When To Plant Hydrangeas In The UK


One of the most popular flowering shrubs with gardeners here in the UK. Hydrangeas are a hardy deciduous shrub, some which are climbers.

The most popular type is the mophead closely followed by the lacecap. If you have a bigger space to fill the paniculata variety would be a good choice as it is tough and strong, and has a vigorous growth habit and will fill a gap nicely.

The flower colours that a hydrangea produce range from blue, white, red through to pink. As hydrangea flower age they often change colour. By late summer blue and pink flowers fade to become combinations of green and pink/red, and white flowers typically become a vibrant pink.

Hydrangeas can be planted at any time of the year but if planting in the summer when the main surge of sales of hydrangeas happens they will require more care to help them thrive in the garden.

The best time to plant hydrangeas like most shrubs is in spring or autumn, planting at this time will give them an easier time to establish themselves.

Where To Plant Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas prefer some sunshine, a little bit of shade and protection from the wind, also try to plant away from frost pockets to reduce the risk of late frost damage to new spring growth.

The sort of soil conditions a hydrangea likes is in the name, “hydra” which is based on the Greek name for water. So they like moisture and if you have very light soil you can bulk it up with some moisture retentive organic material.

How To Plant Hydrangeas

  • Water your hydrangea well before planting.
  • Make a planting hole as deep as the rootball and three times wider.
  • Plant your hydrangea so that the surface of the compost in the pot is level with the surrounding soil to avoid planting too deep.
  • Firm the soil around the rootball well.
  • Mulch with leafmold which will do two things, it will both create a nice fibrous loam as it breaks down which the surface roots will go into and also keeps the moisture in.
  • Water in to help the establishment and aim to keep the soil damp in the coming weeks.

Watering Hydrangeas

Water your newly planted hydrangea regularly during the first growing season especially when we’ve had no significant rain, even mature plants will benefit from watering during hot dry spells.

Feeding Hydrangeas

Regular feeding of established hydrangeas is not generally needed. Too much fertiliser can encourage excessive soft, leafy growth, with the plant less likely to develop flower buds and more at risk from frost damage.

Your hydrangea will benefit far more from being mulched rather than a feed with a general fertiliser.

Pruning Hydrangeas

We have a whole article dedicated to pruning hydrangeas check it out here.