Love hydrangea, but not sure how to get started? Here are some ideas and inspiration and simple tips for growing hydrangea in Texas.
Hydrangeas are shade-loving, easy-to-grow flowers that are a great addition to any garden and home. See how hydrangea in Texas can thrive.
I need to start this post with the obvious.
I am not a master gardener. Not even close. I’m just someone who loves hydrangeas. I love the way they change color and how they bloom all summer and how the blooms look like pieces of modern art and how beautiful they are when they dry.
And I’ve been to the school of hydrangea hard knocks.
I’ve been planting them for over 15 years and along the way, I’ve figured out what works and what doesn’t and how to get them to bloom and when to leave them alone and when to talk to them and tell them they are beautiful.
Hydrangeas can be a little tricky.
A little fussy.
A little challenging.
Especially if you want to try and plant them in an area where the soil isn’t made for them and the temperatures reach over 100 degrees. Can you grow hydrangeas in Texas?
Yes. Yes, my friend, you can. You are talking to someone who has grown them successfully for years. Because just between us? At the end of the day?
All they need is love.
Here are my simple tips for growing hydrangeas in Texas.
What is the best place to grow hydrangeas?
I’ve planted hydrangeas in different places. I’ve planted them where they only get morning sun. I’ve planted them where they got partial shade and then the shade moved and sun showed up. And I quickly discovered that if you want them to survive and thrive in Texas, you want to plant them in an area that looks like this.
See the dappled sunlight in these pictures?
See the little bits of sunlight that come down through the trees?
Watch your yard and find the places that look like this.
When growing hydrangeas, you want to find a place where they get a little early morning sun and then dappled sunlight the rest of the day. By dappled sunlight, I mean mostly shade, but the trees have enough room in their branches to let the sunlight through. This shades them from the harsh heat of summer but lets enough sunlight through to help them grow.
How do I amend the soil for growing hydrangeas
And speaking of dirt.
If you are growing hydrangeas in the Texas soil and walking away and thinking that they are going to survive? You are thinking wrong.
When you first plant your hydrangeas you want to dig a hole about 15″ to 18″ deep. Remove all the existing soil.
And then? Make your own.
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy.
Mix peat moss and potting soil and a little pine mulch together and then refill the hole.
We also build up extra soil in a dirt mound around the plant to give it even more of a barrier to protect it.
Here are my best tips on composting if you want to make your own soil amendments.
How often do I water hydrangeas?
As much as possible.
Especially when growing hydrangea in Texas.
Hydrangeas are one of the thirstiest plants I have ever met. After you plant them, you’ll want to water heavily for the first week. Check and make sure the dirt mound is damp. You’ll want to make sure to water carefully so you don’t want to wash away all that wonderful dirt you have created.
After the hydrangeas get established, we usually water them every couple of days until July and August and then we have to check on them daily to make sure the soil doesn’t start drying up.
How do I prune my hydrangeas in Texas?
This really depends on the type of hydrangea in Texas that you get. When the winter comes, hydrangeas lose all their leaves and you are left with branches just sticking up out of the ground (this is the part where you have to remind yourself how pretty they look the rest of the year). You might be tempted to trim down those sticks.
At least until you wait one blooming season.
Some varieties bloom on old wood, so you don’t want to trim wood that might have blooms on it. This is one of the most common reasons why hydrangeas don’t bloom after the first season, there’s no place for them to bloom and only leaves show up.
Watch your hydrangeas in the spring. If they bloom on new growth and the old branches don’t have any blooms or leaves on them, then you can trim them down.
I generally don’t trim mine at all.
I just let them be the boss of me.
What are the best varieties of hydrangea in Texas?
When growing hydrangeas, here are some of the varieties of hydrangeas that work well in Texas:
- Oakleaf hydrangea (I don’t like this variety as much because the flowers aren’t as colorful and they are cone-shaped)
- PeeGee hydrangea (similar but better to me than the oakleaf because the flowers turn pink eventually)
- Endless Summer hydrangea (this is the one I’ve had the best luck with the summer heat)
- Annabelle hydrangea (I haven’t tried this one myself, but it’s supposed to be hardier)
- Limelight hydrangea (Another one I was thinking about trying next year)
How do I keep my hydrangea beds trimmed?
When you are growing hydrangeas think it’s important to make sure your beds are trimmed and weeded to give your flower beds the very best chance for surviving the hot summer months.
Keeping flower beds trimmed and free of weeds and debris helps the entire hydrangea bed.
Make sure the bed has adequate mulch as well.
We mulch every summer and every fall to help keep moisture in the beds. In the fall, we make a mound of mulch around the hydrangea plants to protect them from the winter chill.
Here are my hydrangeas.
These are my wonderful, amazing, incredible new friends with their dappled sunlight and their fresh mulch and their watered soil.
I talk to them and decorate with them every day.
I tell them they are beautiful and wonderful and that they are going to stretch their roots and bloom their blooms and this is the start of their amazing hydrangea story.
Because everyone needs a little encouragement to live their best life.
And hydrangeas are no exception. 🙂