As long as they are on soil that retains moisture and have regular mulching to help with water retention, hydrangeas can flourish in full sun. Varieties of the Hydrangea paniculata species have been developed to thrive in full sunlight and give a stunning flower show.
During the hottest days of summer, hydrangeas in full sun may need up to 2 gallons of water every day.
In order to get the most out of your hydrangea, you will need to adhere to a few specific best practices for growing hydrangeas effectively in full sun.
Continue reading to find out if your garden needs to be modified if you want to cultivate hydrangeas that bloom magnificently in direct sunlight.
Table of Contents
1. Moisture Retaining Soil for Hydrangeas in Full Sun
The majority of plants, including hydrangeas that receive direct sunlight, thrive in loam soil or garden soil, which is the optimum soil medium if you’re fortunate enough to have it.
However, if your soil is sandy or doesn’t get any mulch applied, it won’t be able to retain enough moisture, nutrients, or time to produce hydrangeas since it will drain too quickly.
Before planting hydrangeas in most sunny gardens, the soil will need to be modified to maintain the proper moisture balance and to make the soil structure loose enough for the hydrangeas’ roots to grow nicely and deeply, making them more drought-resistant.
The following organic compounds work well as soil amendments to help soil maintain moisture necessary for hydrangea growth:
- Leaf fungus
- Compost (garden compost is usually better although commercial compost will work) (garden compost is usually better although commercial compost will work)
- thoroughly rotten manure
All three of these organic components are exceptionally good at absorbing water, but their structure is sufficiently friable (loose) so your hydrangea’s roots won’t rot from standing water.
If your garden has heavy clay, you must take precautions to prevent the soil from becoming saturated for extended periods of time following rainfall because moist soil doesn’t necessarily mean wet soil. It is crucial to have moist soil with proper drainage.
Amending Soil for Sunny Hydrangeas
The roots of hydrangeas are quite shallow and often only reach a depth of 6 inches or less when they are fully grown, but they do enjoy spreading out far.
This means that before planting, you must add organic materials to a depth of little over 6 inches, such as compost or leaf mold.
In order for the roots to spread out and benefit from the adjusted moist soil, you will need to modify an area that is around three times the width of the pot in which you purchased your hydrangea.
You will need to add extra compost or leaf mold to soil that is naturally dryer. In sandy soils, this can include adding compost to the entire planting area’s soil.
Personally, I advise piling your preferred compost onto the planting area and using a fork and spade to dig in all the material to the necessary depth. Alternatively, if you have a tiller, you can use it to save time and effectively blend the compost amendment into the soil.
It’s crucial to add a layer of mulch to the surrounding soil after planting and watering your hydrangea in the new soil to prevent evaporation and aid in water retention. Hydrangeas in sunny areas require routine mulching.
For information on the best mulch for hydrangeas, scroll down to tip #4.
2. Watering Hydrangeas in Full Sun (use a Beaded Hose)
On the hottest days, hydrangeas in full sun require daily watering; however, on days with some cloud cover and milder temperatures, you may only need to water your hydrangeas once every two or three days.
It is more crucial that you keep an eye on the soil’s moisture level yourself when choosing whether to water. Your hydrangea will need a thorough, substantial soak if the soil is only marginally moist or possibly dry to a finger’s depth.
You can forgo watering for the day if the soil still feels cool and damp when you stick your finger into it.
Water your hydrangea in the morning to keep it hydrated throughout the hot, bright day and to keep the soil moist when it gets the warmest.
The size of the plant will determine how much water it needs. The amount of water a hydrangea needs will increase with its size. On sunny days, I advise you to water the hydrangea with at least 2 gallons (7 liters) of water.
Water gradually to give the soil time to absorb the liquid and prevent it from evaporating.
By watering in this manner, the soil will remain moist to a decent depth, encouraging the roots to develop deeper and making them more resistant to the drying effects of the sun.
I would advise purchasing a soaker (drip line) irrigation hose if your garden gets a lot of sun.
This will gradually release water onto the soil at a rate that will allow it to absorb and maintain soil moisture during a hot day (without saturating the soil). To make sure you satisfy the water needs of the hydrangea, you can leave these hoses on for a few days during the hottest weather.
When it comes to watering, an irrigation system will save you a ton of time and ensure that all types of plants may thrive in direct sunlight.
3. Choose a Hydrangea that is Suited to Full Sun
The optimal conditions for hydrangeas of the species Hydrangea paniculata are full sun or morning sun followed by afternoon shade.
This species naturally grows in South China, Japan, and Korea. It has been domesticated to produce beautiful flowers in a range of tints of white, pink, and green that come in a variety of sizes.
Popular varieties including “Silver Dollar,” “Pink Diamond,” and “Limelight” are all readily accessible online in good examples.
However, I do advise visiting your local garden center and perusing their selection in the summer to truly get a sense of the size, color, and scent of the hydrangea blossoms to determine whether they are appropriate for your yard.
4. Mulch Hydrangeas Regularly (Helps Retain Moisture)
To ensure that your hydrangea has access to water, you must regularly apply mulch to the soil around it.
During the growing season, I advise using mulch twice. A second application should be made at the end of July, when summer’s hottest temperatures are at their peak, and the first should be made when the ground starts to warm up in the spring (often around March or April).
Heat-stressed hydrageas can be saved by mulch because it will chill the roots and limit water evaporation from the soil, maintaining the soil’s ideal moisture balance. Because roots prefer to be kept cold, a covering of mulch will block the direct impact of the sun on the ground.
Your garden’s soil may bake hard and even break when the sun is at its most strong and beating down on it. Water will run off the surface and into the cracks as a result, not necessarily reaching the roots. Mulch will aid in modifying the top soil’s texture and enhancing its structure to speed up the rate of infiltration from rainfall or your irrigation.
If your garden is more open, mulch can help prevent wind from wicking moisture from the soil’s surface.
5. The Best Mulch for Hydrangeas in Full Sun
When it’s hot outside, hydrangeas in direct sunlight require daily watering; but, if there is some cloud cover and it’s cooler outside, you may only need to water your hydrangeas every two or three days.
How to Apply Mulch to Hydrangeas
It is more crucial that you keep a close eye on the soil’s moisture level yourself when choosing whether to water. Your hydrangea needs a nice, substantial soak if the soil is only marginally moist or perhaps dry to a fingers’ depth.
You can forego watering for a day if the soil is still cool and moist to a depth of your fingertips.
In order to keep your hydrangea hydrated throughout the hot, sunny day and to keep the soil moist throughout the hottest time of the day, water it in the morning.
Depending on its size, a hydrangea will require a different amount of water. The amount of water needed by a hydrangea increases with size. On sunny days, you should water the hydrangea with a minimum of 2 gallons (7 liters).
Water gradually to give it time to seep into the ground rather than dripping off the top.
The roots will develop deeper as a result of this kind of watering, making them less vulnerable to the drying effects of the sun. This method of watering will maintain the soil moist to a healthy depth.
A soaker (drip line) irrigation hose is something I would advise purchasing if you have a garden that gets a lot of sun.