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How Do I Care for Potted Hydrangeas?

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  • Written By: T. Carrier
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 04 April 2014
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Potted hydrangeas require more maintenance than their naturally growing counterparts. The plants can still thrive with a diligent caretaker who provides the proper environment. This environment should include ample water, a mild climate, and vigilant upkeep that includes fertilization and relocation during different time periods. The natural environment and seasonal variances will often guide potted hydrangea care details.

Flowers are a popular gift during holidays like Mother’s Day, and hydrangeas are one particularly prevalent pick due to their attractive pink and blue colors and their lushness. Potted hydrangeas can run about 2 feet (about 60 centimeters) high and 2 feet (about 60 centimeters) across. With proper maintenance, the plants are also frequent bloomers.

Mild climates favor potted hydrangeas. Daytime temperatures between 65 (about 18.3 degrees Celsius) and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (about 26.7 degrees Celsius) are ideal, with mid-50s degrees Fahrenheit (12–15 degrees Celsius) temperatures preferable at night. In addition, bright but warm indirect sunlight will likely work best with the plants. A windowsill may serve this purpose provided it does not absorb too much sunlight. The plants may also thrive with shade in the middle and latter parts of the day.

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Caring for hydrangeas may involve keeping the flowers as a house plant or planting them. If one lives in a mild climate where the temperatures mentioned above are commonplace, one may wish to plant potted hydrangeas in a well-preserved garden. More harsh climates, however, will likely require the caretaker to keep the plant inside or in a sheltered location like a garage or porch during the winter. The plant may still be placed outside — provided it is fertilized — during the summer, and fertilization should occur bi-weekly.

In either case, the potted hydrangea should be surrounded by peat moss or bark and pruned once growing ceases. Repotting the plant with the former components will generally help it thrive. Further, for optimal results in growing hydrangeas, one should keep around three flowering shoots on the plant at any given time and prune away the rest.

These flowers also necessitate a steady supply of water. While a caretaker should not soak the roots, they should also never get completely dry either. If a caretaker touches the soil and feels dryness, then watering is probably needed, although less vital during the winter months. The only period of time when the roots of potted hydrangeas should be completely inundated with water is when the plant appears on the verge of dying. Placing a clear plastic covering over potted hydrangeas can briefly preserve water if a watering session must be missed.

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Discuss this Article

Fa5t3r
Post 3

There are several meanings for different hydrangea colors if you are planning on giving someone potted flowers. I know the pink is supposed to represent the giver's beating heart (the bigger, the better!)

I think the blue flowers are supposed to say that the emotions of the giver are heartfelt, so they can be used as an apology, or to add depth to some other kind of flower message.

croydon
Post 2

@MrsPramm - Well, I think if you prune them properly, hydrangeas won't end up getting leggy and that's a problem that affects both potted and planted hydrangeas.

Which is why they often don't seem to last well in gardens either, because people think they don't need any tending after they get put in the ground and that's not true. They are fairly hardy, but you do need to give them some occasional help.

Another thing to remember is that some types of hydrangea will produce different colors depending on soil acidity. I think they are blue when the soil is acid, and pink when it is more alkaline, but there is a huge range of colors in between.

MrsPramm
Post 1

I'm not a huge fan of hydrangeas as potted plants. They only look good temporarily and then they seem to become very leggy and end up looking completely wrong.

I'd rather just have a nice couple of bushes outside and pick the flowers as I need them. Hydrangeas are wonderful for picked flowers and a bunch of them can be very striking.

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