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When To Fertilize Hydrangeas In Zone 7? [Ultimate Feeding Guide]

Hydrangeas are perfectly suited for Zone 7, given the mild winter and moderate summer. But you might still wonder when to fertilize Hydrangeas in Zone 7 as they are not an easy feeder.

Generally, early spring is the best time to fertilize Hydrangeas with a balanced fertilizer in Zone 7 and in most of the other suited zones. However, you can encourage blooms with phosphorous-rich fertilizer in early summer.

Besides, you can also help the Hydrangeas survive the winter with a mild dose of diluted 10-10-10 feed in late summer.

Is It Necessary to Fertilize Hydrangeas?

Hydrangeas are adored for their pink-to-white clusters of bloom, which demand quite a lot of fertilizer to grace your home garden. 

Being a heavy feeder, it is essential to fertilize the Hydrangeas to keep up its health, bud formation, and flowering with overall growth. Besides, different nutrient, from nitrogen to phosphorus to iron and magnesium, have their own role.
A bunch of Hydrangeas bloom with phosphorous fertilizer in zone 7
Once the Hydrangeas flowers, it feels like spring landed in your garden.

As much as the plant is priced for its flowers, the green leaves have their own charm.

Also, the change in color in the flowers and lush leaves can only be possible with proper feeding alongside warm temperatures and regular watering. 

Role of Different Nutrients in Hydrangea

  • Nitrogen (N): Promotes leaf and stem growth, chlorophyll production, lush green leaves, and photosynthesis. 
  • Phosphorous (P): Essential for strong roots, healthy flower buds, and flower production.
  • Potassium (K): Improves flower pigmentation, petal quality, and flower longevity with water regulation.
  • Iron (Fe): Crucial for chlorophyll synthesis leading to leaf development and photosynthesis. 
  • Calcium (Ca): Strengthens cell walls, enhances plant structure, and helps prevent diseases like blossom end rot.
  • Magnesium (Mg): Prevents leaf yellowing and chlorosis.

Best Time To Fertilizer Hydrangeas in Zone 7

The ideal time to fertilize Hydrangea in Zone 7 is in the early spring when the plant is at its best growth rate.

Not just in Zone 7, it is the same in most of the Hydrangea growing zone, i.e., from Zone 3 to Zone 9.

However, you can alter the dose of Hydrangea fertilizer in Zone 7 depending on the plant’s growth stage in different seasons. 

1. Early Spring

Spring is the golden time for Hydrangeas as its life cycle has several notable changes and, consequently, requires a boost of nutrients.

As the temperature begins to warm up and the daylight hours increase, Hydrangea buds start to swell. This indicates the emergence of the plant from its winter sleep. 

Similarly, the leaf buds unfurl, revealing the new foliage and new shoots’ growth. And for all this growth and vigor, you need to feed the plant with proper nutrients. 

Apply a dose of balanced fertilizer (10-10-10) once at the beginning or mid of the month of May.

Moreover, liquid fertilizers work best to propel your Hydrangeas out of dormancy and towards growth. 

2. Early Summer

Well-fed Hydrangea from the early spring continues growing all through the summer. 

Following this, it is not mandatory to fertilize Hydrangeas in the early summer unless the plant appears weak or shows signs of nutrient deficiency. Leaf curling and turning brown, stunted growth, and poor flower production are the signs of nutrient deficiency.
Hydrangeas with buds ready to bloom.
Hydrangea bloom cannot really bloom on its own without some fertilizer push.

Also, the peak time for Hydrangea blooms to have pronounced shine and color is summer.

So, to boost the coloration, growth, and sound health, you may apply a second round of fertilizer but switch to high phosphorous fertilizer like the Flower Fuel.

3. Late Summer or Early Fall

Hydrangea starts slowing their growth in late summer and early fall to prepare for winter survival.

Since there will not be any vegetative growth, it is best to avoid heavy fertilizers in late summer. 

However, you can give a light dose of balanced fertilizer once in September or early November if you desire. Make sure to use half the strength of fertilizer than that used in spring.

Moreover, late-season fertilizer focus on storing energy for dormant roots to survive the frost and cold temperatures favoring the perennial nature

Pro Tip: Do not fertilize Hydrangeas in the late fall in Zone 7 and in other zones, given the winter dormancy. Plants would not utilize the fertilizer, which often leads to a chemical burn. 

Tips to Fertilize Hydrangeas in Zone 7

Limited fertilizer can hinder the normal growth and blooming of Hydrangeas, but excessive fertilizer does equal or more damage.

So, here is how you can properly fertilize your Hydrangeas in Zone 7.

  • Keep a close eye on the physical attributes of the plant and look for any signs of deficiency. And choose the right fertilizer accordingly. 
  • Use slow-release fertilizer 1 to 1.5 inches from the base of Hydrangea only after watering. This is because moist soil is more likely to absorb nutrients and reach the roots. 
  • Fertigation could be the most effective way for an instant supply of nutrients. Use water-soluble fertilizer for fertigation or drip irrigation. 
  • Avoid direct contact of the fertilizer with the stems or leaves of the plant, or else they may get chemical burns.
  • Do not add a lot of fertilizer in one application, as it causes chemical stress to the roots. In severe cases, overfertilization takes over the entire root system.
  • In case of overfertilization, flush the excess under running water. Repeat the process 3-4 times and drain the excess water out.
  • Stop fertilizing the plant at least 6 weeks before the first frost date in zone 7. For that, monitor your local weather condition. 

From Editorial Team

Safety First!

Fertilizers are chemical components possessing hazardous effects on humans if not handled properly. 

Use protective gloves, masks, and glasses while applying fertilizers to your plant. 

Also, make sure to keep them away from your kids and pet.

All The Best!