How to Care For Woody Hydrangeas


Well-known for their lush, snowball-shaped blooms and dark green foliage, woody hydrangeas originally bloom in pink; however they will bloom in whites and deep blues in acidic soil. Woody hydrangeas are great plants for any gardener because they require minimal effort to become large, beautiful plants that are sure to add character to any landscape. With proper fertilization, water and a little pruning, you can easily grow a woody hydrangea in your own lawn or garden.

Step 1

Select a location in your lawn or garden that receives full to partial sun for most of the day, and contains soil that drains water well. Woody hydrangeas prefer dry, full sun locations but are able to grow in dry areas that receive partial sun as well.

Step 2

Plant the hydrangea, and water well until the soil is moist 2 inches below the surface. Water the woody hydrangea weekly with 1 or 2 inches of water to maintain good moisture content for the plant. The soil around the base of the plant should be moist to the touch. Only water the hydrangea when the topsoil becomes dry. Applying 1 inch of water should suffice.

Step 3

Spread a layer of compost around the base of the plant once per month to provide the plant with the nutrients it needs to grow well.

Step 4

Fertilize the woody hydrangea plant in early spring using a 10-10-10 fertilizer, according to the package directions. Reapplying the fertilizer in the fall is optional; however it will help prepare the plant for dormancy in the winter months.

Step 5

Prune the woody hydrangea in early spring. To promote a much larger shrub, prune the canes down to the ground, leaving approximately one inch of cane above ground level. Pinch away in dead blooms with your fingers, or gently snip them away with sharp pruning shears to promote continuous blooms throughout the growing season.

Step 6

Apply a thick layer of straw around the base of the hydrangea plant after the first frost of the winter. The straw will protect the roots from the cold winter temperatures, and can easily be removed in the spring.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not over water the hydrangea plant. To much water will cause the soil to become water logged. Soaked soil can cause root rot, fungal growth and plant disease.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade shovel
  • Water
  • Compost
  • Fertilizer
  • Sharp pruning shears


  • East Texas Gardening: Hydrangeas
  • Filoli Garden Reference: Hydrangea Care
  • Fine Gardening: Pruning Hydrangeas
Keywords: Woody Hydrangea Care, Growing Woody Hydrangeas, Hydrangea Plant Care

About this Author

Jason M. Bruner is a freelance writer who has been in the field for more than five years. His content has been previously published on sites such as eHow.