How to plant hydrangeas

It is easy to grow hydrangeas, given the correct soil and choice of location. Here is how you can planting, prune and deadhead hydrangeas.
How To

How to grow hydrangeas

Planting, pruning and deadheading hydrangeas – it is easy to grow hydrangeas, given the correct soil and choice of location.

Choosing the best time to plant

It is best plant hydrangeas in Autumn and Spring.

Where to plant hydrangeas

Plant hydrangeas in well drained, moist, well fertilised soil. Hydrangeas prefer semi-shade to full sun. 

Apply mulch

After planting, apply a mulch on an annual basis. You can use compost or leaf mould as a mulch.

Use fertiliser

You can use fertiliser, but do not over fertilise richer soil as the hydrangea plants would be liable to grow leafy growth rather than develop flower buds. 

Protect from frost

Hydrangeas can also be susceptible to frost so protect accordingly.

Caring for hydrangeas

How often do hydrangeas need to be watered?

Hydrangeas absorb water quickly and need to be kept moist so this may mean watering twice a day in very hot weather.

How often should I prune a hydrangea?

Regular pruning of the most common hydrangeas will improve plant growth, pruning hydrangeas should be carried out in the winter or spring. 

When should I prune a climbing hydrangea?

You should prune a climbing hydrangea after flowering by removing dead flower heads and trimming back to healthy buds.

How can I keep pink hydrangeas pink?

You can keep pink hydrangeas pink by growing them in alkaline soil.

How can I keep blue hydrangeas blue?

Grow blue hydrangeas and keep them blue by planting in acidic soil (ph 4.5-5). You should water blue hydrangeas with rainwater to prevent colour change to mauve or pink.

Should I deadhead hydrangeas?

You can deadhead hydrangea mophead flowers in the spring after frost by pruning the stem to a healthy bud. Remove lacecap flowers after flowering to the second pair of leaves below the flower head. You can remove one or two of the older stems on both mopheads and lacecaps to encourage new growth.

Propagating hydrangeas

When should I propagate hydrangea seed?

You can propagate hydrangea shrubs from a seed in spring.

How do I propagate a hydrangea?

Fill a pot or seed tray with moist compost and sow seeds thinly. To prevent the compost from drying out you can cover the pots and seed trays with polythene, Perspex or plastic. When grown enough to handle the seedlings should be pricked out, placed in a sunny, dry spot in order to grow into small plants. Finally plant these small plants out when the risk of frost is low. 

How can I get cuttings from a hydrangea?

You can get cuttings by choosing a stem from the hydrangea about 5-6 inches long and remove the leaves from the bottom of the stem. Dip the bottom of the cutting into a rooting hormone and insert into a pot filled with moist compost. Cover the pot with a plastic bag and place in light, but not direct sunlight and plants roots will begin to grow in 2-3 weeks.

How can I root hydrangeas?

You can root hydrangeas through ground layering. Select a stem close to the ground and remove the leaves around the spot where the stem lays on the ground. Dig a small trench and ensure a leaf node is under the soil, then put a heavy object such as a brick or stone on the stem so it will stay covered by the soil and water well. Once roots have started to form the stem can be removed and potted up in compost.