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Hydrangeas are known for being among the thirstiest of garden plants, and in Greek, the word “hydrangea” means “water vessel” – so it’s no surprise you need to keep a watchful eye on water levels. But how much you should water your hydrangea depends on how well established your plant is.
How do I know when my hydrangea needs water?
The basic rule is that when the leaves start to droop, the hydrangea needs a drink.
If you are using a liquid type of fertilizer and the plant is dry, water well at least four to six hours before fertilizing to prevent fertilizer burn, and use a slow-release fertilizer where possible.
When watering, aim for the base of the plant as this will help prevent mold and fungus.
Watering newly planted hydrangeas
When planting hydrangeas, it is important to keep them adequately watered until they are established and adapted to their environment, with a strong root system.
Hydrangeas need to be watered regularly at this stage: whenever the leaves begin to drop, or at least three times a week.
While watching out for drooping leaves, also make sure that the soil is moist, and does not dry out between waterings.
Hydrangeas have shallow roots, so using mulch is necessary.
Use two to three inches of hardwood mulch to help retain moisture.
This being said, they do not like wet feet, so be sure to avoid waterlogged soil.
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Watering established hydrangeas
As your hydrangea grows, it becomes less dependent on frequent and precise watering.
Depending on the type of Hydrangea you have cultivated, different types require different water needs.
Of all the different types, Hydrangea macrophylla usually requires the most water, while Hydrangea arborescens and Hydrangea quercifolia require less.
Generally speaking, you can take waterings down to two per week once the plant is established.
During winter, Hydrangeas are dormant, so they do not require watering.
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