How to Grow And Care For Your Potted Hydrangeas

Last Updated on August 4, 2022 by Stephanie

Hydrangeas are able to grow and produce lush foliage as well as stunning flower arrangements in pots.

There are some specific guidelines for caring for the hydrangeas in pots (rather than in the soil) you must be aware of in order to get the most of your Hydrangea.

In order to grow hydrangeas in pots, it is crucial to:

  • Select the right pot (Larger Terracotta pots hold the most water)
  • Choose the correct soil to plant (the soil must retain moisture, but be draining)
  • Fertilize your hydrangea in a timely manner
  • Take care of potted hydrangeas during the winter months
  • Learn how to trim potted Hydrangeas
  • Remember that potted hydrangeas require much more water than those in the ground.

The ideal soil for Hydrangeas in Pots

The right soil or compost to grow potted hydrangeas is crucial. The soil must be a structure for hydrangeas that:

  • Will hold and absorb moisture but…
  • Let any excess water flow through to ensure that the roots dont become water blocked

It is therefore essential to plant your hydrangea with lots in organic material. Garden compost or leaf mould is the best choice, however commercial multi-purpose compost can also work.

The leaf mould and compost have the capacity to hold water, which is ideal for hydrangeas since they are large drinkers.

The leaf mould and the compost create the structure which allows water to flow through, and is also loose and flexible enough to allow root systems of hydrangeas to grow into so that they can get the nutrients and water they require.

The most frequent reason that potted hydrangeas dont last is due to the soil that is dry. Place your potted hydrangea in large amounts of compost, and theyll be more resilient to drought.

Water Hydrangeas According to the Conditions

It is essential to water your hydrangeas, potted hydrangeas in accordance with the specific conditions of your garden.

Potted hydrangeas require much more water than grown hydrangeas because only a small space to draw water. Additionally, the sun could warm the pot theyre within, which can increase the rate of evaporation of the soil.

Hydrangeas that are watering with a minimum of 1-2 Gallons (4 up to eight litres) each time you are watering them.

Potted hydrangeas that are in full sun will require daily watering throughout the summer. Hydrangeas that are shaded in the afternoon will be better able to hold more water and require only 3 waterings each week during the summer. Hydrangeas in partial shade or in dappled sunlight may require only two times every week.

It is recommended to water your hydrangeas in the morning to provide the plant with the water it requires and stop the soil from becoming too dry during hot summer months.

Hydrangeas require 1-2 gallons of water per soak, instead of just moistening the initial few inches of soil each time you apply water.

Alternately, you can use an hose that soaks connected with an irrigation device, making sure that the soil is well-watered even in the hot temperatures.

This will allow rootstocks of the hydrangea plant to develop deep into the soil and grow well.

If you are watering using a hose or can make sure to water the pot in a slow manner to ensure that the water is fully absorbed by the soil. This could mean you need to stop periodically before you can resume watering.

In the initial month after placing your hydrangea into the new pot, you will have to water it at least once per every day during the initial month. It is essential to water thoroughly during the first month as the roots of the hydrangea get well-established in the new habitat.

Hydrangeas vary in size based on the species, however larger ones will require more water than the smaller ones.

vase with pink and blue hydrangeas near window

Hydrangeas can take full sun (but prefer shade)

Hydrangeas are the most content when they have sun in the morning, and a bit of shading in afternoon. Morning sun in direct sunlight is ideal for hydrangeas since it encourages flowering and bigger blooms, but shade during the afternoon is appreciated because it provides the plant and soil a break from the hot sun.

The potted plant is more susceptible to drying effects from scorching summer sun since the hydrangea is naturally more exposed than hydrangeas in the soil. Shade in the afternoon can reduce the rate of transpiration from the soil as well as transpiration from the leaves, preventing the hydrangea from drying out.

If your hydrangea grows located in the sun all day long, it is essential to ensure that the soil is moist, regularly. Larger pots with more organic matter have more capacity to hold water, which is vital to stop the hydrangea to dry out.

In full sun, hydrangeas require watering daily during the hot days, so be sure to keep an eye on them when temperatures rise!

Hydrangeas thrive in light dappled and partial shade, but they thrive when they get only a couple of hours of direct sunlight.

Choose the Best Pot for the Job

The container for your hydrangea needs to be fashionable and functional, to look good in your outdoor space.

The right pot to use to use for Hydrangeas list of requirements:

  • Larger pots dont dry out as fast. Pots that are larger are less susceptible to drying effects from the sun as well as exposure to winds. They also have greater amounts of organic matter, which provides your hydrangea with an extra soil to absorb water and avoid the negative consequences of drought in the summer.
  • The pot should allow for free drainage. Certain decorative or improvised style pots dont have drainage holes at the bottom and consequently are unable to hold water. Your hydrangeas roots hydrangeas rooted are not tolerant of water-logged soil and affected by root decay. A couple of holes at the bottom of the pot is enough to ensure adequate drainage. The gravel layer at the bottom will ensure that the hole isnt blocked by soil that has been compacted and allows the water to flow easily.
  • The bigger the pot, the more efficient. Choose a pot that is substantially larger than the one that you bought from the garden center. Hydrangeas dont like smaller pots because they hinder the growth of roots and make it difficult to get access to the nutrients and water the plant requires to flourish.
  • The terracotta-style pots that are thicker retain water better than metal or plastic pots. The hydrangeas thrive in smaller metallic pots, however the thicker terracotta wont take up heat as quickly as a smaller plastic or metal pot, which assists in stopping dry soil. A pot that is thicker will keep the roots cool and help keep the soil moist, which is precisely the kind of conditions that the hydrangeas prefer.

If you have something that can raise your pot off the ground a bit (such as feet for a plant pot) it will help excess water from the pot and not accumulating in the bottom. It isnt always needed in the case of your specific pot, or if it is set on a gravel-lined surface.

Transfer Potted Hydrangeas inside during winter.

The advantages of potted hydrangeas is that you will have greater control over how you keep them safe during winter. It is logical to assume that if youve established hydrangeas in within your garden, and your potted hydrangea will be fine through winter as well.

But roots are more vulnerable to cold when they are in pots than they would be if they were in the soil.

It is recommended that you bring your potted hydrangeas indoors during winter to shield them from the harshest winter months. It could be an indoor greenhouse where the drop in temperature is less extreme or even an indoor garage so that they do not be forced to endure severe frosts.

Potted hydrangeas dont require excessive water during the winter months since they are in an inactive state, therefore, give them a drink every week, with about 1 one liter (2 pints) of water. It is essential to ensure that you dont allow the soil to dry out completely.

The protection of your hydrangeas during winter will allow them to for the spring that follows and so, place the pot in the garden or outside on your patio as the weather begins to warm up in the spring. Do not be concerned about the odd late frost, as hydrangeas are resilient enough to take the cold with ease.

Pruning your Potted Hydrangea

Pruning a hydrangea in a pot is not different from pruning any other hydrangea. But I believe that pruning should be explained using an illustrated guide, and the video below on YouTube which explains the things you should be aware of when pruning the hydrangeas.

Importance of Fertilizing Hydrangeas in Pots

Most potted plants require fertilizer during the summer and spring months because they have less access to nutrients than the garden plants.

A well-balanced fertilizer can encourage healthy growth and provide gorgeous flowers to enjoy. Fortunately, the hydrangeas dont have a lot of fussiness feeders.

A general fertilizer for plants will work perfectly all through. You can purchase specially formulated Hydrangea granulated fertilizers that can be purchased on Amazon. These formulas need to be applied two times a year, once in season of spring (March or April) and again in season of summer (July).

This takes the guesswork from fertilizing your roses since the formula contains the right nutrients in the right amounts for your plant to grow stunning flowers.

I want to emphasize the importance of adhering to the manufacturers specific guidelines when applying fertilizer. A lot of fertilizer can burn the roots and cause death to plants. Be sure to use a careful less is more approach and you will not regret it.

Do not apply fertilizers to late into the growing season (after the 15th of August the 15th) because this can encourage new growth at the same time that your hydrangeas are preparing for winter dormancy.

Fertilizer is more crucial when you plant hydrangeas in pots since there isnt a lot of organic mulch in the same way as you would when hydrangeas are placed in flower beds.


Place your hydrangeas in a large terracotta container to ensure the proper level of moisture in the soil. It is important to use an excellent compost or potting material that holds water well however, it allows for adequate drainage (so the roots dont get overflowing).

Hydrangeas should be watered according to the environment its in. Potted plants require more water than hydrangeas that are placed in the soil. If the temperature is too hot, potted hydrangeas might require watering daily.

Take care of potted hydrangeas during winter by putting them in a garden or garage. Theres less of a need to water during winter months, but be sure that the soil isnt dried out completely during winter.




Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)