Last Updated on March 4, 2022 by Grow with Bovees
If the soil in your garden is not suited to growing beautiful hydrangeas, then you may be pondering the question, “can hydrangeas grow in pots?”
Yes, you’ll be pleased to hear, growing hydrangeas in pots is a great option, and quite straightforward to do.
Hydrangea Care In Pots? — The 3 Basics
Growing hydrangeas which are planted in pots is a great way to get the exact color of flower that you want.
There are 3 basic things that one should keep in mind when attempting to grow hydrangeas in pots.
Provide them with enough sunlight, well draining potting soil and good amounts of moisture.
- Hydrangea Care In Pots? — The 3 Basics
- Hydrangea Characteristics
- Growing Potted Hydrangeas
- Simple Potted Hydrangea Care Tips
- When Would I Need To Repot My Hydrangeas?
- Hydrangeas Pests and Diseases
Growing hydrangeas in pots is quite an easy thing to do and is a great idea if you have a space problem at home.
If taken care of properly, they definitely add a beautiful touch to desks, patios, porches and balconies.
Before we learn how to properly grow and care for the hydrangea in a planter, let us get to know the plant a bit better.
The perennial hydrangea can be found in quite a few varieties.
Some are small shrubs, coming from dwarf varieties and others grow in tall tree shapes. Lastly, there is the standard sized hydrangea.
This plant has quite distinct flowers that also grow in different shapes, four to be exact.
The four distinct flower shapes and variety of hydrangeas are known as, the snowball, the lacecap, the mophead hydrangea (also known as Hydrangea macrophylla or bigleaf hydrangeas) and, finally, panicle hydrangea and smooth hydrangea which are also commonly known as Hydrangea arborescens.
These plant species can bloom on new wood, old wood or both.
The size of the shrubs depends on the species.
Some varieties may grow as high as 3 feet tall and reach about the same size in width. Whereas others can range from 15 feet in height and 12 feet in width.
The best light exposure for good flowering is partial shade. Some varieties of hydrangeas, however, are able to tolerate full shade or even full sun.
The amount of light your hydrangea can take, ultimately depends on where you are located.
Further south, and your hydrangea plants will only accept a couple of hours of morning sun, while further up in the north they will tolerate greater amounts of sun.
Summer is the ideal time for the flowering of hydrangeas. Some varieties do, however, produce flowers a bit earlier or later in the season.
You might be so lucky to have them bloom in autumn even.
If your hydrangeas are not blooming, then have a look at our page to help identify the reason why that may be.
Blooms & Flower Color
The most common flower shades in hydrangeas are purple, pink and blue flowers.
Shades of white flowers, red and green also exist, though.
Interestingly enough, it is possible to manipulate or modify the hydrangeas individual blooms to produce blue, pink or violet colors.
This applies mainly to mountain or large-leaved hydrangeas and the color displayed, depends on the pH of composition of the soil it is planted in.
Growing Potted Hydrangeas
The first step is to find the correct hydrangea pots.
Hydrangeas can grow quite well when planted in containers as long as their soil acidity needs are met.
The roots of the hydrangea require plenty of space to grow and stretch, and their root structure develops rather quickly, so it’s important to use a pot that’s not too small.
As with most container gardening, lack of space will inhibit growth.
Use fairly large containers at least 18 inches deep and 2 feet wide. Large, half-barrels are ideal.
Does The Hydrangea Container Need Drainage Holes?
Yes, as with any potted plant, you will need to ensure that any excess water can run out of the pot, generally through drainage holes or weeping holes in the bottom of the pot.
Proper drainage is crucial for good plant health.
If the excess water is not able to freely drain away, the root ball is in great danger of rotting. This is otherwise known as root rot.
Adding a layer of rocks or pebbles to the bottom of your planter also aids in drainage of excess fluid, creating well drained soil, which is what hydrangeas prefer.
What Potting Soil Will I Need When Growing Hydrangeas in Pots?
If you want to encourage blue hydrangeas, fill the plant containers with half soil and half rich, acid-based compost.
Apply an acidifier such as aluminum sulfate regularly from the beginning of the growing season.
This makes for a great potting soil mix. Add organic matter such as peat moss, to aid in the soil’s fertility.
Always make sure to leave a slight gap — at least 2 inches — between the top level of the soil and the top of the container rim.
This will prevent any water from spilling over the containers sides while you are watering your hydrangea.
Be sure to remove air pockets, carefully push down the soil which is around the plant. This will also help to keep the plant stable in the planter.
If you want pink hydrangeas, use half ordinary compost and half soil. This makes for more alkaline soil.
Check the potting mix with a digital soil tester to test soil pH, and add a little lime, if necessary.
You will thus be able to make blue hydrangeas in one pot, and pink hydrangeas in another pot side by side, which is not always possible out in the garden.
Every spring, you should also remove the top layer of soil from the top of your plant containers and add some fresh compost.
Be sure not to allow your plants to dray out. Always keep them well watered and ensure moist soil. This aids in the growth of healthy plants.
Simple Potted Hydrangea Care Tips
Now that you have successfully potted your shrub into a container, it is time to care for it by providing it with the correct growing requirements.
Continue on to learn a few tips for hydrangea care.
Sunlight Exposure To Grow Hydrangeas
Most potted hydrangeas prefer ample morning sun, and some afternoon shade.
A bright, partially shaded area away from direct sunlight in the afternoon is important to protect the plant against full sunlight and too much sun, especially during the summer months.
You don’t want to risk scorching the shrub due to too much afternoon sun.
It is a good thing to remember that some hydrangeas in pots are in fact fond of full sun while others prefer shade – depending on the variety obtained.
So, if you’re able to position it on a semi-shady location of your property that suits them then your plants should be happy.
Watering Potted Hydrangeas
Following the soil, pot and light requirements, watering hydrangeas is the second most critical step for the hydrangea.
There are different points that play a role in the amount of water you need to give your plant.
Watering should typically happen twice every week.
This schedule can, however, vary depending on the size of the plant, the planter and outside weather conditions.
Droopy leaves or wilted hydrangea bloom are a great indicator of when your shrub is in need of water as they are signs of too wet roots.
Avoid overhead watering. Wet leaves are good ground for the growth and spread of diseases.
When To Fertilize Hydrangeas
Water soluble fertilizer may be added to your shrubs’ soil in late winter or early spring.
A slow release fertilizer made especially for woody plants is good to use. Avoid fertilizing in late summer or beginning of fall or giving too much fertilizer.
This is due to the enhanced growing effect that fertilizer offers, which is not beneficial when the hydrangea is supposed to prepare for winter.
Planted hydrangeas are demanding feeders. You should feed them regularly with the best hydrangea fertilizer during the growing season.
Water hydrangeas immediately after adding slow release fertilizer. To protect the roots.
Pruning Hydrangeas In Pots
Most hydrangeas grown in pots do not need much pruning.
But harvesting the hydrangea flowers promotes new and healthy plant growth. Cut hydrangeas back to prevent overly large garden plants and to promote new growth of flowers.
Prune your hydrangea foliage in fall in order to get nice growth in spring and summer.
The hydrangea blooms make excellent and beautiful cut flowers. Cut hydrangeas will last for up to a couple of weeks in a vase with proper care.
When Would I Need To Repot My Hydrangeas?
You should transplant the hydrangea to a new, larger pot every year or two.
The larger varieties may need more frequent repotting as well as a larger pot to begin with.
There are some varieties that are not suited to growing in pots. For instance, Panicle hydrangeas, which can reach a height of 25 feet!
A little too large for potting I’d say!
Hydrangeas Pests and Diseases
Potted hydrangeas can be more susceptible to pests than specimens in the ground.
They sometimes suffer from scale insects, wood mites, slugs, aphids, and beetles. Keeping them well watered can help with keeping some of these pests at bay, particularly spider mites. The use of Sevin powder can also be helpful for pest control for your outdoor plants.
Growing hydrangeas in pots is, as you can see, not that hard to do. So don’t be afraid to purchase hydrangeas in containers.
Mountain hydrangeas, the climbing hydrangea or the oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) are among the many dazzling hydrangeas you can choose from.
Purchase and place hydrangeas on a patio in a spot where there is not too much shade.
Using a properly sized container with a drainage hole to protect the roots and the long-blooming flowers will definitely add incredible color to your garden over time.
There you have it, all you need to know about how to care for your hydrangeas in pots!