The Q&A Archives: Caring For An Hydrangea Inside

Question: I am looking for information on proper care for a hydrangea which I hope to keep inside un til I can safely put it on my patio in warmer weather. How frequently should it be watered? What kind of light and temperature?

Thanks for your help.

Answer: Florist's hydrangea is Hydrangea macrophylla, or big leaf hydrangea. While you have it indoors, provide bright light and keep the soil uniformly moist. Average household temperatures should suit it just fine. When the weather warms in the spring, take it outdoors to grace your patio, or plant it in a permanent spot in your garden. Hydrangea is only a temporary pot plant - it can grow into a huge shrub! Here are some general guidelines for planting and caring for hydrangeas:

Plant in a partially shady spot, with at least some protection from hot afternoon sunshine. Prepare the planting hole by digging one slightly larger than the pot your plant is in. Loosen the soil, then lay the pot on its side and gently remove the plant. You may have to tap the sides and bottom of the pot to coax the plant out. If the roots are spiraling around, straighten them out so they'll grow out instead of around in a circle. Plant at the same level it was growing in the pot and firm the soil all around the roots. Then water well to exclude any air pockets around the roots.

Hydrangeas produce blossoms on new shoots that grow from the previous year's wood. If you prune carefully after the blooms are spent, taking one-third to one-half of the old wood, new flowering shoots will appear the following spring. Plant in rich, porous soil (amend with compost or peat moss to retain just the right amount of moisture), and mulch the root zone to help suppress weeds. Hydrangeas are fast growing shrubs. Prune the flowering
stems back to the ground each year to make room for new stems that will produce flowers.

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