How to Care for My Half Gallon Moonlight Hydrangea

Overview

Moonlight hydrangea is part of the patented Let's Dance series of Hydrangea macrophylla, or bigleaf, reblooming hydrangea. The mophead blooms are large with a rosy pink hue, or blue if grown in soil with an acid pH. Moonlight's compact size, growing to only 3 feet in height, make it perfect for container planting. Moonlight hydrangea is hardy to USDA zones 5 to 10.

Step 1

Place the half-gallon pot containing your Moonlight hydrangea in an area that receives morning sun and afternoon shade on hot days. It can be grown in full sun in cooler regions.

Step 2

Water the Moonlight hydrangea enough to keep the soil just slightly moist at all times. If you place the pot in the sun be sure to check it periodically to make sure the soil hasn't dried out. Plants in smaller pots, such as half-gallon, tend to dry out faster than those in the ground or in larger pots.

Step 3

Fertilize with a 10-10-10 formula fertilizer, diluted to half the strength recommended on the label. Fertilize once in late spring or early summer and again in midsummer. Water the Moonlight hydrangea prior to applying the fertilizer.

Step 4

Inspect the Moonlight hydrangea frequently for common hydrangea pests, such as aphids and scale. Aphids can be wiped off the leaves with a moist paper towel. To remove scale insects dab them with an alcohol saturated cotton swab.

Step 5

Prune the hydrangea sparingly at this stage. It is far too small for heavy pruning. Using your fingers or a pair of sharp pruners, pinch off the tips of all branches. When you see new growth beneath these branches, wait until it is 1 to 2 inches in length and then pinch off the tips of those as well. This will encourage your Moonlight hydrangea to branch out and become more compact. Stop pinching in mid-August, but repeat the procedure beginning in the following spring.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2 gallon container
  • Fertilizer
  • Paper towel
  • Cotton swab
  • Isopropyl alcohol

References

  • Hydrangeas Hydrangeas: Fertilizing Hydrangeas
  • University of Georgia: Hydrangea--A Southern Tradition
  • Proven Winners: Let's Dance Moonlight Bigleaf Hydrangea
Keywords: half gallon hydrangea, moonlight hydrangea care, grow moonlight hydrangea

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.