|1. Espoma||2. Espoma||3. Miracle-GroS|
Hydrangeas are gorgeous looking flowers that will surely enhance the look of your garden. The plants are growing quickly and the big globes of the flower will cover your garden in no time. However, following some simple tips like watering the plants on time, adding mulch, and applying fertilizer is crucial to take care of the plants properly.
As far as picking the best fertilizer for hydrangeas is concerned, you will come to know what factors you must consider while choosing one and what properties to look for. But before that, here is a list of top fertilizers from some of the well known and reputed brands.
Top 10 Best Fertilizers For Hydrangeas 2021
1. Espoma Holly Tone Organic Azalea Food
This is among the best fertilizers available in the market perfect for plants like hydrangeas, evergreens, camellias, azaleas, and others. The fertilizer contains the most essential plant food ingredients like Nitrogen, Phosphate, Calcium, Magnesium, Soluble Potash that are very essential for the growth of the plant.
The fertilizer also consists of non-plant foods like Bacillus Pumilus, Bacillus Megaterium, Bacillus Licheniformis, which are also essential for the plant. These Bio-tone microbes that are found in this fertilizer help in the breaking down of the essential nutrients, boosting the acidity of the soil, restoring the balance of the soil, and making an overall healthy environment for the hydrangeas to grow and bloom.
The product is made from completely organic compounds like poultry manure, bone meal, greensand, feather meal, and alfalfa meal. Hence it does not pose any damage to the environment. You can use it without harming the ecosystem. Since it releases slowly, it lasts long and does not burn the plants or leach easily.
The fertilizer comes in the ready to use format and is helpful for both amateurs and professionals. One will have to measure the fertilizer as mentioned in the packet, sprinkle it along the drip line, and then water the plants.
- Lasts long
- Releases slowly
- Apt for acid-loving plants like Hydrangeas
- Safe for environment
- Safe for pets and people, as no toxic material is used
- Can be used by amateurs and professionals
- Size of product is small, but the price is high
- Strong smell
2. Espoma Plant Tone PT 18
When you have planted new plants like Hydrangeas, it becomes very pivotal that you fertilize them well. With the help of this fertilizer, you can be sure that your plant will be taken good care of. The natural fertilizer is made with Biotone formula which aids in the good growth of your Hydrangea plants.
The Biotone microbes enable the plants to develop deep roots and have beautiful flowers. It releases slowly so the plant does not have a lack of food, especially during its growth time.
- Natural product
- Fillers or sludges not used
- Long-lasting results
- Do not leach or burn
- Good as a starter food for hydrangeas
- The product stinks
3. Scotts Miracid Acid Loving Plant Food
When you are looking for the best fertilizer for hydrangeas, this product is worth a mention. The fertilizer has been designed in such a way that the hydrangeas will be fed properly and provided with essential nutrients for their optimum growth. This water-soluble fertilizer is a perfect food for acid-loving plants like hydrangeas, rhododendrons, and other plants.
The double feeding action of the product helps the plant to get the nutrients both from the roots and also from the leaves. When you use this fertilizer, it begins its work immediately. The product enables the growth of beautiful flowers and also helps in the development of strong roots. The NPK ratio of the fertilizer is 30-10-10 and this is what helps in better root development.
- Does not require sprayer to use product
- Water-soluble product
- Promotes good growth of plants
- Needs to be well proportioned for better blooms
4. Jobe’s Organics Granular Fertilizer
We all love beautiful flowers, and if you want great blooming hydrangeas, you can opt for this granular fertilizer. It is made from all organic materials, and no synthetic compounds have been used in the making of this product.
Jobe’s Biozome is the micro-organism that helps to break down the materials and leads to faster growth of the plants. This Biozome enables to improve the condition of the soil, and helps to fight disease, drought, and insects during the growing season of the plant.
- Available in easy to pour bag
- Available in 4 and 16-pound bags
- Can be used in sprayers, hose and watering cans
- Do not burn
- Safe for children and pets
- Could not prevent fungus and mold
- Stinky smell
5. Espoma Acidic Organic Fertilizer
This is an acidic organic fertilizer that lowers down the pH level of the soil to optimum levels. The all-natural fertilizer is good for organic gardening purposes. This is safer than aluminum sulfate, as using Aluminium for long periods can increase the toxicity of the soil. So, this is the perfect food for hydrangeas.
- Turns hydrangeas blue
- Completely natural product
- Organic gardening approval
- Made with Solar Power
- Less sulfur and more gypsum
- Small size bag
6. Jobe’s Rose Fertilizer Spikes
The fertilizer spikes are very helpful for the gardeners, as these help in nourishing the roots. It releases on time and helps in great nourishment of the blooms.
The fertilizer consists of ingredients like Potash, Nitrogen, Phosphate, Calcium, Magnesium, and Sulphur. The product has an NPK ratio of 9-8-7 and helps to optimize the health of the hydrangea plant, growth of foliage, bloom quality, and development of the roots.
This is easy to use with no wastage, thereby helps in saving a lot of money. If you want to get the best results, then prefer using it early in the spring. The fertilizer slowly releases the nourishment to the roots. Two benefits of using spikes for fertilizing hydrangeas areas are- first you give the right amount of fertilizer to the plant, and second there are no chemical runoffs.
You must put the spikes around the plant. Otherwise, the blooms will grow on the side where you have put the spikes.
- No smell
- Not messy
- Feed plants for two months
- Spikes nourishes roots
- Slow release of the nutrients
- Affordable pricing
- Fertilizer is too strong for delicate plants
- Not economical for large scale usage
7. Miracle-Gro Plant Food Spikes
Food spikes make for the best fertilizer for hydrangeas. It enables the plant to grow lush foliage and helps in promoting the vibrant color of the flowers. Full of natural ingredients, this food spike can be used on the plant once per season, both spring and fall.
This is great for acid-loving plants, as the easy to use spikes are beneficial for releasing the nutrients directly to the soil. This helps in promoting the good growth of Hydrangeas.
- To be used annually
- Convenient to use
- Made of natural ingredients
- Easy to use by amateurs also
- Keeps releasing nutrients slowly
- Cannot be used on small plants
- Cap and stick break when pushed in the ground
8. Miracle-Gro All-Purpose Plant Food
This all-purpose plant food is perfect, as it contains all the essential ingredients required for the growth of hydrangeas. It enables us to feed and nourish the hydrangeas both above and below the soil. The plant food consists of important micronutrients that help in making the hydrangeas grow strong, vibrant, and productive.
By using this plant food, the hydrangeas will bloom beautifully. It contains natural ingredients that feed the plant for up to three months. The ingredients include kelp, bone meal, earthworm castings, and feather meal.
- Will not burn the plants
- Can be used in-ground or in containers
- Made of natural ingredients
- Evenly apply to the soil
- Kills young shrubs
- Does not resist mold
9. Osmocote Smart Release Plant Food
Consisting of eleven vital nutrients, this plant food is applicable for different kinds of plants. With the help of this plant fertilizer, you will be able to feed the plant for six months in a row. One advantage that this fertilizer provides you is that you can use it both indoor and outdoor.
There is no burn, as the nutrients are releases gently and slowly into the soil. The granular coating enables water to enter the granule and release the nutrients present in the coating.
- Granule coated
- Big re-sealable bag
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- Long lasting results
- Suitable for all plants in different growing conditions
- Not safe for the environment, as it leaves plastic balls once the fertilizer dissolves
10. Burpee Bone Meal Organic Fertilizer
It has been known that the component bone meal makes for the best fertilizer for hydrangeas, as it is laden with phosphorus, calcium, and essential organic nitrogen for optimum growth of the plants. The fertilizer is helpful for the growth of hydrangeas, as it enables us to grow beautiful flowers with strong roots.
It can be added any time before the harvesting season for the better growth of the plant. It slowly releases the nutrients into the plants. The earlier you use this fertilizer, the better it is for the growth of the plants. This is an OMRI listed product and hence is ideal for organic gardening.
- The bone meal helps in better growth
- Ideal for new plants
- Will not burn plants
- OMRI listed for organic gardening
- Available in single size pack of 3 pounds
Factors To Look For When Buying The Best Fertilizer For Hydrangeas
Hydrangeas are among the most popular flowers, as they are not only beautiful but simple to grow too. During the growing season, they flourish quickly with the help of fertilizers. They grow easily in the soil which is light and drains easily. Fertilizers are good for the plants and help in their overall growth. When selecting the best fertilizer for hydrangeas, here are a few factors that one needs to consider when buying fertilizers.
1. Composition Of The Fertilizer
The amount of nitrogen or phosphate that is present in the fertilizer will help you to understand how much acidic or alkaline the fertilizer is. Potassium does not affect acidifying the soil in your garden. Hence, you need to keep a tab on the nitrogen and phosphate content in your fertilizer.
Phosphate has the most acidic effect on the soil. So, if you have purchased a high phosphate content fertilizer, then it will enhance the soil acidity level to a great extent. When using a fertilizer with nitrogen-based compounds, ammonium-based fertilizers have high acidic potential when compared to the nitrate-based fertilizers.
The type of fertilizer that you will be adding to the soil depends on the condition of the soil. Hence, it is better that you know about the status of the soil before you buy a fertilizer.
2. Soil Quality In Your Garden
Hydrangeas grow quickly in light soil. If the soil in your garden is clay type or is heavy, you will need to add compost to the soil to lighten its texture. Or else, you can also add barks and leaves which are organic fertilizers and enhance the soil quality. It will enhance the nutrient levels of the soil too.
One must also keep a tab of how much acidic or alkaline the soil is in the garden. Based on the soil pH levels, pick the fertilizer that will work best with the pH levels of your garden’s soil. It is better to do a soil test first to check the fertility level before purchasing the fertilizer.
3. Type Of Hydrangea
There are different kinds of hydrangea, each requiring different types of plant food and different time of application of the fertilizer. For example, if you have smooth hydrangeas, you should pick the fertilizer that has to be used once during the winter season. The bigleaf hydrangea plants need fertilizers to be applied during the first half of the year. The panicle and oak leaf hydrangeas work best when the fertilizer is applied two times in a year- once in April and once in June.
Many expert gardeners believe that organic fertilizers are the best ones for your hydrangeas. The right kind of fertilizer is the one with the composition of 12-4-8 to 10-10-10. This will enable the hydrangeas to bloom beautifully. If you want your flowers to change color, you can add lime to the fertilizer.
4. Frequency Of Usage
There are different types of fertilizers for hydrangeas. Some need to be applied twice a year, while others need to be applied every two months. There are some products which need to be applied after every one to two weeks.
5. Price Of The Fertilizers
This is an important question raised by most consumers. Many fertilizers may not suit the budget of all customers. Different fertilizer manufacturing companies have come up with different fertilizers at different price ranges to suit the needs of all customers.
The bigger packs are cheaper than the smaller packs. If you have more hydrangeas, opt for the bigger packs. This will save you money and time, as you will not have to go to the market to buy new packs of fertilizer again and again. The big packs are also economical for people with big gardens. However, if you have a few plants at your home garden, then opt for the smaller packs.
6. NPK Ratio
The NPK ratio indicates the amount of three vital nutrients that can be found in a particular fertilizer. NPK stands for Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. One must select a fertilizer that can help in correcting the nutritional deficiency of the soil.
For instance, if the hydrangeas are wilting and have turned yellow, then there is nitrogen deficiency. Hence purchase a fertilizer with high nitrogen in it. This means that you should buy one that has the first number highest. However, for those who want to increase the bloom of the hydrangeas, opt for phosphorus-rich fertilizers. This means you need a high amount of P in your fertilizer. If you want to make the hydrangeas vibrant and robust and also develop strong roots, then opt for a potassium-rich fertilizer with a high K number.
If you want to check the effectiveness of the fertilizer that you have used on the plants, then check the size of the hydrangeas, the growth of the leaves, the number of blooms on the plant, and also the color of the blooms. Some fertilizers help to enhance the vibrancy of the blooms, while there are some fertilizers in the market that enable you to turn the color of the flowers to blue, pink, and so on.
Check the benefits of the fertilizer when making the purchase, then watch out for the changes accordingly. Most fertilizers help you to get two or three benefits. You must keep a tab on the changes in the plant, so that you understand whether it is working or not. Keeping a small diary and making a note of the changes is a good way of understanding the changes happening to your plant. One can also take pictures to compare the growth of the plant that happened after you used the fertilizer.
What Kind Of Fertilizer Is Best For Hydrangeas?
You will be able to choosing the best fertilizer for hydrangeas only if you know the different types available. Some of them are:
a. Standard Fertilizer
One can use a nursery type fertilizer with a simple composition of 10-10-10. This has to be applied twice-once in spring and once in early summer. Most fertilizers need to water after application.
b. Bloom Boosters
One can feed hydrangeas with a bloom booster type of fertilizer. These fertilizers have high Phosphorus levels and have the composition of 15-30-15. With the level of the high Phosphorus content in the fertilizer, the hydrangea plant will be able to form more flowering buds. This is a great fertilizer that one can use when the first flowering flush is over.
c. Color Changing Fertilizers
Some additives are available in the market for changing the color of the hydrangea flowers. These are also sold as hydrangea fertilizers. These products change the color by changing the pH levels of the soil. This is mainly effective with French Hydrangea, Hydrangea Serrata, or Lacecap Hydrangea.
The fertilizers or soil additives that have more sulfur help to lower the pH of the soil and make the soil more acidic. This helps to make the flowers bloom in purple or blue shades.
If you want to make the flowers bloom in pink color, then buy soil lime.
These are also sold by the name of soil additives and can be found side by side with the fertilizers. Whatever fertilizer you use for your Hydrangea, make sure that you follow the instructions carefully for the best growth of the plant.
Right Time To Apply Fertilizer To Hydrangeas
In warm areas, one can feed the hydrangea plants during July. However, one must remember not to add fertilizer after August. If you give the plants fertilizer late during the summer season, you will find that the hydrangea plant will produce tender growths. However, that must not be the case as that is the time for the plants to become dormant. This new growth that happens makes the plant more vulnerable to damage from cold weather.
FAQs on Fertilizers For Hydrangeas
Q1. The Hydrangea In My Garden Has Beautiful Leaves, But There Are No Flowers On The Plant. How Do I Make My Hydrangea Bloom?
There are multiple reasons due to which the hydrangea plant may not be blooming. Some of the reasons include over-exposure to the sun, over-fertilizing, or overwatering of the plants.
The hydrangeas prefer the sun rays in the morning and prefer shade during the afternoon. If the plant is fully exposed to the sun, it will be too hot and the blooms will not be produced adequately. Overwatering and over-fertilizing the plants can also be the factors inhibiting the growth of the blooms. Hydrangeas require moist soil for their growth, but it’s important not to make the soil too wet. Even fertilizing the plant must be done with caution, as they need fertilizers once- either during early summer or during spring.
Q2. I Had Pruned The Hydrangeas In My Garden After The Early Frost, But Still There Are No Blooms. What Happened?
How to prune the hydrangea plants is a very vital point. If you have pruned the hydrangeas to the base, it will take time to grow back again and produce beautiful blooms. You have to be patient and keep a lookout for the new growths at the base of the plant.
Q3. There Are Multiple Brown And Dry Spots On The Leaves Of My Hydrangea. Even The Petals Are Brown During Bloom. How Do I Make My Hydrangeas Healthy And Colorful?
If the plant has developed brown round spots with red and purple rings, the plant has developed Anthracnose. You need to remove the leaves which are affected and dispose of them away from the plants. Next, treat the plant with a fungicide and repeat this process as required. If you find that the margins of the leaves are fading from green to gray and then turn brown, the hydrangea plants were left dry for a long time. If the petals have turned brown at the tip, you have not applied enough water to the plant. The leaves and flowers will show a lack of water easily.
Q4. I Have Put The Hydrangeas In A Place Where The Plants Receive 6 Hours Of Sun And Partial Shade In The Afternoon. I Read That Hydrangea Plants Prefer Heavy Water Once A Week Instead Of Regular Watering. However, My Plants Are Turning Brown And Have Developed No Blooms. Can You Tell Me What I Am Doing Wrong?
Read That Hydrangea Plants Prefer Heavy Water Once A Week Instead Of Regular Watering. However, My Plants Are Turning Brown And Have Developed No Blooms. Can You Tell Me What I Am Doing Wrong?
Too much exposure to the sun can burn the leaves and the blooms of the hydrangea plants. Depending on the area where you live, you should treat the plant accordingly. If you live in a warm area, then two to three hours of sunlight is great. If you live in a cold area, then six hours of sunlight is optimum for the plant.
Put your hand in the soil to check whether the plant needs to be watered or not. If you find that your finger is dry, you can add water to the soil. But if you find that your finger is sticky with soil, then do not add water. Overwatering is not good for the hydrangeas.
Q5. Since My Garden Becomes Very Hot, I Am Thinking Of Putting The Hydrangeas In Containers. Can Hydrangeas Survive In Containers? Are The Instructions For The Hydrangeas In Containers The Same As The Ones That Are In The Garden?
Yes, the process of taking care of the hydrangeas is the same irrespective of the place where you put the plants, whether in garden or in containers. Moreover, when you put the plants in the containers, you can take it to different locations in the house and give it a beautiful look.
Q6. I Reside In An Area Where Lots Of Snowfall Happens During The Winter Season. I Have Endless Summer Hydrangeas In My Garden. Should I Prune Them Like The Other Hydrangeas? What Are The Other Measures I Can Take To Protect Them From The Cold?
One of the biggest advantages of Endless Summer Hydrangeas is that you do not need to prune them back to their base like the other varieties of hydrangeas. These plants bloom on the growth they achieved the previous year and also on this year’s growth. You can fertilize the plants so that you can get double bloom during the spring season.
One must not prune the hydrangea in the fall. When you keep the blooms of the fall on the plant, you give the plant winter interest. This will mean that you are not removing the buds from the plant, which will later on turn into flowers during the spring or summer season. For insulating the hydrangea plants, you can use wood, leaves, and mulch. You can put the leaves or the mulch around the plants to a height of 12 inches. This will help to protect the flower buds which will bloom in the coming season.
Choosing The Best Fertilizers For Hydrangeas Is Very Important
A quick search on the internet for the best fertilizer for hydrangeas will confuse you enough. It is, obviously, a challenging task to find the best product when you have so many options at your disposal. Make sure you pick and choose the right one as per the need of your Hydrangea plant.
You must select the best fertilizer for your Hydrangea plant so that they can bloom easily. As discussed in this guide, you need to consider a few things such as the components of the fertilizer, its price, size of the packet, and much more.
Many fertilizer options would be ideal for your hydrangea plants. If you are not sure which one is going to be perfect, then grab a few small bags of the fertilizer or even samples to see which suits your plant the most. Always prefer the good quality of the fertilizers over its price, as good fertilizer means good health of the hydrangeas and great blooms to enhance the beauty of your garden.
James Fields is the founder of Gardener to Farmer. His passion for gardening goes back to his childhood days when he would visit his grandfather during the holidays and help him with the plants in the backyard. This has now translated to creating a dependable resource for gardening.