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Hydrangea is one of the best houseplants and caring for it can be very rewarding. Those low- maintenance green beauties will gift you with the show-off blooms all summer long.
Hydrangeas are also often called hortensias and are native to Asia and the Americas.
Today, there are more than 75 species of beautiful flowering plants in the hydrangea genus. Since you came across this article, you must be wondering about the soil hydrangea loves and enjoys the most.
A hydrangea loves soil that is well-draining and contains loam and sand. However, as we already know, they are pretty low-maintenance, therefore will tolerate many different types of soil if other requirements are satisfied.
Soil Hydrangea enjoy the most must-have pH that is above 5.5.
The beautiful hydrangeas will not have a problem growing in many different locations and environments.
However, in order to be happy and healthy, they have some minimal specific requirements that need to be followed.
Therefore, keep reading to find out what types of soils will make your hydrangeas happy and thriving and what needs to be considered.
What Soil Should you Use for a Hydrangea
Composition, drainage, and pH levels are some of the factors that go into making the ideal soil combination for shrubs.
While they may endure greater variances in some circumstances, hydrangeas have some precise requirements.
The drainage needs of hydrangeas might be a little finicky. The roots of hydrangeas may start to rot if the soil is too dense and water collects at the surface.
On the other side, hydrangeas will dry up too rapidly if the soil does not retain moisture effectively.
The ideal soil hydrangeas enjoy is rich and loose. Each hydrangea species has its own requirements and prefers slightly different soil types.
Bigleaf Hydrangeas, also known as lace cap and Mophead, love the soil that drains well and at the same time retains the moisture. The pH level is greatly influencing the bloom colors in this species.
Mountain hydrangeas also prefer the soil type that lets the water drain well and at the same time holds the moisture.
Oakleaf Hydrangeas can be hardier in comparison to others and therefore can live in soil that dries out faster.
Also, this particular one does well in the sandy soil in comparison to other species. If the soil stays wet for a longer period of time, the Oakleaf hydrangeas are often victims of root rot.
The Smooth Hydrangeas, unlike other types, will do just fine with soil that does not retain too much moisture. This particular one also enjoys the good drainage too.
Providing the proper nutrients to grow a healthy plant with plenty of flowers is very important.
If you have added organic matter to the soil before planting the hydrangea, this will give them all they need for thriving.
Mulching the area around your hydrangeas once a year is a fantastic approach to maintaining dirt fertility and promoting a healthy soil environment.
It is a good idea to apply fertilizer to the soil to ensure the hydrangea gets all the nutrients it needs if the soil around you is poor and can not support the plant with the needed minerals.
By giving the fertilizer, hydrangea will not have to face competition for food and nutrients.
The fertilizers that include nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium alongside with and iron, will provide the hydrangea all the essential food.
Choosing the soil with the right pH level is also very important for hydrangea development and growth. Both acidic and alkaline soil is suitable for growing hydrangeas.
This plant will grow in a location where other garden plants feel fine. The soil for a Hydrangea is recommended to be a pH level between 5.5 and 7.5, However, it can withstand a pH range of 5.0 to 8.0.
You might have assumed that because so many gardeners constantly discuss correcting the soil surrounding hydrangeas, hydrangea’s well-being was determined by the alkaline or acidic soil.
However, this is done to alter the color of some hydrangea cultivars that grow blue blooms in soil with acidity. Hydrangeas are not as particular and strict regarding the pH level of the soil as they are about water retention.
However, an interesting fact is that the soil pH has an effect on the bloom colors. It is up to the soil pH level whether the hydrangea has blue or pink flowers.
In order to maintain the ideal soil conditions, it is essential to regularly add annual mulch. The high acidity causes blue blooms and the lower acidity level produces pink blooms.
While it is important to consider the soil’s pH while growing particular types of hydrangeas, as long as the pH is not excessively alkaline or acidic, your hydrangea will thrive and you won’t need to worry too much.
The Best 3 Soils for a Hydrangea
1) Miracle-Gro’s Potting Soil
The Miracle-Gro is designed for specific hydrangeas and is a great help in the blooming process. Soil contains the elements such as perlite, vermiculite, peat moss, and fir bark.
The peat moss is mostly responsible to keep the soil moist. The mix comes with a small amount of fertilizer, making up 0.5 percent of the overall soil mix.
It also has a wetting agent which helps the hydrangeas to get enough water and get rid of the excess one.
The soil mix is preferred to be used in the late fall or late winter when you decide to plat or replant the hydrangeas. The Miracle-Gro’s potting soil is enough for 6 months and eliminates fertilizing needs.
Even though there are some negative comments too about this particular potting mix, this still remains to be one of the most famous and widely used hydrangea soil.
2) DaKine 420 Coco Coir Lite
Dakine 420 Coco Coir Lite is a soilless mix that is mainly made for growing vegetables but also can be used for hydrangea.
This particular one is not really famous and widespread, however, can help hydrangea in the growing process. The soil mix is good for both indoor and outdoor plants.
The varieties of hydrangeas to which the Dakine Coco Coir works best are the Panicle hydrangea, Oakleaf hydrangea, Bigleaf hydrangea, Macrophylla hydrangea, hydrangea paniculata.
Especially if you have your hydrangea in a pot, it can benefit from this particular soilless mix.
The Coco Coir Lite mix is made from perlite, fir bark, coarse, and shredded leaves. The mix makes the propagation process easier too.
Some negative comments state that people had problems with controlling the pH level of the soil when using this particular mix.
3) Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N Feed
The Shake ‘N feed is the soil mix, especially for the flowering shrubs and trees, and therefore, works well with hydrangeas too. the product can be used indoors in containers or outdoors.
This product contains kelp meal, bone meal, and earthworm casting. All those together make a good source of nutrients.
The soil will keep hydrangeas satisfied for 3 months. One of the downfalls of this product is that it is expensive in relation to others that are presented on the market.
Do Hydrangeas Need Ericaceous Soil?
Ericaceous soil or Ericaceous compost has high acidity and has no lime. It is not suitable for all plants since some of them can’t stand the acidic breakdown.
This kind of soil is traditionally combined with peat, although bark can also be added.
Depending on the type of hydrangea you have and if you want to manage the blossom color will determine whether or not your plants need ericaceous compost.
Take into account the fact that bigleaf hydrangeas are the most widespread species. These bushes have large blue or pink flowers, with a few pink and purple blooms thrown in.
The mopheads and lacecaps in particular are very intriguing since the colors of the flowers can be changed with the changes in pH level.
Therefore, if you wish to have hydrangeas that have blue-colored flowers, make sure to use ericaceous compost.
Blooming hydrangeas require a location that receives morning sunlight but afternoon shade when they are being grown. This aids in keeping the soil wet for them.
This is another reason why plant lovers employ them in their shady yard borders. These bushes require rich, wet soil, as was previously noted.
The roots will be able to store more moisture if there is an increase in organic matter. Ericaceous soil can be put to lighter the dirt and help in the feeding process of hydrangeas.
One of the greatest ways to make the flowers blue is by the mix of ericaceous compost and potting mix.
This way, regardless of what the soil hydrangeas are planted in consists of, you can adapt and modify it according to your wishes and at the same time, will provide the plant with needed nutrients.
Will Hydrangeas Grow in Clay Soil
Clay soil can be found in many places and therefore, it can cause trouble for gardeners. The majority of plants, can not tolerate the clay soil, however, this does not apply to hydrangeas.
Those beauties can withstand the clay soil which can hold a pretty large amount of moisture. Generally, the hydrangeas will not have a problem growing in the clay soil even if the environment and circumstances are not great.
Clay soil holds moisture, so you won’t need to water the plant as frequently. Other than that, the clay soil hydrangeas may be planted in will not give a lot of difficulties.
The “bathtub effect” is a problem that might arise following heavy rains if your soil is clay and contains loose substrates like peat, moss, etc.
However, all this does not means that there is no harm to the hydrangeas in clay soil.
Due to the substrate, if the soil where you planted the hydrangea is less dense in comparison to the rest of the garden, water may become retained during heavy rains and cause root rot.
Therefore, it is essential to watch for the signs of root rot, which mainly is the yellow leaves.
Rotting the hydrangea roots does not happen frequently. Only if the hydrangea is situated at the bottom of a slope, this might occur.
Wherever the soil is looser, water will descend and gather in the roots of hydrangea. You can check to see whether the water in your garden collects and turns stagnant.
You can follow the instructions listed below. In order to check the soil, you can do the following.
Step 1: Dig a hole and make it 10 inches in depth and10 inches in diameter.
Step 2: Wait for 6 or 7 hours and check again.
Step 3: If the water is not collected in the hole, this means that the soil is absorbent and therefore, the drainage is fine. However, if there is water collected, then the issue is real and the soil may require additional modifications.
Amending the clay soil before putting the hydrangea in it can be a very wise decision.
You can make the soil more suitable for the hydrangeas by digging a hole that is at least two to three times larger than the hydrangea’s root ball.
In the first year of growth, the roots will have enough space to penetrate the soil and won’t be formed into a ball as it does in clay soil.
You can consider several things when planting hydrangea in clay soil and these factors will make it much easier for the plant to be happy and thrive.
First of all, try to put the hydrangea in a sunny spot, because the clay holds too much moisture and it will not be faded even if placed under the sun. If you see the pit forming after watering, you can add some more soil to even it out.
When having hydrangea in clay soil, you need to be very careful with watering. Especially in the first year after planting. You have to check the soil moisture level once in a while to make sure that you are not giving it too much or too little water.
Soil that contains clay can be amended by the addition of organic matter, for example, compost. this will not only improve the drainage but also provide great help for roots to grow freely.
How to Make your Own Hydrangea Soil
You can make the perfect soil for your hydrangeas. Hydrangeas will enjoy the most are rich in nutrients and well-draining. To archive this, you can use organic compost and manure.
Beneficial soil microorganisms are provided by organic matter, which improves the soil quality and makes it rich.
Hydrangea roots have space to expand and can avoid root rot in well-drained soil. Before planting, cover the soil with 2 to 3 inches of organic matter in the spring and work it into the ground to a shovel’s depth.
If you pot the 2-inched layers of mulch over the planting bed. In the winter, it will increase the organic matter available to microorganisms, minimize soil erosion, and compress the soil.
You must increase the acidity of the soil to cause blooms to become blue. The simplest approach to achieve this is to add ericaceous compost to the soil surrounding the hydrangea, which has a pH level of 5.5.
This may be accomplished by adding compost to the mulch or by digging up the hydrangea in the winter when it is dormant and enriching the soil before planting it back in its original location.
You must increase the soil’s alkalinity if you want your blossoms to turn pink. Raise the pH of the soil surrounding your hydrangea to do by applying garden lime.
Observe the instructions on the packaging. Throughout the growing season, continue applying lime to the soil every three to four weeks.
Again, patience is required for this process, so do not anticipate seeing pink Hydrangea blossoms right immediately.
You can have a hydrangea in the garden or at home, in the container. In both settings, it needs to be provided with essential elements that help in the growth.
You can make hydrangea soil by yourself, at home. For the mix, you will need several essential ingredients:
Peat moss loosens up the soil and creates a better drainage system, all of this is very essential for the hydrangeas. However, peat moss can make the pH level lower, which can be balanced by the addition of garden lime.
As an alternative to peat moss, you can use the coco coir in the soil. This one is also the tool to loosen the soil and also make sure that it retains enough moisture. Coco coir has a neutral pH balance.
You can make the soil mix suitable for hydrangeas with many various and different ingredients, however, the simplest way that it can be done is by a mix of 3 parts of Patio Soil, One part of Peat moss, and one part of Coconut Coir.
You can also use any soil that has good drainage and retains moisture well. Additionally, you can also include several elements and organic matter in your mix such as tree barks, coarse, shredded leaves, vermiculite, and/or perlite.
Hydrangeas are beautiful blooming bushes that will eventually make your garden look fantastic and beautiful. Those green gifts of nature bring positivity and happiness whenever they are planted.
Soil hydrangeas prefer is loamy and enriched with organic matter. Your green friends will feel wonderful if the dirt has a porous texture and good drainage, this will also help the hydrangeas to spread the roots freely.
If you have poor soil in the garden, no worries, you can make the adjustment which will make the overall environment much better. However, if the situation is not very serious, hydrangeas will do just fine even in harsh conditions.