What comes to your mind when you visualize hydrangeas? You can dream of beautiful flowers of bold shades, like pink, white, red, and blue. These flower plants thrive in clusters and adorn your garden.
The big heads of blossoms can garner everyone’s attention. Your garden will glow with incomparable beauty.
But, what will you do when your garden has limited space? Take advantage of container gardening to grow those stunning flower plants- hydrangeas. It;s effortless to grow hydrangeas in your pots.
Growing Hydrangeas in pots can be tricky. You need well-drained soil that’s rich in essential nutrients. Water your Hydrangeas regularly and supply the right sunlight.
However, you have to follow the right instructions to care for these plants.
Hydrangeas cultivated in your containers need 3 major things:
- Well-drained soil
- A high amount of moisture
- The proper amount of sunlight
But, before providing you with a guide, we have introduced you to the types of hydrangeas.
Hydrangeas can be climbing plants and shrubs. They are native to America and Asia. The big flower heads make it easy for you to identify them. They bloom during the summer season, and they will continue up to autumn.
Types of Hydrangeas
You can find hydrangeas of different species:
1). Bigleaf Hydrangea: It’s the most popular one of the hydrangeas species and is the spring bloomer. It is available in white, blue, pink, and red hues. Moreover, bigleaf hydrangeas are of two types – flat bloomers (lacecaps) and round bloomers (mopheads).
2). Hardy Hydrange: The scientific name of this species is hydrangea paniculata. It blooms in the summer season and looks like shrubs. With the growing maturity, it alters the color.
3). Oakleaf Hydrangea: It is another species with bright green leaves, which become red and orange during autumn. It has bold green leaves that undergo a transformation in colors during the autumn season.
4). Smooth Hydrangea: This species is a deciduous shrub with a height of about 10 feet. It is comparatively wide and turns out attractive white flowers. Grandiflora and Annabelle are the common names related to it.
5). Climbing Hydrangea: A sprawling, shrubby climber is very tall and has heart-shaped leaves. The cluster of blossoms has a lovely look.
Some cultivators choose a foil-wrapped pot for hydrangeas. But, this pot is not the right choice, and the plants will decline slowly.
Potted hydrangeas will not thrive while placed indoors for several days. A high temperature of your greenhouse will cause the plants to die.
How to prepare the soil to grow hydrangeas
The most important factor for the successful cultivation of hydrangeas is soil. Better conditions of the soil will cause a faster growth of the flower plants. The soil for hydrangeas needs the right amount of fertilizer for optimal growth.
Find the tips to make the soil prepared for cultivating hydrangeas.
- Use premium quality soil that contains organic matter. Ordinary soil may not work for hydrangeas. Check the original pot and maintain the right level while planting the Hydrangea. Never plant it higher and deeper than the original level. Moreover, there must be some space below the edge of the pot to water the plant.
- Ensure that the soil near the plant roots is firm to prevent air pockets.
- While the top inch of your potting soil is dry, you have to water it thoroughly. However, overwatering can be risky.
- Hydrangeas will start drooping while they need water. To avoid this condition, you must check them regularly. Based on the surrounding temperature and the soil condition, you have to water your plants.
- One interesting fact is that hydrangeas do not need a high amount of fertilizer. Still, you have to apply for it at least once and twice every year. The slow-release fertilizer with balanced composition (10-10-10) can be the perfect choice for hydrangeas. Composted mature and granular fertilizer will be effective in growing these plants. You may apply fertilizer around June and July. Proper feeding of plants promotes better growth. During the winter season, while the plants are dormant, you can apply fertilizer.
- Do not fertilize when the hydrangea plant is diseased and sick. The fertilizer will add stress to the plant.
How to compost your soil for hydrangeas
Ericaceous compost is perfect for growing acid-loving flower plants, and mophead hydrangea is one of them. This compost will make your hydrangea blossoms blue. But, you must know the right use of ericaceous compost.
Tips for making the compost acidic
We cannot present you with a single way to ensure the acidic nature of the compost. You have to take steps based on the pH level of the soil.
- In the beginning, you can start composting a pile with about 8 in. of organic matter.
- With this highly acidic matter, you need to add oak leaves and pine. Some cultivators also use coffee grounds for this purpose.
- Ultimately, the compost will attain neutral pH. However, the pine needles will keep your soil acidic until its decomposition.
- Combine some thoroughly tested garden soil with the compost. The presence of microorganisms will cause natural decomposition.
Spread the compost along the borders and find blue flowers from these plants.
To grow hydrangeas in pots, you may make a blend of:
- 20% perlite
- 10% sterilized soil
- 10% sand
- 10% compost
- Peat moss
To transform your Hydrangea of the big leaf species like mophead and lacecap, ericaceous compost is the right option. Not every hydrangea species has blue flowers. The white hydrangeas will have no effect on colors.
You may use a pH test kit to transform the flower color. Check the pH levels of soil with this kit. However, when you have bought hydrangeas from a nursery, the original soil will reflect the flower.
In the case of blue flowers, the pH value of the soil can range from 4.5 to 5.5. On the contrary, for your pink hydrangeas flowers, the pH level of soil needs to be more than 6.
Instructions for potting hydrangeas
- Thorough watering of plants before potting is important. Check the proper drainage.
- Fill 50% of the container with water.
- Take the sap out of the current pot, and loosen its root. You have to remove dead plants and loose materials.
- Position the hydrangea plant in the central part of your chosen pots.
- Proper and regular watering of the plant will make your effort successful.
Choosing the best container for hydrangeas
Although the soil condition is highly important, you must carefully choose the pot. Your first step is to ensure the perfection of your pots. Smaller containers are not good for hydrangeas, as their roots grow aggressively and fill your container within the shortest time. Moreover, smaller pots can dry out fast. It is better to choose flowerpots with a width of at least 2 feet.
After selecting the planter, you have to drill the drainage holes. It is one of the most vital needs for container gardening with hydrangeas. The roots may get damaged without proper drainage.
You can place some rock pieces at the bottom to keep your plants healthy and ensure the right level of drainage. Then, you may add soil prepared for cultivating hydrangeas. The soil around your plant needs to be slightly pushed down to keep it firmly in its position.
Potted Hydrangea caring tips in winter
In colder climatic regions, your potted hydrangeas need better. The roots of plants will be visible along the rims of the flowerpots. You may also place your plants inside the garage. These plants will stay cool and keep away from freezing conditions.
Other caring tips for hydrangeas in pots
After planting the shrubs, like hydrangeas, you have to take care of them. The morning sun and afternoon shade are preferable to hydrangeas.
You need to protect your flower plants from the intense sunlight. Make sure that there are some shaded zones in the sites where you have placed your pots.
It is better to choose west-facing and south-facing windows for indoor hydrangeas. The scorching sun rays will burn the blossoms and foliage. But, too much shade may affect blooming potentials.
Watering hydrangeas is another step to care for these plants. The amount of water needed for cultivation varies with a range of factors-
- The size of your plants
- Outdoor weather conditions
- The size of your flowerpots
You may need to water your potted hydrangeas twice every week. Check the droopy leaves, as they indicate the need for watering your plants.
Tips for mulching the soil
Use pine straw, pine bark, and chopped leaves for mulching the soil. During the winter season, they will help your plant roots. But, thick mulching will prevent the penetration of water and air into the soil.
Furthermore, maple leaves will suffocate your plants.
Preventing diseases and pests
Blister rust and powdery mildew are common diseases to cause shedding to hydrangea leaves. Pests and bugs will affect the growth of plants. You may cut the infected parts of your plants.
This article has provided a comprehensive guide on preparing the soil for hydrangeas and growing flower plants. You can choose hydrangea species, which grow into shrubs.
You may need the training to grow climbing hydrangeas.
The stems have to cling to fences and walls. We have provided detailed instructions for hydrangeas growers.