How to Care for Dwarf Hydrangeas
By Amy Gallo
, last updated February 4, 2011
Caring for dwarf hydrangeas is not very different from caring for its larger counterpart, the hydrangea. The dwarf hydrangea is bold and statement-making, and it comes in a cute, easy to care for package. You’ll find that this petite variety of the popular plant can be between twelve inches and three feet tall, which is perfect for a small outdoor space. Planting containers can also house the dwarf hydrangea, offering a mobile landscape you can enjoy for years.
- You can adjust the color of both container and landscape hydrangeas, but container versions respond more easily. Simply alter the pH of the soil. To achieve a pink hue, raise the pH with limestone. For blue, lower the pH with elemental sulfur.
- Hydrangeas fall into four categories. Mopheads have big, round, pom-pom-esque flower heads. Lacecaps have flat flower heads with a center of small, fertile blooms surrounded by a ring of larger flowers. Paniculata have long cone-shaped blossoms that can reach eight to ten inches. Oakleaf has white blooms and leaves that turn deep red, brown and yellow in autumn.
- Dwarf hydrangeas are bright, compact and full, and look attractive in groupings.
- Varieties of dwarf hydrangeas include Mini Penny, Buttons and Bows, Munchkin, Pee Wee and Pink Elf.
- The small, deciduous shrubs produce dark green leaves in summer that turn deep mahogany red in autumn.
There is no one-size-fits-all dwarf hydrangea but you will surely find one that fits your needs. Determine the maximum height and width of your plant when you purchase it to ensure that your space can accommodate the hydrangea at full growth.
- Dwarf hydrangeas can be a beautiful part of a shrub border, and they also do well in pots. Choose a pot with ample drainage. You will want loose, moisture-rich soil that drains well so roots will be properly hydrated.
- For the best growth, give your dwarf hydrangea a home in an area of your yard that receives morning sun and afternoon shade.
- Add mulch annually to provide nutrients and maintain rich, moist soil for your dwarf hydrangeas.
- When hydrangeas start to bloom in mid-summer, trim old flowers. This will encourage the growth of additional blossoms. If you prefer bigger buds, thinning the stems will achieve the desired effect.
- The majority of hydrangeas flower on year-old wood. Toward the end of fall, cut back every other shoot so the plant doesn’t grow larger than your space can accommodate. If you prefer to shape it into an even more compact plant, shear it back. When it has grown a few inches, remove the growing tips of the branches. When new branches grow beneath these branches, repeat the process by pinching those tips as well. The dwarf hydrangea won’t bloom for a year, but it will return more compact and loaded with even more lush, blooming flowers.