Tried 3 Hydrangea need HELP!

I have tried planting a Hydrangea in my back yard and they just won't grow. I live in Virginia and our dirt is mostly red clay. I see the bushes in a lot of other yards, with such pretty flowers and bushy. I can usually get most plants to grow but this doesn't want to help me out. If there is anyone that can give me any suggestions I would greatly appreciate it.

  7 answers
  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Jan 05, 2018
    mix lots of compost into the soil. maybe even try them in a huge pot. they love coffee grounds scattered around the base too. Often it takes a 2nd year for them to really grow much: first year they sleep, 2nd year they creep, 3rd year they leap .. this is true for most plants.. They also love acidic soil, and any fertilizer for camielas or evergreens.

    • Pandy Robertson Pandy Robertson on Jan 21, 2018
      Thank you for answering and giving me suggestion on what to do! I will surely try it and see.

  • Lisa S. Lisa S. on Jan 05, 2018
    They prefer an acid based soil. Fertilizer for acid based plants. You may have to dig out some of the clay and replace with top soil. Clay keeps the soil from draining well. They like sun, but not tons of it.

  • Bam24686315 Bam24686315 on Jan 05, 2018
    This definitely depends on the type of hydrangea you are trying to grow. Yes soil conditions and type play a role and it is always best to mix compost and organic material with your current soil. You should never just remove clay soil from the hole and replace with something else. Since the clay does not drain well it just forms a clay bucket that is going to hold water and the roots will tend to stay in this new soil and not spread to surrounding soil. You need to look very closely at the amount of sun the area gets during the day especially during the heat of the summer. Some varieties like full to part sun such as the paniculata varieties, also called peegees. Most of the others require shade to partial sun. Also, the hothouse grown one's that are in full bloom that people receive from florists are not as hardy as ones you find at garden centers that are meant for planting directly in the ground.

    • Pandy Robertson Pandy Robertson on Jan 05, 2018
      Thank you for answering my question. You told me more than a nursery around me and a person that does landscaping that we know. I can't wait to be able to try what you have told me to see if I have luck this go round. Thank you again!

  • Bam24686315 Bam24686315 on Jan 05, 2018
    You are quite welcome. When you have questions like this also try the Cooperative Extension Service in your state. They will have experts who can help plus they should have a volunteer branch called Master Gardeners who have gone through an extensive class program to help with things like this. If you love gardening you may want to take the course. It is well worth the time and you learn so much. I am a Master Gardener in Alabama and when I find questions like yours I try to help. We also have hard red clay in our area and I know what it is like to try to plant anything in it. What I told you about not creating a red clay bowl also applies to planting trees and shrubs. As far as when to plant, most shrubs and trees should be planted in late fall or early spring after the chance of hard freezes. Planting at this time forces the growth to the roots rather than trying to support new leave and branch growth. This helps it to be better established for the heat and dry conditions of summer. Good luck!

  • Pandy Robertson Pandy Robertson on Jan 06, 2018
    Thank you for the web page for gardening know how. It was a very interesting article about Hydrangea's. I am getting a great response to my question. I think this one told me more.