Ensuring your hydrangea has enough water to settle and form roots is vital to promoting its long-term health. Older and newer plants need different amounts of water to thrive, and since hydrangeas are such particular plants, fulfilling their maintenance needs is necessary to keep them alive.
You may wonder how often you should water your newly planted hydrangea to ensure healthy growth and blooms.
You should water newly planted hydrangeas three times a week. This plant species enjoys moist soil—so a typical feeding schedule resembles one to two inches of water throughout the week for the set hydrangea. However, this amount can change depending on where you planted your flower.
Hydrangeas provide a beautiful boost of color in your home or garden—but have particular needs—particularly when newly planted. Whether your hydrangea is brand new or transplanted from elsewhere, newly planted hydrangeas need a little bit more water at the start to help them root properly.
In this article, I will discuss hydrangea watering care for your new plant and how to maintain its growth once it has established itself.
Hydrangeas are particular about their water needs—new hydrangeas need watering at least three times a week. The extra water helps the plant to develop a robust root system wherever you plant the flower.
However, you might wonder exactly how much your hydrangea needs when freshly planted.
Hydrangeas are not species that can survive from little water like a snake plant. They thrive in consistently moist soil, so they need at least two inches (5.08 cm) of water distributed evenly throughout the week.
Newly planted hydrangeas are more vulnerable—and need constant care in their first three weeks while they develop their root system. Each garden and soil has various sunlight, humidity, and evaporation levels.
Thus you should constantly check that your soil is kept moist according to your soil type and weather. Start with frequent waterings three times a week and prevent your soil from dryness between waterings—a finger check will do fine.
Also, look out for drooping leaves and signs of wilting—they are signs that you need to up your watering schedule.
You can overwater vulnerable hydrangeas as they have not yet developed protection against moisture damage. Your plant will flourish in soil rich in organic matter with excellent drainage capacity. If you allow your soil to get waterlogged, your newly planted hydrangeas may not survive.
When a hydrangea experiences root rot, you’ll notice that its foliage will change from yellow to brown and wilt. Additionally, you may see that the stem of the hydrangea just protruding from the soil is darkening in color.
If you suspect your hydrangea is experiencing root rot, there are a few steps you can take to try and help it recover.
- Remove the plant and its roots. The root ball might be soggy, brown, and rotting with matured root rot. The roots that are a healthy shade of white are unaffected.
- Trim the rotten roots. Using sharp, sterilized scissors, trim away the rotten roots from the root ball.
- Replant the hydrangea in new soil. Soil should be rich in nutrients—water the hydrangea after you transplant it, following the recommended watering schedule.
Keep an eye on your plant for the weeks following the transplant to ensure it is adjusting well.
Water-wicking is an excellent way to maintain consistent moisture in your newly planted hydrangea. By placing one end of a string deep into the plant’s soil and the other in a large container of water, the hydrangea can pull water from the container through the string and act as a self-watering plant.
You can also use rope, candle wicks, shoelaces, or strips of fabric. Additionally, you can purchase ETGLCozy Self-Watering Planter Pots (available on Amazon.com) designed to water your plants using the water-wicking method. You can even see the water levels inside the planter, which is an easy reminder to refill when needed.
Below is a DIY YouTube video for building your own water-wicking gadget:
Another watering hack is a TOTYAO Plant Watering Globe (available on Amazon.com), otherwise known as a hydro spike. A watering globe resembles a large rubber dropper filled with water. You dig the tip of the dropper into the plant’s soil, and it takes what it needs– as it needs it—from the gadget.
These hacks are great for the plant parent who is forgetful, busy, or distracted, which covers most of us! They’re also perfect for properly maintaining moisture levels in hydrangeas, which is a significant part of helping the plant thrive.
If you are excited to plant your new hydrangea, take time to ensure they will get the best chance to thrive. Consider these tips when planting your hydrangea:
- Provide adequate shade: If you have planted your hydrangea in a high-sun area, consider placing shade cloth to protect your plant from overexposure.
- Mulch your plant base: Place an area of mulch a couple of inches thick around the stem base of your plant (but not touching the stem!)
- Ensure your soil has excellent drainage: Amend it if it is too compact by adding organic matter.
- Choose your season well. Always plant your hydrangeas in fall or early spring to give the roots time to establish before blooming.
- Ensure your soil is nutrient-rich. Add organic compost to enrich your soil to promote healthy growth.
Once your transplant is established and healthy—consider the following care tips for optimal hydrangea health and growth.
Hydrangeas need at least three to four hours of indirect sunlight a day. Still, they especially love having six or more hours regularly. Typically, they grow in the shade of established trees, so they’re pretty used to the dappled light—however, this doesn’t mean they are necessarily shade-tolerant.
The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, so hydrangeas should get soft morning sunlight while finding refuge in the shade during the hot afternoon sun, where its foliage won’t burn. Some hydrangeas, such as the Oakleaf, can tolerate full shade, but ideally, they should receive a good balance of sun and shade.
Planting your hydrangea or placing its pot in an east-facing window is the best option to achieve this balance. If these aren’t available, consider purchasing Briignite Store Grow Light bulbs (available on Amazon.com), which can provide your hydrangea with any sunlight it may be lacking in its environment.
There are a variety of other grow lights that can be useful in this scenario. Some are free-standing, while others are small lamps designed to fit on a plant shelf. They benefit those living in basement apartments or north-facing homes that don’t get adequate sunlight daily.
If you have light curtains, you can place your hydrangea next to a window with direct light and close the curtains, filtering it to reach the plant with less strength. I don’t recommend putting the plant outside for any sun, as the plant will have adjusted to indoor temperatures and could experience shock if introduced to a much different environment.
Hydrangeas also thrive in specific temperatures according to the US hardiness zones. Too cold and the plant will freeze, but too warm and it will overheat and die—different states across America land in different hardiness zones.
Hydrangeas, in particular, grow best between zones three and nine and even better in zones five to eight. That means hydrangea species can tolerate various temperatures, but most thrive in temperatures between 59-64.4℉ (15–18°C).
Below are some examples of which hydrangeas can live in which hardiness zones.
- Zone 3: Panicle, Annabelle, Smooth hydrangeas
- Zone 4: Limelight, White Moth, Compacta
- Zone 5: Tough Stuff, Oakleaf, Bigleaf hydrangeas
- Zone 6: Hydrangea macrophylla
- Zone 7: Peewee, Snow Queen, Fuji Waterfall
- Zone 8: Blue Bird, Preziosa, Climbing Hydrangea
- Zone 9: Grayswood, Hayes Starburst, Pia hydrangeas
Many of these species can grow in the above zones, understanding that the colder the climate, the less tolerant of a growing environment for the hydrangea. If you plan to grow your hydrangea outside of these hardiness zones, you will need to provide supplemental care and maintenance
You should water newly planted hydrangea approximately three times a week. As it develops a robust root system, you can give your plant two to three inches (5.08-7.62 cm) of water throughout the week to keep its soil moist. If maintaining a watering schedule is challenging, consider using self-watering systems requiring less energy
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Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.