Hydrangea macrophylla Plant

H2O for Hydrangeas

Hydrangea – it’s the All-American summer flowering shrub for Long Island gardens! So, if you’ve recently added hydrangeas to your garden, here’s the skinny on keeping them in tip-top shape.

Plain and simple, hydrangeas are thirsty plants! During the summer, hydrangeas often wilt during hot days – especially if planted in full sun, and then recover in the evening. Sunny mornings followed by filtered afternoon shade with evenly moist soil is a winning combination for happy hydrangeas.


A word about new plantings

Hydrangeas are no different than any other new plantings; they need adequate water that gets to the root zone of the plant. Best bet – use a soaker hose to deliver water to where it’s needed – the roots. (Some say that a soaker hose isn’t ‘pretty’ in the garden, so ‘hide’ it under a 2-3” layer of mulch.) And if you’ve planted hydrangeas in decorative pots or containers, use a hose to keep the soil moist! Another option, consider installing a drip system to take care of the watering for you.

Here’s another way to keep needed moisture in the soil. Apply 2-3” of mulch after planting, but NEVER on the crown, base, or trunk of the plant. Stay 4-6” away from it, no volcano mulching!

Can’t walk by a hydrangea and not buy it? Totally understandable! If you recently bought hydrangeas and they’re still in their nursery pots, check them regularly for water. They may need daily H2O until you plant. Here’s a helpful hint that’s a little extra work at planting time but is so worth it. Amend the soil with compost or composted manure when you plant; your plants will thank you in the long run.


Caption:  Drought damage on climbing hydrangea.