8 Best Hydrangea Fertilizers and How to Use Them Properly

The Hortensia plant grows gorgeous flowers and has beautiful green foliage. Many gardeners love to plant hydrangea plants because of the longer blooming season and bright colors. The hydrangea plant is easy to care for and thrives well in most types of conditions. However, to maintain plant growth and more prominent flowers, you need to fertilize hydrangea plants now and then.

In this article, we will look at some of the best hydrangea fertilizers available in the market and also discuss fertilizer application. Let’s get straight to it!


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  • Simple application
  • Produces quick results
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  • Promotes colorful blooms
  • Easy application
  • Covers a variety of plants
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  • Super easy to apply
  • Good results
  • Comes with a cup
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Top 8 Hydrangea Fertilizer Reviews

Before we jump into anything else, let us first take a thorough look at the 8 best hydrangea fertilizer products in the market. The reviews below will help you decide the most suitable product for your own plants.

1. Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Miracid – Top Pick

The Miracle-Gro formula has been designed for plants that thrive well in soil with an acidic pH level. This formula dissolves in water and needs to be fed to your plants every one week or two depending upon your plant’s requirements.

Item Weight: 4 pounds

Product Size: 5 x 5 x 10 inches

Fertilizer Type: Water-soluble granules

Application: Water soil with solution

This hydrangea fertilizer is safe for all species of hortensia plants. It instantly provides nourishment to the soil and promotes larger blooms and heavier foliage. Along with Hydrangeas, this fertilizer works best with Azaleas, Camellias, Gardenias, Hibiscus, Holly, and Orchids.

Miracle-Gro is all about promoting fast results and colorful flowers to give you a beautiful garden.

Pros

  • Promotes colorful blooms.
  • Easy application.
  • Covers a variety of plants.

2. Jobe’s Organics 9364 Fertilizer – Best Sulfur-Based Fertilizer 

Item Weight: 6 pounds

Product Size: 4 x 7 x 13.5 inches

Fertilizer Type: Granular

Application: Dry additive

The formula is excellent for use on hydrangeas and even blueberries. You can go ahead and apply the fertilizer to your soil if it tests as alkaline to make it more acidic. This will help turn the color of your hydrangeas from pink to a vibrant blue. Even the leaves will become greener and lush. This fertilizer needs to be applied at least 2 to 3 times each year. You can also apply fertilizer while adding a new plant to the soul as its organic formula rules out plant damage.

Pros

  • Simple application.
  • Produces quick results.
  • Value for money.

3. EZ-gro Hydrangea Fertilizer – Best Liquid Formula

This 21-7-7 formula works efficiently to promote healthy plant foliage and gorgeous flowers. The liquid fertilizer is quite concentrated and needs to be diluted before application.

Item Weight: 2.31 pounds

Product Size: 5 x 2 x 8 inches

Fertilizer Type: Liquid

Application: Dilute with water

The micronutrients promote the growth of root cells, which further increases nutrient absorption. A reduction in soil pH or increased acidity helps increase the active absorption of iron and other essential nutrients. This also prevents the plant from developing a nutritional deficiency.

Pros

  • Super easy to apply.
  • Good results.
  • Comes with a cup.

4. J R Peters Inc 59324 Jacks Classic – Best Blue Flower Fertilizer 

The added aluminum sulfate is what helps bring out the blue color of your hydrangeas.

Item Weight: 1 pound

Product Size: 1 x 1 x 1 inches

Fertilizer Type: Granular

Application: Water-soluble

You should apply this hydrangea fertilizer every 2 weeks. The best ratio is 1 tablespoon of formula in a gallon of water. Once the initial stage passes away, you only need to feed fertilizer once a month while the plant is experiencing its growing season.

Pros

  • Convenient cup included.
  • Fast results.
  • Promotes bright blue hydrangeas.

5. Espoma GSUL6 Soil Acidifier – Best pH Reducer

This pelletized fertilizer comes in a bag and helps hydrangea plants produce beautiful blue flowers.

Item Weight: 6 pounds

Product Size: 4 x 7 x 12 inches

Fertilizer Type: Pellets

Application: Water-soluble

This formula is also great for blueberries. The brand promises organic and all-natural ingredients that will not harm your plants in any way. Apply this formula as a solution to your soil. About 1 tablespoon per gallon of water is the desired amount. The results are excellent and last for an extended period.

Pros

  • Hydrangeas turn a beautiful blue.
  • Promotes healthy plant growth.
  • Easy to apply.

6. Grow More 7539 Hydrangea Bluing Formula – Most Multipurpose Formula

This is because an acidic pH promotes the absorption of iron and other micronutrients.

Item Weight: 2 pounds

Product Size: 4 x 7 x 12 inches

Fertilizer Type: Granules

Application: Add dry to the soil, then water

Your red flowers will turn a bright purple if you use this product correctly. You can use this multipurpose formula on shrubs, vines, bug leaf gardens, Azaleas, Camellias, Gardenias, Fuchsias, Begonias, and even Rhododendrons. You may apply the formula directly to garden soil or potted plants.

Pros

  • Help produce bright flowers.
  • Fast results.
  • Easy application.

7. ENVY Plant Foods Acid-Loving Special – Best Water-Soluble Fertilizer

Berry bushes, shrubs, and hydrangeas are some types that will love to feed on this fertilizer.

Item Weight: 3.04 pounds

Product Size: 11 x 6 x 3 inches

Fertilizer Type: Water-soluble granules

Application: Water soil with solution

This fertilizer is also suitable for other plants like Azaleas, Hydrangeas, Magnolias, Blueberries, Citrus, Gardenias, Camellias, Rhododendrons, etc. You need to apply this every week or two for the best results. Moreover, you will notice a difference quite fast after application.

Pros

  • Resealable pouch.
  • Versatile formula.
  • Fast results.
  • Easy application.

8. Espoma Holly Tone – Best Organic Plant Food

This is a professional-grade formula.

Item Weight: 18 pounds

Product Size: 18 x 12 x 2.25 inches

Fertilizer Type: Granular

Application: Use as dry additive

You get almost 18 pounds of fertilizer in one bag. The fertilizer helps produce blooms with vibrant colors in just a few weeks. Not only is it fast-acting, but it also promises long-lasting results.

Pros

  • Sufficient quantity.
  • Great results.
  • Versatile.
  • Easy application.

What Is The Best Fertilizer For Hydrangeas?

Hydrangea plants do not do well in thick clay-like soil. If you find that your soil doesn’t fit the criteria, you can improve its quality by adding compost and leaf mulch. This will make the soil airy and enhance the texture. A nice well-drained soil properly fed with hydrangea fertilizer will result in lush hydrangea plants and large, vibrant blooms.

So, what is the best type of fertilizer for your hydrangeas? The best kinds are those that always release nutrients and minerals into the soil for absorption. Fast-release fertilizers will give you lush foliage but very few flowers. This is due to the increased amounts of nitrogen present in the fertilizer.

If your fertilizer is labeled N-P-K, you can immediately identify the presence of nitrogen as the ‘N’ stands for this exactly. The ratio should be 10-10-10 or other similar numbers, and the nitrogen ratio should not be higher than those of other minerals. The other two minerals (phosphorus and potassium) could have a higher number. But, you must avoid fertilizer with a higher ratio of nitrogen when compared to both the other two minerals.

Furthermore, fertilizers have different textures and application methods, which sets them apart. Let us now look at the most well-known types available in the market!

Hydrangea Fertilizer

Organic Fertilizer

Organic fertilizers are made from all-natural ingredients such as manure, guano, or bone meal. Manufacturers combine the best ingredients to create plant food well suited for hydrangea flowers. This is also always mentioned on the pack. Moreover, they ensure the mixture will turn the soil acidic as hortensia plant species thrive best in lower pH.

The main thing about organic hydrangea fertilizer is that it may need to be combined with other ingredients to create a good mixture. Apart from this, one of the setbacks is the strong odor. However, it may attract many wild animals to the soil due to the scent of manure or other ingredients, like chicken bone powder, etc.

Synthetic Fertilizer

Chemical fertilizers are entirely artificial mixtures. Due to this, the ratios and ingredients are very specific, so synthetic fertilizers can be made to act slowly or speedily. Chemical fertilizer bags often have the exact ratio of minerals printed on them. The N-P-K ratio defines the number of minerals present in synthetic plant food.

As mentioned earlier, a good slow-release fertilizer is best for your plants. A fast-release fertilizer will encourage your foliage to grow, but this will happen at the cost of your blooms. Your flowers will have reduced health and will be fewer in number.

A granular chemical fertilizer needs to be mixed into the soil as per instructions and works wonders for hydrangeas. However, you will only notice good results if the mixture is thoroughly mixed with the soil.

Most people love to use organic products, but it is really up to you. Use what works for your plants!

How To Fertilize Hydrangeas?

You may have the best fertilizer on hand, but it is useless if you do not know how to apply it correctly. In this section, we will talk about that in detail.

The quantity of fertilizer you will need depends upon the root system of your plant, its overall health, and size. Under-fertilizing usually does not cause much harm, but fertilizing more than required may severely damage your plants. You could end up burning the leaves, killing hydrangea flowers, or even worse, you could end up killing off your plant.

The texture of your hydrangea fertilizer will define the appropriate quantity for application. Your fertilizer could be granular, powdery, or in a liquid state. Sometimes, these may even be pelletized. Make sure you read your instruction manual and refer to all manufacturer guidelines before going forward with the application.

The basic steps that you can follow include:

  • Check whether your soil is acidic or alkaline using a pH meter.
  • Your soil should be at a pH of 5.5 or lower (acidic) if you want your hydrangeas to be blue.
  • The pH should be 6.5 or higher (alkaline) if you want the hue of your hydrangeas to be pinkish-red.
  • You should apply the fertilizer to the soil in early spring or towards the end of autumn.
  • You should apply 0.5 pounds of fertilizer to the base of the plant.
  • It should be raked in and mixed with the soil thoroughly.
  • Water your soil if it is not going to rain anytime soon.

Fertilizer Spikes

Fertilizer spikes are slow-release formulas that last pretty long. They can provide nutrients throughout the plant’s growing season. However, most fertilizer spikes are not designed for hydrangeas. There are probably very few such mixtures available in the market. Therefore, it is best to go for other types that are meant for use on hydrangea plants.

Granular And Powder Fertilizers

This texture is most common. Most hydrangea fertilizers are either in powder form or are granular. Also, these are usually slow-release, but you might find fast-release formulas in the market as well.

These mostly do have a similar application technique. You will need to sprinkle your granules or powder as a dry additive into the soil and rake it well afterward. Later on, watering the plants or rain will cause these to dissolve slowly and release nutrients into the soil.

Liquid Fertilizers

These are primarily concentrated solutions that need to be diluted down before application. These are fast-release formulas and will replenish your plants quite quickly. The nutrition watered into the soil is available for absorption immediately after application.

The most significant disadvantage of such formulas is that they may not be as effective if you accidentally mix in too much water or overwater your plants. Moreover, even rain can cause this hydrangea fertilizer to wash away. However, the best part about these is that these formulas can help revive your plants immediately if they are not thriving well.


Changing Hydrangea Color

Hydrangeas are known for their beautiful flowers and vibrant colors. This is probably the main feature attracting most gardeners and plant-enthusiasts. Hydrangea flowers can be pink or blue, but this can actually be controlled through soil pH. So, how do you use this to your benefit? Keep reading to find out!

Hydrangea Color pH

It is possible to turn your white hydrangeas to pink or blue, but this will not happen in an instant. However, if you have pink or blue hydrangeas, you can play with color by making soil adjustments. This means playing with the pH of the soil and is also called soil amendment.

Adding lime or sulfur hydrangea fertilizer will help you control the pH of the soil. You need to find the ratio that helps you achieve the desired hydrangea flower color. However, the ratio should be such that it also helps promote plant growth and boosts flower quantity.

Always use a soil pH tester to find out the acidity or alkalinity levels of your soil before going ahead with any soil amendment steps.

Turning Hydrangeas Pink

To achieve pink flowers on your hydrangea plants, you need to have a soil pH level that is alkaline. This should be 6.5 or higher. Always test your soil before the application of any hydrangea fertilizers.

Use a good fertilizer that provides pink flowers and will increase the pH of your soil after application.

Turning Hydrangeas Blue

Achieving blue flowers requires the soil pH to be acidic or lower in general. You should maintain the levels between 4.5 and 5.5 for optimal results. After testing, you can use an acidifying formula such as Miracle-Gro that helps turn your hydrangeas blue and adds nutrients to the soil, which helps the plant thrive. Even if you choose to use any other hydrangea fertilizers, make sure these have sufficient sulfur content.

Always make sure to read all instructions and flow the application method closely for desired results. Do not over-fertilize or overwater under any circumstances.

When To Fertilize Hydrangeas?

Immature hydrangea plants need to be fertilized lightly. This should be done using a fast-release hydrangea fertilizer. Begin fertilizing in the month of March and continue in the months of May and July. The fertilizer dosage can be increased to 4 ounces once flower buds appear. Make this application in early spring and repeat once these flowers bloom fully.

Hydrangea plants should never be fertilized after August or during the fall season. During autumn, the hydrangea shrubs are prepping themselves for hibernation. Late application of hydrangea fertilizer will enhance the growth of your foliage but will weaken the roots and plants. They will not be able to do well during the winter period.

If you live in a tropical area, you should only apply fertilizer doses between May and July. In contrast, you only need to fertilize once during June or July if you live in an area with cooler temperatures. Stop fertilizing at least two months before freezing temperatures or snowfall.

New baby leaves tend to absorb the cold. This damages the leaves during the winter season. Hydrangeas should stay dormant during cold weather to revive fully later on during the summer season.

A fertilizer with lower amounts of phosphorus is best for hydrangeas. The ideal ratio is 10-10-10 over 100 square feet of soil. Never remove the mulch from the soil because it further helps boost plant growth. If you have vining hydrangea species, you may want to fertilize these in April and June. Depending on what works for your plants, you may use an organic or synthetic fertilizer.

Endless Summer Hydrangeas

If you have endless summer hydrangea plants in your garden, you will have to twitch the fertilizer application slightly. For beautiful, vibrant blooms, these plants should be fertilized during March, May, and July. All new branches will produce new blooms and leaves, so added plant food will only benefit your hydrangea shrubs.


How Often Should I Fertilize My Hydrangeas?

As mentioned earlier, hydrangea plants must be fertilized at least once each month during the growing season. This begins in March and ends in July or late August. This can vary depending on where you live and how long your spring, autumn, summer, and winter seasons last. Whatever the span, make sure you stop fertilization before fall kicks in.

Always read the instructions and manufacturer guidelines before going ahead with the application of any kind of hydrangea fertilizers. Most instructions will ask you to fertilize your plants every two weeks for the first month. After that, you will only need to feed your plants only once every month during the growing season.

Fertilizer feeding times also vary when you use a slow-release formula compared to a quick-release one. Slow-release formulas do not need to be applied often unless the rain or overwatering washed away the product.

Popular Hydrangea Varieties

The hortensia or hydrangea plants have as many as 70 different species. Some varieties are more popular than others. Below we have compiled a list of 14 different, beautiful plants you can choose from. These can be planted in your garden or even in pots. Let’s take a look!

  • INCREDIBALL Hydrangea 

Other names: Hydrangea arborescence Abetwo’ INCREDIBALL

Flower Color: White

Origin: Eastern United States

Plant height: 4 feet to 5 feet

Sunlight: Bright sunlight to partly shady

USDA zones for hardiness: 3 to 9


  • Nikko Blue Hydrangea

Other names: Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Nikko Blue’

Flower Color: Blue

Origin: Japan

Plant height: 4 feet to 6 feet

Sunlight: Partly shady

USDA zones for hardiness: 6 to 9


  • Limelight Hydrangea

Other names: Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’

Flower Color: Pale yellow to light pink

Origin: Japan and China

Plant height: 6 feet to 8 feet

Sunlight: Partly shady to bright sunlight

USDA zones for hardiness: 3 to 8


  • Cityline Mars Hydrangea

Other names: Hydrangea macrophylla ‘CitylineMars’

Flower Color: Blue and pink

Origin: Japan

Plant height: 1 foot to 3 feet

Sunlight: Partly shady to bright sunlight

USDA zones for hardiness: 5 to 9


  • Zinfin Doll Hydrangea

Other names: Hydrangea paniculata ‘Zinfin Doll’

Flower Color: White to light pink

Origin: Japan and China

Plant height: 4 feet to 6 feet

Sunlight: Partly shady to bright sunlight

USDA zones for hardiness: 3 to 8


  • Climbing Hydrangea

Other names: Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris

Flower Color: Creamy white

Origin: Himalayas and China

Plant height: 30 feet to 50 feet

Sunlight: Partly shady to bright sunlight

USDA zones for hardiness: 4 to 8


  • Gatsby Pink Hydrangea 

Other names: Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Gatsby Pink’

Flower Color: White and pink

Origin: Southeastern United States

Plant height: 6 feet to 8 feet

Sunlight: Partly shady to bright sunlight

USDA zones for hardiness: 5 to 9


  • BloomStruck Hydrangea

Other names: Hydrangea macrophylla Endless Summer ‘BloomStruck’

Flower Color: Creamy white and pink

Origin: Japan

Plant height: 3 feet to 4 feet

Sunlight: Partly shady

USDA zones for hardiness: 4 to 9


  • Blue Deckle Hydrangea

Other names: Hydrangea serrata ‘Blue Deckle’

Flower Color: Light blue

Origin: Japan and Korea

Plant height: 3 feet to 4 feet

Sunlight: Partly shady

USDA zones for hardiness: 6 to 9


  • Eldorado’ Hydrangea

Other names: Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Eldorado’

Flower Color: Red

Origin: Japan

Plant height: 3 feet

Sunlight: Partly shady to full sunlight

USDA zones for hardiness: 6 to 9


  • You and Me Together Hydrangea 

Other names: Hydrangea macrophylla ‘You and Me Together’

Flower Color: Pink and white

Origin: Japan

Plant height: 36 inches

Sunlight: Partly shady to full sunlight

USDA zones for hardiness: 6 to 9


  • Madame Emile Mouillere Hydrangea

Other names: Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Madame Emile Mouillere’

Flower Color: White to blue/dusty pink

Origin: Japan

Plant height: 6 feet maximum

Sunlight: Part sunlight

USDA zones for hardiness: 6 to 9


  • Miss Saori Hydrangea

Other names: Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Miss Saori’

Flower Color: Creamy white with rosy borders

Origin: Japan

Plant height: 3 to 4 feet

Sunlight: Part shade to full sunlight

USDA zones for hardiness: 5 to 9


  • Unique Hydrangea

Other names: Hydrangea paniculata ‘Unique’

Flower Color: White

Origin: Japan and China

Plant height: 10 feet maximum

Sunlight: Part shade to full sunlight

USDA zones for hardiness: 3 to 8


Conclusion

We have finally reached the end of our article. We hope that you will finally be able to pick out the most suitable hydrangea fertilizer for your plants. Furthermore, our guide will help you correctly apply your fertilizer for optimal results. Always make sure to follow the instruction manual and manufacturer guidelines. Be vigilant about application strictly during the growth season.

You could also pick out a few more beautiful hydrangea plant species from our list! Add these to your garden for even more color and vibrancy. Paired with lush green foliage, your garden will attract all visitors. There is no need to feel sad if you do not have a garden or backyard, as hydrangea plants can also be kept in potted containers. These are some of the best plants around, and we simply adore them. We are sure you will agree!

Happy gardening!

FAQs

What is the best time to fertilize hydrangeas?

The best time to fertilize hydrangeas is during the summers or the growing season. You should never fertilize in the autumn or winter months as this causes the plants to lose the capacity to stand freezing temperatures while dormant. You can begin fertilizing in spring, starting from March and going all the way to late August or the end of July. Fertilize twice in the first month and then fertilize only once each month in the growing season.

Can I use Miracle Gro on hydrangeas?

MiracleGro is considered the best formula available for hydrangeas in the market. It’s great if you intend on turning your soil acidic to produce beautiful blue hydrangeas. You can easily mix this hydrangea fertilizer with water to form a solution. This will quickly help your plants grow lush foliage and abundant, vibrant blooms.

Are Epsom salts good for hydrangeas?

Yes, Epsom salts can be used on hydrangea plants. Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate. The sulfur from this compound is precisely what helps reduce pH and helps hydrangea flowers turn a beautiful blue color. Recommended fertilizer application is one tablespoon for nine square feet of soil. Depending on your plants, the application should be made every two to four weeks.

Will vinegar turn hydrangeas blue?

Yes, adding vinegar to the soil will definitely turn your pink hydrangeas blue. Adding vinegar works as it is an acid and will help reduce the pH of the soil. An ideal amount is one cup of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar in one gallon of water.

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