How to Grow Wild Hydrangea - Plant Care & Tips

By NorwichGardener Team   /   2024

Wild hydrangea is a deciduous shrub that is native to eastern North America. It typically grows to 6-12 feet tall and wide with a rounded habit. The leaves are opposite, simple, and 6-8 inches long with a serrated margin. The flowers are white and borne in clusters of 8-12. The fruit is a dry capsule that splits open to release the seeds.

How to Grow Wild Hydrangea - Plant Care & Tips

Alternative name

  • Hydrangea arborescens
  • Seven-bark
  • Snowball bush
  • Vanilla-leaf
  • Whitebeam

Common Knowledge

  • Wild hydrangea is a deciduous shrub that typically grows to 6-9 feet tall.
  • It has large, showy clusters of white flowers that bloom in late spring or early summer.
  • The flowers are followed by large, round, blue berries that ripen in late summer or early fall.
  • The leaves are dark green and deeply lobed.
  • Wild hydrangea is native to the eastern United States, from Maine to Florida.
  • It prefers moist, well-drained soils in partial to full sun.
  • It is relatively low maintenance and disease resistant.
  • It attracts butterflies and birds.
  • The berries are poisonous to humans but are an important food source for birds.
  • The plant can spread aggressively by root suckers and should be controlled in garden settings.

Related plant:
Wild Privet

Planting Process

  1. For wild hydrangea, first step is to choose a planting site. Select a location that receives partial sun to full shade and has well-drained soil.
  2. Wild hydrangea can be propagated by seed, cuttings, or division.
  3. If starting with seed, sow the seed in a moist, well-drained seed-starting mix. Keep the mix moist and provide bottom heat of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit until germination, which can take up to several months.
  4. Once seedlings emerge, transplant them into 4-inch pots filled with a well-drained potting mix.
  5. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant them into the prepared planting site.
  6. Water the plants regularly, especially during dry periods.
  7. Fertilize the plants twice a year, in spring and fall, with a balanced fertilizer.
  8. To encourage bushier growth, prune the plants in late winter or early spring.
  9. Wild hydrangea is generally pest and disease free.
  10. Enjoy the beautiful blooms of wild hydrangea in late spring and summer!

Related plant:
Wild Rose Bush

Soil Condition

About soil condition, wild hydrangeas prefers slightly acidic to neutral soils with a pH of 4.8 to 7.0, but can also tolerate slightly alkaline soils. The soil should be moist but well-drained, and rich in organic matter.

About light

Just like other hydrangeas, the wild hydrangea requires at least six hours of sunlight per day to produce blooms. It can tolerate partial shade, but it may not produce as many flowers. The wild hydrangea is a deciduous shrub, meaning it will lose its leaves in the fall.

Good Temperature

The temperature condition that is most favorable for the growth of wild hydrangeas is a cool temperature. The ideal temperature for the growth of wild hydrangeas is between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Wild hydrangeas will grow in a temperature range of 50 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but the growth rate will be slower in warmer temperatures.

Humidity Requirement

Ideal humidity condition for this plant is 50%. If the humidity is lower than that, the leaves will start to wilt and the flowers will droop. If the humidity is higher than that, the leaves will start to yellow and the flowers will fall off.

Fertilizer Requirement

Mentioning fertilizer, usually the plant we think about is a green, leafy vegetable or a flower. However, one often forgotten about plant that fertilizer can play a big role in the health of is the wild hydrangea. The wild hydrangea, native to North America, is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to six feet tall. Its large, showy flowers range in color from pink to blue and bloom in early summer. while the wild hydrangea is a relatively low-maintenance plant, fertilizer can help it to reach its full potential. One of the most important things to keep in mind when fertilizing a wild hydrangea is to not overdo it. Too much fertilizer can actually damage the plant. The ideal time to fertilizer is in early spring, before the plant begins to actively grow. A slow-release fertilizer is best so that the nutrients are released over time and don't overwhelm the plant. When applying fertilizer, be sure to do so around the base of the plant, taking care not to get any on the leaves or flowers. A little bit goes a long way, so use fertilizer sparingly. With proper care and fertilization, your wild hydrangea will thrive and provide you with beautiful flowers for many years to come.

About light

Pruning your wild hydrangea is an important part of keeping this shrub healthy and vigorous. The best time to prune is in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. You can remove up to one-third of the plant's growth without harming it. Be sure to make clean, sharp cuts just above a bud or node.

The Propagation

Propagation is typically done via stem cuttings taken from new growth in late spring or early summer. Cuttings should be 4-6 inches long and taken from the tips of the stems. Cut just below a leaf node, remove the bottom leaves, and dip the cuttings in rooting hormone. Stick the cuttings in moistened potting mix and keep them warm and humid until roots develop. Once roots have developed, transplant the young plants to individual pots and care for them as you would mature plants.

Growth Speed

Usually, the plant growth rate is relatively slow when compared to other plants. Because of this, it is often necessary to provide extra care and attention to ensure that the plant gets the nutrients it needs to grow at a normal rate. However, with the proper care, wild hydrangeas can grow at a healthy rate and provide lovely blooms for many years to come.

Basic Problems

Common problems for this kind of plant are powdery mildew, rust, and leaf spot. These can be controlled with fungicides. However, if the plant is already infected, it is best to remove the affected leaves and stems.

Tips on Growing

  • If you are growing wild hydrangea in your garden, make sure to give it plenty of space.
  • Wild hydrangea will do best in dappled sunlight or in an area that gets morning sun and afternoon shade.
  • This plant prefers rich, moist soils. Add compost to your garden bed before planting.
  • Water your wild hydrangea regularly, especially during hot, dry weather.
  • Fertilize your plant in early spring with a slow-release fertilizer or compost.
  • To encourage blooming, prune back wild hydrangea plants by one-third in late winter or early spring.
  • If you live in an area where deer are a problem, consider planting wild hydrangea in a deer-resistant area of your garden.
  • Mulch around your plant to help keep the soil moist and cool.
  • Check for aph

Related Plants

  • Wild hydrangea: It is an ingredient in many hair care products due to its softening and conditioning properties. It has a small amount of tannin which makes it effective in treating scalp disorders.
  • Yellow hydrangea: This plant is effective in the treatment of various skin disorders. It is also used to treat hair loss.
  • Blue hydrangea: This plant is commonly used in the treatment of cold, flu and fever. It is also used to treat urinary tract infections.
  • Pink hydrangea: This plant is effective in the treatment of respiratory disorders. It is also used to treat digestive disorders.
  • White hydrangea: This plant is effective in the treatment of anxiety and stress. It is also used to treat hypertension.

Hydrangeas | Home & Garden Information Center - Clemson …
Hydrangea - University of Connecticut
Hydrangea Care - University of Illinois Extension

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Reviewed & Published by Richelle
Submitted by our contributor
Shrubs Category