How to fertilize hydrangeas?

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If you want to have a garden that is full of beautiful blooms all season long, you need to learn how to fertilize hydrangeas. These lovely flowers come in a variety of colors, and with the right care, they can keep flowering from early spring until late fall. In this blog post, we will teach you everything you need to know about how to fertilize hydrangeas so that you can enjoy their beauty for years to come!

What kind of hydrangea flowers?

What kind of hydrangea flowers?
Photo from @yoshi_yume16

Hydrangea is a rather bright flower, which is characterized by rich colors. The flower belongs to the dicotyledon class and to the hydrangea family. The plant has oval green leaves, quite large in shape with a sharp tail at the end. Hydrangea will be able to please with abundant flowering from early spring to late fall, due to which it is in high demand among gardeners.

The color range of the flower is very diverse: cream, yellow, red, purple, lilac, pink and others. The palette can be completely different, unusual, combining all kinds of shades.

Hydrangea is divided into different species, where there are bush, tree and vines varieties. The first two species grow to a height of 1 to 3 meters, but lianas can grow to 30 meters in height, depending on the size of the tree itself, or the support on which it rests when growing.

Feeding hydrangeas with organic matter

Feeding hydrangeas with organic matter
Photo from @kyliereddenиzjoosh

Using organic matter is considered the best way to fertilize hydrangeas. You can use decomposted manure, compost, or peat moss. These organic materials will not only provide your plants with nutrients, but also help improve drainage and aeration of the soil. In addition, organic fertilizers retain moisture better in sandy soil and provide good drainage in clay soil.

Organic fertilizers also include any animal products or some decomposed plants. Of course, you need to get the list right and use only what you need for your hydrangeas.

Feeding hydrangeas with organic matter
Photo from @visitedgartown

A very effective method of fertilizing is a compost box, in which layers of organic materials are placed. In such a box, they quickly begin to decompose and then put into the soil. This yields a good full of nutrients loam, which is very useful for hydrangeas. It is allowed to add kitchen waste from vegetables, fruits, grass clippings, torn newspapers, fallen leaves and any pet manure to such a box.

You can also combine sulphur, compost and peat moss in the fertilizer, which gives excellent results and helps hydrangeas bloom better.

Hydrangea compost

Hydrangea compost
Photo from @aleeeder

Compost is easy to find at your local nursery or large store, where it is sold as a ready-mixed product. Be sure to purchase a product specifically designed for hydrangeas. You can also use all-purpose compost, but follow the directions on the package carefully.

The compost itself is very effective at improving the soil, helping to make the soil texture more fertile and rich in vitamins and minerals that hydrangeas need. In addition, the compost retains water, does not prevent air from getting to the root system, helps stabilize the pH level, and maintains optimum breeding levels of beneficial bacteria.

Good compost can be made at home. You will need fruit and vegetable peels, eggshells, coffee grounds, fallen leaves, manure, straw, grass clippings and newspaper. It is important not to use fatty foods, bones, and other products in the compost, as this can cause pests to infest the soil.

Hydrangea compost
Photo from @gardenlifenz

When the components for compost are collected you need to put them in a container, alternating green layers with dark layers. That is, a layer of grass, a layer of coffee grounds, a layer of fruit, a layer of vegetables, a layer of newspapers, a layer of fallen leaves, and so on. It is important that all components be wet, but not too wet, otherwise mold may appear.

Inorganic fertilizers

Inorganic fertilizers
Photo from @cliviamangardens

Inorganic fertilizers consist of chemicals that are extracted from the ground or made in a laboratory. They work quickly, but their effects are short-lived, and they can be harmful to the environment if used improperly. Inorganic fertilizers come in many forms, including pellets, tablets, powders, liquids, and soluble salts. The most popular refer to pellets. Such pellets have a slow release effect of beneficial substances, which is both more effective and long-lasting on hydrangea health.

Inorganic fertilizers are designed to increase the level of acidity in the soil, which hydrangeas like very much. It is important to use such fertilizers according to the instructions. If you do not follow the instructions, it is very easy to kill the flower or damage it.

Indicators for buying ready-to-use hydrangea fertilizer

If you decide to buy ready-made fertilizer for hydrangeas, then it is important to study the instructions. A universal method is to select the following values: 10-10-10 NPK or 12-4-8 NPK. About phosphorus, it is 10-20-10. The level of phosphorus in the soil, helps enhance hydrangea blooms.

How do I fertilize hydrangeas?

How do I fertilize hydrangeas?
Photo from @_havensent_

Not only is the right fertilizer for hydrangeas important, but also the right fertilization process itself. It is best to create yourself the following plan for fertilizing the flower:

  1. Once a year, slow-release fertilizer pellets, which are either chemical or inorganic, should be added to the soil. This type of fertilizer is best for shrub hydrangeas and tree hydrangeas. If you see that this is not enough, the number of pellet fertilizer applications can be increased to two per year;
  2. Always stick strictly to the instructions, because over fertilizing can burn the hydrangea’s leaves and ruin the plant;
  3. If you apply a lot of nitrogen, it will stimulate the growth of the plant, but it will not allow it to flower too abundantly;
  4. In March, May and June, you should add a quick-acting fertilizer to the soil, which is important to distribute evenly along the hydrangea branches;
  5. If you notice that the hydrangea leaves are turning yellow or look diseased, it is not getting enough iron.

How do I change the color of hydrangeas?

How do I change the color of hydrangeas?
Photo from @tuigardenandhome

The easiest way to change the color of a hydrangea is to buy a plant that already has the color you want. However, if you have a white hydrangea and want to make it pink, blue or purple, you can do it yourself. You do this by adding sulfur or lime to the soil. This affects the pH of the soil, which is responsible for the color of the flowers. If you add sulfur and a little soil acidifier, the pH will drop and the flowers will turn blue and purple. To make them pink, you need to raise the pH of the soil by treating the leaves with lime.

Nicolas Wayne

Gardening and lawn care enthusiast

Nicolaslawn
Add a comment

  1. Adele Abruzzese

    My hydrangeas stopped blooming. Large lush green leaves but no flowers this year. What’s going on

    Reply
    1. Nicolas Wayne author
      Reply
  2. Hall

    I’M FROM NEPA, COAL COUNTRY. MY MOM WOULD PUT THE COAL ASH ON DORMANT PLANTS DURING THE WINTER. COME SUMMER THE BLOOMS WERE SKY BLUE OR PERFECTLY PINK. I DO THE SAME WITH ASH FROM MY WOOD BURNER, THEY WERE SKY BLUE THIS YEAR.

    Reply
    1. Nicolas Wayne author

      Great. I’ve never tried it before.

      Reply
  3. Dillan

    Good afternoon. I accidentally poured a lot of fertilizer into my hydrangeas, almost a double or even triple dose. What should I do now? Can the flowers die from this?

    Reply
    1. Nicolas Wayne author

      Good afternoon. Excess fertilizer can lead to a build-up of salt in the soil, and this salt can damage the plants. It is important to read fertilizer directions carefully to make sure you are not overfeeding your plants. Hydrangeas also prefer acidic soil, so if you have alkaline soil, you need to use a fertilizer specifically designed for acid-loving plants.
      Way to remove excess fertilizer is by using a waterwheel separator. This machine separates solid and liquid waste materials. The solids are sent to a landfill and the liquids are used for irrigation or other purposes. Finally, you can also use a capillary trench system to remove excess fertilizer from the soil. This system uses perforated plastic pipes buried in the soil near the plants’ roots. The water travels through the pipes and removes any excess fertilizer from the soil.

      Reply
  4. Milana

    Hi.
    From what I have gathered, it is recommended to fertilize hydrangeas in the early spring or late fall. Can you please provide more information on this topic, such as the reasoning behind these being the best times to fertilize, and if there are any other key factors to consider when choosing when to fertilize hydrangeas? Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Nicolas Wayne author

      Hi Milana.
      Yes, early spring and late fall are indeed the best times to fertilize hydrangeas. During the spring, the plants are preparing to start new growth, so adding fertilizer will give them the nutrients they need to start off strong. In the fall, the fertilizer will provide the plants with the necessary nutrients to help them prepare for winter and recover more quickly in the spring.

      Reply