Hydrangea Care Guide & Growing Hydrangeas: Organic Hydrangea Plant Care

Hydrangea care is largely low maintenance, making growing hydrangeas a good choice for new or experienced gardeners. The color of hydrangea flowers is influenced by the acidity of the soil, with blue flowers thriving on acid soils and pink blooms making a great show for alkaline or limy soils.

Hydrangea Care & Growing Hydrangeas: Plant Snapshot

Hydrangea Care
  • Hydrangea (Hydrangea)
  • Annual or perennial? Perennial
  • Recommended varieties (by color):
    • Blue: All Summer Beauty, Blue Bonnet, Bluebird, Blue Wave, Miss Belgium
    • Cream: Praecox
    • Green: Limelight
    • Pink: Ayesha, Pink Diamond, Bouquet Rose, Preziosa, Hamburg
    • Red: Hornlei, Masja, Fasan Teller Red
    • Salmon: Tolivit
    • Violet: Mariesii Perfecta
    • White: Brussels Lace, Lanarth White, Veitchii, Quercifolia, Snow Queen
    • Yellow: Tokyo Delight
  • Recommended USDA Hardiness zones: 05b to 09a
  • Mature Height: 48 to 264 inches (100 to 700 cm)
  • Mature Spread: 48 to 96 inches (100 to 245 cm)
  • Sun Requirements: partial shade to full sun
  • Blooming season: Mid & late spring, Late & mid summer
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Hydrangea Care & Growing Hydrangeas: Planting the Seed, Transplanting Hydrangeas and/or Root Division

Where to Find Planting Supplies...

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Sow hydrangea seeds in the spring in pots filled with sieved garden compost or a nutrient-rich seed starting mix. Water the compost lightly before sowing the seeds. Keep moist and repot once roots begin to fill the pot.

Place on a windowsill and harden plants off as the risk of frost reduces. Make sure plants are well-watered once they are transplanted so that their roots can be properly established. Avoid using manures at transplanting time… if it comes into contact with roots it may discolor the leaves in the first year’s growth.

It’s also possible to take soft root and hardwood cuttings to grow new plants.

Snapshot: Planting & Transplanting Hydrangea

  • Germination soil temperature: 40 -70 degrees F (5 to 21 C)
  • Distance between plants: about 48 inches (120 cm)
  • Planting depth: to soil level in container
  • Days to germination: 10 to 14 days
  • Preferred soil pH (see soil pH tester for more information): 4.5 to 5 (blue), 6 to 7 (pink)
  • Root division information (perennials only):
    • Root system type (clumping, spreading, rhizome or tuber): Clumping
    • Roots division frequency: Every 3 to 4 years
    • In which season should dividing occur? Spring
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Care and Maintenance of Hydrangeas & Hydrangea Pruning Care

Where to Find Growing & Plant Care Supplies...

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Standard flower watering guidelines apply. Hydrangeas benefit from a liquid organic garden fertilizer in spring as well as an organic mulch that is 4 inches (10 cm) deep and surrounds the plant.

Regular hydrangea flower pruning care will give your shrub a good shape that doesn’t need any additional supports. There are two main groups of hydrangea, each of which requires a different pruning technique…

One group flowers from mid-summer on the current year’s growth. Pruning hydrangeas of this type should be done heavily throughout spring. If stems have not withstood a cold winter it’s possible to prune away as plants will grow and flower in a season.

As for pruning hydrangea in the second group - mophead and lacecap hydrangeas that flower on the previous year’s growth - lightly prune in spring. Cut out the old flowering heads and any weak-looking stems.

Snapshot: Hydrangea Care

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Hydrangea Care & Growing Hydrangeas: Harvesting/Cutting Time

Hydrangeas are a good choice for cut flowers and can make impressive displays. Cut them early in the morning, choosing those that have the full flower coming into bloom. Use sharp secateurs to make diagonal cuts to help water flow.

Stand them in buckets of water for a couple of hours to make sure they are fully hydrated before putting into your displays.

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Hydrangea Care & Growing Hydrangeas: Pests & Diseases

Growing Hydrangeas: Pests and Diseases
Hydrangeas don’t usually have problems with pests or diseases. If powdery mildew does affect some stems, cut them out and destroy them.

The following pests and diseases have been known to affect the success of growing Hydrangea (see Organic Garden Pest Control for information about how to prevent and address pests and diseases)...

Pests

  • Aphids
  • Leaf tiers
  • Rose chafers
  • Oyster scale
  • Red spider mites

Diseases

  • Blights
  • Leaf spots
  • Powdery mildew
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