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How to Feed Hydrangeas

hydrangea image by L. Shat from

The large clusters of tiny flowers in shades of delicate pink and blue, pure white or dramatic deep purple are the signature of classic hydrangea flowers. This showy flower grows well in warm climates, especially the South, where the easily grown flowers provides a panorama of color for gardens and borders. To ensure the healthiest plants that will produce an abundance of flowers, follow proper guidelines for a feeding regimen for the best results.

Provide plants with a nutrient based food beginning in early spring when plants begin producing flower buds and again in the early fall after seasonal blooming has ended.

Feed hydrangeas a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer. The 10-10-10 represents the levels of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) within the mixture. Fertilizers are available as a dry granule mixture or in liquid form.

Check the moisture of the soil around the plant before applying. Soil should be moist and not soggy when applying dry fertilizer. For both dry and liquid fertilizer, follow the instructions for the correct amount of fertilizer to apply.

Lay a circular layer of dry fertilizer around the plant in early March. The moisture in the soil will break down the fertilizer. Reapply fertilizer again in early October. Mix liquid fertilizer with water, if applicable, and pour around the base of the plant twice a year. Follow the product instructions for water to liquid fertilizer ratio when mixing.

Apply a time-released granule based fertilizer in the spring. The granules will continue to feed the hydrangeas over a period of 3 to 4 months. Repeat the application in the fall.


Have the soil tested to ensure the N-P-K is in balance for the particular color of hydrangeas in your garden. If the mixture is too strong, it can result in the plants inability to maintain its color.

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