How to Care for Hydrangea

Are you wondering, How to Care for your Hydrangea?

Natorp’s hydrangea growers provide expert advice on growing over thirty types of hydrangeas in Cincinnati soils.

Hydrangea Care


Most hydrangea will do best in the morning sun, afternoon shade, or filtered sun, especially for flowering.  Some will perform in full sun.Hydrangea in Cincinnati, Ohio


Plant your hydrangeas using the same soil from the hole but lightly amending with compost, pine soil conditioner, etc.  Be sure to mulch over the root system of the plant to keep those roots cool, help preserve good soil moisture, and add organic matter back to the soil


Hydrangea prefers good, even moisture, with well-drained and loamy soils. IMPORTANT: Make sure not to overwater.


Besides adding soil pH adjusters and adding aluminum if needed, a mid to late spring feeding with an all-purpose fertilizer works for most hydrangeas, or by adding a slow-release fertilizer in the spring such as Osmocote.  A light fall feeding after leaves fall is okay as well.  Do not overfeed your hydrangea.


Transplant your hydrangeas during the dormant season.  New plantings can be done anytime during the growing season.

What affects the color of your hydrangeas?


The colors of the hydrangea flowers will range in intensity for many reasons: variety, weather conditions, plant health, etc.  For those macrophylla / Serrata hydrangeas that flower pink or blue, pink flowers are in alkaline soils and blue in acidic soils.  Sprinkling lime around the plant seasonally will increase alkalinity (upper 6 and into 7pH), and reduce aluminum availability, which causes blue flowers.  Adding aluminum sulfate, soil sulfur, cottonseed meal, coffee grounds, Hollytone, etc., throughout the season will help to lower the pH to a low 6.  Adding aluminum sulfate helps lower pH and adds aluminum, but be careful using it.  Water well before adding aluminum sulfate, and use it sparingly and over multiple applications, not just once.

What to do if your hydrangea is wilting

During hot days, newly planted and established hydrangeas will sometimes wilt.   If it wilts during the day’s heat but recovers by late evening or in the morning, it can’t take up enough water to replenish what is lost during the day. It typically stops as the season progresses.  Be sure the soil has good, even moisture, but do not overwater.

Click Here to Find Out How to Prune Your Hydrangeas!

Do you still have questions? Our hydrangea experts grow over 30 kinds of hydrangeas each year, ask!