Planting hydrangeas in pots and urns create a beautiful splash of color on porches, patios and other hardscape surfaces. With just a little care, hydrangeas grow very contently contained in outdoor pots! Now is a great time to get planting! Here’s how to plant and care for them.
We planted these gorgeous Endless Summer hydrangeas on our back patio and had a spectacular show of blooms into late fall. These actually wintered over in the planters!
Here are a few things you can do to ensure a season of amazing blooming hydrangeas:
START PLANTING HYDRANGEAS IN POTS FILLED WITH GOOD POTTING SOIL
We used Miracle Grow Moisture Control Potting Soil because hydrangeas like to be well hydrated. But any good quality potting soil will do.
If you have big planters like I do that are already filled with potting soil just amend them with 1/3 new potting soil and a good fertilizer.
USE THE RIGHT SIZE PLANTER
The planter you use should be at least 1/3 to 1/2 bigger than the hydrangea you buy. The plant needs to have room to grow and to put down its roots. A plant crowded in a pot will not thrive and could die.
I have large urns that I use from year to year on the front porch.
HOW TO PLANT HYDRANGEAS IN POTS
Dig a hole in your soil a little larger than the pot the hydrangea comes in. If you do not use a potting soil that has timed release fertilizer, put some timed released fertilizer in the bottom of the hole according to the directions on the fertilizer. Be careful not to use too much or you will burn the roots. Just a little bit will do and mix it in with the soil! If you are using amended soil (see above), skip this step.
If the hydrangea’s roots are pot bound loosen them with your fingers to promote growth.
Plant the hydrangea in the soil making sure the crown (where the base of the plant meets the soil) is level with the top of the potting soil. If the crown sits too high it will dry out faster and if it is planted too deeply in the soil the hydrangea might not bloom and rot.
Water in well.
Hydrangeas love water! They like to be hydrated… BUT NOT WET! If they are too wet it stunts their blooms. They also like to be in a pot that drains well. Because they are in a pot and not in the ground I suggest watering them daily when the weather gets hot. Give the soil in the pot a little poke with your finger. If it feels dry…it’s time to give them a good soak.
Hydrangeas may wilt a little in the hot afternoon but they will revive when temps drop in the evening and night. To help my hydrangeas keep hydrated I water them in the morning so the soil is moist in the hot afternoons.
You can make an easy self watering system that works wonderfully with hydrangeas. And it will work with any planter that needs a bit of water. Just wait till you see how easy it is.
PICKING AND PRUNING HYDRANGEAS
Endless Summer hydrangeas need little or no pruning.
Let them grow naturally in pots. Blooms grow on both old and new growth so keep pruning to a minimum.
Deadheading spent blooms is a good idea to promote new blooms. Cut them back to a new bud. Towards the end of the season, you may want to leave the blooms on the plant to dry naturally.
OVERWINTERING HYDRANGEAS IN POTS
If you want to keep your hydrangeas in pots, urns or planters from year to year you can overwinter them. It’s easy but the conditions for overwintering will affect your hydrangeas chances of surviving!
Bring pots into the garage or basement if you live in an area where winters reach freezing temperatures and stay at freezing or below most of the winter.
I’ve had great success overwintering hydrangeas especially in my large rectangular planters.
My urns and planters are on our porch and near the house so they don’t get too beat up by the wind! And they have survived from year to year.
Because Endless Summer flowers bloom on both new and old wood make sure not to prune them back too much. Prune to about 15 inches tall after the first hard frost. Cover with a thick layer of mulch or straw and water lightly throughout the winter.
These are hardy plants! They wintered over and bloom again this year!
GOOD TIDBITS TO KNOW
Here are some good things to know…
The hydrangeas in my front pots and in the back planters are Endless Summer Hydrangeas.
The Original Endless Summer Hydrangea can bloom either blue or pink. For blue hydrangeas, the soil needs to be acid and for pink alkaline. I did nothing with my potting soil to make my hydrangeas bloom blue.
Hydrangeas like partial sun. They tend to wilt in full sun. Make sure to place your planter the proper place so they don’t get scorched. The farther north you live the more sun hydrangeas can take. The farther south less. Think of them being a partial shade plant in the deep south.
Morning sun works best for Endless Summer Hydrangeas.
Dried Endless summer blooms look beautiful in arrangements.
And here are more hydrangeas post to enjoy!