Planting Instructions for Hydrangeas


Hydrangeas come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. In fact, the United States National Arboretum reports that there are over 23 species of hydrangea plants. While most are a shrub variety, there are some that grow as trees. No matter which type of hydrangea you prefer, this plant can add a striking view to your landscape, and each variety of hydrangea can be planted by following the same basic instructions.

Step 1

Pick out a location for your hydrangea that receives full morning sun and some afternoon shade. The soil should have adequate drainage, yet be able to retain some moisture. Keep in mind that the hydrangea can grow to a height of 8 feet and width of 4 feet. Pee Gee hydrangeas grow as a tree and can reach a height of up to 20 feet, although rarely do they grow past 10. The best time to plant your hydrangea is in late summer or early fall.

Step 2

Dig a hole for your new hydrangea that is twice as wide and twice as deep as its root ball, or current pot.

Step 3

Fill enough soil back into the hole to make the depth equal to the depth of the container the hydrangea is currently in. For example, if the hydrangea is in an 8-inch pot, dig a 16-inch hole, but put 8 inches of soil back into the hole after loosening it.

Step 4

Add 1 inch of compost or manure to the loosened soil you just put back into the hole. You can purchase bags of compost at a nursery or lawn and garden center.

Step 5

Lift the hydrangea from its container, and gently shake the root ball, loosening the soil that's in and around it. Set it into the hole, gently spreading the roots across the soil. Only spread what is loose in the root ball, as you don't want to break or damage healthy roots.

Step 6

Fill the rest of the hole in with the soil, and tap down gently, but firmly, around the root system.

Step 7

Water the hydrangea, and if you can see where soil has sunk into the hole, add more soil.

Step 8

Place a 1-inch layer of compost on top of the soil around the base of the hydrangea.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never plant a hydrangea in early spring, as exposure to a late frost can kill a young plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Water


  • United States National Arboretum: Hydrangeas
  • Ruby Glen: How To Grow Hydrangeas
  • Hydrangeas Hydranges: Where And How Should A Hydrangea Be Planted
  • Hydrangeas Hydrangeas: Pee Gee Hydrangeas

Who Can Help

  • North Dakota State University: Questions on Hydrangea
Keywords: planting hydrangeas, hydrangeas, hydrangea planting instructions

About this Author

A freelance writer for more than 12 years, Traci Vandermark has written extensively on health and fitness topics. She is a student of health, fitness and nutrition at the International Institute Of Holistic Healing, certified by the American Association of Nutritional Consultants. Her articles have appeared in Catskill Country Magazine, The Lookout Magazine, Capper's, Birds and Blooms and Country Discoveries, to name a few.