Hydrangeas are beautiful shrubs that can grow in any climate, from areas with constant snow to hot sandy deserts, and anything in-between. They come in a variety of colors that include pink, red, violet and blue, and can grow up to 10 feet tall. They are an excellent choice for containers because their large blossoms add color against any backdrop where they are placed.
Grow your own hydrangeas to add flair to your porch, patio or any indoor space by following these steps.
Step 1- Plant and Container Selection
There are two types of hydranges: Lacecaps and Mopheads. Lacecaps hydrangeas feature flat round flowerheads with fertile flowers, surrounded by striking outer rings of sterile flowers. Mophead hydrangeas bear large round flowerheads that usually bloom from mid to late summer. Decide which type you want to plant in your container and purchase it from your local nursery.
Using a 3 to 5 gallon container is ideal for hydrangeas, since they provide adequate room for the root ball to grow. They also prefer well-drained soil, so make sure the container has adequate drainage holes at the bottom, or drill them if it does not.
Step2 – Add Soil and Plant Hydrangeas
Add rich well drained soil to your container and place your hydrangeas in the middle of it. Add more soil around the sides to remove any air pockets. Firm the soil at the top with your hand to help it set. Add sphagnum peat, mulch or a layer of ground bark on top of the soil to help retain moisture and keep the plant from drying out.
Step 3 - Watering
Hydrangeas grown in containers need to be watered daily to keep them from drying out, especially in hot climates. However, avoid keeping the soil too damp, since over watering your plant can be as dangerous as under watering. Water until the soil is just moist.
Step 4 – Caring for your Hydrangeas
- Hydrangeas prefer partial shade to full sun.
Fertilize your hydrangeas with a slow release fertilizer or compost tea a few times a year, particularly during the growing season.
Container grown hydrangeas may attract pests such as aphids, leaf tiers and red spiders. Should these occur, spray a mild insecticide on your hydrangeas to prevent them from damaging your shrubs. If the problem persists, you may need to consult a professional gardener.
Step 5 - Pruning
Always prune your hydrangeas throughout the growing season, since they're fast growers and will need shaping and thinning. Remove any dead or dying wood and any stems that cross. Shorten long branches just above a strong bud. Keep in mind the fact that a few stems will yield fewer but bigger flower clusters, while many stems will yield many but smaller clusters.