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I have 3 pink Hydrangeas in pots and want to plant them in a bed, do I need to put ericaceous compose in the soil? the flowers have almost died, shall I cut them off first?? 
and is it alright to do it soon,?


  • I have three Hydrangeas in the ground and non of the are in ericaceous compost. I leave the flowers on over winter. I could be wrong on both point but this is how I plant mine but if I'm wrong someone will correct me.
  • It would be useful to identify what type of hydrangea they are so you know what to prune in the paniculata ones flower on new wood while shrub ones on old. You definitely don't want to prune the wrong part of the plant and not get any flowers next year.

    There's a detailed guide here: 

    I'd leave the flowers on for winter protection of the plant. Shame you didn't plant them earlier in the season so they establish a but more but at least rest assured they do so much better in the ground than in a pot.
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • Just taken these pics of the 3 pots, do not know type's, but two look the same and one is different,
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,955
    Is that the bed you want to plant in? One of those will fill that in a few years.  :)
    Generally speaking, pink varieties need a neutral to alkaline soil to stay pink, so you wouldn't add ericaceous compost.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,530
    Blue-flowered hydrangeas need acid soil, or ericaceous compost, to stay blue.  In neutral or alkaline soil, blue ones revert to pink.  If you're happy with pink flowers, you needn't be picky about what you plant them in.
  • LynLyn Posts: 22,860
    Bear in mind when planting that in 2 years time or less, one plant will be at least 5’ in all directions, so plant them at least 6’ apart if you want a hedge.
    If you already have acid soil in your garden they will turn blue over the years, next year will be a pinky mauve and so on until you get blue. 
    You need to cut the flowers off and down to the next leaf bud at the end of March to mid April depending on the weather.
    If you cut them too soon and get a frost it will blacken the leaf buds and you will need to do it again down to the next bud. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Just measured that bed, it is approx 4ft square, so might only put the two smaller ones in there, thanks for the pruning advice,
    So if I was to put some ericaceous compost in there might they turn blue??

  • LynLyn Posts: 22,860
    4’ square isn’t really big enough for one unless you have room for it to spill out over the edges and  don’t plant anything else around it. 

    People dont realise how big these shrubs grow.  I have one here that’s about 15’ across. 
    Mostly around 6’,  pruning doesn’t keep them small, I cut a row of them down to the ground in April 18, they’re huge now. 
    Never a good idea to try and change your soil, it doesn’t work, you will end up with a grey/purple, my advise is to work with the soil you have, I would love some pink ones, unfortunately mine are all blue. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,955
    @widgetwilk ann- if you want blue ones,it's better to buy blue ones, assuming your soil is suitable. If it isnt, you'll need to make a contained bed and fill it appropriately. 
    As @Lyn says - it doesn't work to constantly fight your conditions  :)
    She's also echoing what I said about the size of your bed. Hydrangeas get massive. The reason yours are the size they are is because they're in small pots and aren't yet mature.
    I've also just noticed that you seem to have lavender in the bed. Opposing conditions to what hydrangeas like, if they're doing well there. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • The lavender only been there a year and it is not looking good, have this one in a different part of the garden, it's been there at least 3/4 years, I do keep it pruned a bit, but not a lot, perhaps I have a 'dwarf' variety.

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