VIDEO: Everything you need to know about growing hydrangeas
Updated: Jul 10
Hydrangeas come in and out of fashion, but I love them! I adore their bold flowers and how they never stop changing throughout the season. No plant ages quite so gracefully as a hydrangea.
In this post I have put together a video explaining why hydrangeas are such great plants to grow in your garden. I have listed out four different varieties of hydrangea that you might like to buy and summed up how to care for them.
Beneath the video I have summarised the key points and picked out my favourite hydrangeas with links for you to buy.
Scroll down to watch and read especially if you have a north facing wall and don't know what to do with it!
To recap the video, I mentioned four hydrangea varieties:
Mophead hydrangeas: Circular globes in white and candy colours
Lacecap hydrangeas: Flat central disc surrounded by frilly outer flowers
Panicle hydrangeas: Delicate cone shaped flowers
Climbing hydrangeas: The perfect solution to brighten up a North or East facing wall
How to plant your hydrangea?
Whichever option you choose you should always plant a hydrangea in a moist, well drained position. Ideally aim for morning sunshine and afternoon shade.
Avoid south facing positions to prevent your hydrangea from burning or wilting. You never want the soil to get dry.
It is best to plant hydrangeas in the Spring or Autumn. If you desperately want to plant a hydrangea in the summer it is still possible, just choose a large plant that has plenty of established flowers. If your hydrangea is blooming this year, it will likely bloom again.
When planting a hydrangea, dig a hole the same depth as the original pot it arrived in. Add water to the hole, then plant your hydrangea and water again. Keep on top of watering to give your new plant the best chance of success.
For climbing hydrangeas use hooks, wires or a trellis to train the plant up a wall. After a season of growth, it should be well on its way.
How to prune your hydrangea?
As long as your hydrangea is well watered you can get away with leaving it, but if you would like to get bigger, better blooms next year you could have a go at pruning your hydrangea.
This RHS article is brilliant at explaining how to prune hydrangeas depending on the variety you have in your garden, so I recommend you check it out.
Did you know that you can change the colour of your hydrangea depending on the soil Ph? Flowers turn pink in neutral to alkaline soils and blue in acidic soils. To get a blue flower the easiest solution is to plant the hydrangea in a container with compost and top up with potassium rich fertiliser.
My Top Five Hydrangeas
An offspring from the classic 'Annabelle', this Incrediball hydrangea is loved for its larger heads and stronger necks, to keep its vast pompoms looking perky and upstanding.
Glossy white flowers emerge in elegant cones, gradually turning a mouth watering shade of strawberry as they mature.
It may look dainty, but this hydrangea is TOUGH. If you have a cold or exposed area in your garden this could just be the perfect plant to fill it. The inner flowers will change colour depending on the soils pH - pink in neutral to alkaline soils and blue in acidic soils.
An elegant climbing hydrangea that is perfect for a cold, North or East facing wall that rarely sees the sun. It has lacy white blooms in summer that look chic against dark green foliage.
This hydrangea is only available to buy in the Autumn, but it’s worth the wait. It has flat, tightly packed, blueish buds surrounded by mauve flowers that almost glow in the dark. The flowers are long-lasting and attractive to bees and butterflies. It looks particularly elegant when planted with other hydrangeas.
Hydrangeas are rewarding plants that come back year after year and despite their good looks they are very low maintenance.
I’d love to see any of the hydrangeas you are growing in your gardens, so please send me your photos and any questions you might have.
p.s. Thank you to Howard and Lindsey for supplying lots of the hydrangeas I featured in the video!