Question: I just purchased the Beni Gaku Hydrangea and was wondering if I could plant it in a large plastic container? If so would I use potting soil or mix or top soil? Also how much sun can it take. Thank you for your help as well as a great site.

Answer: This hydrangea, Hydrangea serrata 'Beni Gaku', does not handle too much sun at all. It is recommended for shade, or for filtered sun meaning dappled light all day. It could take a few hours of gentle morning sun with shade the rest of the day. It should also be planted in a sheltered location with protection from winter winds.

This hydrangea could be grown in a large container such as a half whiskey barrel. Make sure the container has drainage holes in the bottom to allow excess water to escape. However, you will need to have a place to store it during the winter where it can be kept cool but not freezing, say at about 40 degrees. In a container, it would not be expected to survive the winter outside in your area.

If you plant it in a container, use a top quality potting mix specially formulated for container plants. Do not use top soil or garden soil. You will need to water it regularly to keep the soil evenly moist like a wrung out sponge, not sopping wet/saturated and not dried out.

Enjoy your hydrangea!

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