How to Grow Happy Hydrangeas

October 13, 2015 by Belinda

There is something about hydrangeas that I have always loved. They have been on my radar from an early age. We had a long row planted along the driveway of my childhood home. I remember each year my dad would get into trouble (from mum!) for pruning them to a wooden stump. But sure enough, each spring they would bounce back in a spectacular display of blues and mauves. Hydrangeas feature in so many of the beautiful Hamptons gardens that are on my Glorious Gardens Pinterest board.

I am definitely no green thumb, so have sought advice from Mark of  VDB Gardens on how to grow happy hydrangeas. We were so thrilled with Mark’s design and maintenance of our previous garden. He will be constructing our new garden which I am excited to say includes hydrangeas (Annabelle variety).

Tip 1:

Hydrangeas don’t have to be pruned. Try and choose a variety that won’t grow too large for the garden space.

Hydrangeas en masse provide a beautiful display of colour. I love these blues against the white house.

How To Grow Happy Hydrangeas

New England Home

How To Grow Happy Hydrangeas

Howard Design Studio

One of my favourite images is this pathway of hydrangeas. It looks so inviting.

How To Grow Happy Hydrangeas


Tip 2:

When pruning, remove any dead or old wood back to ground level.

I love the idea of hydrangeas along a boundary.

How To Grow Happy Hydrangeas

Janice Parker

How To Grow Happy Hydrangeas

Howard Design Studio

Tip 3:

If you are nervous about pruning, select the ‘Snowball’ or ‘Annabelle’ variety that produce blooms every year, regardless of pruning technique.

How To Grow Happy Hydrangeas


Tip 4:

For shade loving varieties, ensure they are protected from the afternoon sun. Hydrangeas in pots will need daily water in the warmer months.

How To Grow Happy Hydrangeas

Bevan Associates

How To Grow Happy Hydrangeas


Tip 5:

Hydrangeas love lime, so when fertilising, put a handful of sulfurated potash, some blood and bone and a handful of lime to encourage large blooms. It’s best to fertilise early autumn before dormancy, and then in early spring and summer.

Hydrangeas are the perfect plant choice for softening a large retaining wall.

How To Grow Happy Hydrangeas

Janice Parker

They are one of my favourite flowers to decorate with too. Their abundant blooms are easy to style in a vase or jug.

How To Grow Happy Hydrangeas, Gallerie B

Tip 6:

Mark’s final tip is don’t forget your local nursery for any specific questions about growing or pruning hydrangeas.

Mark included the Hydrangea ‘White Ball’ variety along our new house. Still in their early stages but looking forward to a beautiful thick row of them in the next couple of years.

Tips from the expert of how to successfully grow hydrangeas.


Belinda XO

13 thoughts on “How to Grow Happy Hydrangeas”

  1. Bel! We have a ton of hydrageas planted around our stone sunroom! They need Mark’s help. I’m running off to buy fertilizer with Lime! I wonder if he could tell our variety with a photograph? We have been told not to prune.

  2. I love hydrangea’s too, but didn’t have much luck last season. I’ll try again this year… the heat in Perth is deadly for these beauties…. so I need to re-think a cooler shady spot. Thanks for the tips- will definitely be referring to this again.

  3. I also am a fan of hydrangeas, but am having a problem with leaf spotting. I have a couple of varieties and both have spotted leaves. Anyone have a solution?

    1. Hi Dot, thanks so much for stopping by. Unfortunately I can’t help you but I would suggest taking a leaf with the spot on it to your local nursery. I’m sure they will be able to help you. Good luck!

  4. Pingback: Friday's Favourites: Gallerie B

  5. I’ve been trying to grow hydrangeas in front of my house for years. I’ve probably planted six of them through the years but only two of them have survived. The two surviving plants have not grown very big and they never flower; it’s always just green leaves. Do you have any suggestions or any idea as to what’s causing this?

    1. Hi Litsa, I’m definitely no expert but have found that a shady spot seems to work well as they don’t like direct sun. Hope this helps. Thanks

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