Give yourself a gift by planting hydrangeas. This beautiful flowering plant boasts large clusters of colorful blooms, making it a stunning addition to your landscape.
Here is what you need to know to grow hydrangeas.
There are several types of hydrangea plants. Most grow as shrubs, although there is one vine, called climbing hydrangea. Mophead and lacecap types, perhaps the most common hydrangeas in zones 6 through 9, can fill many roles in the landscape. To grow hydrangeas as a hedge, choose panicle, smooth, or oakleaf hydrangea, which also offers good fall leaf color. If you are planning to grow hydrangeas in full shade, choose oakleaf hydrangea or the climbing type. If you’re planting hydrangeas in colder regions, panicle hydrangea (the type that can be grown as a tree) is the one you want, as it is the most winter-hardy.
To grow hydrangeas in planting beds, focus on improving the native soil. One simple way to do that is to combine equal parts existing soil and Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil for Trees and Shrubs. In warmer regions (zones 7 and warmer), where winter tends to be mild, you can also grow hydrangeas in containers. Create just the right environment for them by filling pots with Miracle-Gro® Moisture Control® Potting Mix.
It is worth noting that mophead and lacecap hydrangeas both change flower color based on soil pH, which is a measure of how alkaline or acidic the soil is. Flowers turn pink to red in alkaline soil, and lavender to blue in acidic soil.
How far apart to space plants depends on what type of hydrangea you’re growing. It’s best to check the plant tag. Note that hydrangeas planted in the shade tend to grow a little larger and spread a little more. When planting hydrangeas, dig a hole that is twice as wide as the width of the container the hydrangea came in. Place the plant in the hole so that the root ball is at the same depth as it was in the original pot, then fill in the hole with the 50-50 soil mixture described above. Water well after planting.
Water deeply after planting, making sure to soak the root ball and surrounding soil. If the hydrangeas are dormant (without leaves), you may not need to water again until growth resumes.
Hydrangeas thrive in consistently moist soil. Check the soil at least once a week. When the top inch of soil is dry, it’s time to water. Once hydrangeas are established, they typically survive on rainfall, except during times of drought.
After planting hydrangeas, apply a 2- to 3-inch-thick mulch layer around (but not on) the plants. Mulch helps keep soil moist and weeds at bay by blocking the weeds’ growth and access to sunlight. Choose whichever mulch looks best in your landscape: Scotts® bagged mulch, shredded leaves, pine straw, or some other locally available material.