You guys!!! Welcome to my first official blog post featuring “Amber’s Urban Garden.” First off, I just want to say that I LOVE how much you all love following along with my garden posts on InstaStories. I truly get so excited when you share in my excitement for something. When I started posting about “Amber’s Urban Garden” I really didn’t know whether or not anyone would love it, but it’s actually the topic that I’ve received the most requests to post about. So… I am SO excited to share my tips on how to grow hydrangeas in a pot!
If you know me then you know I dream of having a home with a front and backyard full of different colored hydrangeas. These have always been one of my favorite flowers, if not my favorite. I also dream of having a huge garden where I grow my favorite herbs, favorite veggies, and fruits. I even hope to have a pumpkin or two, hell why not throw in a Christmas tree or three. My garden vision looks a little something like the Gaines’ garden or the It’s Complicated garden. Talk about swoon worthy! #agirlcandream
While visions of ample flowers, fruits, and veggies dance around in my head, I’m swiftly reminded that I only have an approximate 60sqft to create the garden of my dreams in (for now). Wanting to have a garden has recently taught me a valuable life lesson that I may not have learned if it hadn’t been for living in 600sqft.
“BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED”
That is what gardening has recently taught me. What does this mean to me? It means that it might not be the “perfect” scenario of my dreams but there is a way to create my dreams within my current scenario (ahem, 60sqft to plant a garden in). We are constantly going to have different stages and phases of our life, some that we will love and some that we might not love quite as much. No matter what stage you’re in, it’s important to be grateful for that current stage and to find a way to thrive the best you can. Just because I don’t have a gigantic yard doesn’t mean I still can’t have some type of garden that I’ve been longing for. So, bloom where you are planted and learn to keep your dreams alive even if it isn’t your perfect scenario.
How To Grow Hydrangeas In A Pot:
Currently I buy all of my plants at ACE Garden Center on Grand Ave. in Oakland, Ca. There are a ton of other plant nurseries in the area that I can go to but this one is convenient since it’s right down the street from me. ACE has always been my hardware store of choice. I love going there because the staff is genuinely the most helpful people who you’re going to get at a hardware store.
The gentlemen who work at my ACE Garden Center are so friendly and never hesitate to give you tips and tricks when you ask them any questions about their nursery. They are usually the ones I get all my advice and tips from.
Tip No. 1: Ask someone at the nursery what their tips are for the particular plant you’re looking to purchase. This is super helpful because they know the climate that you are in and how to care for the plant in your particular climate. Also ask if there are plants that have been grown in your “growing zone” so that it’s used to that climate. If you live in California and you’re trying to plant flowers that were started in the south, then the chances of them thriving aren’t going to be that great. All of the plants will have zones on their tags and you can just ask the staff which area your zone is.
Tip No. 2: Plant the hydrangea in a pot that is 1.5x bigger than the pot it comes in. Some varietals of hydrangeas grow huge and you may even want to do a pot that is 2x bigger than the one it comes in. Once they start growing, you’ll be happy you went with the larger pot because your beautiful hydrangeas will have plenty of room to grow.
Tip No. 3: Use an organic potting soil to plant the hydrangea in. The friendly man at ACE told me that for hydrangeas you should only use organic soil. There are a ton of different soils out there but you want to use one that is made for planting in containers. The reason you want to use a potting soil vs. gardening soil is because potting soil is specifically made for pots. It allows for the roots of the plant to thrive even though they are contained within the pot. Potting soil also allows for your plants to drain and be aerated properly for a plant that is contained vs. growing in the ground. I use E.B Stone Organics Edna’s Best Potting Soil.
Tip No. 4: Leave at least an inch from the top of the pot to where the soil starts to allow room for water. I get a little over zealous sometimes and put too much soil and end up with a mess when I go to water.
Tip No. 5: Fertilize every four to six weeks. I use E.B Stone All Purpose Plant Food. There is hydrangea specific food but I opt for this one to use on all my plants except for citrus.
Tip No. 6: Position the pot where it gets partial sun and partial shade. The weather in Oakland is usually about 70 degrees year round except for December and January where it gets a little cooler. Because of this I keep my hydrangeas in the sun most of the day and don’t worry about them over heating. If you live in a super hot climate then you should definitely go the partial sun/shade route.
Tip No. 7: Water, water, and more water. Don’t let the soil dry out. Keeping it moist is your best bet at keeping these alive (not soaked, just moist). If it’s a foggy cool day, I will water every other day. If a fully sunny day I water every day. You can also just check the soil each day and you’ll know if it needs to be watered. Once your hydrangea blooms, don’t freak out if your flowers start to look like they died towards the end of the day, give them some water and in a few hours they should perk right back up.
These tips are general tips for growing hydrangeas in a pot as opposed to tips for specific varietals. I learned that there are specific tips for each hydrangea varietal out there. To be honest, I have no idea what varietal mine are because I was just so excited when I went to purchase them that I didn’t pay attention to that. I think all four of my pots are different varieties and I’m totally okay with that. After all we do live in Oakland where we embrace our diversity so I guess it’s perfect.
Now that you know how to grow hydrangeas in a pot, be sure to check out my post on how to keep hydrangeas alive for 2+ weeks once you’ve cut them. I swear this simple tip is the best at keeping your blooms looking good!
My hope for “Amber’s Urban Garden” is that I can grow and nurture all these plants and take them with us when we do purchase a home and transfer them into the ground. *fingers crossed*