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How Far Apart To Plant Hydrangeas?

When planting hydrangeas, it’s important to consider their mature size to avoid the need for future transplants. The spacing requirement depends on the specific variety, but generally, hydrangeas should be planted with a minimum distance of 5 feet (1.5 meters) between each plant. This ensures they have enough room to grow to their full potential.

Name Distance between plants
Bigleaf hydrangeas 7-11 feet (2.1-3.3 m)
Mountain hydrangeas 3-5 feet (0.9-1.5 m)
Panicle hydrangeas 7-13 feet (2.1-3.9 m)
Smooth hydrangeas 4-6 feet (1.2-1.8 m)
Oakleaf hydrangeas 7-9 feet (2.1-2.7 m)
Climbing hydrangeas 6-7 feet (1.8-2.1 m)

Read also: Growing Healthy Hydrangeas.

Bigleaf (Mophead) hydrangeas

The Bigleaf hydrangea, also known as Hydrangea macrophylla, typically reaches a medium size, with a potential width of up to 10 feet at maturity. However, sizes vary among different varieties, with most ranging between 6 to 10 feet in width. Consequently, the recommended planting distance for these hydrangeas is between 7 and 11 feet apart.

Notably, the Endless Summer Hydrangea, a variant of the Bigleaf hydrangea, has a smaller spread of 3 to 5 feet, and thus, should be spaced 4 to 6 feet apart from other plants.

For the smaller Edgy Hearts Hydrangea, which has a spread of 2 to 4 feet, a planting distance of 3 to 5 feet is ideal to accommodate its growth.

Mountain hydrangeas

Hydrangea Serrata, a widely recognized species, typically grows to a width of 2-4 feet. Therefore, it is recommended to plant these hydrangeas at intervals of 3-5 feet. Being among the more compact varieties of hydrangeas, they are quite popular.

Panicle hydrangeas

The Hydrangea paniculata species is known for its large size, requiring ample space to flourish. These plants can grow to a width of 6-12 feet, and it is advisable to plant them 7-13 feet apart.

Among the Panicle hydrangeas, some varieties exhibit significant size variations. For example, the Limelight hydrangea, which reaches a spread of 96 inches at maturity, should be planted at least 105 inches apart.

Varieties like Little Quick Fire and Strawberry Sundae, which are on the smaller side with a width ranging from 3-5 feet, should ideally be spaced 4-6 feet apart.

Smooth hydrangeas

Smooth hydrangeas, with a typical spread of 3-5 feet, require sufficient room for growth. It’s recommended to plant them 4-6 feet apart.

The Annabelle hydrangea variety needs slightly more space, ideally around 7 feet.

The Invincibelle Wee White, known as one of the most compact varieties within the Smooth hydrangeas, has a spread of about 30 inches. For this variety, a planting distance of 40 inches is suitable.

Oakleaf hydrangeas

Oakleaf hydrangeas typically reach a width of 6-8 feet. To ensure healthy growth, it’s advisable to provide at least 9 feet of space for their cultivation.

Climbing hydrangeas

Climbing hydrangea primarily grows vertically, thus requiring less horizontal space. A distance of 7 feet from other plants is sufficient. Even in closer proximity, this plant will continue to grow upwards. Additionally, it’s important to provide a support structure for these climbing plants.

What should I do if my hydrangeas are growing too close together?

Planting hydrangeas too closely can lead to several issues over time:

  • Reduced Air Circulation: Close proximity between bushes can hinder air movement, making it easier for fungal diseases to develop on leaves and stems.
  • Moisture Competition: Hydrangeas, with their broad leaves, require moist soil due to high water evaporation. When planted too closely, they compete for moisture, which can lead to wilting, especially in hot weather.

To manage these challenges:

  1. Pruning: Annual pruning in early spring, especially of side branches, can help manage the bush’s size and free up space between plants.
  2. Increased Watering: Regularly check soil moisture to a depth of at least two inches. Water as needed, but be cautious of overwatering.
  3. Proper Feeding: Use slow-release fertilizers with a high phosphorus content to encourage lush blooms.
  4. Transplanting: Transplant your hydrangea in early spring before the buds open. Take care not to damage the root system. Water the hydrangea well after transplanting.

For detailed guidance, refer to “Transplanting Hydrangeas: A Homeowner’s Guide.”

How far should hydrangeas be planted from a house or fence?

Gardeners often inquire about the appropriate distance for planting hydrangeas from buildings or fences to avoid future issues.

It’s recommended to plant hydrangeas at least 5 feet away from a house. For larger hydrangea varieties, this distance should be increased accordingly.

Hydrangeas generally thrive best on the east side of a house, as most species prefer morning sunlight and shade during the rest of the day.

Planting on the west side is suitable, particularly for Hydrangea paniculata, which can tolerate more sun.

However, it’s not advisable to plant hydrangeas on the north or south sides of a house. On the north side, they may suffer from insufficient sunlight, leading to poor blooming. On the south side, excessive sun can dry out the soil rapidly, causing the hydrangeas to wither and their leaves to burn.

The same guidelines apply when planting hydrangeas near a fence.

How far apart to plant hydrangeas for hedge?

To create a hydrangea hedge, plant the hydrangeas at a distance equal to their expected width at maturity.

Hydrangea hedge spacing

Name Hedge spacing (center to center)
Bobo hydrangea 3 ft (0.9 m)
Limelight hydrangea 6 ft (1.8 m)
Annabelle hydrangea 5 ft (1.5 m)
Pee Gee hydrangea 15 ft (4.5 m)
Oakleaf hydrangea 5 ft (1.5 m)
Little lime hydrangea 4 ft (1.2 m)
Quick Fire hydrangea 6 ft (1.8 m)
Firelight hydrangea 5 ft (1.5 m)
Hydrangea paniculata 8 ft (2.4 m)
Incrediball hydrangea 4 ft (1.2 m)
Endless Summer hydrangea 4 ft (1.2 m)

To accelerate the growth of a dense and attractive hedge, it’s important to prune the hydrangeas slightly each year. Regular and ample watering is also crucial for their healthy growth. For optimal results, the use of fertilizer is recommended.