26 Ways to Grow Hydrangeas in Containers

Brilliant Red Front Door on a Light Blue House with Containers of Hydrangeas
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Southerners love hydrangeas. The only thing better? Hydrangeas in containers. These gorgeous blooming shrubs are Southern garden staples, and we have plenty of ideas for your hydrangea container gardens this year. Whether you are planting French (a.k.a bigleaf) hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla), smooth hydrangea (H. arborescens), oakleaf hydrangea (H. quercifolia), panicle hydrangea (H. paniculata), or mountain hydrangea (H. serrata), we'll help you get your containers in top-notch shape and keep them looking good for the long haul. Also, check out our planting tips and hydrangea care advice to ensure your hydrangeas are healthy and happy. We'll even tell you how to root your hydrangeas, as well as how to change the pH of the soil and the color of their blooms. Pink or blue? It's up to you! The only exceptions are white French and Mountain hydrangeas—they stay the same color no matter the pH of the soil. Take your hydrangeas for a spin in your favorite containers this year—and happy planting!

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Lacecap Combination

Lacecap Combination
Southern Livng

This container combines 'Shooting Star' lacecap hydrangea, parlor palm (Chamaedorea elegans), pineapple lily (Eucomis 'Aloha Lily Leia'), 'Kent Beauty' ornamental hybrid oregano, and Southern maidenhair fern (Adiantum capillus-veneris) for a pretty blue-green-purple palette that looks gorgeous anywhere.

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Front Porch Blooms

Front Porch Blooms
Laurey W. Glenn

Tailor your hydrangeas to your decor. Blue hydrangeas look gorgeous beneath a porch ceiling painted in a clear, classic blue.

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Sweet Springtime

Sweet Springtime
Southern Living

This delicate container mixes bright hues and cheery textures. This container recipe includes 'Orange Star' star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum dubium), hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla), 'Lemon Buttons' fern (Nephrolepis sp.), echeveria, and variegated ivy (Hedera helix).

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Fern Fan

Potted Hydrangeas with Ferns Flanking Front Door
Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Kimberly Queen Ferns pair perfectly with French hydrangeas and 'Margarita' sweet potato vine. Flanking the front door on a shady porch, nothing is more welcoming.

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White and Green

White and Green
Southern Living

These complementary hues add an elegant touch to an indoor container. To re-create this container, include kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana), hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla), blue crisp fern (Polypodium aureum), and 'Kent Beauty' ornamental hybrid oregano.

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Hydrangea Accent

Hydrangea Accent
Southern Living

This dramatic evergreen container has just a touch of blue. To re-create this look, you'll need 'Shooting Star' hydrangea, silver lace fern (Pteris ensiformis), silver dollar maidenhair fern (Adiantum peruvianum), and creeping fig (Ficus pumila).

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Front Door Blues

Brilliant Red Front Door on a Light Blue House with Containers of Hydrangeas
Laurey W. Glenn

Line your front steps with pots of bright blue hydrangeas for a cheery welcome. Hydrangeas turn blue in acid soil and pink in alkaline soil. To change your hydrangea's color to blue, add half a cup of garden sulfur to the soil. To turn them pink, add garden lime.

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Autumn Botanicals

Autumn Botanicals
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Pair 'Vintage Harvest' hydrangea blooms with ferns and Rex begonia for an autumnal container in gorgeous, moody hues. Turn to oakleaf hydrangea for pretty autumn foliage, because it turns deep crimson in the fall. Panicle hydrangea foliage also fades to light yellow when the weather turns crisp in autumn.

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Big Impact Windows

Windows with Black Shutters and Hydrangea and Ivy Window boxes
Ralph Anderson

Traditional windows get an even more classic addition with a window box filled with greens and a pop of pink hydrangeas. 'Aaron' white caladium, 'Key Lime Pie' heuchera, 'White Nancy' spotted dead nettle, holly fern, ivy, and light pink periwinkle come together beautifully.

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Smooth Hydrangeas

Potted Pink Hydrangea near Garden Archway
Roger Folley

'Invincibelle Spirit' smooth hydrangea blooms reliably, with loads of pink flowers from early summer to frost. They can be kept fully in the sun or in partial sunlight, and need evenly moist,well-drained soil. Prune them back in late winter to encourage new growth.

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Up a Tree

Limelight Hydrangea Tree in basket planter
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

This panicle hydrangea, Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight', makes for a stunning container when planted in its single-stem, tree-shrub form.

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Coastal Vibes

Blue Front Door with Matching Containers with Hydrangeas
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Barbara Schmidt

This home's white exterior with a rich blue door and blooming containers takes on a feeling of Nantucket thanks to the picture-perfect hydrangeas.

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Bring it Indoors

Indoor Potted blue and white hydrangeas
Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Kathleen Varner

While nothing could replace the excitement of seeing the first hydrangea blooming in the yard, it's nice that we can add the Southern favorite to any space at any time of the year. Keep these greenhouse-grown flowers healthy by watering only when the soil feels dry. If brown spots appear on their leaves and petals, they've had too much. Come springtime, you can replant them outside as shrubs.

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Keep It Simple

Front Porch Blue Hydrangea in White Container
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Design: Meg Lonergan

A classic white container filled with bright blue French hydrangeas makes a statement without too much effort at the front of the porch.

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Complementary Containers

Blue and Yellow Container Garden
Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller; Container Arrangements: Tom Ericson/The Transplanted Garden

Opposites on the color wheel, blue and yellow make a great pair. French hydrangeas pop with an abundance of complementary yellow flowers.

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Charleston Classic

Charleston Window Boxes with Hydrangeas
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Our three-word formula for perfect window boxes? Fill, thrill, and spill. Colorful mixes of purple, blue, and pink make for a colorful addition to this home's curb appeal.

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The More the Merrier

Layered potted plants on front porch
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Design: Julia Berolzheimer

Potted hydrangeas make a statement among this avid gardener's plant collection. A variety of containers and a vintage plant stand deliver just the right amount of patina.

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Potted Perfection

Blue and white hydrangeas in the pots at the white fence
Getty Images

A row of potted blue and white hydrangeas paired with a trellis wall make for a party-perfect backdrop. When the evening is over, the homeowners can move the pots to the front porch or spread them around the garden.

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A Pop of Pink

Pink potted hydrangeas
John O’Hagan

Nothing livens up a green landscape quite like the bold shades of pink hydrangeas in vintage vessels.

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Hydrangeas with Grace

Small Bloom Hydrangeas
Ralph Anderson

Small hydrangeas deliver a dose of lacey softness to this cascading outdoor container garden.

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A Rose-Colored Dream

Pale Pink Hydrangea Blooming in Terracotta Pot
Getty Images

Soft pink hydrangeas thrive in a rustic container, adding a dose of softness to a rocky outdoor backdrop.

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Make It French

French Hydrangea Container Garden
Robbie Caponetto; Produced: Mark Thompson; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Pile French hydrangeas into a beautiful, neutral, earthenware container reminiscent of the ones found in all the Parisian gardens.

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Among the Ivy

Pink French Hydrangeas in container with English Ivy
Robbie Caponetto; Produced: Mark Thompson; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Nestle big, bountiful blooms of pink French hydrangeas into a rectangular pot with English Ivy as an elegant, draping filler plant. Make sure to allow it to cascade down the sides of the pot for maximum effect.

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Woven Wonder

Potted Blue Hydrangea in Woven Basket

The texture and color of the woven container are simple touches that will contrast nicely with a soft, flowy spray of hydrangeas.

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Easy Pass-Alongs

hydrangeas potting from clippings
Jean Allsopp

Delight your fellow gardener friends with propagated stems of your favorite hydrangeas. Handing the blooms off in little terracotta pots or tin pails just makes it a little more thoughtful and fun.

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Tasteful Terracotta

Pink Hydrangea in Pot
Steve Bender

You can never go wrong with a terracotta pot, indoors or out. It will always lend a simple, rustic touch that aims to please.

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