Most gardening experts agree that you really should not attempt planting new plants in the month of August. I even abide by this rule, at least most of the time. However, our local warehouse store had 2-gallon hydrangeas available for only $9.99 and I decided some time ago that I wanted to plant hydrangeas around the outer perimeter of our knot garden, so I bought 3 of the plants home. I love hydrangeas and have seen pictures of a variety of colors and species (available in various regions of the country). The hydrangeas I purchased had burgundy colored blooms and the plants looked very healthy. If these work out I’ll buy more when I find them.
I read on the internet the best way to plant them and when. The first site I viewed strongly advised that you not plant hydrangea in summer, best to plant in spring or fall but sometimes you have to strike when the iron or weather is hot. If you live in Southern California, Zone 10, you should plant your hydrangea in well-draining soil. The plant likes some sun but not full sun (6-8 hours). That said, if they are in full-shade they will not bloom. Fertilize them once or twice during the summer months with 10-10-10 fertilizer. A slow-release fertilizer such as Osmocote is a good choice. Don’t spread the fertilizer too close to the trunk and always water thoroughly after applied.
There are a variety of hydrangeas and I am planting the ‘Mophead’ variety. I have an Oakleaf Hydrangea and it is very pretty with its elongated blossoms and large maple-leaf like leaves. I hope to find an ‘Annabelle’ (large round, white blossoms) to plant sometime next spring. There are pages of facts on hydrangea available online if you want or need more information. Just Google the word ‘hydrangea’l and you’ll find sites with color pictures and detailed descriptions outlining the care and feeding of the plant. Wish me luck.