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Home » How to Plant, Grow and Care for Hydrangea

How to Plant, Grow and Care for Hydrangea

by Elyssa Goins
This article was fact checked.
Helpful: 100%

Discover how to add a burst of color to your garden with a hydrangea bush! Get step-by-step tips on soil preparation, watering, mulching, and pruning to ensure you get lush blooms quickly!

Hydrangeas are a popular garden option with colorful, full blooms to brighten any garden space. If you want to add these beautiful bushes to your yard, there are some important tips and tricks for planting, growing, and caring for them. From soil preparation to pruning, learn how to create the perfect environment for your hydrangea bush and ensure it thrives for years!

Pink Hydrangea

Plant Varieties

If you want to plant hydrangea in your garden, you should know a few things. Firstly, there are four main types of hydrangeas grown in the United States: 

  • Mophead;
  • Oakleaf;
  • Bigleaf;
  • Paniculata.

These different types have different requirements for planting, growing, and caring for them. Before planting hydrangeas, select the right type for your garden and choose a spot that receives partial sunlight or full shade. When watering the shrubs, it is important to water deeply but infrequently. Lastly, fertilize your plants regularly according to the instructions given on the package for optimal growth.

Blue Hydrangea

Growing and Caring

When it comes to gardening, learning how to plant, grow and care for hydrangeas is easy! These shrubs can reach up to 15 feet in height, making them a stunning addition to any landscape.

Planting and caring for hydrangeas can be easy if you know a few basics. Start by selecting the right spot for your hydrangea—you must ensure it gets adequate sunlight and has well-draining soil. When you’re ready to plant, dig a hole as deep as the root ball and twice as wide. After filling in the dirt around your plants, water deeply and add mulch to retain moisture in the soil. Finally, take care of your potted or garden-grown hydrangea with regular watering, fertilization, pruning, and protection from extreme temperatures.

Color Varieties

Hydrangeas are a colorful and elegant addition to any garden, but growing them requires special care. When planting your hydrangeas, choose an area with well-draining soil that gets plenty of partial sunlight. After you’ve planted the hydrangea, give it enough water to keep it moist without drowning the roots. Applying fertilizer twice a year – April and June – is recommended for optimal panicle and oakleaf hydrangeas growth. Pruning should be done during late winter or early spring before the new flowers emerge. Lastly, natural mulch can help protect your hydrangea from weeds and pests and regulate its temperature and moisture levels.

You can expect colorful flowers ranging from white, pink, and blue and an exceptional limelight hydrangea starting in the spring and lasting until early fall. With these tips, your garden will overflow with vibrant blooms quickly!

Little Lime Hydrangea

General Care

Hydrangeas care must be easy. This beautiful plant can thrive in any climate. When planting your hydrangeas, ensure they get sunlight, and the soil is well-draining. If you live in a warm climate such as Zone 5 or warmer, oak leaf hydrangea may be ideal.


For general care, water your hydrangeas regularly to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Prune them as needed to control their size, and fertilize them monthly to keep them looking their best. 

Soil and Sunlight

Bigleaf hydrangeas are often found in zones 5 through 9 and are the most common type. When planting, pick a spot with well-drained soil and partial to full sunlight. Amend your soil before planting by adding nutrient-rich compost, then dig a hole 1 ½ times larger than the root ball of your hydrangea. To handle long-term care, keep your plants hydrated with regular watering sessions and prune in late winter or early spring when necessary. 

Give them at least four to six hours of sunlight daily and add well-composted organic matter into the soil before planting. Once planted, regularly water your hydrangeas, so the soil remains moist, and mulch around the base of your plants every spring for optimal growth. Finally, pruning and deadheading flowers will help to keep them looking fantastic throughout the season. 


Throughout the growing season, you should also continue to water and mulch deeply around the base of your plant. Feed with an all-purpose fertilizer during bloom time for big, beautiful blooms!


To ensure their optimal growth and care, here are some basic tips:

  • When selecting where to plant your hydrangea tree, choose an area with rich, moist soil in partial sun exposure.
  • Lace cap hydrangeas provide plenty of nutrients such as compost or organic fertilizer and generous watering for the most successful blooms.
  • Lastly, pinch off wilting flowering heads throughout the season for fuller and more profuse blooms. 

Planting, caring for, and growing hydrangea flowers can be easy. If you want a cold-hardy hydrangea, consider planting an endless summer hydrangea. Discovered in the 1980s, these bigleaf hydrangeas can withstand temperatures down to -31°F.

White Hydrangea

How to Manage your Hydrangea Color?

Planting and growing hydrangeas can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. To get the best results, give your hydrangeas the proper care – planting them in an area with plenty of sunlight. It is to provide adequate water and nutrition. Furthermore, depending on the type of hydrangea you are growing, you may need to adjust the soil pH level. It is to change the flower color. For instance, adding sulfur or peat moss can lower the soil pH for blue-colored flowers, while adding ground limestone increases it for pink and red flowers. Hydrangeas are easy to care for and, if planted correctly, will provide you with vibrant blooms for years to come. To get the most out of your hydrangea flowers, it is important to plant, grow and care for them properly.

A soil pH test can help adjust the color of the hydrangea blossoms. Ensure that the pH level does not exceed 7.5, or else damage may occur to the plant. Although in cooler weather, blooms may fade away temporarily, rest assured that fresh, colorful blooms will appear again during the springtime!

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