Can hydrangeas grow in pots? It’s a good question, since the potted hydrangeas given as gifts rarely last more than a few weeks. The good news is that they can, as long as you treat them right. Since they can get quite big and produce stunning blossoms all summer long, growing hydrangeas in pots is well worth it. Keep reading to learn more about container grown hydrangea plants and care for hydrangea in pots.
How to Care for Hydrangea in Pots
Store bought potted hydrangeas usually languish because a small container on the kitchen table is less than ideal. Hydrangeas like lots of sun and water. Indoors, the sun can be gotten from placing it in a south-facing window, but the water is best achieved by transplanting it to a larger container that doesn’t dry out as quickly. Hydrangeas in the garden like full sun, but this dries out the soil in containers much too quickly. Place your hydrangeas in a spot that receives full sun in the morning and some shade in the afternoon to keep it from drying out. Move your hydrangea to a pot that is several inches (8 cm.) wider in diameter than the one it came in, and make sure it has drainage holes. Leave about three inches (8 cm.) of space between the surface of the potting mix and the rim of the pot. Water your container grown hydrangea plants by filling the pot to the brim with water, letting it drain, and repeating. Subsequent hydrangea container care is relatively easy too. As hydrangeas grow, they can get very large. You can choose a dwarf variety from the beginning or you can prune your full sized hydrangea back. Just check the variety you have before you prune. Some hydrangeas grow flowers on old growth, and some on new. You don’t want to accidentally prune away all of the summer’s potential flowers. Growing hydrangeas in pots in the winter requires some protection. Move your container into a cool but not cold garage or basement. Water it moderately, then bring it back outside when spring temperatures climb.
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The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.
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