Prune According to Wood Type

Hydrangeas produce blooms on both old wood and new wood, so its important to know how to prune them correctly. Old wood blooms on the previous years growth, so they should be pruned in the fall after the blooms have faded.

New wood blooms on the current seasons growth, so they should be pruned in the spring or early summer.

Consider Transplanting

If your hydrangeas are not thriving in their current location, consider transplanting them to a more suitable spot. Keep in mind that soil conditions and airflow are crucial for the health of the plant.

If your hydrangeas are showing signs of fungal disease, consider using Bonide fungicide to eliminate the problem.

Prevent Wildlife Snacking

Deer and other wildlife love to snack on hydrangea flowers and buds. To prevent this, consider using critter repellent or companion planting.

Companion planting involves planting other plants around your hydrangeas that will deter wildlife from eating them.

Color Enhancement

If you want brighter blues in your hydrangea blooms, consider using aluminum sulfate. This should be used at a safe application rate to avoid damaging the plant.

If youre looking to produce richer pinks, consider using garden lime. This will help to raise the pH of the soil, which will enhance the color of the blooms.

Garden lime should be used in powder form and applied in the fall. In conclusion, growing hydrangeas requires some knowledge and care, but with the right conditions, these beautiful plants can thrive in your garden.

Be sure to space them adequately, give them proper nutrition, and avoid over-watering and over-fertilization. If you encounter common issues such as poor soil quality, improper pruning, or wildlife snacking, follow the tips provided to correct the issue and ensure the ongoing health of your hydrangeas.

Hydrangeas are beautiful flowering plants that add a pop of color to any garden. However, proper care and maintenance are crucial to ensure that they continue to thrive.

In this article, well discuss some best practices for hydrangea care, including proper spacing and airflow, choosing the right plant, getting to know the hydrangea, limiting feedings, avoiding direct sunlight, enriching the soil, watering properly, mulching, deadheading, pruning, transplanting, preventing wildlife snacking, and enhancing bloom color.

Spacing and Airflow

Hydrangeas need adequate spacing and airflow to prevent the occurrence of fungal diseases. Airflow is essential as it helps to reduce humidity and prevent fungal infections.

Proper spacing of hydrangeas should be at least three feet apart, which helps improve air circulation and reduce the chances of disease.

Choosing the Right Plant

The success of your hydrangeas depends on the right plant selection. Soil types, hardiness zones, and sunlight requirements vary depending on the hydrangea variety.

Before planting hydrangeas, always check the USDA hardiness rating system to ensure you get a plant that will thrive in your zone.

Getting to Know Your Hydrangea

Hydrangeas have specific needs and preferences, such as pH levels, sunlight, watering requirements, and fertilization. Checking the plant tag for specific information is a great way to get to know the plants growing requirements.

This will help you provide appropriate care and avoid common issues that might hinder its growth.

Limit Feedings

Hydrangeas don’t require large amounts of fertilizer, and overfeeding them can cause poor growth and unhealthy blooms. Instead, a simple soil test will help identify the right nutrients to add to your soil.

Consider using slow-release fertilizer or organic material such as compost and manure to improve the overall health of your soil and your hydrangeas.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Hydrangeas require partial shade or filtered sunlight, mostly during the hottest part of the day. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves and damage the flowers, leading to dehydration and lack of blooms.

If your hydrangea is in a sunny location, consider adding a shade cloth to block some of the suns direct heat.

Enrich Their Soil

Hydrangeas prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic material like compost and manure. Enriching the soil with organic material will help improve overall soil health while retaining the right amount of moisture.

Consider using a drip line irrigation system to prevent damaging the delicate roots.

Water Them Properly

Hydrangeas require a sufficient amount of water to stay healthy. Under or over-watering your hydrangeas can cause the leaves to wilt, and the flowers to drop, leading to a lack of blooms.

Deep watering, especially in the mornings or evenings, helps hydrangeas maintain the right amount of moisture while avoiding drought stress. Mulch, and More Mulch

Mulching around your hydrangeas helps to prevent evaporation and retain moisture.

Mulch also prevents the growth of weeds that can compete for nutrients and water. Apply a two to three-inch layer of mulch around the base of each plant, being very careful not to press it against the crown of the hydrangea.

Deadhead Regularly

Hydrangeas produce new blooms on old wood and new wood, so regular deadheading is critical to promoting the growth of new healthy blooms. Using pruning shears, remove the old blooms by cutting just above the first set of healthy leaves.

Deadheading also improves the plant’s overall appearance and keeps it looking neat and tidy.

Prune According to Wood Type

Hydrangeas bloom on old and new wood, and not all varieties require pruning. Check with your local garden center or nursery for specific pruning instructions based on the variety of hydrangea you have.

Always prune after flowering, and avoid pruning in the fall months.

Consider Transplanting

Transplanting hydrangeas may become necessary when they no longer thrive in their current locations or develop fungal problems. This may require adjusting the soil pH, improving airflow, and using Bonide fungicide to prevent fungal disease growth.

Ensure that the plant has enough water after transplanting and that it receives partial shade.

Prevent Wildlife Snacking

Although hydrangeas are beautiful, deer and other wildlife love to eat their flower buds. To prevent wildlife snacking on your hydrangeas, consider using critter repellent or companion planting.

Pairing your hydrangeas with other plants that deter wildlife from eating them can be equally effective.

Brighter Blues

To enhance the blue tones in your hydrangea blooms, apply aluminum sulfate to your soil. This should be done at the recommended safe application rates to avoid damaging your plant.

The sulfate lowers the soil pH level, thus enhancing blue coloration in the flowers.

Richer Pinks

Hydrangeas have naturally pink blooms, but sometimes the blooms may appear pale or washed out. To enhance the pink coloration of your hydrangea blooms, add garden lime to your soil.

This raises the soil pH levels leading to richer, pink-toned blooms. Use powdered garden lime, and avoid application during the summer or during dry weather.

In conclusion, taking proper care of your hydrangeas is essential in promoting healthy growth and abundant blooms. Adequate spacing, balanced nutrition, proper watering, mulching, pruning, and enhancing bloom color will all help maintain the overall health of your hydrangeas.

Be sure to check the plant tag, follow the right care instructions, and implement the tips provided above for your specific hydrangea variety. In conclusion, proper care and maintenance are essential for growing healthy and vibrant hydrangeas.

Remember to give your plants adequate spacing and airflow, choose the right plant, get to know your hydrangea’s specific needs, limit feedings, avoid direct sunlight, enrich their soil, water properly, mulch, deadhead regularly, prune according to wood type, consider transplanting, prevent wildlife snacking, and enhance bloom color. By following these best practices and addressing common concerns, you can enjoy the beauty of hydrangeas in your garden all season long.


Q: How often should I water my hydrangeas? A: Water your hydrangeas deeply at least once a week, and check the soil for moisture regularly.

Q: Can I grow hydrangeas in full sun? A: Hydrangeas prefer partial shade or filtered sunlight.

Too much direct sunlight can scorch the leaves and affect the flowers. Q: How often should I fertilize my hydrangeas?

A: Fertilize your hydrangeas once every few months, and avoid over-feeding. Q: How do I prune hydrangeas?

A: Prune according to wood type, and avoid pruning in fall months. Q: What type of soil do hydrangeas need?

A: Hydrangeas need well-draining soil enriched with organic material like compost or manure. Q: What should I consider before transplanting hydrangeas?

A: Assess soil, fungal problems, airflow, and the presence of fungal diseases to ensure a successful transplant. Q: How can I prevent wildlife snacking on my hydrangeas?

A: Use critter repellent or companion planting, such as planting the plants next to the plant deer do not like. Q: How can I enhance the blue color in my hydrangeas?

A: Use aluminum sulfate according to safe application rates. Q: How can I enhance the pink color of my hydrangeas?

A: Add powdered garden lime to your soil.

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