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Do Deer Eat Hydrangea Plants? Hydrangea FAQ

Do deer eat hydrangea plants? Are there deer-resistant hydrangea varieties? Can hydrangeas grow in full shade? Read these hydrangea FAQs to get answers to common hydrangea questions!

hydrangea frequently asked questions

Hello and welcome to Hydrangea Love!

Have questions about growing hydrangeas? We’d love to help!

Use this hydrangea FAQ page to get answers to all of your burning questions. 🙂

Do Deer Eat Hydrangea Plants?

Yes, deer are known to eat hydrangeas. Hydrangeas are a common garden plant cherished for their beautiful blooms, but they are also among the many plants that deer find palatable.

Deer can cause significant damage to hydrangeas by nibbling on their leaves, stems, and flowers, especially in areas where deer populations are high and food sources are limited.

Gardeners often resort to deer-resistant strategies or protective measures to safeguard their hydrangeas from these browsing animals.

do deer eat hydrangea

Are there deer-resistant hydrangea varieties?

Yes, there are several hydrangea varieties that are considered deer-resistant. While no plant is completely immune to deer browsing, some hydrangea species and cultivars are less appealing to them due to their taste, texture, or scent.

Varieties such as the Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia), Annabelle hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’), and Endless Summer hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Endless Summer’) are often listed among deer-resistant options.

These varieties may have tougher foliage, less appealing taste, or produce a scent that deters deer.

However, it’s important to note that deer-resistant doesn’t guarantee deer-proof, so additional deterrent measures may still be necessary in areas with high deer populations.

hydrangea FAQ

Can hydrangeas grow in full shade?

The short answer is yes, but it depends!

Hydrangeas are adaptable plants that can generally grow in full shade, although their performance may vary depending on the specific species and cultivar.

While some hydrangea varieties, such as the Bigleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla), may struggle to bloom in deep shade, others like the Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) and Smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) are more tolerant of low light conditions and can thrive in full shade.

In deep shade, hydrangeas may exhibit lush foliage but produce fewer flowers. Providing adequate moisture and occasional fertilization can help compensate for reduced sunlight levels and support healthy growth even in shady areas.

Click here to read more about the different varieties of hydrangeas.

Can hydrangeas grow in full sun?

Again, here’s another “Yes, but…”

While most hydrangea varieties prefer part shade, there are SOME varieties that can do well in full sun in SOME climates.

Hydrangeas can indeed grow in full sun, but their ability to thrive depends on various factors including the specific hydrangea variety, climate, and soil conditions.

Some hydrangea species, like the Panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata) and the Smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens), can actually prefer full sun or part shade conditions and will bloom more prolifically with ample sunlight.

(Here’s an article about the specific kinds of hydrangeas that do okay in full sun.)

However, other varieties, particularly the Bigleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla), may struggle in full sun, especially in regions with hot summers, as intense sunlight can cause leaf scorch or wilt.

Providing adequate moisture, mulching to retain soil moisture, and planting in well-draining soil can help hydrangeas tolerate full sun conditions more effectively.

When is the best time to plant hydrangeas?

The best time to plant hydrangeas is typically in the spring or fall, when the weather is cooler and there’s generally more moisture in the soil.

Planting during these seasons allows hydrangeas to establish their root systems before facing the stress of hot summer temperatures or winter cold snaps.

In the spring, aim to plant hydrangeas after the last frost date for your area, ensuring that the soil has warmed up sufficiently. Fall planting, preferably six weeks before the first frost, allows hydrangeas to settle in and establish roots before winter dormancy.

Planting during these optimal times gives hydrangeas the best chance of success and promotes healthy growth and vibrant blooms in the following seasons.

Here are some helpful hydrangea tips to kick off your hydrangea-growing journey:

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