Hydrangea macrophylla

In more temperate climates, these natives of Japan and Taiwan are rounded, deciduous, summer-blooming shrubs that are  hardy in many growing zones. In  northern New Mexico they popular blooming gift plants, especially around Easter and Mother’s Day.

With  big, bold leaves and large clusters of white, pink or blue flowers, they are the a great choice for long-lasting color. While hydrangeas are not reliably hardy outdoors they look great in containers on a summer patio if they’re given partial shade protection from the full afternoon sun. 

Indoor hydrangeas like plenty of light, but not direct sun, especially when they are flowering. They prefer moderate humidity so mist frequently. They are sensitive to hard water and need to be fed weekly with a mild acid fertilizer (available at Payne’s).

A few  areas in northern New Mexico are able to accommodate hydrangeas outdoors, but they need a moist, deep, acidified soil in partial to full shade. They also need an acidic fertilizer and regular thoroughly watering — about three times a week until the plants are well established. Mulch year-round with shredded leaves or straw and they will need extra protection from freezing temperatures.

Type of Plant: Tropical House Plant

Distinguishing Characteristics: Big bold leaves and large clusters of white, pink or blue flowers

Water Use: High

Flower Color: Various

Sun/Location: Part Sun, Shade