Asked on Feb 15, 2013


Marilyn BDouglas HuntBecky (J) P


Good Day All,
I am new to gardening and would like some assistance with planting hydrangeas. I would like to plant blue and purple mix. I reside in Northern VA and have red clay soil on my property. When should I begin planting the hydrangeas? Secondly, what flowers would you recommend to be planted with the Hydrangeas (this would be on the side of my porch). The hydrangeas will be planted in the front of the porch. Any information that you have to offer would be greatly appreciated.
Trying my green thumb in 2013!
4 answers
  • Kimberly Barney
    on Feb 15, 2013

    Hydrangea bushes' color is determined by the acidity in the soil unless you are planting oakleaf hydrangea.

  • Becky (J) P
    on Feb 15, 2013

    my comment will be to make sure you don't plant them in too sunny a location or you will spend your summer watering them. They aren't called "Hydra"ngea's for nothing!

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Feb 16, 2013

    Marilyn, the type of hydrangeas you describe are mopheads, or Hydrangea macrophylla, and, as Kimberly says, the pH of the soil affects the color they are, so you should get a soil test done before you plant (which will help you with everything else you plant). If you have heavy clay soil, you are going to need to amend it substantially to ensure that it is well-draining. And be mindful of watering. While hydrangeas do like moisture, overdoing it with clay soil can easily lead to root rot. Make sure there is room for the plants: this type of hydrangea gets to be at least 4 by 4 feet. As Becky says, you need to make sure your area has some shade. If the front of your porch gets strong afternoon sun, that is not the place for hydrangeas, as much as you would like it to be. So, the companion plants should like similar conditions: hosta, astilbe, heuchera and Japanese anemone are some that come quickly to mind. Welcome to the sometimes complicated, but very rewarding, world of gardening.

  • Marilyn B
    on Feb 22, 2013

    Good Day Kimberly, Becky J and Douglas Hunt, thank you all for your comments and expertise. It looks like the hydrangea's will find a place on the side of the house. I really love hydrangeas and the way they bloom.

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