Hydrangeas bloom in spring and summer and the plant is considered a shrub. But despite their ability to be rather large showstoppers in your garden, how to grow the plant isn’t a question even the novice gardener will need to ask – these beauties all but grow themselves. Reaching up to fifteen feet in height, the hydrangea grows quickly and often fills in a space in just one summer. You’ll find hydrangeas growing in hardiness Zones three to seven as perennials. With flowers starting in spring and often last throughout summer into early fall, hydrangea flowers can be the foundation plant of your landscape.



Growing Hydrangeas

As with most things in your garden, actually learning the basics of how to plant hydrangeas can save you time and money. By choosing the proper location for planting, getting the soil just right and planting correctly, you’ll increase your chances of enjoying large, colorful hydrangea blooms for years to come.


Best Time to Plant Hydrangeas

Fall is actually the best season to plant hydrangeas, followed by early spring. The idea is to give the hydrangeas plant plenty of time to establish a healthy root system before blooming. The best time of day to plant hydrangeas is early morning or late afternoon. The cooler parts of the day offer protection against heat stress. Make sure you keep the new hydrangeas plants well-watered until they established.  


Where to Actually Plant Hydrangeas

Knowing where to plant hydrangea shrubs is really an important first step. A lot of people plant hydrangeas in beds next to their homes or fences. This is because hydrangeas shrubs really love the warm morning sun, but they dislike the heat of the afternoon. The best place to actually plant hydrangeas shrubs is in a sheltered location with sunny mornings and shady afternoons. You often find this on the north or south side of your home. Avoid planting directly underneath trees; this can lead to competition for water and nutrients. High winds can rip and damage the leaves and also destroy the flowers.


Best Soil for Hydrangeas Shrubs

Hydrangeas shrubs really grow well in soil containing an abundance of organic material. Good drainage is very important. While hydrangeas shrubs like moist soil, the plant cannot tolerate being waterlogged. Soggy, poor draining soils can also cause root rot. In just a few weeks, your hydrangeas shrubs can quickly die. If you have heavy soil, consider mixing in plenty of compost prior to planting in other to improve the soil quality. 


How to Plant Hydrangeas Shrubs

To plant hydrangeas shrubs, simply dig the planting holes two feet wider than the root ball, then Keep the depth of the hole consistent with the size of the root ball so your plant sits level with or just higher than the surrounding soil. By creating a slight mound, you help increase water drainage away from the base of the hydrangeas plant.




How to Propagate Hydrangeas Plant

One hydrangea shrubs can turn into many through simple propagation techniques. Bigleaf and panicle hydrangeas are best propagated through layering in early to mid-summer. Just follow these steps:

Dig a small trench near your hydrangea plant.

Bend a branch down to the trench so it touches the soil in the middle of the branch (6 to twelve inches of branch should extend past the trench).

Make scratches in the bark where the branch touches the trench soil.

Fill in the trench and place a paver, brick or stone on top.

With time, the branch will form its own root system and may be transplanted to a new location.

Smooth and oakleaf hydrangeas put out new shoots through underground stems. Just dig up the young plant and separate it away from the main plant. It can then be transplanted to a new location.



How to Care for Hydrangea

Although the hydrangea’s leaves and flowers appear delicate, they actually don’t require a lot of tender care. These tips provide all you need to know about how to care for hydrangeas shrubs.

You can water at a rate of one inch per week throughout the growing season. Deeply water three times a week to encourage root growth. Bigleaf and smooth hydrangeas require more water, but all varieties benefit from consistent moisture. You can use a soaker hose to water deeply and also keep moisture off the flowers and leaves. Watering in the morning will help prevent the hydrangeas shrubs from wilting during hot days.

Add mulch underneath your hydrangeas shrubs to help keep the soil moist and cool. An organic mulch breaks down over time, adding nutrients and improving the soil texture.

Apply fertilizer based on your specific hydrangeas shrubs. Each variety has different needs and will benefit from different application timing. One of the best ways to determine your fertility needs is by using a soil test.

Bigleaf hydrangeas need several light fertilizer applications in March, May and June.

Oakleaf and panicle hydrangeas do best with two applications in April and June.

Smooth hydrangea plants only need fertilization once, in late winter.

Protect against disease and pests by choosing cultivars with resistant traits. Bight, leaf spots, wilt and powdery mildew can all appear on hydrangeas shrubs. Pests are not common on hydrangeas shrubs, but can appear when the plants become stressed. Possible pests include leaf tiers, aphids and red spider mites. Properly caring for hydrangeas shrubs is your best defense.


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