How to Take Care of a Hydrangea Bush


Hydrangea comes in 23 species with the bigleaf, or French, variety being the most popular. These perennial bushes exhibit large clusters of bright flowers in colors that can be controlled through planting environment, and cut blossoms can last for several weeks inside to add color to your home. With a little care, you'll enjoy bright blossoms on your hydrangea bushes throughout the spring.

Step 1

Check the soil of your hydrangea bushes daily. The flowers use lots of water, and the soil should never be allowed to dry out. Stick your finger into the soil near your bush. If it is any drier than a wrung-out sponge, add more water.

Step 2

Give your hydrangeas ample sunlight. Your bushes will thrive when given several hours of sunlight in the morning with light afternoon shade. Plant hydrangeas along a northern wall or place potted hydrangea bushes in a sunny window.

Step 3

Apply an acid-based liquid fertilizer according to the instructions on the label each week. Flowers will turn blue as the acidity of the soil is increased and pink in soils near neutral.

Step 4

Trim your hydrangea bushes back by up to a third after the first blooming. Cut back the oldest branches to promote new, bushy growth. Cut each branch just above an outward-facing bud. Make your cut in the same direction as the bud to prevent water from pooling and causing it to rot.

Step 5

Check your plants for pests every month. While hydrangeas are typically pest-free, aphids sometimes infest new growth. If you notice harmful bugs on your bushes, apply an insecticide spray or soap.

Things You'll Need

  • Acidic liquid fertilizer
  • Pruning shears


  • The United States National Arboretum: Hydrangea Questions and Answers
  • Texas A&M University: Hydrangea
  • University of Missouri Extension: Care of Flowering Potted Plants
Keywords: hydrangea care, growing hydrangeas, planting hydrangeas

About this Author

Lydia Stephens began writing professionally in 2009. She has written online for Nile Guides, and various other Web sites and has been published in "Stringing Magazine" and "Xiamen Wave." Stephens played competitive soccer for 19 years, has been weight lifting since 2007 and enjoys running, biking and sailing. She has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of Texas.