How to Grow & Care for Hydrangeas


With big, beautiful blooms comprising of clusters of tiny flowers in pink, blue, lavender, lime green and white, hydrangeas are perennials that are commonly seen in gardens across the United States. Native to Asia and the Western Hemisphere, John Bartram brought these flowers to the "New World" in the 1730s, and they have become a part of American gardens ever since. Plant hydrangeas separately in your garden, or mix with other flowers for a colorful palette. Proper care and maintenance of these majestic flowers yields results in the form of beautiful flowers that take your breath away.

Step 1

Determine the size of the nursery hydrangea container and dig a hole in the soil the same size. Make sure the spot has well drained soil and gets full to partial sunlight, and some shade. Add compost to the hole and mix well. Transplant the hydrangea into the hole. Space your hydrangeas 12 inches apart, as these plants grow tall and wide.

Step 2

Water the soil immediately after transplanting, and frequently after that so it is moist at all times.

Step 3

Apply a thin layer of compost, well-rotted manure or slow-release fertilizer to feed your hydrangeas when it is actively growing (in spring) and promote healthy stems and blooms.

Step 4

Prune your hydrangea plants in late fall or early spring, depending on the variety grown. Prune lacecaps and Mopheads (the most common types of hydrangeas) in late summer; and Grandiflora, Oakleaf Hydrangea and Panicle in late winter or early spring. Snip off spent blooms, old or dry foliage and cut back any overgrowth on the plant so fresh growth is healthy and even.

Step 5

Spray fungicide on parts of your hydrangea plant covered with white powder. This disease is called powdery Mildew and causes the affected areas, especially leaves, to turn yellow and wilt.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid planting hydrangeas in spring when frost could kill it, or in mid summer during drought. Leaves of hydrangea plants start to wilt due to lack of water. Always check the soil so it is moist, specially if the planting site gets plenty of sun. Aluminum sulfate in excess can harm the shrub. Measure the appropriate amount base on the size of your hydrangea plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Hydrangea plant
  • Watering can
  • Compost
  • Pruning shears


  • Gardening Growing Hydrangeas
  • Ruby Glen: How to Grow Hydrangeas

Who Can Help

  • Garden World: A Hymn to Hydrangeas
Keywords: growing hydrangeas, hydrangea care, planting hydrangeas

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.