In containers, hydrangeas can develop and create lush foliage and lovely flower displays.
To get the most out of your hydrangea, you must be aware of some special care requirements for growing hydrangeas in pots (rather than in the ground).
In order to successfully grow hydrangeas in pots, you must:
- Select the proper pot (Larger terracotta pots retain water best)
- Utilize the proper soil when planting (the soil needs to hold moisture yet be free draining)
- Give your hydrangea the proper fertilizer.
- Winter maintenance for potted hydrangeas
- understand how to prune hydrangeas in pots
- Be mindful that hydrangeas in pots require a lot more water than those planted in the ground.
Table of Contents
The Optimal soil for Hydrangeas in Pots
It’s crucial to use the proper soil or compost while growing hydrangeas in pots.For hydrangeas to thrive, the soil must:
- Will nonetheless retain and absorb moisture…
- Allow excess water to drain through to prevent water logging of the roots.
So it’s crucial to pot your hydrangea in a lot of organic material.The ideal composts are leaf mold or garden compost, however commercial multipurpose compost can also be used.
Because hydrangeas consume a lot of water, their excellent capacity to hold water makes leaf mould and compost ideal for growing them.
It is loose and friable enough for the roots of your hydrangea to develop into and get the water and nutrients they require in leaf mould and compost, which keep a structure that lets water to flow through.
The most frequent cause of potted hydrangeas dying is because the soil is too dry. Your potted hydrangea will be much more drought-resistant if you plant it in lots of compost.
Hydrangeas can Take full Sun (but Prefer Some Shade)
The best conditions for hydrangeas are morning sun and afternoon shade. For hydrangeas, direct morning sun is ideal since it encourages blossoming and larger blooms. However, afternoon shade is welcome because it provides the plant and the soil with a break from the hot heat.
Since hydrangeas in pots are by nature more exposed than those planted in the ground, they are more susceptible to the drying effects of the hot summer sun. Your hydrangea won’t dry out in the afternoon shade since it will reduce the rate of evaporation from the soil and transpiration from the leaves.
You must continually maintain the soil moist if your hydrangea is exposed to direct sunlight throughout the day. Greater capacity to hold water is found in larger pots with more organic material, which is necessary to keep your hydrangea from drying out.
On the hottest days, hydrangeas in full sun will need to be watered every day, so keep an eye on them!
Although hydrangeas can tolerate some shadow and dappled light, they thrive in a few hours of daily bright sunlight.
Water Hydrangeas According to the Conditions
Because they have a smaller surface area from which to collect water and because the sun can heat the pot in which they are growing, hydrangeas in pots require a lot more water than hydrangeas that are planted in the ground.
Every time you water hydrangeas, use 1 to 2 gallons (4 to 8 litres).
In the summer, potted hydrangeas in full sun require daily watering. In the summer, hydrangeas that receive afternoon shade will naturally be able to retain more water and only require watering three times each week.Watering hydrangeas in dappled or partial shade may only be necessary twice per week.
The best time to water hydrangeas is in the early morning because this will provide the plant the water it needs before the hot summer days and avoid the soil from being too dry.
Hydrangeas require 1-2 gallons of water in one soak as opposed to only soaking the top few inches of soil with water.
Alternately, to ensure that the soil is completely wet in the hottest weather, you can water the plant using a soaker hose connected to an irrigation system.
This will assist your hydrangea’s roots to spread out and establish themselves well in the soil.
Water the pot slowly with a can or hose to ensure that the moisture is being properly absorbed into the soil. This can require you to occasionally take a break before continuing to water.
You may need to water your hydrangea plant as frequently as once per day for the first month after planting it in its new pot. In the first month as the hydrangea’s root system adapts to its new environment, thorough watering is essential.
Depending on the species, hydrangeas come in a wide range of sizes, although larger kinds require more water than smaller ones.
Choose the Best Pot for the Job
In order for your hydrangea to look well on your patio, the pot should ideally be both practical and fashionable.
Checklist for selecting the ideal pot for hydrangeas
- Larger pots retain moisture longer. Large pots are more resistant to wind exposure and the sun’s drying effects. Additionally, they may contain a great deal more organic matter, giving your hydrangea additional soil from which to absorb rainfall and preventing the summertime impacts of drought.
- The pot needs to have open drainage. Some makeshift or decorative pots absorb water because they lack drainage holes in the bottom. Your hydrangea’s roots will develop root rot if the soil around them becomes too wet. Your pot only needs one or two holes on the bottom for effective drainage. A layer of gravel at the bottom will prevent compacted earth from blocking the hole and allow water to drain freely.
- In general, the bigger the pot, the better. Choose a container that is substantially larger than the one the plant arrived in at the garden center. Small pots are not ideal for hydrangeas because they might limit root development and make it more difficult for the plant to acquire the water and nutrients it needs to thrive.
- Compared to plastic or metal pots, thicker terracotta-style pots retain water better. Although thick terracotta doesn’t absorb heat as rapidly as a thinner metal or plastic container, which helps prevent the soil from drying out, hydrangeas can thrive in thinner metallic pots. The soil will remain moist and the roots will stay cooler in a thicker container, which is ideal for hydrangeas.
If you have something to raise your pot off the ground just a little bit, like plant pot feet, this will help prevent extra water from dripping out and pooling at the bottom. Depending on the pot you have or whether it is put on a gravel landscape surface, this may not always be essential.
Importance of Fertilizing Hydrangeas in Pots
In the spring and summer, almost all potted plants will benefit from fertilizer because they naturally have less access to nutrients than garden plants do.
The good news is that hydrangeas are not extremely picky feeders, so a decent fertilizer will promote healthy development and a greater number of lovely flowers for you to appreciate.
Even though you may buy specially developed hydrangea granulated feeds on Amazon, a standard all-purpose plant fertilizer will work just fine. Only twice a year, in the spring (March or April) and the summer, are these formulas need to be applied (July).
This will eliminate the guesswork involved in fertilizing your hydrangeas because the recipe has the right nutrients in the right amounts to enable your plant to produce lovely flowers.
I must stress how crucial it is to apply fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions specifically. Insufficient fertilizer will cause plant death by burning the roots. You can never go wrong by taking a careful “less is more” attitude.
Never fertilize your hydrangea after August 15th since doing so will encourage new growth just as it is getting ready for its winter slumber.
In potted hydrangeas, fertilizer is more crucial because you can’t add as much organic mulch as you can to hydrangeas that are planted in flower beds.
Move Potted Hydrangeas Inside over Winter
However, roots in pots are more vulnerable to the cold than they would be in the ground.
In order to safeguard your potted hydrangeas from the harshest winter weather, you should ideally bring them inside. This might be into a garage or a greenhouse where the temperature decrease is less drastic and they won’t have to undergo hard frosts on a regular basis.
Given that plants are dormant during the winter, potted hydrangeas only require a weekly sip of approximately 1 litre (2 pints) of water. It is more crucial to keep the soil from drying out totally.
Place your pot back in your garden or on your patio when the weather warms up in the spring. By protecting your hydrangeas throughout the winter, you’ll give them a head start the following spring. The rare late frost need not bother you because hydrangeas are cold hardy enough to handle it.
pruning your hydrangea in a pot
Pruning a hydrangea in a container is the same as pruning any hydrangea. Check out this YouTube video that explains everything you need to know about pruning hydrangeas, though I always think that pruning is best explained with a visual manual.
By placing your hydrangea in a sizable terracotta pot, you may help the soil’s moisture level stay in balance. Use high-quality compost or potting soil to prevent water logging at the roots by retaining moisture properly while allowing for sufficient drainage.
You should water your hydrangea according to the environment it is in. More water will be required by potted plants than by hydrangeas buried in the ground. Potted hydrangeas could need watering every day if the weather is too hot.
Put potted hydrangeas in a greenhouse or garage for winter maintenance. Watering isn’t as important during the hydrangeas’ winter dormancy, but you still need to watch out that the soil doesn’t get completely dry.
Can hydrangeas survive winter in pots?
Bring potted plants indoors before the first frost for the greatest hydrangea winter protection. They can stay outside and be protected by covering the entire pot and plant if they are too heavy to transport.
Do hydrangeas like sun or shade?
Can I leave my potted hydrangea outside?
Hydrangeas can be cultivated outside in any climate where the wintertime low is above -15 °C (5 °F). However, as they were grown in greenhouses and given fertilizer to induce early flowering, potted hydrangeas sold as houseplants may require some time to acclimate to life outside before being put out.
Where is the best place to plant your hydrangea?
Plant hydrangeas close to a water source in an area with lots of light. Choose a location in the South where there is morning sun and afternoon shade. Hydrangeas can tolerate full-day sun in the north.
How long will hydrangeas last in a pot?
They must be repotted in order to maintain their health. This often occurs every one to two years. Once it has done flowering in the fall, carefully remove yours from the container it is now in.