Hydrangeas are a charming, resilient plant that are easy to grow. You can find a variety of textures, plant sizes, colors, and blossom shapes. Many American gardeners like the bigleaf hydrangea because it has snow-ball style flowers.
As with many flowering plants, hydrangeas flourish when they have supplemental feeding during their growing season. Therefore, it is important to choose the best fertilizer for hydrangeas. That way, they will grow larger and bloom bigger.
Table of Contents
- What is the Best Fertilizer for Hydrangeas?
- The Best Fertilizers For Your Hydrangea Plants
- Hydrangea Fertilizer Reviews
- 1. Scotts Company 185001 Garden Pro Water Soluble Miracid Acid Loving Plant Food
- 2. Espoma HT18 Holly Tone
- 3. Espoma UL30 Organic Soil Acidifier Fertilizer
- 4. Dr. Earth 703P Organic 4 Azalea/Camellia/Rhododendron Acid Fertilizer
- 5. Miracle-Gro Plant Food Fertilizer for Acid Loving Plants
- 6. Jobe’s Azalea, Camellia, & Rhododendron Fertilizer Spikes
- 7. BONIDE PRODUCTS INC Bonide 56429 Pink Fertilizer
- 8. JR Peters Inc 59324 Jacks Classic Hydrangea Fertilizer
- When to Fertilize Hydrangeas?
- How Often to Fertilize Hydrangeas?
- How to Fertilize Hydrangeas?
What is the Best Fertilizer for Hydrangeas?
All hydrangea varieties are going to benefit from having a prepared flowerbed. Hydrangeas like soil that is light and drains well. If you have clay-like soil, you might want to add some shredded leaves or compost to your soil.
You can find many organic fertilizers, such as bark, compost, and leaves. These items can boost the nutrient levels within the soil and help it retain moisture.
The fertilizer you choose is based on the type of soil you have. Some fertilizer manufacturers say you should fertilize multiple times a year. However, hydrangeas are easy-going plants and don’t require a lot of extra fertilizer.
Fertilizer is designed to do many things. It should keep the colors more vibrant, feed the plant what it needs to grow, and work instantly. However, fertilizer should also help to develop the roots and make them stronger.
The best fertilizer is the one that works well for your plants and your lifestyle. You may want to consider the size of the container and how long the fertilizer lasts.
Types of Fertilizers
You will find a variety of fertilizer options available. Organic, slow-release and fast-release fertilizer are all options.
Organic fertilizers can reduce the number of chemicals you put in the garden because everything is organic. You will find many options available. You can choose to add compost that you make yourself, but you can buy fertilizer with compost.
Slow-release fertilizers release the nutrients to the plant over a longer time frame. This can reduce fertilizer burn. Fertilizer burn causes the plant roots to dry out and can kill the hydrangeas.
Slow-release options are the most common commercial product. The ideal product is based on a variety of factors, such as where you live, what soil you have, and more. You can also find fast-release options, which instantly feeds the plant.
You will find granular and liquid forms of fertilizer. You can choose the one that is easiest for you to use. Most people like the granules because they shake it out and mix it with the soil.
The Best Fertilizers For Your Hydrangea Plants
It is sometimes helpful to see a table or list of the top fertilizers for hydrangeas. You can get a better idea of how these products compare and what is available.
Hydrangea Fertilizer Reviews
Below, you will find the eight hydrangea fertilizers. The review comes with important information about each fertilizer type. This can help you make the right decision about the fertilizer you choose for your garden and plants.
1. Scotts Company 185001 Garden Pro Water Soluble Miracid Acid Loving Plant Food
The Miracid Acid Loving Plant Food comes in a four-pound box. It is from the Miracle GRO brand. It is designed to instantly feed plants that like acid, which includes hydrangeas and Rhododendrons.
The fertilizer does double duty because it feeds the plant through the leaves and roots. The moment it is applied to the plant, it starts working.
People who use this product are going to notice beautiful blooms. The roots are also going to develop more fully and be stronger.
It will not harm plants or burn the plant if you use it as directed. You can use it with the Miracle-GRO garden feeder or use a watering can to apply the mixture.
This fertilizer has been known to make acid-loving plants grow like weeds. It is sure to bring you more blooms and help your plant look fuller.
2. Espoma HT18 Holly Tone
The Espoma Holy Tone fertilizer comes in an 18-pound bag. It is one of the organic fertilizers. It is specially formulated to work for many plants, including:
- Plants that love acid
Many gardeners have raved about this fertilizer. Professionals in the landscaping business also use it. Therefore, you know that it will work well for you.
If you want to have an organic garden, you will find that this product is approved for such. It also has Bio-tone Beneficial Microbes, which are proprietary to the brand. This means that no other brand has these special Microbes.
It also comes in other sizes from 36 pounds up to 50-pound bags. It is a good idea to buy a larger bag if you have many hydrangea plants. It is also beneficial to buy a large bag if you have many acid-loving plants in your garden.
This fertilizer can help your plants look fuller and healthier. Acid-loving plants are different, so they require special fertilizer. Plus, organic fertilizer doesn’t have any extra chemicals, and everything in it is safe.
3. Espoma UL30 Organic Soil Acidifier Fertilizer
Espoma Acidifier Fertilizer is also organic. It comes in a 30-pound bag. That means you can fertilize a lot of plants with one bag.
The soil acidifier is designed to lower the soil’s pH to the best level for what you plant. It is approved for organic gardening, as well. Therefore, you can plant anything you desire, and it will look fuller and more beautiful.
The ingredients within the fertilizer are all-natural, so it is safer. Many fertilizers use aluminum sulfate, which can be damaging to the plant. However, this fertilizer does not include aluminum sulfate.
You can use this fertilizer for blueberries and hydrangeas. If you choose this fertilizer, it can turn your blooms blue. This is a popular color and style among gardeners, and you don’t have to use special dye or chemicals to get the color.
This fertilizer is slow-acting because it doesn’t contain sulfur ingredients. Therefore, you should follow manufacturer directions and not apply too much. You might also want to fertilize earlier in the year to give the product more time to work.
4. Dr. Earth 703P Organic 4 Azalea/Camellia/Rhododendron Acid Fertilizer
The Dr. Earth Organic Acid Fertilizer comes in a four-pound poly bag. If you use the product as the instructions say, it is safe for pets and people.
As it is organic, it only has natural ingredients. It’s a hand-crafted blend of probiotics, and it has seven strains of soil microbes in it. It also has endo and ectomycorrhizae, and it gives your plants continuous feed for many months.
It is designed to make the soil acidic. Acid-loving plants, like hydrangeas, will start to produce bigger and more beautiful blooms.
The nutrients are released fast, so you get better and faster results. However, one application feeds the plant for a longer time.
It is also designed to store water in case of a drought. You get more nutrients to the plant, and the plant will perform better as a result.
It is suitable for many acid-loving plants, including:
- Shade plants
The four-pound bag is designed to feed 80 small plants or 16 large plants.
5. Miracle-Gro Plant Food Fertilizer for Acid Loving Plants
This Miracle-Gro plant food is designed for acid-loving plants. It is fast-acting, so it instantly feeds your plants to give you bigger blooms and lush foliage. You should use the fertilizer every one or two weeks for the best results.
This product works well for many acid-loving plants, including:
- Many others
You can use this fertilizer with the garden feeder made by Miracle-Gro. However, you do not have to buy a special feeder. You can use it with any watering can or fertilizer sprayer you have on hand.
This fertilizer has iron and other nutrients that your plant needs. It used to be called Miracid, but the name was recently changed.
It comes in a 1.5-pound bag, and it is a little confusing to order yours at first. You can find plant food for Azaleas and Roses, or you can purchase a bloom booster. If you want fuller, bigger blooms, the bloom booster works well, and you can also use the Azalea version for hydrangeas.
6. Jobe’s Azalea, Camellia, & Rhododendron Fertilizer Spikes
The Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes are suitable for a variety of plants, including Azaleas, Rhododendron’s, and Camellia’s. However, they are also great for any acid-loving plant, which includes hydrangeas.
The best thing about this product is that you get a spike that is full of all the fertilizer you need. It’s a time-released spike that slowly releases nutrients to the plant over time.
You don’t have to deal with runoff, so you know the plant is getting all the nutrients. They’re easy to use, and you don’t have any mess or smells. The spike is embedded into the ground, which helps to nourish the roots.
These spikes feed the plant for the entire season. Make sure you read the directions for use. It is best to apply them in spring or summer after the plants have bloomed.
The spike delivers nutrients up to eight weeks. They’re also specially formulated to meet the nutrient needs of your hydrangeas and other acid-loving plants.
The spikes release nutrients over time. Therefore, you may need to wait a few weeks to see results. However, you do not have to measure anything or change the spike, so it is convenient.
7. BONIDE PRODUCTS INC Bonide 56429 Pink Fertilizer
Bonide Pink Fertilizer is designed to turn your hydrangeas pink. If you already have pink hydrangeas, you can still use this product.
Hydrangeas are an excellent plant for people who want to change the bloom color each season. You can get pink blooms, and all you have to do is sprinkle on the fertilizer.
It comes in a 2.75-pound jar with a helpful scoop. You use the scoop to measure how much product you need and sprinkle it around the bush.
This product is designed to raise the pH of the soil. Soil range should be within 6.5-7.0. If your soil has a higher pH, your plants will suffer. However, this product gets the soil pH to that range.
If you don’t know your soil pH, you might want to purchase a soil tester first before using the product. This fertilizer is specifically created to sweeten the soil, which turns the flowers pink. It is not a fertilizer substitute; it is only designed to be an additive.
The active ingredient is pelletized lime. It is naturally alkaline, so it raises the soil’s pH. It is also easy to apply because you don’t have to mix anything.
8. JR Peters Inc 59324 Jacks Classic Hydrangea Fertilizer
Jack’s Classic Hydrangea Fertilizer comes in a 1.5-pound bucket. It is water-soluble and contains aluminum sulfate. It also has a variety of necessary micronutrients for the plant.
It is designed to enhance your blue hydrangeas. The mixture of aluminum sulfate and nutrients helps your plant grow lush leaves and maintain its blue color. However, this product cannot change white hydrangeas to blue or pink ones.
It can take a few weeks to notice the results. You will start noticing that the leaves look fuller and healthier. With time, it will bloom, and the flowers will also be bigger and more vibrant.
When to Fertilize Hydrangeas?
It is important to know when to fertilize your hydrangeas so that it works correctly. Fertilizer burn is a possibility, and it happens when you apply too much. If you use a fast-release fertilizer, you should lightly dress the hydrangeas with the fertilizer in July, March, and May.
Most people recommend fertilizing hydrangeas in late spring and/or early summer. You want to wait to fertilize the plant until it has already leafed out but hasn’t bloomed yet.
Most varieties leaf out during early spring and will bloom by mid-spring. They tend to last throughout the summer. However, there are many hydrangea varieties, and it depends on your type and where you live.
If you have a re-blooming hydrangea, you can expect it to bloom, the flowers to fall off, and bloom again throughout the summer. You should still fertilize your hydrangeas between late spring/early summer.
Depending on the type of fertilizer you have, you should fertilize every other month. Some fertilizers last a full eight weeks and some only last a week.
How Often to Fertilize Hydrangeas?
Each product is probably going to be different. However, the rule of thumb is to fertilize your hydrangeas every other month, starting in March. It is important to know when your area has spring and summer.
If you live in a warmer climate, you may not have a spring or have a short one. You may live in a cooler climate, so it rarely feels like summer. If you don’t have specific seasons or don’t know when they change, consider the ‘every other month’ rule.
Some fertilizers are specific about when and how often to fertilize. You may need to fertilize every two weeks for a month and then once a month after. Extended-release (slow-release) formulas usually allow you to wait longer between fertilizing sessions.
Fast-acting fertilizers tend to require you to fertilize more often.
Some fertilizer products are designed to be applied monthly or bi-weekly. That means you are in the garden more often sprinkling or spraying the fertilizer. If you lead a busy lifestyle, you might want a fertilizer that lasts a few months or an entire season.
These products are available, but you have to read the description of the product carefully.
How to Fertilize Hydrangeas?
The way you fertilize your hydrangeas is based on the type of fertilizer you choose. Make sure you look to see if it is liquid, pellet/granule, or pre-measured form.
You may not need to fertilize your hydrangeas. If you used compost or other organic materials when you planted them, you aren’t going to need fertilizer. However, you can use slow-release organic plant food to boost bloom production.
The pre-measured spikes are the easiest to use. All you do is remove a spike from the bag and drive the spikes into the soil using a hammer. You need to know the plant’s diameter and use the recommended number of spikes.
After the spike is embedded into the ground, you should water the soil. The spike should be about an inch into the ground.
If you buy a liquid fertilizer, you will need a way to spray the fertilizer onto the plant. Some products, like Miracle-Gro, have specific sprayers. You purchase the sprayer and the fertilizer, and it attaches directly to the sprayer.
If you don’t have a sprayer and don’t want to buy one, you can use a watering can, too.
Some formulations do not require any mixing. Pour the liquid fertilizer into the sprayer/watering can and start pouring.
Other products do require you to mix the liquid fertilizer with a base. Usually, you can use plain tap water. Pour in the recommended amount of fertilizer and add water to the fill line.
Read through all the package directions before you start. It might tell you to spray the plant directly or to avoid spraying the plant. You may need to gently move the plant with one hand and spray the roots with the other.
If you purchase pellet-style fertilizer, it can look like pellets or granules. Either way, you should follow the manufacturer’s directions.
Many times, the fertilizer container comes with a special scoop. Fill the scooper full and sprinkle the pellets around the plant. You may need to pour an inch of topsoil over the granules.
The topsoil will help to cover the fertilizer so it can do its job. It will also help retain moisture.
When you are finished sprinkling the fertilizer, you should water the plant as per the package instructions.
Choosing a good fertilizer for hydrangeas is easy if you have the right information. You now have eight different products available from which to choose.
It is important to consider the price of the fertilizer, especially if you have multiple hydrangeas or the product requires multiple feedings per season.
The Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes are ideal for anyone who wants a no muss, no fuss fertilization method. If you have a hammer, you can fertilize your hydrangeas in a few minutes. You may need to purchase multiple bags, as you only get 10 spikes per bag.
Bonide Pink Fertilizer is excellent if you want to make your pink blooms more vibrant or want to change your purple/blue blooms to pink. Jack’s Classic Fertilizer is good if you want to change your hydrangeas to blue.