Growing hydrangeas is fairly simple and if you follow the right instructions, they can provide you with a beautiful garden addition year after year. Hydrangeas can be planted any time of the year, though if possible you should plant in early summer or fall. If you plant too early in the spring or too late in the fall you run the risk of losing your freshly planted hydrangea. If you do plant out of season, just make sure to pay attention to your plant and be on hand to provide extra care when needed. It is best to purchase a hydrangea for planting when it is in bloom to see how the plant will look when it flowers in your garden.
Hydrangeas do not do well in heavy shade, and should never be planted underneath shade trees such as elms and oaks. The further north you live the more sun you should give your hydrangeas, but in hot climates the blooms will do better if they get a little afternoon shade. Make sure to choose a location that gives your hydrangea enough room to grow; the plant should be able to reach its full size without needing pruning, about 4 feet by 4 feet. Make sure the soil is well-drained but the area still gets enough moisture. Your hydrangea will probably need supplemental watering the first two years after planting, but don’t go overboard, as overwatering can quickly lead to rain rot. Don’t plant too deeply; choose a depth similar to that of the pot your plant came in.
It is best to fertilize your hydrangeas once or twice in the summer but do not fertilize after August, as fall is when the plants begin to prepare for dormancy. If you fertilize too late in the summer it could encourage new growth that will make your plant too sensitive for winter. Follow these instructions for happy and healthy hydrangeas!