Hydrangeas are magical shrubs that can shift the color of blooms. Also, they are fairly easy to grow and suit every kind of landscape situation.
So, if you stop the traffic and keep your neighbor jealous of the vibrant and large globe of hydrangea blooms, you must feed them the right fertilizer at the right time. Otherwise, your hydrangeas may become bushy with no blooms or poor and faded blooms.
Now the question; what is the best fertilizer for hydrangeas?
In short, both organic and synthetic types of fertilizer that are specially formulated for acid-loving plants, have a balanced ratio of essential plant nutrients and don’t contain any toxic and burning ingredients or chemicals.
For your convenience, here I have listed and reviewed the best fertilizer for hydrangeas. I hope It will help you to pick the perfect fertilizer for your hydrangeas.
So, without losing your time, let’s get started-
In a Rush? Here is the overall best hydrangeas fertilizer that you may pick right now-
Best Fertilizer for Hydrangeas-Comparisons
|Espoma Holly Tone Organic Fertilizer||4-3-4||Granular||Organic|
|Jobe’s Organics 9826 Fertilizer||5-4-3||Granular||Organic|
|Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Miracid||30-10-10||Granular||Synthetic|
|Jobe's Fertilizer Spikes||9-8-7||Spike||Synthetic|
|Dr. Earth 703P Acid Fertilizer||3-4-3||Granular||Organic|
|Down To Earth Acid Mix Fertilizer||4-3-6||Granular||Organic|
|J R Peters Hydrangea Fertilizer||7-3-3||Granular||Synthetic|
|Bonide (BND56428) -Color Me Blue||0-0-0||Pellet||Organic|
|Jobe's Organics Soil Acidifier||0-0-0||Granular||Organic|
|Jobe's Organics Garden Lime||0-0-0||Granular||Organic|
Best Fertilizer for Hydrangeas-Reviews
1.Espoma HT18 Holly Tone Fertilizer
As the primary nutrients, it contains 4% nitrogen,3% phosphate, and 4% potash for lush green foliage and vibrant blooms.
The good news; it has no urea nitrogen. It has 0.3% ammoniacal nitrogen,1.2% water-soluble nitrogen, and 2.5% water-insoluble nitrogen.
You will be happy to know; ammoniacal nitrogen helps the soil to reduce pH for a longer period. Water-soluble nitrogen feeds your hungry plant instantly and water-insoluble releases nutrients slowly and feeds continuously without the risk of burning.
As you saw, it has a higher amount of slow-release nitrogen, that’s why it is one of the best slow-release fertilizer for hydrangeas today.
Moreover, it also contains some other macro and micronutrients including 3% calcium,1% magnesium, and 5% sulfur.
All the nutrients of this holly tone fertilizer are derived from some organic ingredients such as feather meal, bone meal, alfalfa meal, poultry manure, greensand, sulfate of potash magnesia, and elemental sulfur.
As you saw, it contains elemental sulfur. Elemental sulfur is an organic soil amendment that helps the soil to reduce soil pH and you know lower soil pH is required for blue hydrangeas. So, it can be the best fertilizer for endless summer hydrangeas to blue as well as other varieties.
The best parts of this fertilizer are-
It contains colony-forming beneficial soil microbes that improve the soil structure and promote the root growth of hydrangeas. Also, it has 1% humic acids and you may know humic acid acts as the stress reviver and protect your hydrangeas from environmental stress.
Besides hydrangeas, it can also apply on some acid-loving plants including azalea, bayberry, gardenia, strawberry, blueberry, and camellia.
To feed in-ground hydrangeas-Sprinkle 1 cup for a foot of hydrangea branches spread and sprinkle 1 teaspoon for each 3 inches diameter of the pot. Work on the surface soil gently, and water thoroughly. Feed again after a month.
2.Jobe’s Organics 9826 Fertilizer
Jobe’s Organics 9826 fertilizer is another best organic fertilizer for hydrangeas. This organic granular fertilizer is specially formulated for some acid-loving plants and flowers such as hydrangeas, Azaleas, Camellias, and so on.
The NPK ratio of this fertilizer is 5-4-3. That means it has 5% nitrogen,4% phosphorus, and 3% potash. Good news; it also has no urea nitrogen and contains 3.9% water-insoluble nitrogen for feeding your hydrangeas continuously and has 1.1% water-soluble nitrogen for instant feeding.
Moreover, it contains 7% calcium,0.5% magnesium and 1% sulfur.It may also contain some micronutrients because it is rich in organic ingredients but the manufacturer didn’t mention the ratio of micronutrients.
This slow-release hydrangeas fertilizer is fortified with some organic ingredients such as feather meal, bone meal, poultry meal, and sulfate of potash. It has no chemical compound that is certified by OMRI and USDA.
The unique feature of this fertilizer is-
It contains biozome. Biozome is a natural blend of healthy bacteria, Mycorrhizal fungi, and Archaea that improves soil health, root growth, and makes the plant disease, insect, and stress-resistant.
To feed this environment- friendly fertilizer-
Sprinkle 1 ½ cups per foot plant spread or 16 inches diameter pot. Mix gently with the top soil and water the plant. Reapply after 4-6 weeks and enjoy the beauty of the hydrangeas.
3.Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Miracid Acid-Loving Plant Food
Miracle-Gro Miracid is an acidic fertilizer that is specially formulated for acid-loving plants and you know hydrangeas like acidic environments to thrive and bloom. Let’s see what’s inside this miracle grow fertilizer for hydrangeas-
According to the NPK ratio, it contains 30% nitrogen,10% phosphate, and 10% potash for better foliage, strong roots, and healthy blooms.
And out of 30% total nitrogen, It has 27% urea and 3% ammoniacal nitrogen. As you saw it contains a higher amount of urea nitrogen that has both advantages and disadvantages. Let me explain-
Excess urea nitrogen promotes stress and kills microbes. As a result, plants can show burn signs. In contrast, it can help the soil to reduce pH instantly.
Experts recommend avoiding excess urea nitrogen-containing fertilizer for hydrangeas from ordinary brands. But it’s from Miracle-Gro; the reputable brand of gardening products.
Don’t think I’m exaggerating. I am only telling the truth that I found in my research. Thereafter, to be on the safe side, don’t feed too much, apply the fertilizer by maintaining the schedule.
Moreover, this fertilizer also contains 0.02% boron,0.07% copper,0.325% iron,0.05% manganese,0.07% zinc and 0.0005% molybdenum.
Good news; most of these nutrients have a chelated coat that protects the nutrients from the different types of soil reactions and makes them always in available form.
It comes in a water-soluble form that can feed your hungry hydrangeas instantly. Besides hydrangeas, it’s also best for Hibiscus, Orchids, Camellias, Azaleas, Gardenias, Holly, and other acid-loving plants.
So, if you want a quick result, pick this fast release fertilizer for hydrangeas. To feed this acidic fertilizer-
Measure 1 tablespoon for outdoor hydrangeas and ½ teaspoon for indoor, potted (florist)hydrangeas. Pour the pre-measured fertilizer into a gallon of water and prepare a liquid fertilizer for hydrangeas. Soak the solution base of the plants. Repeat the feeding 1-2 weeks later and get the desired blooms.
4.Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes for Acid Loving Plant
If you are looking for the best fertilizer spikes for hydrangeas, then you should pick the Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes and it is a specially formulated fertilizer for Azalea, Camellia, hydrangeas Rhododendron, and some other acid-loving plants.
As a primary plant food, it has 9% nitrogen for foliage growth,8% phosphate for strong roots and vibrant blooms, and 7% potash for healthy plants.
Good news; the total amount of nitrogen of this fertilizer is ammoniacal nitrogen and you will be happy to know, ammoniacal nitrogen is more gentle than urea nitrogen. That’s why it can feed your hydrangeas without the risk of burn.
Also, it can hold the soil acidity for a longer period of time that makes this best fertilizer for blue hydrangeas.
The best parts of this fertilizer;
A small portion of nutrients is coated for slow release. But the difference between other slow-release fertilizer and Jobe’s spike fertilizer is-
General slow-release fertilizer provides only slow-release nitrogen. But Jobe’s spike contains 4% slow-release nitrogen,3% slow-release phosphorus, and 3% slow release potash.
As a result, you don’t need to worry about poor feeding. The slow-release nutrients will feed your hydrangeas up to 8 weeks. Also, it has water-soluble nutrients for instant feeding.
Moreover, it contains some other essential plant nutrients including calcium, magnesium, and sulfur.
It comes in a spike form and you know spike fertilizer is easy to use.No need to pre-measured and no run off with surface water.
According to the experts, it is the best fertilizer for hydrangeas in summer and spring. So, for better results feed this fertilizer in late spring and early summer.
Simply push 1 spike per foot of plant diameter near the soil of the stem. Water thoroughly and repeat feeding 1-2 months later.
5.Dr. Earth 703P Organic Acid Fertilizer
Dr. Earth 703p Organic Acid Fertilizer is another best organic fertilizer for hydrangeas to bloom that can make the soil acidic and help to thrive and produce colorful blooms of every kind of hydrangeas including oakleaf hydrangeas, white hydrangeas, pink hydrangeas, limelight hydrangeas,lacecap hydrangeas.
According to the granular analysis, it contains 3% nitrogen,4% phosphorus, and 3% potash. As you saw it contains a higher amount of phosphorus and you will be happy to know, phosphorus promotes the robust bloom and encourages the hydrangeas to bloom. So, you may also call it the best fertilizer for reblooming hydrangeas.
Also, the total amount of nitrogen is coated for slow release that can feed your hydrangeas slowly and continuously with no risk of damage.
It may contain some other micro and macronutrients because it is fortified with some organic ingredients that are the source of different essential plant nutrients.
For example; it contains kelp meal and you know it is the seaweed extract that can provide nitrogen and potassium, minerals, amino acids, and other micronutrients. But the manufacturer didn’t mention any macronutrient ratio.
It is also enriched with alfalfa meal, fishbone meal, fish meal, kelp flour, and potassium sulfate.
Good news; it also contains a natural blend of beneficial bacteria with ecto and endo mycorrhizae that improves the soil health and makes the plant healthy and resistant. Moreover, it has 11% humic acid for reviving the plant from environmental stress.
It comes with the slow release granular and it has no toxic chemical that is also proved by the OMRI certificate. Besides hydrangeas, it can apply on azalea, camellia, rhododendron, berry, and some other acid-loving plants.
To feed this organic fertilizer to your established hydrangeas-
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons per gallon of potting mix or sprinkle 2 cups per inch of trunk diameter. Work gently on the top soil, water the plant, and repeat the application after 2 months.
6.Down To Earth All Natural Acid Mix Fertilizer
Here is another best natural fertilizer for hydrangeas from the Down To Earth brand that is also certified by OMRI as an organic fertilizer. This fertilizer is specially produced for acid-loving plants such as hydrangea, rhododendron, azalea, camellia, evergreen, and berry.
Let’s see what’s inside this natural acid mix fertilizer-
It contains 4% nitrogen,3% phosphate and 6% potash.Good news; it has 0.4% water-soluble nitrogen for quick feeding and 3.6% water-insoluble nitrogen for continuous feeding. Also it has 3% calcium,2% magnesium and 2% sulfur.
All the nutrients are derived from some natural ingredients such as cottonseed meal, fishbone meal, langbeinite, rock phosphate, and kelp meal. Also, it is enriched with some beneficial soil microbes that promote soil health as well as plants.
To protect your hydrangeas from environmental stress like water stress, and heat stress, It contains 2.5% humic acids.
This pet and environment- friendly organic fertilizer comes in a recyclable paperboard box. To feed your established hydrangea-
Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoon for every gallon of potting mix or 1 cup for an established hydrangeas plant. Mix with the surface soil gently and water thoroughly.
7.J R Peters Inc 59324 Jacks Classic Hydrangea Fertilizer
Let’s analyze this best plant food for hydrangeas–
As the primary nutrients,it contains 7% nitrogen,3% phosphate and 3% potash.It has a higher amount of nitrogen to promote foliage that’s why it can be the best fertilizer for climbing hydrangeas.
Also, the total amount of nitrogen is ammoniacal nitrogen that helps the soil to reduce pH and make the blooms deep blue.
Moreover,this fertilizer is enriched with some other essential plant nutrients.Besides npk,it also contains 0.05% magnesium,9% sulfur,0.02% boron,0.05% copper,0.30% iron,0.05% manganese,0.05% zinc and 0.0009% molybdenum.
The most likable feature is –
Most of the micronutrients are available in a chelated form that means they don’t react with other nutrients and always remain in an available form for plants.
All the macro and micronutrients of this fertilizer are derived from some safe and toxic-free chemicals that are safe for hydrangeas and your health also.
To get bigger and vibrant blooms-
Mix 1 tablespoon into a gallon of water and pour the solution around the base of the hydrangeas. Don’t spray on the foliage. Repeat feeding after 14 days.
8.Bonide (BND56428) – Bailey’s Color Me Blue Hydrangeas Pellets
You know, hydrangeas can change the blossom color depending on the soil pH. So, if you don’t like pink or red blooms of hydrangeas or need deep blue colored blooms, you should decrease the soil pH lower than 6.
And if you are looking for an acidifier to decrease the soil pH for bluing the blooms? Here is Bonide (BND56428) – Bailey’s Color Me Blue Hydrangeas Pellets for you. It is specially designed for hydrangeas to blue.
It does not contain any plant nutrients. So, don’t use it as fertilizer. It can only decrease the soil pH and turn the flowers blue. The pH of this soil acidifier is 5.0-5.8 pH.
Want to know how it can make the soil acidic?
Actually, It is derived from elemental sulfur that is oxidized by soil microbes and creates sulfur acid to reduce the soil pH. Also, sulfur is an essential plant nutrient that helps to develop enzymes and protein.
It comes in the easy to use pellet form.No mixing is required. Sprinkle ½ cup of pellets around the base of the plants and water.
9.Jobe’s Organics Soil Acidifier
This organic acidifier contains natural soil additives to decrease the soil pH and make the blooms blue. It has 18% free sulfur and 12% combined sulfur to decrease the soil pH, promote green growth, and develop enzymes and vitamins.
And the total amount of sulfur is derived from elemental sulfur and gypsum. Both are OMRI listed organic ingredients for using organic agriculture.
It comes in a granular form. To get the blue hydrangea blooms-
Sprinkle ½ cup per foot of plant spread or 16-inch diameter pot and water the plant. Apply once every 8 weeks or as needed.
10.Jobe’s Organics Garden Lime
If you don’t like blue hydrangeas, then you can easily change the color of the blooms into pink by increasing the soil pH above 6, and for doing that here is the Jobe’s Organics Garden Lime. It an OMRI listed organic products for organic gardeners.
You know; Calcium is a liming material that can increase the soil alkalinity and you will be happy to know, it contains 34% calcium,48.7% calcium oxide, and 87% calcium carbonate. It can also fulfill the calcium requirement of hydrangeas.
Also,it contains 1.3% magnesium,4% magnesium oxide,8.5% magnesium carbonate and some other acid-neutralizing agents.
It comes in granular form. Sprinkle ½ cup for per foot of plant diameter, water and help the hydrangeas to produce pink blooms.
How To Choose the Best Fertilizer for Hydrangeas?
Don’t need a magic formula to pick the right fertilizer for hydrangeas. Only you have to consider some steps avoiding the wrong selection of fertilizer.
NPK are the three primary nutrients for hydrangeas. Nitrogen is essential for foliar growth, phosphorus promotes flowering and potassium takes care of the overall plant.
So, Hydrangeas need a balanced mixture of NPK to thrive and blooms.
Moreover, a good hydrangeas fertilizer contains some other macro and micronutrients.
Types of Fertilizer
Different types of hydrangeas fertilizer available in the market today.The most popular types of hydrangeas fertilizer are-water soluble, granular, and spike. You can pick any type of fertilizer from reputable brands.
But the main difference among them is the application. Water-soluble fertilizer is required pre-measured and pre-mixing with water. In contrast no need to pre-mixed with water for granular and spike fertilizer.
Organic vs Synthetic
Organic or Synthetic; which is better for hydrangeas? Again I want to tell, you can pick organic or synthetic fertilizer from any reputable brand. Both are perfect for hydrangeas. Also, both have some advantages and disadvantages.
Organic fertilizer has been coated for slow-release. So it can feed the hydrangeas continuously for a longer period. In contrast, synthetic fertilizers are quick release fertilizers that can feed instantly.
When to Fertilize Hydrangeas?
Tell me when you need food? When you become hungry, right? It is also applicable to the plants. Hydrangea plants become hungry in the active growing season. So, spring to summer is the best time to fertilize hydrangeas.
Remember, fertilizing time will vary depending on the type of fertilizer or plant requirements. So, read the label of your fertilizer to learn the hydrangeas fertilizer schedule.
Also, you can add fertilizer if you see any yellowing or purpling sign. But leaves turn yellow because of improper watering also. Take it into consideration before going to fertilize the hydrangeas.
How Often You Should Fertilize Hydrangeas?
What is the type of your hydrangeas fertilizer? If it is a slow-release fertilizer, then you don’t apply it frequently but if the fertilizer is water-soluble, you need to apply frequently.
Because slow-release fertilizer has a lower chance to run off with surface water and can feed continuously for a certain period of time. In contrast, water-soluble fertilizer feeds the hydrangeas instantly and has enough chance to run off with surface water.
In general, you can apply slow-release fertilizer once per month and water-soluble fertilizer once per 1-2 weeks. For better results, follow the label directions of fertilizer.
How to Fertilize Hydrangeas?
To feed the fertilizer, sprinkle or pour the solution around the base of the plants. It sounds simple, but not actually. You must follow some steps for better and quick results. Here I will discuss the best way to fertilize the hydrangeas plants-
Step 1: Choose the Perfect Time of The Day to Fertilize
According to the experts, the best time to fertilize hydrangeas is when the weather remains calm. So, you should choose the morning or evening for applying the fertilizer because at that time weather remains cool and windless.
Step 2: Measure the Fertilizer
Measure the fertilizer according to the label of the fertilizer and the size of the plants or pots. You should ignore the pre-measuring step if you pick spike fertilizer.
If the fertilizer is water-soluble, then mix the pre-measured fertilizer with water. You don’t need to make a liquid solution if you chose insoluble granular fertilizer.
Step 3: Apply the Fertilizer
To Apply Water-Soluble Fertilizer– Pour the pre-mixed solution around the base of the hydrangeas. If the fertilizer is permissible for foliar spray, then spray on the foliage.
To Apply Granular Fertilizer- Create 2 holes with Garden Auger Drill on the drip line. Pour the fertilizer into the hole and backfill with soil. Now apply the water.
To Apply Spike Fertilizer- Simply push the spikes into 1-2 inches of the soil near the stem and water thoroughly.
Homemade Fertilizer for Hydrangeas
Recipe 1: Homemade Soil Acidifier
- White Vinegar
- Watering Can
- Mix 1-2 teaspoons of white vinegar into a gallon of water.
- Pour the solution around the base of the plants.
Recipe 2:Homemade Bloom Booster for Hydrangeas
- Banana peels
- Cut the banana peels and fish bone meal into pieces.
- Dry them into full sun.
- Grind them.
- Sprinkle crushed banana peels and fishbone around the base of the plant and water the plant.
For More: Banana Peels as Fertilizer
How to Change the Colour of The Hydrangeas?
You know, hydrangeas blossom color can change easily by modifying the soil pH. Only you can’t change the color of the white hydrangeas. They are always white.
To Turn Pink Hydrangeas to Blue
You need to increase the soil acidity to get the blue colored blooms. Blue or lavender-blue hydrangeas blooms need soil pH lower than 6. Add ammonium sulfate or any soil acidifier to decrease the soil pH.
To Turn Blue Hydrangeas to Pink
It is the reverse process. Decrease the soil acidity to make the blooms pink. Pink and red blooms need soil pH higher than 6.5. Add liming materials to increase the soil pH.
To Produce Mix of Blue and Pink Blooms
Try to keep the soil pH between 5.5 and 6.5.
Note: Measure the soil pH before adding the acidifier or garden lime.
Frequently Asked Questions
#Are Hydrangeas Acid Loving?
Hydrangeas love to grow in acid soil but they also can grow in neutral to alkaline soil. Actually, soil pH doesn’t affect the hydrangea health, it can affect only the color of blooms.
Blue hydrangeas turn pink in alkaline soil and pink hydrangeas turn blue in acidic soil. But white hydrangeas don’t change color depending on the soil pH.
#Are Coffee Grounds Good for Hydrangeas?
Coffee grounds are highly acidic and you know acidic soil can help to make the blooms blue. Also, coffee grounds are a natural source of nitrogen that can promote foliar growth. So, coffee grounds can be good for blue hydrangeas.
Teabags also can play the same role if you apply it to the hydrangeas.
#Are Epsom Salts Good for Hydrangeas?
Epsom is the source of magnesium. Magnesium is the essential plant nutrient that protects the plant from interveinal chlorosis. Also, it can decrease soil pH to produce blue flowers.
#Is Vinegar Good for Hydrangeas?
You know vinegar is the 5–8% acetic acid solution that is highly acidic. So if you want to turn your pink hydrangeas to blue, you can apply vinegar to your hydrangeas.
#Is Baking Soda Good for hydrangeas?
Chemically, Baking soda is known as sodium bicarbonate and it is highly alkaline. So if you apply baking soda on the soil, then the soil pH will increase. As a result, you will get the pink blooms instead of blue.
#Are Eggshells Good for Hydrangeas?
Eggshell is the natural source of calcium and calcium helps the soil to reduce soil acidity and increases alkalinity. You know alkaline soil turns the hydrangea in pink. So, eggshells can be good for pink hydrangeas.
#Are Banana Peels Good for Hydrangeas?
Banana peel contains a higher amount of phosphorus and phosphorus is required for blooms. That means banana peels act as the bloom booster fertilizer for hydrangeas.
Growing hydrangeas is easy if you plant them in the right pot and right soil and feed the water and fertilizer properly. Also, you can swipe the color of the blooms pink into blue and blue into pink by increasing acidity and alkalinity.
I hope you picked the best fertilizer for hydrangeas and liming or acidifier to get the desired color of blooms.