Top 10 Best Fertilizer for Hydrangeas | 2021 Reviews

Flowers are excellent in relieving stress, especially if you have a garden full of different plants. Anyone who’ll pass by a house with many flowers will have a good day ahead because these can give a positive vibe. If you are a gardener, you’ll also enjoy planting flowers because these can make their house look more appealing. Once you start planting these, you’ll need a hand from effective fertilizers. You’ll find a lot of options in the market, and if you need the best fertilizer for hydrangeas, check these out: 

Top 10 Best Fertilizer for Hydrangeas Reviewed

  1. 185001 Garden Pro Water Soluble Food by Miracle-Gro – Best Overall
  2. HT18 Holly Tone by Espoma – Best Value
  3. 59324 Jacks Classic by JR Peters – Editor’s Choice
  4. 703P Organic Fertilizer by Dr. Earth
  5. Water Soluble Plant Food by Miracle-Gro
  6. 7539 Hydrangea Bluing Formula Fertilizer by Grow More
  7. Fertilizer Spikes by Jobe's
  8. Bailey's Color Me Blue Pellets by Bonide
  9. UL30 Organic Soil Acidifier Fertilizer by Espoma
  10. Tree and Shrub Feed Fertilizer by BioAdvanced

#1. 185001 Garden Pro Water Soluble Food by Miracle-Gro – Best Overall

185001 Garden Pro Water Soluble Food

 

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Specifications:

  • Fertilizer-type: Powdered
  • Formulation: 30-10-10
  • Weight: 4 pounds

Miracle-Gro is one of the most respected brands when it comes to fertilizers, and if you want to grow your hydrangeas healthily, you should buy the 185001 Garden Pro Water Soluble Food. It’s the perfect fertilizer for your plant because it quickly feeds acid-loving plants. 

It comes with a high amount of nitrogen for better growth, while the potassium and phosphorus are balanced. It supplies the right nutrients that your plant needs to produce colorful flowers for an attractive landscape-view. 

Aside from that, it uses organic materials, which don’t harm your plant, even if you directly applied it. It’s best to mix it with water in your watering can and apply it to your soil. Once your flowers start to bloom, your plant will look more beautiful. 

ProsCons
Uses safe ingredientsInstructions are not readable
Can apply it directlySize is too small for its price

#2. HT18 Holly Tone by Espoma – Best Value

HT18 Holly Tone

 

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Specifications:

  • Fertilizer-type: Granules
  • Formulation: 4-3-4
  • Weight: 18 pounds

Many gardeners recommend the HT18 Holly Tone by Espoma because it’s very versatile. Aside from growing hydrangeas, you’ll also find it handy on other plants, like azaleas, strawberries, blueberries, and rhodendrons. 

Expect your plants to grow healthier because of the nutrients it can supply, including special microbes. It also comes with an excellent blend of N-P-K, which will help your plant grow bluer flowers once it starts blooming. 

Another reason why it’s worth your money is because it comes in a bigger size. You’ll have ample fertilizers to use for your hydrangeas. Plus, if you’re planting vegetables or fruits, you can also maximize this fertilizer for application. 

ProsCons
Suitable for acid-loving plantsNo measuring spoon included
No assembly neededPoor packaging-quality

#3. 59324 Jacks Classic by JR Peters – Editor’s Choice

59324 Jacks Classic

 

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Specifications:

  • Fertilizer-type: Powdered
  • Formulation: 7-3-3
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds

The 59324 Jacks Classic by JR Peters is an excellent choice for a newbie in planting flowers. It may only come in small packaging, yet you can count on its effectiveness after applying it to any plant. Plus, if you’re planting hydrangeas, you’ll love this fertilizer even more because it can make your flowers more colorful. 

Its N-P-K blend is enough to support your plant as it grows, and it also comes with an aluminum sulfate as its ingredient. These advantages will let your plant retain its color, regardless if it’s pink or blue. 

Applying this fertilizer is not a hassle at all because it’s water-soluble. Dissolving it in water in your can is the best way to fertilize your soil. After a few weeks, you’ll start to notice the changes in your plant. 

ProsCons
Ideal for fruit plantsLow potassium and phosphorus contents
Water-solublePackaging needs improvement

#4. 703P Organic Fertilizer by Dr. Earth

703P Organic Fertilizer

 

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Specifications:

  • Fertilizer-type: Granules
  • Formulation: 40504
  • Weight: 4 pounds

If you want to buy a fertilizer with natural ingredients, you can never go wrong with the 703P Organic Fertilizer by Dr. Earth. It doesn’t contain any GMO infested-chicken manure or synthetic ingredients, preventing your plants from getting unwanted damages. Also, you can worry less because it’s safe for pets and children. 

This fertilizer will last for many months, which is favorable for gardeners who stick to a tight budget. It’s also very effective in releasing the necessary nutrients that plants need to thrive and produce flowers. 

You only need to apply it one, which makes it more convenient to use. Beginners admire it because they can focus on other gardening tasks while the fertilizer takes effect. You can apply it every six weeks to ensure that your plant will continue to grow healthily. 

ProsCons
Contains TruBiotic microbesToo potent for other plants
Pet and children-friendlyHas an unpleasant smell

#5. Water Soluble Plant Food by Miracle-Gro

Water Soluble Plant Food

 

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Specifications:

  • Fertilizer-type: Powdered
  • Formulation: 30-30-10
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds

Another small but effective fertilizer that you can also check out is the Water Soluble Plant Food by Miracle-Gro. This fertilizer will help your plant survive any condition, and let it grow healthily, thanks to its formulation. 

With its high phosphorus-content, it makes this fertilizer suitable for other plants aside from hydrangeas. All you need to do is apply it every week to two weeks and observe how your plant will change. 

It’s hassle-free to apply since you can easily dissolve this fertilizer in your sprayer or watering can. Be careful in fertilizing your plant because an excessive application may compromise your plant’s health. 

ProsCons
Quick nutrient-absorptionDifficult to read the instructions
High phosphorus-contentDoesn't contain calcium

#6. 7539 Hydrangea Bluing Formula Fertilizer by Grow More

7539 Hydrangea Bluing Formula Fertilizer

 

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Specifications:

  • Fertilizer-type: Powdered 
  • Weight: 2 pounds

If you can’t decide what fertilizer to buy for your hydrangeas, you should check out what Grow More has to provide, like the 7539 Hydrangea Bluing Formula Fertilizer. If you’re growing hydrangeas, this fertilizer comes with the necessary nutrients that this plant needs to make your soil more acidic. 

Regardless of any hydrangea species that you prefer to plant, you can use this fertilizer to push it in growing bigger and colorful blooms. Plus, it also keeps your plant healthy, preventing it from getting diseases. 

Aside from that, it’s also multipurpose because you can use this fertilizer on other shrubs or climbing vines. It may not come in a bigger packaging, yet its concentrated ingredients are enough to adjust what you need to apply. 

ProsCons
Can fertilize an 8,000-square foot yardIngredients are too strong for other plants
Ideal for potted plantsNot ideal for vegetable plants

#7. Fertilizer Spikes by Jobe's

Fertilizer Spikes

 

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Specifications:

  • Fertilizer-type: Granules/Spikes
  • Formulation: 9-8-7
  • Amount: Comes with 10 spikes

If you don’t prefer a liquid or powdered fertilizer, you can give Fertilizer Spikes a try. This fertilizer by Jobe’s contains enough nutrients for your plant to grow in excellent condition, yet it’s the easiest to apply. 

These spikes are pre-measured fertilizers that feed your plant’s roots in a slower releasing time. You can apply it once during summer or spring, and it can already last for the whole season. As it delivers nutrients for eight weeks, your hydrangeas will continue to grow healthily until the blooming. 

The best thing about this fertilizer is that it doesn’t smell bad, and it’s not too messy to apply. This advantage makes it easier for indoor plants, too. 

ProsCons
Requires little effort in applicationIngredient is too strong for roses
Makes hydrangeas bluerNot ideal for bonsais

#8. Bailey's Color Me Blue Pellets by Bonide

Bailey's Color Me Blue Pellets

 

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Specifications:

  • Fertilizer-type: Granules
  • Formulation: 90% Sulfur 
  • Weight: 2.75 pounds

If you want to impress your neighbors by growing hydrangeas, you’ll need an effective fertilizer, like Bailey’s Color Me Blue Pellets by Bonide. 

This fertilizer comes with natural ingredients that are ideal for hydrangeas, which is 90% sulfur. It can also lower your soil’s pH level so your plant can produce bluer flowers. Plus, its sulfur also helps in lowering your soil’s pH level. 

If you think it’s complicated to apply this fertilizer, it’s a hassle at all. You don’t have to mix it with anything. However, it’s best to use the measuring scoop to prevent under-fertilization or over-fertilization. 

ProsCons
Long-lastingNot a suitable fertilizer-substitute
ConvenientUsage is for hydrangeas only

#9. UL30 Organic Soil Acidifier Fertilizer by Espoma

UL30 Organic Soil Acidifier Fertilizer

 

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Specifications:

  • Fertilizer-type: Granules
  • Formulation:  30% sulfur
  • Weight: 30 pounds

The UL30 Organic Soil Acidifier Fertilizer by Espoma is also a bestseller for soils with higher pH level because it can lower it to the optimum range for hydrangeas to grow in a better condition. A lower pH level is the key in growing this plant with bluer blooms. 

Aside from that, it also comes with a 30% sulfur-content, but you don’t have to worry about harmful ingredients because everything is natural. Also, it doesn’t have any aluminum sulfate, protecting your plant from damages.

Another reason to buy this fertilizer is because of its slow-release advantage. It’s always crucial to check on the fertilizer’s instructions about its application to prevent under and over-fertilization. 

ProsCons
Adjusts soil to the optimum rangePackaging needs improvement
Doesn't contain aluminum sulfateLimited for acid-loving plants

#10. Tree and Shrub Feed Fertilizer by BioAdvanced

Tree and Shrub Feed Fertilizer

 

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Specifications:

  • Fertilizer-type: Powdered
  • Formulation: 2-1-1
  • Weight: 1 gallon

The Tree and Shrub Feed Fertilizer by BioAdvanced is also a bestseller for growing hydrangeas because it comes with an insect protection. Many gardeners use this brand to protect their plants from pest and insects, like Leafminers, Japanese Beetles, Emerald Ash, and Adelgibs. 

Another edge of this fertilizer is the slow-release advantage. You don’t have to apply it from time to time, yet you can assure that it stays effective as it continues to supply nutrients to your plant. 

Regardless If you’re planting outdoors or in a pot, this fertilizer will keep your plants away from damages or diseases. Plus, its protection can last for 12 months. 

ProsCons
Features a systemic rainproof protectionToo concentrated for pollinators
Application is hassle-freeMay cause damages on plants

Top Picks – Best Fertilizer for Hydrangeas

If many options leave you undecided on the best fertilizer, the top pick among these brands is the 185001 Garden Pro Water Soluble Food by Miracle-Gro.  

This fertilizer comes with an exceptional formulation, making your plant healthier until it starts the blooming stage. It’s supplying enough nutrients to this acid-loving plant, and it also doesn’t cause any harm to the plant because it only uses organic materials. Thanks to its nitrogen-content, your plant will grow bigger and more vibrant. 

Another reason why many people choose this fertilizer is that it’s easy to apply. What makes it more convenient is that you can apply it directly without worrying that it might ruin your plant’s health. 

It may come in a smaller size, which is too small for its price, yet this fertilizer is what you should consider purchasing for your hydrangeas. 


Buying the Best Fertilizer for Hydrangeas – Buyers Guide

Fertilizers have always been handy, and every plant has a suitable fertilizer for better growth. If you’re planting hydrangeas, here’s a quick buying guide to consider before you spend anything. 

Type of Fertilizer

As you look for the best fertilizer to use for your hydrangeas, you’ll stumble on different types in the market, like the following:

Powdered Fertilizers

This fertilizer-type is easy to dissolve in water, which is the most convenient and effective to apply to your soil. Most gardeners mix it in their watering can, or sometimes, they put it directly in their water reservoir for hydroponics. 

The best thing about this type is that you can control what you apply, making it cost-efficient. Plus, it has a longer shelf life. Most also come with a measuring spoon to make it easier to measure the right amount you need. 

Liquid Fertilizers

Another convenient fertilizer to apply is liquid fertilizer. Most also mix it with water, or if you have a sprinkler at home, it’s also one way to apply. It’s an excellent choice for starter and in-season fertilization. 

The downside of this type is that it’s expensive, and the shelf life is not long-lasting. You may end up buying some stocks frequently. 

Granular Fertilizers

This type is the cheapest among the three, and it’s easier to store because it doesn’t salt out when it’s cold or settle out over time. Even slow-release fertilizers are available, which is very favorable to gardeners who have less time for gardening tasks.

Slow-release Fertilizers

These are granules, and the nutrients released are in a steady and small amount. Many gardeners consider it because it’s very easy to apply, and it requires less maintenance because it will naturally break down as it starts releasing nutrients. 

NPK Contents

Another factor that you should consider is your fertilizer’s content. You’ll notice a label on the packaging of most fertilizers, like 10-10-4. This formulation is the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium contents of a fertilizer. It’s best to buy a fertilizer with an excellent blend of these nutrients for better plant growth. 

Nitrogen (N)

It’s responsible for your plant’s growth and development. It’s also an important element of amino acids and a nucleic acid-component. With the right amount of this nutrient, your plant will grow healthily. 

When it comes to hydroponics, you also need the same amount of nitrogen. It provides the same effect to your plants for better results.  

Phosphorus (P)

This nutrient is important in protein synthesis, and it provides support to plants as these perform energy transmissions. Plus, it stimulates root development so your plant can absorb all the nutrients it needs to grow. 

It’s not easy to detect whether your plant has phosphorus deficiency. You can only tell when it didn’t grow to its typical size. Another indicator is when it took a while for it to mature. 

Potassium (K)

If you’re focusing on your plant’s reproduction and proper growth, you should also consider a fertilizer with a high potassium content. It’s significant in facilitating starch and protein synthesis. Plus, it activates your plant’s enzymes.

There’s a deficiency when you notice that your plant’s leaves have yellow leaves. When your plant’s leaves are falling off, it’s also another sign of potassium deficiency. 

Other Nutrients

Aside from the N-P-K contents, there are also other nutrients that your plant needs, such as the following:

  • Sulfur – This nutrient will help your plant in resisting diseases. Plus, it also helps in producing proteins, vitamins, enzymes, and amino acids. 
  • Calcium – This nutrient is also helpful in your plant’s development. It develops your plant’s cell walls, which also handy in making it disease-resistant. 
  • Magnesium – This nutrient is responsible for providing the green coloring of your plants. 

Soil Testing: Why It’s Important for Beginners in Gardening

Before applying fertilizers into your soil, it’s best to know what nutrients it contains, as well as its pH level. Every fertilizer has a particular formulation. If you know what lacks in your soil, you will know what fertilizer to buy. Anything excessive, even fertilizers, is not safe for plants. If you fail to test your soil first before applying fertilizers, you might end up destroying your plants through over-fertilizing. 

You can use soil testing kits to check your soil first, or you can send a sample of your soil to laboratories for testing to know better what nutrients it needs. You can adjust without any hassle, depending on the results of the test. 

Hydrangeas: Everything You Need to Know About It

This plant is a shrub, and it blooms during spring and summer. As you grow this plant, it can reach up to 15 feet, and it immediately grows and fill its spaces during summer. It’s best if you have a large yard where you can plant these, so you don’t cram once it starts growing. 

Once the flowers of this plant begin to bloom, you’ll see a beautiful one in blue color. It can undoubtedly attract anyone who’ll pass by your house. However, growing it is not as easy as other plants. Knowing the basics on how to take care of it will save you money, aside from time. 

Different Types of Hydrangeas

There are 23 species and 49 claims, yet gardeners only grow six species in their yard, like the following: 

Bigleaf

This species grows in zones 5 to 11, and its blooming time is from June to October. This plant can grow from 6 feet to 10 feet, yet it only needs a little pruning on dead woods as it starts to grow during spring. 

Panicle

This species grows in zones 3 to 8, and it blooms from July to September. You need to expose it under full sun to part shade for it to survive. When it comes to pruning, it should be during early spring or late winter to boost bigger flower clusters. 

Mountain

This species is shorter than the first two, growing from 2 feet to 4 feet, and zones 6 to 9. It doesn’t need full sun, and you only prune it when necessary. Plus, the blooming time is starting from June to August. 

Smooth

This species is from zones 3 to 9, and it needs a part shade-exposure. It blooms its flowers from June to September and pruning it is necessary every other year for a neater plant. 

Oakleaf

This species is also tall because it can grow from 6 feet to 8 feet under a part shade to full sun-exposure. It’s from zone 5 to 9, and it blooms from July to September. Pruning happens after the flowering. 

Climbing

This species thrives in zone 4 to 8, and it grows up to 6 feet. It doesn’t need sunlight because it can survive from part to full shade. Also, it blooms from May to July. 

Where You Should Plant

Knowing where you should plant your hydrangeas is also important because it may need support as it starts growing. Most gardeners plant theirs next to fences or homes. The main reason is that it prefers the morning sunlight more than the afternoon one. 

To keep it away from the afternoon sun, you should plant it on the south or north side of your house. You should keep it away underneath trees because it will start a competition for nutrients and water. Plus, high winds can destroy your flower and leaves. 

When You Should Plant

The best season to plant it is during the fall, which is followed by early spring. It’s important to give your plant enough time to form a strong and healthy root system before it starts blooming. Plant it during the morning or late afternoon because it’s best to plant it when it’s not too hot outside to protect it from heat stress. 

What Soil to Use for This Plant

Another important factor in planting is the soil to use, and it should have plenty of natural materials and excellent drainage. In planting this shrub, you need to make sure that you’re using moist soil. This plant cannot withstand saturated soils, and with poorly draining soil, it can cause your plant’s root to rot. 

You can adjust a heavy soil by mixing some composts before you start planting your hydrangeas. 

How to Plant It

Here are ways on how to plant hydrangeas:

  • In cultivating this plant, you need to dig holes 2-foot wider than your plant’s root ball. 
  • Make sure the depth of your hole is consistent with your root ball’s size. Your plant should sit level with or higher than the soil surrounding it. 
  • Create a little mound to help you boost water drainage, keeping it away from your plant’s base. 

How to Propagate It

It’s not that difficult to propagate your hydrangeas. You can turn a single plant into many using simple propagation approaches. If you’re growing panicle or bigleaf, these are the best species to propagate in early summer to mid-summer. Here are some tips for you:

  • Start digging a small drain near your plant.
  • Twist a brand down to the drain, so it touches your soil, which is in the mid-part of the branch, and 6 to 12 inches should extend past the drain. 
  • Make cuts in the bark where the branch touches your soil’s drain. 
  • Fill in the drain, and put a paver, stone, or brick on top. 
  • The branch will start its root system, and it might transplant to a new area. 

For oakleaf and smooth hydrangeas, all you need to do is put new shoots via underground systems. Dig up the new plant, and move it away from your main plant. After that, you can transplant it to a new area. 

Some Care Tips for Newbies to Consider in Planting Hydrangea

Hydrangea’s flowers and leaves are delicate, but this plant doesn’t need a high-maintenance. Here are some tips for beginners to consider:

  • Water your plant at a rate of an inch every week during the growing season. Intensely water it three times per week to reassure root growth. Smooth and bigleaf hydrangeas need more water, yet all species take advantage of your soil’s moisture. Plus, you can use a soaker hose to water your plant and keep your soil’s moisture off your leaves and flowers. 
  • You can consider adding mulch under your hydrangeas to keep your soil cool and moist. You can use an organic mulch as it breaks down over time, adding nutrients to improve the soil’s texture. 
  • Apply the best fertilizer you can find. Keep in mind that every variety has its various needs. It’s best to conduct soil testing to know what it needs. Bigleaf requires a lighter fertilizer in March, May, and June. Panicle and oakleaf need fertilizer in April and June. As for Smooth, you only need to apply fertilizer once, which is in late winter. 
  • Protect your plant against disease and pests. You’ll encounter powdery mildew, wilt, bight, and leaf spots that might appear in your plant, and plants become stressed. 

Conclusion

Hydrangeas make an exceptional view of your garden. It grows beautiful flowers in different colors, yet the most common colors are blue and white. If you have a bigger space in your area, you should consider planting it. 

You’ll need an effective fertilizer if you are to start cultivating hydrangeas. Healthy soil is always important, and the 185001 Garden Pro Water Soluble Food is one of the most preferred soils for this plant. It’s effective and safe for plants. Plus, it’s not too complicated to apply in the soil since you can apply it directly. 

When it comes to cultivating a healthier hydrangeas plant with bluer blooms, this fertilizer will help you a lot. 


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can I plant hydrangeas in pots?

Yes, you can. However, make sure you look for a bigger pot. Look for pots that are 18 inches by diameter, and these should be non-porous to help you retain your soil’s moisture. 

What’s the best hydrangea species to plant?

The oakleaf is the best option because it can withstand the heat of summer. Most species need shady areas to survive, yet this species can thrive, even when you expose it under the full sun. It’s very suitable in tropical places. 

How frequently should I use fertilizers on my hydrangeas?

If you consider the rule of thumb, you should fertilize every other month, and you should start in March. If you’re in warmer weather, applying it using the rule of thumb is advisable. However, it can also depend on the fertilizer, where some are bi-weekly or monthly.

 

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