Can hydrangeas grow in pots? Gardeners dish on the best environment for these stunning blooms

If you're starting your spring garden and wondering 'Can hydrangeas grow in pots?' our pros will lend their expertise

Pink hydrangeas in a pot outdoors with more hydrangeas planted in the ground in the background
(Image credit: Getty Images/Katrin Ray Shumakov)

Can hydrangeas grow in pots, or should gardeners head straight for the dirt? We asked our experts how to tend to the flowering favorite this spring. 

The floral is beloved for many reasons — its beautiful blooms, color variety, and relatively easy maintenance. But what does that mean for the growing process, exactly?

If you're wondering where to plant hydrangeas and how, here's what you need to know. 

Can hydrangeas grow in pots, and if so, how?

Yes, hydrangeas can grow in pots and raised garden beds, but the pros tend to lean towards planting and caring for hydrangeas in the ground. But if you have limited space or want to enjoy the blooms from a balcony that doesn't have access to a backyard, you can grow hydrangeas in pots. It just requires taking the proper measures.

1. Choose the right variety

As you know already know, hydrangeas are showstoppers. But that comes with a downside — they can take up a lot of room.

"Dwarf hydrangeas are recommended for potting as they are more compact," says Alfred Palomares, vice president of merchandising at 1-800-Flowers

If you need something suitable for a pot or small space, try a gallon of Proven Winners' Incrediball Smooth Hydrangea from Home Depot or the First Editions Vanilla Strawberry Panicle Hydrangeas from Walmart

2. Use the proper potting mix

"Use a high-quality, well-draining potting mix, not garden soil, and ensure the hydrangea's root ball is just below the container's rim," says Teri Valenzuela, natural science manager at Sunday Lawn Care. "Water well initially, let it drain between waterings, and keep the soil moist."

Try Sunday's Natural Moisture Potting Soil Mix for the job.

Hydrangea in pot

(Image credit: Getty Images)

3. Keep track of excess water

Insufficient hydration, or too much hydration, could lead to drooping hydrangeas, so you'll want to ensure you're moderating the flower's environment properly.

"If your hydrangeas are growing in a container, be careful to not to let water pool at the bottom of its planter to avoid root rot," Alfred adds.

4. Get a large enough pot

If you're planning to use a pot for hydrangeas, ensure you're selecting one that's suitable in size and won't cramp the roots. 

"Ensure the container is large enough to accommodate growth and consider repotting every few years to refresh the soil and root system," says Gene Caballero, co-founder of GreenPal

5. Pick the proper location

"Whether indoors or out, these plants need similar care, but indoor plants will need more careful water management to avoid root rot," Gene adds. 

And should you be approaching cold weather and have your hydrangeas in pots, move 'em inside to keep warm. You can't blame them for wanting some warmth, too. 

Hydrangea bush

(Image credit: Getty Images)

6. Don't forget the essentials

Pot or not pot, hydrangeas will require indirect sunlight, mulch to retain soil moisture, consistent watering, and a reliable drainage system. If you have four-legged friends at home, keep them away from the flowering beauts — hydrangeas are poisonous to cats, dogs, and even horses when ingested and will experience gastro intestinal issues that will require a trip to the vet.

Meet our experts

Alfred Palomares
Alfred Palomares

Alfred Palomares is the vice president of merchandising, and Resident Plant Dad at He chooses to style the 2024 Flower of the Year (the peony) on his dining room table and the 2024 Plant of the Year (the philodendron) amongst the rest of his greenery collection.

Teri Valenzuela
Teri Valenzuela

Teri is the natural science manager at Sunday Lawn Care, which will help you achieve the green lawn of your dreams without toxic chemicals.

Gene Caballero
Gene Caballero

Gene Caballero is co-founder of Green Pal, a platform connecting customers to lawn care experts in their area throughout the United States. With such diverse areas to cover, Gene is well-versed in specific greenery needs for various environments. 


How big of a pot does a hydrangea need?

The consensus is that growing hydrangeas in pots will require working with something on the larger side, roughly 20-24 inches. 

How long do hydrangeas last in pots?

Hydrangeas will last several years in pots, provided they're cared for properly and repotted when necessary. Follow the steps above, and you'll enjoy beautiful blooms for quite awhile. 

Cultivating your green thumb? Why not try the trendy chaos gardening method for some fun yet unexpected results? Should you want to go a more traditional route, we have all the intel on swathe planting and how to do it in a small space. 

Danielle Valente
Content Editor

Pleasure to meet you! I'm Danielle, a content editor at Real Homes who loves scoping out interior trends. I've specialized in lifestyle writing and editing for 10 years with a focus on events, food, and books, among other areas. When I'm not working, I'm usually cooking, reading, or searching for a new project for my apartment.