A common question I hear people asking is ‘what side of the house should I plant hydrangeas?’.
It is an important thing to establish as you will want the ideal growing conditions for your plant.
Whilst hydrangeas are pretty cold hardy there are a number of other factors that influence how well they grow.
So are they best on the north, south, east, or west side of your house?
Let’s find out!
What Side Of The House Should I Plant Hydrangeas?
There isn’t a specific side of a house hydrangeas will grow best on. You will want to find a spot that gets sun in the morning and then shade in the afternoon. Often this will be the north or east side of your house, but not always. Depending upon the location of your house and any trees, etc, this could be any side.
Shade is More Important Than Side
When you are considering where to plant your hydrangeas, the most important thing is the amount of shade they will get as opposed to planting them on a particular side of the house.
The ideal place for hydrangeas is a side that gets plenty of morning sun but is sheltered from the sun when it is at its hottest in the afternoon. So in summary:
- Morning: in some sun
- Afternoon: in some shade
Depending upon the location of your house this could be the north, east, south or west side!
However, you will often hear people say they must be planted on a particular side of the house.
This is because, in general, the south and west sides of a house are likely to get more sun in the afternoon when it is hottest. This isn’t good for growing hydrangeas.
On the contrary, the north and east sides of most houses get sun in the morning when it is cooler, but not in the afternoon. This is better for growing hydrangeas.
So if we are generalizing, usually the north or east side of a house is the best place for planting hydrangeas.
But not always!
Do a Quick Audit of Your Flower Beds
The easiest way to work out what side of the house you should plant your hydrangeas on is to do your own audit of potential locations.
Go out and look at your flowerbeds at different times of the day and see when they are in the shade and when they are in the sun.
A number of factors will come into play including where your house casts its shadow, and if you or your neighbors have any trees and where they cast their shadows.
Work out where they will get sunlight in the morning and be sheltered from the sun in the afternoon.
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Some Varieties Can Handle Sun Better Than Others
The hydrangea macrophylla, commonly known as big leaf hydrangea, is more sensitive to the sun than other varieties.
If it is planted in full sun it will really struggle.
Hydrangea arborescens (commonly known as smooth or wild hydrangea) and hydrangea paniculata (commonly known as panicle hydrangea) can tolerate a little more sun.
So the variety you want to grow can have an influence on what side of the house you plant it on.
Other Things to Consider
As well as sunlight and shade there are a few other things to consider when picking the perfect location for your hydrangeas.
- The soil should be moist and well-draining.
- They thrive in acidic soil. Check the pH of your soil before planting.
- Try and avoid an area that is open to the wind.
- Whilst hydrangeas like shade, don’t plant them directly under a tree as they will compete with them for nutrients and water.
- Make sure there is adequate space for the roots to move around and get the air and water it needs to survive.
We have largely answered the question above, but let’s take a quick look at specific sides:
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Can You Plant Hydrangeas On The North Side Of The House?
“I am no expert, but I do have a number of hydrangeas growing happily on the north side of my house next to my garage, and they are doing pretty well.”
Generally, the north side of a house gets less sunlight than other sides, but not always.
However this strongly depends on which way your house faces, so take a look around and make a note of how much sun potential growing areas get in the morning and the afternoon.
Remember hydrangeas are fine in the morning sun, but will not like full sun in the afternoon when it is at its strongest.
Can You Plant Hydrangeas On The East Side Of The House?
“We have a huge hydrangea, about 4ft tall, on the east side of our house. It blooms so intensely every year that it supplied all the flowers for our friend’s wedding one year.“
Often the east side of a house is the best spot to plant hydrangeas, this is particularly the case in the northern hemisphere.
This is because it usually gets morning sun, and then offers some shade from the strong afternoon sun.
This is ideal for hydrangeas.
Can You Plant Hydrangeas On The South Side Of The House?
“The south side of my house has been fine for my paniculatas, they seem really happy there and bloom each year.”
The south side of a house is often neglected when it comes to planting hydrangeas as it is often too sunny for them.
Again this isn’t always the case depending upon where your house is facing and any trees you or your neighbour has planted.
If the south of your house gets dappled sun in the afternoon and the soil is moist and well-draining then hydrangeas will grow there happily.
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Can You Plant Hydrangeas On The West Side Of The House?
“I have mine planted on the west side of my house and they do awesome.”
The west side of a house is often pinpointed as the worst place to grow hydrangeas.
This is because the west side of most houses is prone to sun in the afternoon when it is at its strongest.
This is something that can literally fry hydrangeas!
But as mentioned above, on some occasions there can be houses that get more shade on the west side of their house than the north and east side.
It all depends on the way your house faces and any trees around etc.
So don’t automatically rule the west side of your house out.
In the previous four sections (Can you plant hydrangeas on the north/east/south/west side of the house?), I have started each section with a quote.
These are genuine quotes I found when I was doing some research into the topic.
They go to prove that you can grow hydrangeas on any side of the house.
So you can ignore anything you read saying you must plant them on a particular side.
The most important thing is to find a spot that gets sun in the morning and is in the shade in the afternoon.
Generally, this will be the north or east side of your house, but not always.
If you want to know what side of the house you should plant hydrangeas, then you will need to observe what sides of your house get sun and when.
There are a few other factors to consider, but this is the most important one and the foundation for growing beautiful hydrangeas.
When you have worked out where gets morning sun and afternoon shade, then get a-planting!