- If you plant them in the summer, they need a lot more water in the beginning to establish the root system.
- Most varieties thrive in full sun to part shade, as long as they are planted in moist, rich soil.
- Water deeply once a week, and maybe more, if the weather is particularly hot or dry.
- Hydrangea fertilization needs vary greatly, depending on your intended bloom color. Certain elements of the fertilizer affect the soil pH, which is a major determinant of bloom color in the pink/blue Hydrangea varieties.
Planting your Hydrangea in early spring or in the fall is ideal. When you are planting a Hydrangea, remember that the blooms and stems must be protected from strong winds and the hot afternoon sun. Avoid planting in open areas where strong winds could break stems.
Make sure your plant has good drainage. If the soil is too wet, the roots might rot.
The most active growth period for hydrangeas is April through September.
Hydrangeas like slightly acid soil (pH of 4.5 to 6.5)
If your soil is heavy, incorporate some humus-rich material (potting mix, peat moss, perlite, bark dust or compost) with the dirt you took out of the hole. Back fill the hole as you plant such that your finished job leaves the surface (top of the root ball) about 1" above the original soil level. If planted correctly, the settled new soil will not leave a depression for water to stand in. Thoroughly water the plant and keep moist in hot weather until well established. Use a bi-annual application of balanced fertilizer keeping an eye on how it may affect your soil pH levels.
You may move hydrangeas as well. Be sure the plant is well established before trying this transplant method, as a strong root base is essential. Once the plant is finished blooming in the fall before it's dormant, prune the hydrangea. Tie the branches together with twine to prevent damage. Dig up the roots of the hydrangea and be sure you dig a large root ball containing lots of roots. Replant the hydrangea immediately and water well. You may also divide a hydrangea using a sharp spade. Colors may be slightly different in the year following the transplant. Spring transplanting is always acceptable, too. Same directions but don’t prune the hydrangea drastically.
Slugs and snails are the most common pests. They seem to be attracted to the lighter colored leaves and the thinner leafed varieties. Our recommendation is get some slug and snail bait.
Deer like to eat hydrangeas and have been known to love the Arborescens and macrophylla varieties best. Fencing or wire cages are the best defense against deer. There are some repellent sprays on the market but they must be applied often.