How to Use Hydrangeas


Hydrangea is a genus of flowering, deciduous shrubs that produce large flower heads over large green foliage in the summer and fall. The shrubs adapt well to full sun, partial shade or even heavy shade conditions, making them a versatile plant in the yard. Hydrangeas adapt to a fairly wide range of soil conditions, but do require moist soil, so xeriscaping with hydrangeas is one of few options completely off the table.

Step 1

Plant hydrangeas on the edges around and among woody trees. The partial to full shade and moist humus soil common to these areas suit their cultural habits, and hydrangeas will provide an added layer of visual interest near your trees. Hydrangea shrubs can grow to 6 feet in height and larger so they also can screen out the scraggly bare trunks or underbrush that may be less attractive in wooded sites.

Step 2

Place hydrangea shrubs around the foundations of the home. The plants will leaf out in green in spring, softening the hard edges of stucco or siding and providing lush blooms in summer. Moisture in these areas is easy to control ,which hydrangea will love, and the shrubs are close at hand for harvesting fresh flowers.

Step 3

Grow hydrangeas in containers and patio planters for use on decks, patios or to flank walkways and entryways. Provided adequate drainage, moisture and nutrients, hydrangeas will perform well in containers. Containers also allow you to move the plants around the yard seasonally as well as for entertaining or maintenance.

Step 4

Locate hydrangea shrubs as a backdrop plant for deep garden borders to provide multi-level visual interest. The bright flowers will draw the eye up and the deep green leaves will provide a palette to showcase the flowers and foliage of the lower-growing plants used in front of the border. Mix hydrangeas with other perennial and annual plants that thrive in nutrient-rich and moist soil.


  • University of Rhode Island: Hydrangeas for the Home Landscape
Keywords: using hydrangeas, planting hydrangea shrubs, locating flowering shrubs

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.