Can you believe that this beautiful hydrangea was grown in the scorching heat of Arizona?
Hydrangeas are plants meant to be grown in cooler temperatures, but some of their varieties have exceptional heat resistance, making them the optimal choice.
We have discovered a secret by growing hydrangeas in Arizona for the past few years.
So, can hydrangeas grow in Arizona?
Here’s everything you need to know.
Can Hydrangeas Grow In Arizona?
Most hydrangeas in Arizona die due to the high temperatures.
The high temperatures dry the hydrangeas and eventually kill them.
Let me share the secret to growing them in even this heat successfully.
Hydrangeas can be grown easily in Arizona if you choose a heat-tolerant variety (oakleaf, limelight, and smooth), protect it from the afternoon sun, water it regularly, and fertilize and prune it when needed.
We are going to grow hydrangeas in Arizona in just Five simple steps.
Step 1: Select a suitable variety.
Some varieties of hydrangeas grow well in Arizona.
- Oakleaf Hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercifolia)
- Limelight Hydrangeas (Hydrangea Paniculata)
- Smooth hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens)
Let’s take a look at each of them in detail.
Oakleaf hydrangeas are heat tolerant and grow well in hot and dry conditions.
They can grow perfectly without wilting, burning, or showing signs of heat stress due to their great heat resistance.
Also, partial shade from the afternoon sun is essential for better growth.
These shrubs require proper care even with the best heat and drought resistance.
But this will be the basic care that all the plants need, like watering, pruning, and fertilizing.
This is a variety of Hydrangea Paniculata (Panicle Hydrangea); these love the sun.
This beautiful lime green shrub is heat and drought-resistant, making it perfect for the heat of Arizona.
These also grow without wilting, burning, or showing signs of heat stress due to their great heat resistance.
They are very easy to manage and require low maintenance, plus their bloom time is longer than other hydrangeas.
Also known as Hydrangea arborescens and Annabelle Hydrangeas.
Compared to other hydrangea types, these also have better heat and drought resistance.
They can withstand short periods of drought and can be grown without heat burn or wilting in hotter temperatures.
Once established, they do not need much attention, and basic care for them does the job.
Much more care will be required in zone 9. Otherwise, they need basic care in zones 7 and 8 of Arizona.
This takes us straight to our next point!
Step 2: Pick A Suitable Planting Spot.
We know that the varieties we discussed are heat and drought-resistant, but if they get the full-day sun of Arizona, they will die of heat stress.
You must find a place that receives morning sun and shade in the afternoon.
It is important to protect them from the hot afternoon sun.
Let me tell you how to transfer the hydrangea from the pot into the soil.
Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and twice as wide. Then, remove the hydrangea from the pot (container).
Loosen its roots, place the plant in the hole, and cover it with soil. Then, water the plant till the soil is moist.
Apply 2-3 inches of shredded bark or compost mulch to suppress weeds and retain moisture.
Usually, most of the soil in Arizona is alkaline, and hydrangeas need a slightly acidic pH to grow.
A pH tester can test the pH, which can be reduced using sulfur.
Step 3: Fertilizing & Pruning.
Fertilizing and pruning are simple yet essential processes to ensure the best of your hydrangeas.
Fertilizers are a supplement that should only be used when the soil lacks nutrients, or the hydrangea shows signs of deficiency.
You can get personalized fertilizer recommendations by doing a soil test and finding out what the soil lacks.
But how many times do they need to be fertilized?
You should fertilize your hydrangeas twice a year. The first application should take place in early spring using a slow-release granular fertilizer.
Right before your hydrangeas bloom in late spring or early summer, the second dose will take place, it will help them to develop strong and vibrant blooms.
Now, let’s talk about pruning!
Pruning hydrangeas yearly is essential as it determines the next year’s bloom.
The pruning process should occur before the new growth starts in winter/early spring when the old blooms have been shed.
Let’s talk about each variety in detail.
These hydrangeas grow on new wood, and pruning increases their flowers and blooms if done correctly.
Prune just above the third bud from the previous year’s growth so that new growth occurs.
This prune will lead to bushier flowers and big blooms.
In the process, prune out all the dead branches and trim overcrowded stems to regulate airflow.
These hydrangeas can bloom on both new and old wood.
Prune just below the old flower head after flowering has taken place.
It can also be lightly trimmed if you need to maintain its shape.
These hydrangeas can also bloom on both new and old wood.
Smooth hydrangeas only need to be pruned to maintain their shape.
Again, prune all the dead branches and trim overcrowded stems.
Step 4: Hydrangeas maintenance in Summer.
Even with their great heat and drought resistance, maintaining hydrangeas in Arizona summer can be difficult.
Let’s look at the processes you must go through in the summer to maintain your hydrangeas.
Watering & Mulching:
Regular watering has to take place in the summer to keep the soil moist.
The watering will also regulate transpiration, which helps the plant cool down.
Also, more water in the plants’ system will be used as a coolant to fight against the heat.
Mulching the plant after watering will retain the moisture.
The retained moisture will also help the plant thrive in the dry heat.
These steps allow the plant to survive summer with shade from the afternoon sun.
Step 5: Hydrangea Maintenance In Fall & Winter.
As fall starts, the days become cooler; this is the time that hydrangeas love most.
Hydrangeas do not need much water during this time, so reduce the watering.
As the fall ends and winter starts, apply mulch so that hydrangeas remain warm and do not suffer from winter damage.
Cover the hydrangeas with a burlap or a trash bucket to keep them warm on a much cooler night.
These materials will also help prevent winter frosts on the plant from forming.
Straight to the point!
FAQ’S About Growing Hydrangeas In Arizona:
Now, let me address some common questions about growing hydrangeas in Arizona.
Where is the best place for hydrangeas to grow?
As discussed earlier, hydrangeas love the sun but can also harm them.
They need the warm morning sunlight, but the hot afternoon sunlight harms them if they have too much exposure.
So you should plant your hydrangeas in a spot that receives full morning sun and filtered sunlight (full shade is also alright) in the afternoon.
Also, make sure to water it regularly to get the best results.
Where is the best time to plant hydrangeas?
Planting your hydrangeas from early fall to spring would be best.
This will give them enough time to prepare for the upcoming hot days.
Hydrangeas perform best in fertile and well-draining soils.
So, can hydrangeas grow in Arizona?
Heat-tolerant varieties like oakleaf, limelight, and smooth grow very well in Arizona.
You must provide them morning sun, afternoon shade, evenly moist soil, and well-draining soil to get the best results.
Mulch in the spring to conserve moisture and protect your hydrangeas from the summer heat of Arizona.
Feel free to get in touch. Just remember:
“Hydrangeas eat less and drink MORE”. This is the key to success.
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