Update on Garden Hydrangea, Surviving Summer

Florida garden hydrangea

Now my little hydrangea is in the ground and here is what I’ve learned. Deadheading Florida hydrangeas is a good idea. I found new growth and new flowers hidden beneath those huge, dying blooms.

blue flowers turning green
Blooms turning green and dying

Until a few weeks ago I had not tried to grow a hydrangea in my Florida yard. I kept thinking there was no way it would do well in all this heat. So the fact that my little hydrangea plant is doing so well is a nice surprise. If it has been growing in a greenhouse it would adapt well to warmth, and it does seem to be thriving this summer.

blue to green hydrangea flowers
Underside flower colors

In the north, I let the flowers dry out on the stems, but that won’t work here because there is no real Fall season. The extreme humidity means the flowers will not easily dry dry up on the bush because the bush will keep on growing! There is no need to anticipate a long, cold winter here.

The top of the flowers were looking dead, but underneath the colors were gorgeous green and blue. Just what I’d expect from a fading blue hydrangea.

hydrangea shrub
The hydrangea shrub is doing well! (So is the dollar weed)

Choose the Right Spot for Planting

Careful consideration should be given whenever you plant something in the home landscape. Does it need sun or shade? Can it handle the wind or does it need a sheltered spot to do well? Will the hose reach for watering?

In Florida, the amount of sun, if any, is a huge consideration. I knew from experience that sun on macrophyllas (like this one) can cause them to wilt. And that was northern sun, which doesn’t compare in the least to the sunshine in Florida. So I chose a spot beneath a large, dense shrub where it would never get direct sunshine, but could still receive some rain.

Florida garden with hydrangea
Planted the hydrangea in a shady spot beneath a shrub

In the photo above, the hydrangea is on the right, toward the front of the garden, with purple-blue little flowers among the green. This is a good spot for anything in pots and I’m presently using it for my ligustrum cuttings. The plant is shaded by the house in the AM and by the shrub in the PM. Some sun does hit the front part of the garden, but not enough to bother it.

Before I Planted It

While the plant was still in the pot and blooming, I put it near the spot I planned to put it for good. It’s garden home, so to speak. That way it could get the same amount of heat and filtered sun. I had to water it twice a day because it was in the pot so I really couldn’t wait to get it in the ground. I didn’t want it to get used to the air-conditioning and then be plopped outside into 100 degree heat!

Growing hydrangeas in Florida
New greenery and little flowers on the hydrangea

I’m sharing some of my most recent photos where you can see the new growth along with some small flowers tucked among the leaves. They appear to be more pink to purple than blue, which would indicate an alkaline soil.

New growth on the garden hydrangea
Hydrangea greenery
hydrangea plant

My little hydrangea appears to be doing well. It’s in a shady spot but gets plenty of natural watering. I doubt it will get very large and I don’t know if it will ever send out big blooms again. I’ll keep watching.

Big Stores Sometimes Sell This Type of Hydrangea

Since there is no such thing as visiting a nursery that sells the type of hydrangeas you find in the north (the type meant to survive a long winter), my only option was to purchase a greenhouse hydrangea from Home Depot. At least I assume it was grown in a greenhouse. It was a small, compact blooming plant and meant to be a gift or indoor plant. Usually you can find them in stores around holidays like Mother’s Day. This one was on a display inside the store – not in the garden section.

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