Beginners Guide To Growing Hydrangeas In Pots
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Are you looking to take your gardening skills to the next level and create a patio oasis full of flowering hydrangeas? If so, then growing hydrangeas in pots is the perfect project for you! Today I am sharing beginner tips to growing hydrangeas in containers and an update on my potted hydrangeas around our pool.
Hydrangeas are colorful, eye-catching and easy to maintain – plus they make great accent pieces for any outdoor space. In this blog post, we’ll provide beginner tips on exactly what needs to be done in order for your hydrangea plants to thrive.
FAQs about Growing Hydrangeas In Pots
Basics of Growing Hydrangeas – including Hydrangea type, pot size, and soil requirements
1. Types of hydrangeas
There are several types of hydrangeas with Endless Summer being one of my favorites. From the popular mophead variety to the delicate lacecap, each type requires a slightly different approach to care.
2. Container size
When it comes to choosing the right pot size, bigger is not always better. Hydrangeas grow best in containers that are just big enough to accommodate their roots.
The right soil is key to a healthy hydrangea plant. These flowering beauties prefer well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter.
If you purchase the annuals small and make your own pots in early Spring, you can save money but you still are left with dead plants at the end of the season. Hydrangea plants are considered a perennial which will grow back year after year if care for properly.
I feel like when I buy perennial shrubs vs annuals, I kill two birds with one stone. My investment isn’t thrown out the window at the end of the Summer and I fill my flower beds around the house
Endless Summer Hydrangea in Pots
If you invest in perennial hydrangea bushes or shrubs and plant them in pots during the Spring, they will live through the Summer “in a pot” adding gorgeous color and texture to your outdoor living space. We have several hydrangea in pots and Endless Summer are one of my favorites.
Choose pots with sufficient drainage holes to prevent root rot
When growing hydrangeas in pots, selecting the correct pot with sufficient drainage holes is crucial. My pot is a few years old and I don’t even remember where I got it! This pot and this pot are similar.
Without proper drainage, excess water can accumulate in the soil, leading to root rot and ultimately killing the plant. If you purchase a pot without drainage holes, grab a drill with a 1″ drill bit and make some holes in the bottom of the container.
The hydrangea plants that I purchased in the images below are Cityline Vienna (Compact Bigleaf) and Hydrangea Macrophylia plant bushes.
The best part, you can buy small hydrangea bushes for around $29-$35 which is the same cost of a hanging annual plant.
The difference, the annual plant is dead in a couple months and your investment is gone.
I always plant 4 – 6 perennial bushes or shrubs, usually hydrangeas and roses in pots each year and then in the Fall I transfer them to a flower bed so that my investment comes back every year.
Potted Hydrangea Care – Winter
Can you leave hydrangeas in pots during the winter?
I have not attempted to leave my potted hydrangeas in pots indoors during the winter.
You can actually remove the potted hydrangea bushes from the pretty pots in the fall, transfer to a cheap plastic pot and actually “plant” the plastic potted hydrangea in the ground.
The following Spring, you can dig up the plastic potted hydrangea bush and place back in a pretty pot and you will be amazed at how the hydrangea bush will come back and be fuller and more vibrant than the previous year. Yes, potted hydrangea plants will rebloom each year if you properly care for them.
How long do potted hydrangeas last?
My potted hydrangeas last from early spring – early fall ( we live in Massachusetts) and then I replant them in the ground. Our pool area gets full sun which is what these type of hydrangea plants require. Be sure to purchase hydrangea plants that will do well in your type of sun exposure. There are many hydrangea plants that do well in morning sun or afternoon shade.
I have done this at our previous house for two seasons and after the second season, I potted it for good in a flower bed.
Be sure to plant the hydrangea plant in a large enough pot. I try to plant my hydrangea plants in a pot that is at least 3x the size of the base of the plant. This allows the roots to spread in the pot and not get pot bound by the end of the summer.
Growing hydrangeas in pots is a great way to save money and add lushness to your patio each year.
Below, is the hydrangea I purchased called Cityline Vienna (Compact Bigleaf) Hydrangea Macrophylia bushes for $29.99 each (I bought 4) and planted 2 small containers of German Ivy and White Bacopa along the sides of each hydrangea bush.
Problems with Hydrangeas in Pots
Common problems with potted hydrangea plants are root bound plants, poor soil, not enough water or excess water that does not drain.
Planting in the Proper Soil Mixture – mix a combination of potting soil and compost
For any plant to thrive, planting it in the proper soil mixture is key. Mixing a combination of potting soil and compost (I usually buy potting mix at Home Depot or Lowes)
Why does potting soil matter?
Potting soil provides a foundation for healthy root growth, while compost adds nutrients that help plants develop and flourish.
I used a sweet potting soil with fertilizer to ensure the pink hydrangea blooms. The soil ph / acidic level of the soil indicates whether you have pink flowers or blue. Also, be sure to use a quality potting soil that drains well. You can also put a 2-3 handfuls of small rocks on the bottom on your pot (cover will potting soil) to help with drainage as well. You want your soil to be moist especially if in full sun.
I have 3 large containers around our pool each summer and the potted hydrangeas look amazing set inside the bends of the pool.
Ensure Adequate Sunlight Conditions – hydrangeas need indirect sunlight for the best results
It is crucial to ensure that your hydrangeas receive adequate sunlight conditions to achieve the best results. Hydrangeas have specific requirements (depending on the hardiness zone), and providing indirect sun exposure is a must.
Full Shade and limited light can damage their growth, affect their bloom size and color, and reduce their overall vitality. Some will do ok in partial shade so be sure to read the label.
How to plant hydrangeas in pots
- outdoor planters with drainage holes
Instructions: Step by Step
- Ensure planter has proper drainage holes
- Fill planter with potting mix 1/2 full
- Create a hole for plant
- Soften the roots of the plant and place inside planter
- Fill the remaining pot with soil around the plant 3/4 full gently patting soil
- Be sure to water your plant (add Miracle Grow fertilizer to water)
- Be sure to read the label for hardiness zone and sun exposure information
- Add a handful of small rocks to the bottom of your pot to help drainage
Southern Living has a great article on different ways to grow hydrangeas in pots if you are looking for more ideas.
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About The Author
What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.
Such a great idea for apartment dwellers like us!
Yes for sure!! When we had our camp, I did this with roses and hydrangeas and even hosta!! Then I would take them home for Fall and plant in our yard 🙂
Great suggestion. I am in zone 7. Will the hydrangeas survive if left outside in the pots over winter?
I live in zone 7/8 and have hydrangeas in pots. They r on my fenced patio in a bit of a microclimate. I think i would try it. Buy one at big box store in the sale area and put some water gel pellets in soil. This will help with water retention so it doesn’t dry out so fast.
U can also propagate from the plant.
Wish u good gardening
Love hydrangeas and the pots by the pool! You mentioned you found them at HomeGoods. I looked yesterday, and did not see them. I also did not see your link for other similar pots.
Please let me know! Thanks so much!
Hi, there is a section in the post that has some suggestions . Pottery Barn has some similar but a little pricey although they do have a sale going on ! Here is my affiliate link https://shopstyle.it/l/4plx
I always leave the IN the pots. They winter over nicely. Sometimes they need some pruning in spring (but only if anything died) You can bury the pots to the rim for the winter, or as I do, I pull the pots close to a wall facing the south side of the house and you can wrap burlap around the pots (I use fallen leaves but not if its up against the house foundation only if its a wall like a patio wall or shed) . One year I put them under a patio table and covered the table as usual. Check them once in a while to see if they need any water. NO need to buy plants the next spring (unless you want to change colors) Since your pots are very large, and cement, they might just do fine where they are but might need some wind protection.
Oh nice! Maybe I will try that. We are in Mass though and the winters are tough. Where do you live ? Are your winters really bad?