Planting Hydrangeas: How Deep Should You Plant Them?

Are you planning to add some beautiful hydrangeas to your garden? One of the most important factors that determine the success of hydrangeas is planting them at the right depth. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about planting hydrangeas, including how deep you should plant them.

1. Introduction

Hydrangeas are a popular and beautiful shrub that can add color and elegance to any garden. They are available in a range of colors and sizes and can thrive in a variety of growing conditions. However, one of the most important factors that determine their growth and health is planting them at the right depth. In this article, we will guide you through everything you need to know about planting hydrangeas, including how deep to plant them.

2. Choosing the right spot for planting hydrangeas

Before planting hydrangeas, it is important to choose the right spot in your garden. Hydrangeas prefer a spot that receives partial shade or filtered sunlight for at least 4-6 hours a day. They do not do well in full sun, as their leaves tend to wilt in direct sunlight. Additionally, hydrangeas need well-drained soil with a pH level between 5.2 and 6.5.

3. Soil preparation

Hydrangeas thrive in well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter. If your soil is heavy or clayey, you may need to amend it with organic matter such as compost or aged manure. Mix the organic matter into the soil to a depth of at least 12 inches. This will help improve drainage and fertility, and provide a good base for the plant to grow.

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4. Watering requirements

Hydrangeas require regular watering to thrive. Water them deeply at least once a week, especially during hot, dry weather. Ensure that the soil around the plant is moist but not waterlogged, as this can lead to root rot.

5. When to plant hydrangeas

The best time to plant hydrangeas is in the spring or fall. Avoid planting them in the summer, as the heat can stress the plant and cause it to wilt.

Read more: When is the Best Time to Plant Hydrangeas?

6. How deep should you plant hydrangeas?

When planting hydrangeas, it is important to plant them at the right depth. Planting them too shallow can cause the roots to dry out, while planting them too deep can lead to stem rot. As a general rule of thumb, plant hydrangeas at the same depth as they were in their container. If you are planting bare-root hydrangeas, ensure that the crown is level with the soil surface.

7. Tips for planting hydrangeas

  • Dig a hole that is twice the size of the root ball.
  • Loosen the soil in the hole to a depth of at least 12 inches.
  • Mix in some compost or aged manure to improve soil fertility.
  • Place the plant in the hole and backfill with soil, tamping it down gently.
  • Water the plant deeply to settle the soil around the roots.
  • Mulch around the plant to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

8. Mulching

Mulching around hydrangeas is an important step in their care. A layer of organic mulch such as shredded bark, leaves, or straw can help retain moisture in the soil, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. Apply a layer of mulch around the plant, making sure to keep it a few inches away from the stem. This will prevent the stem from rotting due to excessive moisture.

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9. Fertilizing

Hydrangeas require regular fertilization to maintain their growth and health. Apply a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 or 12-12-12 in early spring, just as new growth is starting. Repeat the application every 4-6 weeks until mid-summer. Avoid fertilizing in late summer or fall, as this can encourage late growth that may not have time to harden off before winter.

10. Pruning

Pruning is an important part of hydrangea care, as it helps maintain their shape, promote healthy growth, and encourage blooming. The timing and method of pruning depend on the type of hydrangea. For example, mophead and lacecap hydrangeas bloom on old wood, so they should be pruned immediately after flowering. Panicle and smooth hydrangeas bloom on new wood, so they can be pruned in late winter or early spring.

11. Common problems with hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are relatively easy to care for, but they can suffer from a few common problems. These include:

  • Wilting due to lack of water or excessive heat
  • Leaf spots caused by fungal diseases
  • Powdery mildew caused by high humidity and poor air circulation
  • Aphid infestations that can stunt growth and deform flowers


Planting hydrangeas can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, but it is important to follow the proper planting and care techniques to ensure their success. By choosing the right spot, preparing the soil, watering regularly, and fertilizing and pruning as needed, you can enjoy beautiful and healthy hydrangeas for years to come.

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