How to Fertilize Variegated Hydrangeas


Variegated hydrangeas are a species of big leaf or French hydrangea known botanically as Hydrangea macrophylla. Several varieties of lacecap hydrangeas in the big leaf species possess variegated foliage in patterns of cream and green. The central flowers in a lacecap variegated hydrangea can vary in color according to the soil pH. In acidic soils the central flowers will be blue and in alkaline soils they will present as pink. In neutral soil the inner flowers will match the outer flowers as a crisp white. Variegated hydrangea is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Zones 6 through 9, thrive in evenly moist soil and should be fed lightly several times throughout the growing season.

Step 1

Select either a fast or slow release complete fertilizer product with a balanced formulation such as a 10-10-10 for your hydrangea.

Step 2

Feed your hydrangeas with your chosen product according to label directions and do not exceed the annual recommended dose over three applications made throughout the growing season. Make the first application in mid-spring, the second in late spring and the last of the year in early summer.

Step 3

Apply the fertilizer product in the recommended amounts around the drip line of the hydrangea shrub keeping several inches out from the trunk. Layer fertilizer over top of any mulch that is present.

Step 4

Water the fertilizer in well after each application to drench the soil around your hydrangea and settle the fertilizer into the soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Balanced complete fertilizer
  • Water


  • Clemson University
  • Auburn University
  • United States National Arboretum

Who Can Help

  • USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: Silver Variegated Mariesii Variegata hydrangea, macrophylla lacecap, feed fertilize care

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.