Rate this Article: 

Average: 4.1 (190 votes)


With immense flower heads,hydrangeas flaunt an old-fashioned charm that is hard to resist. Colors also beguile with clear blues, vibrant pinks, frosty whites, lavender, and rose—sometimes all blooming on the same plant!

The colors of some hydrangeas—especially mophead and lacecap—can change color based on the soil pH which affects relative availability of aluminum ions. Acidic soils with a pH of less than 5.5 produce blue flowers; soils with a pH greater than 5.5 product pink flowers. White flowers are not affected by pH.

Unrivaled in the shrub world, these elegant ladies are easy to cultivate, tolerate almost any soil, and produce flowers in mid-summer through fall (when little else may be in bloom). Hydrangeas are excellent for a range of garden sites from group plantings to shrub borders to containers.

Hydrangea Shrub

Botanical Name: 


Plant Type: 

Sun Exposure: 

Soil Type: 

Hardiness Zone: 

Flower Color: 

Bloom Time: 


  • Most hydrangeas thrive in rich, porous, somewhat moist soils. Add compost to enrich poor soil.
  • They prefer full sun in the morning, with some afternoon shade; however, many will grow and bloom in partial shade. This is especially true for the bigleaf hydrangeas (see Recommended Varieties below).
  •  Plant in spring or fall.
  • Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and 2 to 3 times as wide.
  • Set the plant in the hole and fill it half full with soil. Water. After water is drained, fill the rest of the hole with soil.
  • Water thoroughly.
  • Space multiple hydrangeas about 3 to 10 feet apart.


  • For the first year or two after planting and during any drought, be sure hydrangeas get plenty of water. Leaves will wilt if the soil is too dry.
  • If your soil is rich, you may not need to fertilize hydrangeas. If your soil is light or sandy, it’s best to feed the plants once a year n late winter or spring.  Too much fertilizer encourages leafy growth at the expense of blooms.
  • In the fall, cover plants to a depth of at least 18 inches with bark mulch, leaves, pine needles, or straw. If at all possible, cover the entire plant, tip included, by making cages out of snow fencing or chicken wire, and loosely filling the cages with leaves. (Do not use maple leaves.)

How to Prune a Hydrangea

Many of our readers’ questions are about pruning a hydrangea. And no wonder it’s confusing! It depends on the variety of hydrangea. 

Common Hydrangea Shrubs

  • The most common garden hydrangea shrub is the Bigleaf variety, H. macrophylla). One type of Bigleaf is the “Mophead” with the big snowball-size blooms. The other type of Bigleaf is the “Lacecap” with the pretty flowers almost hanging down from a flat center of tiny blooms. 
  • The Bigleaf variety or,H. macrophylla, as well as H. paniculata and H. quercifolia are pruned AFTER the flowers fade. 

  • Flower buds actually form in the late summer and flower afterwards the following season, so avoid pruning after August 1. 
  • Only cut away dead wood in the fall or very early spring.
  •  To prune, cut one or two of the oldest stems down to the base to encourage branching and fullness. 
  • If the plant is old or neglected or damaged, prune all the stems down to at the base. You’ll lose the flowers for the upcoming season, but also renovate the plant for future years.
  • It’s best not to deadhead (remove faded blooms) on the big mopheads; leave them over the winter and cut them back in early spring (to the first healthy pair of buds). It’s fine to deadhead the lacecaps; cut down to the second pair of leaves below the flower head.

Other Hydrangeas

  • Oakleaf, panicle, and smooth hydrangeas are treated differently.  They blossom on the current seasons’ wood. They should be pruned in the later winter when the plant is dormant BEFORE bloom. This means if the buds are killed during the winter, they will produce new buds in the spring which will produce blooms. 
  • In general, prune only dead branches, and do not prune to “shape” the bush. 


Click links for common pest pages:

Gray mold


Powdery mildew


Ringspot virus

Leaf spots


Try drying hydrangea flowers to create a wreath or other decorations around the house:

  • Harvest the heads when the flowers have matured and developed a papery consistency.
  • Remove leaves from stems, and hang upside down in a warm, dry, dark, airy room.
  • When completely dry (usually a couple of weeks), store in a dry location out of direct sunlight.
  • To enhance flower color, spritz dry flowers with diluted Rit dye.


Add new comment

If the hydrangeas are hardy

If the hydrangeas are hardy to your zone, they'll probably be fine.  They will eventually produce new growth from dormant buds. Keep them mulched with 3 to 4 inches of mulch up to the drip line and maintain the soil evenly moist. Do not add fertilizer while the plant recovers. Do not cut anything back until you see new growth.

I live in Ontario, Canada.

I live in Ontario, Canada. first off what zone is that. Secondly, I just cut back my hydrangea about 6" from the ground. I didn't think to check online first. Have I ruined the plant or will it come back next year.

Hi Pat, Your hydrangea will

Hi Pat,
Your hydrangea will come back next year but may not flower depending on the variety you have. You may have cut off the new flower buds for next year. See pruning advice on this page. To see your hardiness zone go to http://www.plantmaps.com/interactive-ontario-plant-zone-hardiness-map.php

I have read many comments and

I have read many comments and this one is close to my situation but need more info. I live in zone5-6 and believe I have a big-leaf hydrangea variety. I rent and am trying to maintain this hydrangea bush, I had pruned it in the past but this year seems different. I cut it back to 6" from the ground in late fall, we had an extremely cold winter (I did not cover it), usually in the spring I see new growth (both on old wood & new wood). Its almost May now and there is nothing. I'm afraid I have damaged or killed this bush. Can you tell me if you think it will survive and what I can do to help it? Also, this year I have moles in the yard, all around this bush. Can they harm my hydrangea?
Thank you for your help

You mentioned pruning in the

You mentioned pruning in the fall? With this type of hydrangea, you never want to prune after August 1. Flower buds will begin forming in late summer for the following season, so you're basically cutting off the new blooms. See this hydrangea page for more information.
It's more likely that you have voles versus moles. One idea is to clear all vegetation away and put a ring of mulch about 4 inches away from the base of the plant as voles do not like to come out in the open. See our page on deterring moles here: http://www.almanac.com/content/voles

I received a Hydrangea

I received a Hydrangea mac.Ramars/ hydragea cityline mars hardy in zones 5-9 and I live in central NC. Is it okay to plant outdoors in a location with some sun in the morning and afternoon shade? It has been sitting on my deck and now the leaves have some brown spots and a few have fallen off. No blooms since I received the plant in June 2013. Thanks for your help.

Plant the hydrangea in the

Plant the hydrangea in the ground before the cold weather arrives. See our planting tips on this page.

I have one HUGE hydrangea

I have one HUGE hydrangea about 5 years old that has never once bloomed.
It is in a area that gets about 5 hrs full sun, lots of water in the spring when things begin to thaw, and I usualy cut all the dead wood to the ground in the spring.What should I do?

If your hydrangea blooms on

If your hydrangea blooms on old wood you may have cut off the buds when pruning in the spring. Don't prune this spring. Wait and see if you'll have some flowers. Then prune after the flowers fade. Add some compost to the soil around the bush to give it some extra energy.

I love your site!! So

I love your site!! So helpful:) Thank You So Much!!

I have a HUGE hydrangea that

I have a HUGE hydrangea that needs to be divided. I see that fall is the best time to move them, but is it also the best time to divide them? It also needs to be cut back before & I understand that I may not get blooms next year if I do so, so is this a good time to do this while dividing & transplanting?

You can transplant or move

You can transplant or move hydrangeas anytime that the plant has gone dormant--so fall or early spring before new growth has emerged. All the leaves should be off before attempting to move your plants. If you are doing all this work with dividing, perhaps early spring is better as you have less risk of winter damage.

I have three hydrangeas that

I have three hydrangeas that I planted in the spring...and they have struggles the entire summer season. They have brown edges and the leaves are the color of mint spearmint gum. What am I doing wrong? They did not bloom at all. Thanks

In terms of brown edges, you

In terms of brown edges, you might want to check your hydrangeas for spider mites. Look under the leaves for tiny specks that move and treat with insecticidal soap. In terms of best growth, consult this page. They like moist soil that also drains well. They do not like dry conditions; it's best to amend your soil with organic compost and also mulch to keep the soil cool. Be sure to mulch and protect them if you live in a cold-weather place for winter.
In terms of blooming: lack of flowering is often due to pruning at the wrong time or over-feeding with fertiliser too high in nitrogen or a late spring freeze.

I have hydrangeas that have

I have hydrangeas that have black spots on the leaves in late summer.what causes this.

This is usually a bacterial

This is usually a bacterial leaf spot. Remove infected leaves. Water your plants at the soil line and avoid getting their leaves set. Ensure good plant spacing for air circulation. Apply copper-based fungicides in late spring to help limit disease spread.

Hello, I'm in Michigan and

Hello, I'm in Michigan and have several Big Leaf Hydrangeas. I'd like some white mophead/big leaf. It seems Annabelle are common, bu grow on new growth so they're floppy with the rain. Is there a white Big Leaf Mophead hydrangea that will tolerate Michigan that grows on old growth? I've read Incrediball can be hit and miss with blooming. Thank you.

As a general rule,  Mopheads

As a general rule,  Mopheads bloom on old wood. However,  'Bailmer' (trademarked as Endless Summer) flowers on old and new growth. There is a white version called Blushing Bride that blooms on new growth.

I planted two hydrangeas 3

I planted two hydrangeas 3 weeks ago from my local nursery, they were over crowded in the pots and some leaves were spotty, they each had two blooms. I dug the holes and added compost, set the plants in, leaving the top of the dirt slightly above the ground level as instructed. The leaves are shriveling and I am pulling them off, there are signs of new growth, but some of the new growth is shriveling as well. I am watering them every two days, they get morning shade and some morning sun, with more afternoon sun, but are planted on the left of a japanese maple, so are getting shaded from the strongest afternoon sun. Why are they continuing to lose their leaves?

It may be a nitrogen

It may be a nitrogen deficiency. Try using a nitrogen-rich fertilizer, but make sure it does not include phosphorus.

When is the best time to

When is the best time to transplant hydrangeas?

Transplant your hydrangea in

Transplant your hydrangea in late fall when most of its leaves have fallen off.

Hi. I purchased a hydrangea

Hi. I purchased a hydrangea last May during a trade fair. It was in a pot and was in full bloom. The color of the flower is white/yellowish. I transplanted it immediately when I get home. I noticed some of the flowers started to wilt until nothing is left. But fior the first two months,it started to have some growth so I was glad and thought it will live. It's located under a tree but has full sun when it's a sunny day. But since august, it's been raining almost everyday and then the leaves started to turn yellow. What should I do? We have clay soil.I don't want it to die.. It's too beautiful when I bought it.

The rain may be the culprit.

The rain may be the culprit. Hydrangeas do not like to be overwatered. You should amend your soil with coarse sand, compost, and peat moss.

My hydrangea plants are now

My hydrangea plants are now on their second year. Both have successfully bloomed, However, now the leaves on the stalks are turning yellow and falling off. I live in Vermont. My plants get full sun.

It is possible to overwater

It is possible to overwater hydrangeas. If that isn't the case, it may be a nitrogen deficiency. Try using a nitrogen-rich fertilizer, but make sure it does not include phosphorus.

I have two hydrangeas in two

I have two hydrangeas in two different areas of my yard. This is my second season with them and I'm disappointed they haven't bloomed. We thought they were in the perfect home. They have 6 full hours of direct morning sun and are in full shade from about 2pm on. We want to change the soil but I don't want to remove the plant, change the soil and re-plant because I don't want to shock them. Can we change the soil all around it or is it best to remove it, root and all and then re-plant it?

Dig down a little around the

Dig down a little around the plants without hurting the roots and add some compost or aged manure. Mix it into the existing soil. Water well and see if you can get some flowers next year. If not transplant next fall.

I have a panicle hydrangea

I have a panicle hydrangea that blooms in August until mid October. I'm wondering if it's possible to divide it and transplant half to a separate location. Not sure when would be the best time and what the steps are to go about doing it.

Best time to divide is when

Best time to divide is when the bush is dormant in late fall or early spring. Carefully dig up the plant trying to get the entire rootball. Find a good spot in the middle of the root ball to cut into. Use a spade and/or a pitch fork to cut into the roots and carefully seperate the two sections. Plant and water.

I received a hydrangea for

I received a hydrangea for easter. I transplanted in my flower bed, but pruned off the flowers because they were turning brown and thought I should. I have healthy leaves, but no more blooms have sprouted. Have I ruined the plant forever or will it bloom next year? I didn't do my research before I pruned. thanks fory our help.

You did everything right.

You did everything right. It's OK to prune if there are some brown petals. As you said this was a "gift" hydrangea, our suspicious is simply that this type is different than the nursery container. The foil wrapped hydrangea has usually been grown for a one-time, spectacular show. It's fed just for a big bloom and no thought has been given to its long-term health. It is often grown in a greenhouse and just not hearty enough for the "wild."

I have a blue hydrangea and

I have a blue hydrangea and the leaves are curling and blooms are turning brown and thanks for ansering my first letter

Check under the leaves for

Check under the leaves for spider mites. They are tiny specks of brown and red and move when you touch them. Blast off with water. Then spray an insecticidal soap or horticultural oil to all leaf surfaces early in the morning, following label directions.

We recently had work done at

We recently had work done at our home, and our hydrangeas had to be moved for about 5 days..they had been in that particular spot for at least 7 years. I was told once they put them back,in the same location in new sod and mulch to water them every day. I have been doing that, however one of my hydrangeas is wilting and the leaves and flowers are turning brown... what am I doing wrong? I do not want to lose it is one of my favorites.. a beautifule purple!! I live just out side of boston .. not sure what zone that is.. thank you

Your hydrangea is suffering

Your hydrangea is suffering from transplant shock. Late fall and early spring are much better times to move and transplant hydrangeas. Keep watering and don't prune any branches until spring. Hopefully your hydrangea will have some new growth next year and you can cut back the dead branches.

I live in Phoenix, AZ where

I live in Phoenix, AZ where it gets VERY hot in the summer(daytime temperatures of 115 degrees are not rare). Can I grow hydrangea trees (or bushes) in this type of atmosphere. They would get sun all day.

Hydrangeas are really meant

Hydrangeas are really meant for cooler climates than Arizona. That said, some readers have tried to grow them. H.quercifolia can tolerate heat. H. macrophylla is adaptable. You will need rich, porous soil (not clay) and may need to add acid to the soil, too. We're not sure it's all worth the effort, but let us know how it goes! There are some gorgeous flowering bushes in Arizona (Bougainvillea is a favorite) and we always advise a more native plant.

I moved about a year ago, and

I moved about a year ago, and inherited tons of hydrangeas. I prune away the dead stems to the first sign of life on them, and cut out any completely dead ones. My hydrangeas bloom fully, and without problem. However, once they have bloomed, I'm not sure what to do with them. Should I cut off blooms to make way for new growth? Should I cut them as they start to wilt? If I leave them be, as I did last year, they turn colors and right now they are more of the antique hydrangea color of white/pink/green blooms... is this a good thing/normal or are they dead blooms that I should be cutting off? Confused. (they are the droopy kind, not the ones that are compact and stay in a neat little ball)

It is important to understand

It is important to understand which type of hydrangea you own. There are many varieties and they have different plant care guidelines. Take a sample to a nearby nursery.
Based on your description, you probably do NOT have Hydrangea macrophylla which are the bulby type.
The most common type is Hydrangea paniculata 'Grandiflora' -- Pee Gee Hydrangea; you can remove the dead flowers if they bother you, but it is not necessary, For pruning: Thin and/or cut back the previous season's growth in early spring before growth; flower clusters occur on newly developing branches. You do want to prune annual so that you don't get an overgrown hydrangea.
See more on pruning above on our hydrangea page.

I have three hydrangeas-good

I have three hydrangeas-good bloom, leaves look good but the stems are weak and the bloom tilts. What can I do to strengthen the stems? I usually prune them in late fall. I am in Canada so the winter is cold and long. Thanks.

When it's pruning time, you

When it's pruning time, you could remove the canes that are at angle of less than 45 degrees to the ground level. Also, remove all old canes from the center to give way to stronger vertical canes growing from the center.

I have a blue hydrangea that

I have a blue hydrangea that has a new plant coming out of the root and. need to know how to begin a new plant. thank you

To replant a hydrangea

To replant a hydrangea sucker, first you need to slice betwen the sucker and the plant and gently dig it up. If you can get enough of the roots attached, you can simply replant in someplace else. Following our planting advice on this page. Water in well.

I also have a pink hydrangea,

I also have a pink hydrangea, but all the blooms died off and I removed them and now all the leaves have curled up and I removed them also. will it bloom again from the stem or is it gone ??

My son has very healthy

My son has very healthy hydrangeas and new plants coming out of the ground. I dug some up (they have roots) and want to plant them in my yard. Any specific instruction? Should I cut the leaves off? The ones I tried planting in the ground have wilted really badly. Should I just leave them and wait and see if they take?

How can I start a new plant

How can I start a new plant from a cutting with roots? They look really droopy. Should I cut off droopy leaves?

I planted two hydrangeas

I planted two hydrangeas about six years ago. They bloomed and were beautiful the first year but haven't bloomed since. They get sun in the morning and are watered as needed.
The plants are growing really well and look really healthy but no blooms. Help!

"Why doesn't my hydrangea

"Why doesn't my hydrangea bloom?" is a very common question and you are not along. The 3 most common answers here are: Excessive nitrogen fertilizer, too much shade (they can tolerate some shade but still need 6 hours of direct sunlight a day), and bad pruning (some hydrangea buds on old wood and gardeners prune off the buds -- see this page for more detail on how to prune to keep your blooms).

I just moved in and have two

I just moved in and have two old hydrangea and they are beautiful. But the flowers flop to the ground. How do I get the to stay up off the dirt. I live in zone 7 or 8 and I have seen others that don't. Are they being trimmed to low? I would like them to stand up more like a bush.

When it's pruning time, you

When it's pruning time, you could remove the canes that are at angle of less than 45 degrees to the ground level. Also, remove all old canes from the center to give way to stronger vertical canes growing from the center.

Writing from Virginia.

Writing from Virginia. Running behind schedule in late July, but can I still plant Hydrangea at this point or should I wait until Fall? The spot gets morning sun and then lots of shade. In the past the spot and still the ground have been deep in pine needles. Thanks!

Hi Ted, Morning sun and light

Hi Ted, Morning sun and light afternoon shade is ideal for hydrangea. They love well-drained soil so pine bark mulch is perfect. You want to plant hydrangea when it is dormant and has lost all of its leaves. Late fall is the perfect time. You're welcome!

My hydrangea plant leaves are

My hydrangea plant leaves are been eaten but by what I don't know. There is hardly a leaf that has not been chewed on, any idea's what it might be. I can't see anything when I look at it to indicate what might be eating it. (I live in the Pacific Northwest. Port Angeles)

There are a variety of pests:

There are a variety of pests: deer, slugs, Japanese beetles, and earwigs. We usually put slug and snail bait around our hydrangea--plus broken eggshells around the base of the plant. You may want to bring a chewed-up leaf to your garden center to get it IDed and the right solution.

I need some advice. I

I need some advice. I recently purchase 2 mophead endless summer hydrangea one is blue the other pink. We recently completed a flower bed border adjacent to my back porch. I planted each one on opposite ends of the flower bed. They were doing great til the last week or so. The blooms are wilting and turning brown on the blue one and the same for the pink except the pink’s leave are brown too. I make sure to water them every evening. They get morning sun and afternoon shade. I am so sick with worry because I don’t want to lose them. They were so beautiful. I was thinking about deadheading the wilting flowers. Please advise. Thanks

Our first guess is that you

Our first guess is that you are overwatering. On doing further reasearch, it seems a strong possibility: One source suggests that this plant tolerates full sun when/if the soil is consistently moist. It sounds like, with your making sure to water every evening, in a setting that has morning sun (which is not the hottest sun of the day), followed by shade, your plant is just too wet. Leave it go for a while—say, until the soil dries out. And then water only occasionally. As for deadheading, this plant benefits from deadheading. That is, it wil continue to produce blooms (until the first frost). We hope this helps.

I have 4 Hydrangeas ( White)

I have 4 Hydrangeas ( White) that I planted this spring and have had beautiful large blooms thru the summer. I noticed that now there are still many new blooms but they are green and not turning white. What is going on?

It depends on your variety of

It depends on your variety of hydrangea. For example, Annabelle hydrangeas, which bloom white, always turn green when they have been in bloom about two weeks (sometimes they stay white a little longer). In general, it is common for many varieties of hydrangeas to turn is green as they age, especially in climates where it gets hot and humid.

my plant is planted on the

my plant is planted on the side of the house where the it is sunny in the afternoon. would this be to much sunny and cause plant to turn brown or do I need to water more! ideas please

my plant is planted on the

my plant is planted on the side of the house where the it is sunny in the afternoon. would this be to much sunny and cause plant to turn brown or do I need to water more! ideas please

my 2 yr old pinkie winkie

my 2 yr old pinkie winkie hydrangeas bloomed beautifully last year,but so far this yr. nothing.suggestions anyone?thanks,ann

Did you have a late frost

Did you have a late frost this spring that could have hurt the buds? Did you prune the bush at the wrong time? See pruning tips above.

I live in north central Texas

I live in north central Texas with sweltering summers. I want to plant hydrangea but would like recommendations on specific ones that would do well in my area.

Oakleaf hydrangea can do well

Oakleaf hydrangea can do well in Texas. You must have acidic soil (pH 5-6 minimum) and a shady or partly shaded site. Morning or late evening sun is ideal. Contact your county cooperative extension--they'll have the best local advice.

I had two hydrangeas that

I had two hydrangeas that bloomed well for years then less well or not at all. I divided and transplanted. Now I have thriving plants and few to no blossoms. I am ready to dig them up and replace with new. How can I get them to bloom? Please help. Zone 4. Morning sun. Afternoon partial shade.

I have a hydrangea (pink) but

I have a hydrangea (pink) but I planted on a spot where the sunlight was hitting it but it burn the flower and only a little bit of the leaves so I took it and planted on a pot what do I do to it so it could get nice and beautiful again

I have had 2 hydrangea

I have had 2 hydrangea plants: both quite large when I moved in. I am trying to figure out if I need to cut down the long stems in the fall or spring? I didn't last year and all the green came back but I have had limited flowers, sometime none- so should I cut those things down each year or leave them?

See our pruning advice above.

See our pruning advice above. You need to find out if your hydrangea blooms on old or new wood before pruning.

I want to transplant my

I want to transplant my beautiful pink hydrangea to a larger pot. Will it stand the transplant at this time of year.? It is about 1 1/2 yrs What do you recommend?

The best time to transplant

The best time to transplant is in the fall after the leaves have fallen off.

I am thinking of adding a

I am thinking of adding a hydrangea to my back garden which gets both sun and shade. However, I also have a family of deer who like to stop by on their way across the neighborhood. I am wondering if they like hydrangea and if my attempt to plant them is a lost cause. Thanks.

Hydrangeas are often

Hydrangeas are often preferred by deer. If you have deer in your neighborhood they should be planted with additional protection such as fencing or repellents.

my hydrangea is about four

my hydrangea is about four years old and bloomed early this year,the flowers have turned brown,i'm wondering if they should be pruned and how i can stop this from happening

June 2013 was so interesting

June 2013 was so interesting for my 3 yr old macro, the normally all peri blues came up w/ lavender and pale green centers, and now July 2-4 all pale pinks! I had about 10 smaller pale blues hiding in the leaves. Farmer, was it the odd weather this spring, cooler longer than normal and no rain in April? My neighbors older hydrangea, same specie, did the same thing! We both said last year they were bluer, and we didn't touch the soil. Mine looks so healthy, gets morn sun, pm shade, and I want to plant more since this one is happy. I did read coffee grounds worked on encouraging blues, is that true Sir? I had them mulched early this spring. I am in PA. I find the irridescence of the pale colors absolutely mesmorizing. :)

I have a hydrangea (mophead)

I have a hydrangea (mophead) that receives sun till 3-4pm (San Jose, CA) -- blooming well (about 7 or so) -- but has brown/curled up leaves; receives plenty of water (daily and sometimes twice during hot days). Right now the shrub is about 2x2 feet.

Not sure if I should move it or let it stay. Don't have another location except one that gets dappled sun only with 1 hr of afternoon sun.

I would suggest that, if you

I would suggest that, if you don't have a location where it could only get direct sun in the morning, then shade in the afternoon, the spot with dappled shade might be better for your hydrangea. Good luck!

I grow mine in shade (no

I grow mine in shade (no direct sunlight) in San Jose and they are happy as lark. Nick

Our hydrangeas have old tall

Our hydrangeas have old tall woody stems with no leaves among the healthy plants. Is it ok to prune the old woody stems?

Yes, it is fine to remove the

Yes, it is fine to remove the old woody stems.

I have two pots of pink

I have two pots of pink hydrangeas on my front porch. They've been there about 6 weeks and have stayed a gorgeous, brilliant pink in color. After the past few days, the petals are starting to turn a dingy brown. This is my first time to have hydrangeas, what am I doing wrong? I should note that I live in Alaska, and we have lots of sunshine right now. The porch gets plenty of mostly indirect sunlight. Many thanks.

Hydrangea flowers do fade

Hydrangea flowers do fade after a period of bloom. You can deadhead (remove) the spent flowers by cutting close to the bloom. Most woody plants do not rebloom after you remove the old flowers. There are a few varieties that do rebloom, 'Endless Summer' is one.

My hydrangea was severely

My hydrangea was severely stressed during a recent hot spell. The blooms, which were just opening wilted and are now dry; the inner part of the bloom is seems to be recuperating. Will new flowers develop if the damaged flowers are pruned? What should I do?

Most woody plants don't

Most woody plants don't rebloom after you remove the spent flowers. Deadhead by pruning the stem above the first set of large leaves close to the flower.

I have several endless summer

I have several endless summer varieties and love to use them in bouquets. Sometimes the cut flowers last a long time, however, sometimes the flowers wilt immediately. Why?

Yes, hydrangea will often

Yes, hydrangea will often wilt. The solution is to 1) pick in morning once flowers are in full bloom, 2) immediately plunge in cold water, 3) have some boiling water on the stove. Let it cool a bit, and then put the stems in the hot water to sear them and then back to cold water. Some readers sear the stems with a flame.

After replanting our

After replanting our hydrageas last year we did not get flowers.We knew this would happen.My gardener planted other flowers around them...daisies, daylilies, hibiscus, etc. so that we had flowers last summer. This summer our hydrageas are almost hidden by all these flowers. Gardener says this is good for the hydrageas...I think they are being overcrowded. Can hardly see them...Should hydrageas be neslted within other flowers or be completely on their own with no other plants.

Hydrangeas don't like to be

Hydrangeas don't like to be crowded. Plant them in a spot 6 to 8 feet wide where they can spread. Plant them as a backdrop with shorter perennials or annuals in front or plant them at the edge of a garden.

When I want to cut flower for

When I want to cut flower for inside the home how much of the stem can I cut

Cut as much stem as you wish

Cut as much stem as you wish but just make sure you cut early in the morning and only blooms that are fully open. Put in cool water asap.
To avoid wilting, here is a tip that we read about:
--Put cut ends in almost-boiling water for 30 seconds, then plunge into cool water.



First, monitor the moisture

First, monitor the moisture level and try to make sure that the plants are not being 'over watered'. The other possible culprit is soil ph levels. Take a sample of your soil near the plant to the local arboretum (county extension office). They may offer soil testing - which will tell you what you need to do to correct the soil ph. Either way, this is going to be a relatively easy fix.
I hope you have plenty of blooms!

I have 2 hydrangas, but do

I have 2 hydrangas, but do not know the variety, but they are "old". They receive morning sun and some shade in the afternoon. They only produce a few flowers each.Planted in beds that support others shrubs without problem. What can be done to help these plants bloom? I have not added any fertilizers.

Add compost to enrich the

Add compost to enrich the soil. Do a little research to find out what type of hydrangea you have and then prune some of the older branches in the fall or spring. See our pruning advice above.

I just planted my hydrangea 3

I just planted my hydrangea 3 days ago. I have watered it every day. The leaves are beginning to wilt and turn brown. What should I do..

Look under the hydrangea

Look under the hydrangea leaves and see if there are tiny spider mites. They suck the juice from the leaves. If you've got mites, spray all leaf surfaces with insecticidal soap. If you're not sure of this diagnosis, bring a sample back to the nursery!

Hi this may sound of the wall

Hi this may sound of the wall but my daughter has a puppy and she was peeing in the flower bed plus I was putting morning coffee grinds on some off the flowers and they are just beautiful this year and I live at the Jersey shore so we do not have the greatest of soil but this is what worked for me both things have different acids !

Can Hydrangeas receive too

Can Hydrangeas receive too much water? Have 3 that have died in a new bed that received heavy run off in Late winter/early spring. Replaced and it is hot July and they are wilting again. What could be wrong?

Hydrangeas need well draining

Hydrangeas need well draining soil and don't like wet feet. Add compost to the soil and put some mulch around the plants to keep the soil moist. Supply some shade if the sun is too hot.

My hydrangea bloomed the

My hydrangea bloomed the first year with huge dark pink flowers. Every year after the blooms get smaller and numerous. It is very healthy. I live in south jersey have sand soil and fertilize with Miracle gro.

I have a hydrangea (not sure

I have a hydrangea (not sure what type) that I planted three years ago. When I planted it, it had full, beautiful blooms. The first year it didn't bloom at all, which I expected. Last year and this year it has big blooms, but they only open around the edges. What can I do to get the blooms to be fuller again, like they were when I bought the plant?

I got a plant for Mothers

I got a plant for Mothers Day, since then it's lost almost all of its leaves and all the blooms died. It was poted in a larger pot in good soil and watered 2-3 times per week. Why is it in so much distress? I do see new growth on it now, but not sure what else to do for it. Can you help?

Florist hydrangeas (the kind

Florist hydrangeas (the kind they sell for mother's day) are much more delicate than shrubs you would buy at a garden center. They are really bred for short-term beauty and most people throw them out when they wilt. If you water it well (not soggy, but don't let it dry out) and keep it in a partly sunny spot (not too hot, protect from full afternoon sun) you might be able to keep it alive and next year get more flowers. Eventually you should plant it in the ground.

I have a hydrangea that is 13

I have a hydrangea that is 13 - 14 years old. My bush has never flowared. It is in 3/4 shade, red clay mixed with potting soil, and I have added lime two years ago. What else can I do?

Too much shade reduces

Too much shade reduces blooms. You may need to transplant your hydrangea to a sunnier spot. Morning sun is best. Add compost to the soil and add mulch around the plant to keep the soil moist.

I have lacecap hygrangea and

I have lacecap hygrangea and they produce large buds, but they turn brown before the buds open. Why?

Hydrangea flower buds and

Hydrangea flower buds and blossoms turn brown if the plant becomes stressed. It can be caused by not enough water or too much sun. If the buds are exposed to full sun for many hours, the plant cannot provide enough moisture to the buds and they dry out. About 4 hours of morning sun is perfect.

I have (2) endless summer

I have (2) endless summer hydrangeas, which were just planted March 2013. I live in zone 8. Both are nearing the end of their first flowering. Should I deadhead these? I've read mixed things about deadheading the first growing season.

Also, I have a Nantucket Blue hydrangea, planted the same time as the endless summers. Do I deadhead this one as well? Some of the leaves are brown; should I cut these off? What could be the cause of this?

Thank you!

Do deadhead the spent

Do deadhead the spent flowers. It will encourage new blooms. Don't prune the stems or branches this year. Let the plants get bigger and more established first.
Brown leaves is a sign that the plant isn't getting enough water. Hydrangeas need lots of water. Add some mulch around your plants to keep the moisture in the soil. It's OK to remove the brown leaves.

I was given a Hydrangea in a

I was given a Hydrangea in a pot for mothers day, as I didn't know anything about the plant I looked it up online and discovered it's a shrub. I live in an apartment with a balcony, how do I take care of this plant???

Many hydrangeas will grow

Many hydrangeas will grow well in pots. Choose a pot that is about 2 to 4 inches bigger than the pot the plant came in. Follow the planting advice above and put the container in a sunny or semi-sunny spot on your balcony. Depending on where you live you need to protect it with mulch or other coverings over the winter months.

I do so much appreciate this

I do so much appreciate this page i have learned the things that i needed to know for my plant thank you so much

I planted a hydrangea in my

I planted a hydrangea in my backyard. it gets morning sun and afternoon shade. it had blooms on it when i bought it. they are gone now. will it bloom again this year?

Most hydrangea varieties will

Most hydrangea varieties will not rebloom. Endless Summer is a new collection of hydrangeas that will rebloom.

I bought a Blue Heaven

I bought a Blue Heaven Hydrangea. I planted it with moisture retention soil from Miracle Grow. The plant get some shade but mostly sun. I watered the plant with aqua feed from miracle grow. Now, the plant has some dark spots on its leaves. I also sprayed it with some pesticide that they recommended at Lowes. The dark tiny spots appeared later. Does anyone have an idea what could it be?

My hydrangeas bloomed

My hydrangeas bloomed fruitfully for countless years then just stopped blooming, but produced a very large healthy bush--without flowers. I live in NJ (not sure what zone)...after 4 years with no blooms I saw ONE flower this year :( about to give up and dig it up...any ideas?? We are well watered and it is in the perfect sun exposure....Just noticed my smaller bushes that bloomed for 3 yrs. have ZERO buds now too--but also have a very healthy bush growing...very frustrating....

It looks your plant needs to

It looks your plant needs to treated with Holly Tone. You should feed the plant with Holly tone in spring and fall, then you will see the plant bloom. You can buy it at Home Depot or Lowes

I live in zone 7 and every

I live in zone 7 and every year my plants get such a beautiful deep green color on the leaves and they are really full... but they never bloom. I do not understand why they are not blooming. I have had them about five years and last year there was one bloom and quickly faded away. I make sure they have plenty of water and they only have morning sun and then in the afternoon they have lots of shade. Any ideas???

My colleagues bought me a

My colleagues bought me a beautiful hydrangea last year. This spring, it was starting to leaf again when landscapers mistakenly chopped off the leaves. Will this come back, ever? Thank you!

First, you need to know what

First, you need to know what type of hydrangea you have. For mophead, lacecaps, and oaklead varieties, the best time to prune is actually in the summer before August. They form their buds on "old wood" in Aug/Sept/Fall for the following season's bloom. If it's cut back in June or July, it won't harm the next year's bloom.
However, PeeGee hydrangeas can be pruned any time except for the spring/summer when they are preparing to bloom. You can prune them in the fall, winter, or spring. If you prune at the wrong time, you may harm the next season's blooms but it's not forever!

I planted a hydrangea last

I planted a hydrangea last year (don't remember what kind) and we live in zone 5. Everything above ground looks dead but I see some green sprouts right underneath. Could this be my hydrangea coming back?

Yes, it is the hydrangea

Yes, it is the hydrangea growing from the ground. Prune the dead branches and the new growth should fill in.

My hydrangea is about 5 years

My hydrangea is about 5 years old and grows beautifully every year, but doesn't bloom.
Any ideas?

If you have late spring

If you have late spring frosts the new buds could have been damaged. Sometimes improper pruning causes no blooms. And, make sure that your hydrangea variety is suitable for your climate. Some varieties are not cold hardy.

What is the best fertilizer

What is the best fertilizer for hydrangeas? I have very sandy soil.

We have sandy soil and we

We have sandy soil and we have never fertilized our hydrangeas. We have so many blooms on all of our bushes right now. We have pink, blue and lavender. We just cut off dead branches as needed.

Just discovered this site and

Just discovered this site and love the great questions and helpful insights. Being new to site, I accidentally pressed the first star in the rating box, above. This is a 5-star site and am sorry that my inadvertent vote will be used to calculate the average rating. Thank you!

I just bought a house that

I just bought a house that has 2 hydrangea plants out front I planted one this year and its doing amazing but the old ones are more hard grey brown stems with little green leaf new stems how would I get these to bloom? Or take care of them and prune them thanks!

I live in Zone 4b. I have

I live in Zone 4b. I have several Annabelle & PG bushes, all white, which do well. I want to plant some blue and pink varieties but when I went to my local nursery, the owner said that they won't do well here. Are there any blue or pink varieties that will do well in this zone?

Endless Summer hydrangeas

Endless Summer hydrangeas will grow in Zone 4. They come in different shades of pink and blue.
Good luck!

Hi I recently bought 2

Hi I recently bought 2 hortensia plants and suddenly my house is filled with several mosquitoes, do you know if this plant is friendly to insects. What can I do?

Mine are mature, should I

Mine are mature, should I remove all the sticks, they looks like dead old growth. I have lots of green on the bottom and big leaves. But the tall sticks looks bad. Leave them or pull them. Albany NY area.

Remove the sticks if they are

Remove the sticks if they are dead. The new growth will fill in and cover any empty spots.


I have 4 Nikko Blues and all of them have powdery mildew and the purple leaf spots within one week of planting. I have been spraying daconil fungicide on them about every 10 days and pruning the infected leaves. The are perky just do not look that pretty. Is there anything else I should do? Should I go ahead and feed or fertilize? It seems that they have not really had any new growth.

black spots

My plant has black spots on the stems. Why?

You have a fungal disease

You have a fungal disease called black spot. Remove and discard the stems and leaves that have black spots. Spray the hydrangea with a mixture of 1 pint of tepid water and 1/2 tablespoon neem oil.

Charm Hydrangea

I planted a charm Hydrangea in my yard, which has full sun. It was beautiful last year, but has failed to show any signs of life so far this spring. Is it dead or just slow to emerge? I live in central Nebraska.

I am having the same issue

I am having the same issue with my Annabelle hydrangea here in Centennial, CO zone 5a. Seemed happy when I planted it last summer. I didn't water it during the winter (read an article that said not to). It's now April. When should I start seeing new growth?
Also, what is a "charm" hydrangea? I haven't heard of that before.

Insect & disease control

Can I use Orthenex Insect & Disease control on my Hydrangea

Not knowing what insect pests

Not knowing what insect pests you have we recommend starting with an horticultural oil and mixing the oil according to package directions before spraying.

Leafs wilting on the top.

The leafs of my hydrangea are wilting and i'm not sure why or what to do. Any suggestions??

Usually, they wilt when they

Usually, they wilt when they need water. Mine do, after watering, they perk right up. Only about 20-30 minutes after.

My leaf are wilting and how

My leaf are wilting and how do you dead head hydrangea?

plant in a pot

I would like to replace a spot in the garden where there is currently a giant flower pot with a hydrangea. We live in Omaha, NE and this spot receives the correct amount of sun for this plant. I'm wondering if I can put the hydrangea in the giant pot or if it must be planted the ground. Thanks for your help!

Hydrangeas grow well in pots.

Hydrangeas grow well in pots. The main disadvantage is the difficulty of keeping them watered. Plant a larger size plant (if you bought the plant in a 3 or 5 gallon container) in a large container. Smaller hydrangeas should be started in smaller pots and then moved into bigger pots after 1 or 2 years.



First Blooms

At what age do Hydrangeas begin producing blooms?

It sometimes depends on the

It sometimes depends on the variety and how big the plant was when planted, but usually if planted at the proper time, new plants will bloom the following summer.

Want flowers

I live in nc and mine were way over grown so I cut them way back now that it is getting warm I'm not getting any flowers just a big bush what should I do

Too late. :(

There is nothing you can do this year. Flowers grow on old growth. If you leave it alone (don't cut down this fall) you should have flowers next year.

Took it out and they wilted

I bought a big pot of hydrangeas from Costco yesterday and placed it in our front yard. It was about 3 degrees Celsius overnight and 10degrees this morning. When I came home this afternoon I was dismayed to find my hydrangeas all wilted!! Oh no! What am I going to do to revive them? Should i bring them indoors? Please help!

are my hydrangeas dead?

I purchased 2 about a month ago. They've done well in their pots in the house until now... the flowers are dead and leaves are dry. They've been watered fine all this time and have partial sun during the day. Are they dead? Should I go ahead and plant them in the garden?


How do I know want zone I live in?

Here is the USDA Plant

Here is the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map for the U.S. (the most commonly-used reference): http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

I live in northeast louisiana

I live in northeast louisiana



lacy hydrangeas

i just moved to Jacksonville, AR. will the lacy kind of hydrangea do well here?

The lacecap type of Hydrangea

The lacecap type of Hydrangea macrophylla (the big leaf hydrangea) is probably the most common hydrangea in your area so that bodes well.


I have brought Hydrangeas yesterday from Lowes and i am living in north carolina , How i should take care my plant so it can bloom nice flowers.Please adise

I bought two gorgeous Hydrangea plants with blooms.Please advise

I bought my Hydrangea from a good nursery, both plants have 4 very large blooms and small roots in small pots. I want to plant them ASAP, but what to do with blooms? Should I cut them off or leave young plants blooming? I am afraid it will take too much strength from them. Please give me advise.
Thanks in advance.

Plant hydrangea outside after

Plant hydrangea outside after the danger of frost is long past. Use a soil mix rich in sphagnum peat moss. To maintain acidity, fertilize once a month with aluminum sulfate. Only remove the blooms when they turn brown. If your flowers are droopy, you can use a peony hoop or stake them with cloth straps. What is your variety of hydrangea? Be sure to prune properly so that you do not mistakenly remove next year's buds! See this page on varieties.


I live in Phoenix where it gets incredibly hot. I have a continiously shady (cannot grow grass)area under a tree which also gets irrigation every two weeks. Would these grow there?

Hydrangea generally grow in

Hydrangea generally grow in cooler climates. If you want to try one, go for a variety called Oakleaf Hydrangea -- Hydrangea quercifolia. It grows in hotter climates, however, it does need well-drained soil. Check out this page for more details: http://azlandscape.blogspot.com/2009/05/oakleaf-hydrangea-quercifolia.html

Single long stemmed Hydrangea Natural Pink

These flowers were already growing sporadically in back yard, side yard, and utility path when I moved in. I dug up a lot and planted in common area. they grow to 5 or 5.5 feet and a few taller. there is only one flower to each stalk. Both old flowers and seedlings blown by wind come up each spring. One time I saw it sold as a chlerorhodendron (was on ticket) --each single stalk was for $13.00. I have found not such flower.

My flowers definitely look like the globe hydrangea on single stalks not bushes. Can you identify and explain how to take care of or point me to site regarding them.

Thanks a lot.

It's hard to tell what type

It's hard to tell what type of flower you have without seeing a photo. If you search for clerodendron instead of chlerorhodendron you'll be able to find some information and images online.

when to plant

I recently purchased a white hydrangea. I live in New York where the weather is finally getting warmer but the nights may be at 45 degrees. Is it too soon to plant outside? If so what temperature will they tolerate as a newly planted plant?

Plant the hydrangea when you

Plant the hydrangea when you are sure that you will not have more night frosts. A frost will kill your plant. If you decide to wait a week or two you can put the container outside during the day and bring it in at night.

Seattle area (zone 8b) Just

Seattle area (zone 8b) Just moved here so need to know which hydrangeas do well here. Have absolutely fallen in love w/ these flowers when selling my house and hope there are some that thrive here!??? thanks!

Yes, these lovelies are hardy

Yes, these lovelies are hardy to zone 8. The types you see most often in your area are "hydrangea macrophylla," commonly known as mopheads and lacecaps. Find examples on this page: http://www.joycreek.com/ref-hy.htm


I lived in the Seattle area for 12 years and had several hydrangeas that did very well.. They were a beautiful blue and my favorite in the garden! Good luck.

Hydrangea macrophylla

I received one of these plants as a gift. The tag says hardiness zones 7 to 9. I live in Erie, PA, zone 5A, can I plant it outside or is it strictly a houseplant or can I plant it outside in the summer and bring it in in the winter? Thank you!

Often hydrangea plants that

Often hydrangea plants that come with foil around the pot are are one-time bloom. However, if yours has a tag indicating hardiness zone, then that suggests it's from a nursery. It is always best to plant the potted hydrangea outdoors whenever possible. Hydrangea plants need winter dormancy to "chill" if they are to bloom. Unfortunately, you did not receive a variety meant for your gardening zone. You can try it out; early or late freezes may damage flower buds and you may have less blooms. Plant in early to mid summer so it has time to acclimate before winter arrives.

my hydrange blooms dont age

I have a bigleaf hydrangea in a pot that i bought at a nursery with some blooms which don't age and just wilt. What is wrong?

Potted hydrangea need large

Potted hydrangea need large quantities of water and should never dry out. Check the soil several times a day. Do not allow the pot to sit in a pan of water for long though. If the plant still wilts severely, submerge both the pot and soil in a pan of deep water and allow it to sit there until the soil ball is thoroughly soaked. Drain. Also, make sure your hydrangea gets a lot of sun. Place it in a sunny window but not so direct that the blooms will burn. Hydrangeas like cool temps. At nighttime, keep in a room that is 50 to 60 degrees F.


We just got in Hydrangea's and we are keeping them watered but some of the flower look like they are dying , is it because the are chilled or or over watering what would you say the problem is .I hope you can help us.

Are they in pots? Where do

Are they in pots? Where do you live? What type of hydrangea? You need to provide more information. Without knowing that, I'd say give it a shot of Miracle-Grow. Keep the soil moist at all times as this plant has a high water requirement and tends to dry rapidly in the home.

will not grow


It's best to transplant

It's best to transplant hydrangeas when they are dormant but you can go ahead and transplant now. Make sure to get as much of the root system as you can and plant it right away in a prepared new spot. Good luck!

How can you identify the type of hydrangea you have?

I'm just a beginner when it comes to hydrangeas and did not realize that different types are pruned at different times and in different ways. I have acquired several hydrangeas but have no idea what type they are! Can anyone tell me how to identify them??

To identify hydrangeas, you

To identify hydrangeas, you could always take a sample to your county cooperative extension or garden center. We also found this handy site online. Click "shrub index" and click "H" and you'l find many varieties and tutorials: http://utgardens.tennessee.edu/ohld220/shrubs/index.html

I received a hydrangea when

I received a hydrangea when my friend passed away last month...I live in zone 4 and it's too soon to plant. I've kept the plant watered and now my blooms are all dying! What have I done wrong and is this plant dead??

Do you know what variety of

Do you know what variety of hydrangea you have? (See Recommended Varieties above.) In Zone 4, some common hydrangea varieties will not survive or they are at their northern limit of their hardiness and just don't belong there. If you are not sure of the variety, perhaps you could clip a sample to bring to your local garden center.

I have bought 4 macropbylla

tey are for my dughters wedding. i hve had them out side in the day and put them in the garage at night unfortunatly the frost was so hard it has frozen them in there i have put them in the green house now but am i to late

It depends on when the

It depends on when the wedding is. If the buds (blossoms) were damaged it will take a while for new buds to form. If the stems are green it will grow back.

help :(

My husband bought me a hyrenagea for Valentine's Day - was beautiful for the first couple of days but has steadily declined in health - started with wilting leaves, drooping flowers - i watered it a little bc the soil seemed dry then the leaves drooped, now its just a mess the leaves are all dried up, and the roots are too wet - i tried repotting bc the weather is still very cool - what do i do? can i plant it outside now with temps in the 20's?

It's still too cold to plant

It's still too cold to plant the hydrangea outside. Repot it in a bigger pot with fresh soil and let the plant dry out. Then water just enough to keep the soil moist. Keep the plant away from bright windows.

thank you so much! ill do

thank you so much! ill do that!

hydrangea in pot

Mine did the same thing, and let it go thinking it was a goner. I noticed this morning that it has sprouted new growth on the stems, so I've watered it a little and will keep a close eye on it until I can replant it outside...so don't give up!

spring buds

I have a blue mophead. This is my first experiance with hydrangeas and I just want to make sure I didn't ruin them. I cut them back some last summer after they had fully bloomed and now im noticing new buds, however they are black in color. Is this normal?

The pruning didn't ruin your

The pruning didn't ruin your plant. Your plant requires enough warm days in the fall to mature the new buds forming before the cold of winter. The black buds are caused by winter cold.

re-black buds

So will they still bloom this year?

re-black buds

more than likely

Propagation of Hydrangeas

How do I propagate Hydrangeas?

Hydrangeas are easy to

Hydrangeas are easy to propagate from cuttings. With scissors cut a piece off from a young green stem. Dip it in rooting hormone for easier rooting and put the stem in a small pot with a mix of sand and potting soil. Keep the soil moist.

Cutting back Hydrangeas

I was told to cut back my Hydrangeas in late fall which I did in late October. Have I ruined the plants. If so when is the best time to plant new ones?

It all depends on what type

It all depends on what type of hydrangea you have. The common Bigleaf hydrangea should be pruned after flowers fade (late spring/early summer). If you prune in the fall you may not have blossoms the following spring. Oakleaf, panicle, and smooth hydrangeas bloom on the current seasons' wood so they can be pruned in the fall or winter. See information about varieties above. Your plants are not ruined. They just may not bloom this summer.

plant in florida?

I live in South Florida, will they grow if planted here? I bought one at the Home Depot near me..

The common bigleaf hydrangeas

The common bigleaf hydrangeas grow in zones 5B through 9A and are not native to North America. They can grow in zones 7, 8, and 9 year-round. They're really not meant for South Florida. However, oak-leaved hydrangea grows in zones 5B through 9 and is a native to Florida. Basically, they grow in all but the tip of Florida. They need full sun and they like fertile, acid, well-drained soil, and require little attention once established. Your Home Depot gardening center should be able to tell you more about your cultivar.

deer tolerant or not?

NEED TO KNOW IF WE CAN PLANT these IN AN AREA KNOWN to have deer problems!!

front tips of leaves turned brown/crispy

I'm so glad I found your site! We moved into a home last Nov. that has three hydrangeas. Two of them are large, one much smaller. They all three bloomed beautifully in early spring. After the blooms died, I waited a while, then dead-headed them after reading a post on-line. I noticed a lot of dark spots on the stems, then the leaves began to turn brown on the tips, It has been unbearably hot, but I have been watering them most mornings. It will appear they are trying to bloom again, but the buds just die away. Part of the two bigger ones look ok, but have the dark, crispy tips. What can I do to save them? They were beautiful, and I"m afraid I killed them somehow. Oh, Plus, I've noticed an ant hill right beside the middle one. If I get bitten by one when watering, it turns into a small cyst-like bump. Could the ants be killing my plants?

If the edges are brown and

If the edges are brown and the leaves look burnt, you probably have spider mites. Spray leaves down every few days and use insecticidal soap. This should help.

You got bitten by a fire ant.

You got bitten by a fire ant. They are probably not killing your bushes. You need to place mulch around the base of the bushes. Hydrangea leaves will flop down when they are not getting enough water.

Blue Wave hydrandeas

I just bought two of these and I am wanting to plant them in Lloydminster, we are zone three. Will they grow here?

Yes, they should do well in

Yes, they should do well in zone 3.

white cocoons under leaves?

I have a blue mophead that has white cocoon like things stuck on the underside of the leaves. The cocoons are about 1/8 in wide at the "front", which may have a dark spot, narrowing toward the back end which is about 1/2 inch long. These cocoons are not cylinderical, but almost rectangular. A funny rippled surface seemed to be the top surface of the cocoon. When open, wispy threads seem to trail outwards, giving thought to the cocoon idea. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

White cocoons under leaves

We suspect that you have scale insects on your hydrangea. Try to wipe the insects off with a cloth dipped in insecticidal soap. Then rinse with a spray of water. To control them spray the leaves with a mixture of insecticidal soap and horticultural oil.

Spray a mixture of insecticidal soap and horticultural oil to control scale insects. The oil smothers the slow-moving insects.

No blooms

I have as small shrub hydrangea that doesn't bloom. It's a beautiful shape and looks healthy but not a bloom on it for two summers now. What should I try?

No blooms

Do they get enough sun and water? Hydrangeas thrive on morning sun and light afternoon shade. Hydrangeas also need lots of water. Add mulch around the shrub to maintain moisture.If your plants continue to grow but don't bloom, try moving them in the fall after the leaves drop.

HYdrangea leaves are yellowish

My hydrangea leaves are turning yellow and are looking wilted with the edges are brown and crisp looking. I'm afraid I'm going to loose it without some intervention. Its planted in early morning sun/shade for the rest of the day. We have been hit with a heat wave last 10 days, however, I've been watering 2x per day (light hose stream for about 30 minutes each time). It is mulched. Its a big leaf, mophead. Any suggestions would be most appreciated. Thanks!

First, it sounds as if you

First, it sounds as if you are watering too much. Second, if your leaves are yellow and wilting, look for aphids under the leaves and spray them with your water hose or an insecticidal soap. If the edges are brown and the leaves look burnt, you probably have spider mites. Spray leaves down every few days and use insecticidal soap. This should help.

1/2 blooms? Or ugly blooms !!

I just planted 10 Hydrangea s in the front of my home in about 10 hrs of full sun . I try to water regularly in the evening do to my schedule
The beds that they are planted in are raised 10 " in good soil ( I think) with heavy mulch . The mulch had a white fungus growing in places !!
The flowers are blooming hear and there but wilt fast or don't nearly get to that full bloom stage . What
T is very confusing is that all the plants ( hydrangea s ) don't get full sun but all do the same . They all came in 3 gal. Pots from a good growing
nursery . Any suggestion s on how I can get my flowers to that WOW stage

My limelight Hydrangea is sick

This is my third summer with my limelight hydrangea. We have had an extremely dry summer but I have watered regularly. I noticed some leaves turning yellow and now they are curling up and falling off. What can I do to help?

faded blooms

When is the best time to remove old blooms?
My plant was doing great with lots of blooms and healthy, then the summer heat arrived. I have watered every day and the plant gets morning sun and afternoon shade.
The blooms have faded and I'm not sure how and when I should cut them off

Unlike pruning, just removing

Unlike pruning, just removing dead blooms (called deadheading) can be done at any time without harming the blooms for the following year. You can remove old blooms down to the closest set of leaves. This can prolong a bloom season. However, it's not necessary to remove old blooms. Some folks think leaving the old blooms on the plant for the winter protects the buds and deadhead in early spring when the shrub begins to leaf out.

summer heat and dead blooms/soil pH

Our hydrangea (I think it's a mophead) blooms just died from excessive heat and insufficient water. If I cut off the dead blooms now, will the plant bloom again this year or only next year.

How can I test my soil's pH balance?

Thank you.

Unfortunately with this

Unfortunately with this particular type of hydrangea, it will most likely not bloom again until next Spring.

As far as testing your soil's pH, you can send samples in to a soil lab testing site or pick up an at home pH kit from your local gardening center.

Thank you for your interest in the Old Farmer's Almanac and our Web site.

Change the color?

Is there a way to make the white Annabelles stay white longer? If not, can they be changed to pink or blue?

Hydrangea color

The flower color of these plants varies depending on the pH level of the soil that they live in. For example, pink flowers enjoy neutral soils while blue flowers tend to enjoy soil with a higher acidic level. Whites tend to fall into the same category as pink.

Start by testing the pH level of the soil to learn whether or not you need to increase or decrease the amount of acid to treat your soil in order to achieve the color you desire.

I hope this helps!

Thank you for your interest in the Old Farmer's Almanac and our Web site.


My friend has one plant that is 6ft wide by 4 1/2 tall. This plant has purple,pink,& blue blooms.
Can we split it, sort of like you can do with hostas?

Yes, with care. Divide in the

Yes, with care. Divide in the early spring by using a shovel to divide the clump. You're going to need to water, water, water all season to help it restart growth.

Espoma Soil Acidifier

Ok, so I bought some Espoma Soil Acidifier for my soil that tested at 8.0 alkaline pH but now i don't know how much to put per plant. I have two hydrangea's and a lot of roses. the instructions are below:

Soil Acidifier Recommendation
In the absence of a soil test, follow the rates below. Results can take up to several weeks depending on rate, soil temperature and timing of application. Reduce the rates by one-third for sandy soils and increase by one-half for clay soils. In general, the optimum range for blue hydrangeas is 5.5 - 6.0, and for blueberries it's 4.5 - 5.0.
Pounds per 100 Square Feet of Loamy Soil
Desired pH:
Present pH 6.5 6.0 5.5 5.0 4.5
8.0 3 4 5 6 7
7.5 2 3 4 5 6
7.0 1 2 3 4 5
6.5 NA 1 2 3 4
6.0 NA NA 1 2 3

Any help would be welcomed!

Me again...

Sorry, just me again. I haven't opened this Espoma Acidifier yet. It is 18% free sulfur and 12% combined sulfur. I have two small hydrangea's that I just planted and about 13 rose plants. I have no idea how much of this stuff to use. It says on it to use 1 1/4 cup on hydrangea's? Seriously? And it doesn't specify all at once or multiple treatments. Also it doesn't specify for roses! Broadcast rates: 12lbs per 100 sq ft for each 1 point reduction pH required. My soil is at 8.0. That would be a heck of alot! I am not sure if I should take it back and find something else that would do better or just use this and how much to use? I just now that my plants really need the help. Just using some coffee grounds right now.

Anyway, thanks for any help!

We suggest that you use 1 to

We suggest that you use 1 to 1-1/4 cups of Espoma around each plant. Spread evenly around the plant out to the drip line and water well. Repeat in 60 day intervals until desired pH or bloom color is achieved.

Thank you for your interest in the Old Farmer's Almanac and our Web site.

When is the best time to

When is the best time to begin fertilizing Hydrangea plants in the spring to encourage blue flowers? I have the Espoma fertilizer. My plants are several years old (~5) and range from 2.5 to 3.5 feet high. I live in Zone 5.

Also, what is the best way to protect them from a late spring frost. I only got a few blooms last year. Admittedly, I was not good about fertilizing them, but I think our sometimes late spring freezes were the major culprit.

Alkaline soil...

I am so grateful for this site!

I live in Indiana and just bought 2 hydrangea's. A Forever and Ever blue heaven and a forever and ever peppermint hydrangea. I planted one next to the house where it gets about 7 hours of sun and then shade in the afternoon. Anyway, I had tested the soil with a store soil test kit and according to the color it turned dark green which means alkaline (I tested it with a gallon of water that said spring water). Then I tested it 3 ft away but used the bottled water I drink and it was a lighter green which means 7.0 to 8.0. I have well water that comes out of my faucets and didn't use that. Should I try again with my well water to see exactly how much pH?

I read that compost can help and grass clippings and peat moss and coffee grounds. I don't know since I just planted it if I should use sulphur or sulphate or just coffee grounds and peat moss?

Thanks for the help. (I also have about 20 rose bushes and the plants are doing ok it seems, but I still need to lower the hP for them also...)

Me again...

I wrote that comment. One more thing... I don't think I have that good of drainage. I planted the hydrangea so it is slightly higher than the ground around, kind of like a small hill and put some tiny pebbles in the soil when I planted it. I also tried to pack some of the soil down so to not have any air pockets. Is there anything I should change for the next hydrangea?

Thanks again.

To lower the pH quickly add

To lower the pH quickly add sphagnum peat. It is also a good source of organic matter and helps drainage. (The pH of Canadian sphagnum peat generally ranges from 3.0 to 4.5.) Add a 1 to 2-inch layer of sphagnum peat and work it into the top 8 to 12 inches of soil before planting (work as much peat into the soil around your established hydrangeas as you can). Keep adding your coffee grounds too. Soil with pH level of about 5.2-5.5 will produce blue flowers, soil with pH level above 6.0 will produce pink flowers.
The hydrangeas need an evenly moist well-drained soil for best growth and benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location with morning sun and afternoon shade. Apply organic mulch around the plants to conserve soil moisture and protect them from temperature extremes. All the best!

Thanks for the kind words! We

Thanks for the kind words! We replied to your questions below your other comment below. --The Old Farmer's Almanac staff

alkaline soil

When you test your soil, you should NOT use bottled spring water, bottled drinking water, or well water. All may have high levels of dissolved minerals that can skew your test. Invest in a gallon of distilled or reverse osmosis purified water, and use only that water for your pH testing.

map zone

I live in red deer alberta and want to grow a hydrangea is it possible?

Peegee hydrangea is hard to

Peegee hydrangea is hardy to your zone. Other readers say they've had some success with 'Pinky Winky' and 'Annabelle' and 'Quick Fire' varieties. They'll all very different. Have fun exploring!


what is causing my hydrangea's new growths to dry up and fall off??

Did you prune? Most

Did you prune? Most hydrangeas bloom on old wood and if you cut in the spring, you won’t get any blooms. Prune after blooming is done.

Do you know which variety you

Do you know which variety you have? And where do you live? It's possible that spring came early and your hydrangea was leafing out while still covered for winter protection. So it lacked the sunlight needed. They might recover so leave it until mid to late May.

There are several

There are several possibilities. Perhaps the hydrangea needed to be uncovered earlier from the winter? Once mulch and winter protection is removed, I hope you started to see normal growth. Or, did you have warm temps and then a freeze? If so, the shrub may be fine but it's hard to say what will happen this year. Also, avoid overfertilizing.

blue moon hydrangea

if you don't have acidic soil what do you do or put in it to get it

adding acid to soil

Adding ammonium sulfate will lower soil pH immediately. Adding granulated sulfur will also lower soil pH, but the process is much slower. If you don't want to use chemicals, add coffee grounds and pine needles. They are slow acting but a good source--and free! No matter what you do, check your soil pH periodically in order to control the process.

No flowers

I recently moved into a house that has hydrangeas. The owner has said they have had them for three years and they only flowered in the first year. What can I do to get them to flower again?

How to get hydrangeas to bloom

Do they get enough sun and water? Hydrangeas thrive on morning sun and light afternoon shade. The prior owners may have planted them in a poor location. If your plants continue to grow but don't bloom, try moving them in the fall after the leaves drop. Are you keeping them extremely well watered? Hydrangeas want to be watered often! Also, mulch them to maintain moisture.

Moving Hydrangeas

I would like to move 2 3-year old hydrangea bushes. When is the best time to do that?

 Fall is the best time to

 Fall is the best time to move hydrangeas