Hydrangeas can make a beautiful addition to any garden, but if you don’t have the garden space, or you simply like to keep plants inside your home to brighten up the atmosphere, you can also keep hydrangeas in pots. Hydrangeas (Latin name hydrangea macrophylla) are native to Korea and Japan, but have become a popular flower in the west. They are deciduous plants, known for the gorgeous cluster-like blossoms they produce. Many varieties of hydrangeas are well suited for planting in containers, however it’s good to know at the outset, which varieties will work and which won’t. This way you can save yourself a headache down the road. For successful cultivation in pots, make sure to be selective about which hydrangeas you choose.
The macrophylla hydrangea cultivar group is divided into two types with interesting names: mopheads and lacecaps. Though many people may never have heard these names, it is essential to differentiate between the two groups. The mophead variety of hydrangeas produce large pom-pom like flower clusters that are often so large and heavy that they cause their stems to droop. Mopheads differ from lacecaps in that they produce sterile blossoms with sepals that resemble petals, whereas other plants produce smaller flowers that are fertile. Lacecaps on the other hand produce an interesting arrangement of flowers. They have a ring of outer flowers, which are all infertile, surrounding centers of flowers that are fertile. The flowers on a lacecap variety of hydrangea is flat, as opposed to the globe-like blossoms of a mophead variety.
Regardless of which variety you should choose, both lacecaps and mopheads require a minimum 16 inch diameter on the container you are planting them in. Choosing a planting container that is larger than the nursery container by at least 2 to 4 inches is a good way to ensure that your hydrangea will have enough room to grow. This will give the roots plenty of space. It is also imperative that your containers have adequate drainage, since your plants will not do well in overly wet soil. Another good tip is that you should choose light-colored pots or planting container, as light colors reflect heat rather than absorb it, ensuring that your plant will not overheat.
As for water consumption, hydrangeas need a whole lot of water, especially when planted in a pot or container. It is essential that you water your hydrangea every day if you do not want to end up with a droopy dying plant. If you feel that you won’t be able to water daily, it may be worth rigging up a drip irrigation system to ensure that it is properly watered.
When it comes to soil requirements, be sure that any soil you use is sterile and disease free and rich in nutrients. One interesting aspect of growing hydrangeas, should you cultivate the macrophylla variety, the color of the flowers it produces will vary depending on the pH of the soil it is grown in. Acid soil will produce blue flowers, while alkaline soil will produce pink flowers.