If a hydrangea does not thrive optimally in its location because it does not meet its requirements, there is not enough space for lush growth or if it has to make way for a cultivation or pond, for example, transplanting is inevitable. She is sensitive to the move, so there are a few factors that should be considered. The plant guide describes in detail what needs to be taken into account and how to proceed.

New location

Hydrangeas make high demands on their location. Especially when transplanting, it is important that the new space does justice to these. The repositioning puts a heavy strain on the hydrangea. The more optimally the conditions are met at the location, the greater the chance that it will regain its strength quickly and not suffer any damage. The right choice of location is particularly important when repositioning is necessary due to stunted growth so that it can recover and develop splendidly.
The new location should have the following properties:

  • Light conditions: partially shaded
  • Sheltered from the wind
  • Soil quality rich in nutrients and humus
  • No hot midday sun


While a partially shaded spot is ideal for all hydrangea species, some can also cope well with shade and / or full sun.
Tolerate full sun :

  • Oak-leaved hydrangeas
  • Rice hydrangea

Can tolerate shade :

  • Farm hydrangeas
  • Oak-leaved hydrangeas
  • Climbing hydrangeas (see picture)
  • Forest hydrangeas

Soil conditions

The optimal location alone is not enough for problem-free transplanting. The soil conditions determine how well and quickly a hydrangea gets used to its new place. For this reason, the following requirements should be met:

  • Looseness for good water storage capacity
  • Permeability
  • Kalkfrei
  • pH value: between 5.2 to 5.5 – pink and red colored hydrangeas around 7.1 – 7.2

The best time to implement

Picking up a spade immediately and moving a hydrangea is not advisable without taking into account the given or most optimal time of year. This is based on the energy requirement, which is highest during the growing season and especially before and during the flowering period. If a hydrangea were additionally burdened with a transplant, this can have negative effects.


Transplanting in spring is not advisable if new shoots and buds are already growing and / or frost is still to be expected. As a result of the relocation, the available energy may not be sufficient to withstand the stress of the transplanting and, at the same time, the growth of the shoots. In the “ideal case”, growth stops and flowering stops during the season. In the worst case, the plant will not survive the change of location.
Particular attention should be paid to some hydrangea species that already plant new shoots and buds for the next year in autumn. These can only be seen on closer inspection. In warm spring temperatures, they develop early so that they should not be transplanted in this case.
These types of hydrangeas include:

  • Farmer’s hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla)
  • Teller-Hortensien (Hydrangea serrata)
  • Eichenblatt-Hortensien (Hydrangea quercifolia)
  • Hydrangea (Hydrangea sargentiana)
  • Climbing hydrangeas (Hydrangea petiolaris)
  • Fellhortensien (Hydrangea aspera ‚Macrophylla‘)


The best time to transplant is given in autumn. After the flowers have wilted, the plant has recharged its batteries and can use its energy to settle in its new place. If it is a hydrangea that does not form the plants for new shoots and buds until spring, the pruning can be carried out after moving. A simultaneous pruning has the advantage that the roots are stimulated to grow stronger. As a result, the plant can settle in the new soil more quickly. The prerequisite is that the first frost is far away so that the hydrangea has enough time to get used to and to recover from transplanting and, if necessary, pruning.


Transplanting in winter is possible if this is accompanied by mild temperatures.

Instructions for transplanting

Step 1 – dig out
the root ball The root ball of a hydrangea consists of deeply embedded roots and numerous thin root fibers. In order to create the best conditions for a problem-free acclimatization to the new place, care should be taken when digging out that the roots remain undamaged. For this reason, the first step is to dig the soil generously around the root ball. This ensures that the entire bale can be lifted completely out of the earth. The more soil there is on the root ball, the less stressful the transplanting can have on the plant.

Step 2 – dig out a
new planting hole The size of the new planting hole is to be dug so that the ball of plants fits well into it. Ideally, there is at least ten centimeters of space to the side of the earth walls so that the bale is surrounded by loose soil after it has been filled up. This makes it easier for the roots to spread in all directions.

3rd step: Drainage
Hydrangeas do not tolerate waterlogging. The risk is to be minimized if a layer of quartz sand or gravel about two to three centimeters thick is laid out on the bottom of the planting hole.

4th step: water filling
The hydrangea has a high water requirement. It is therefore advisable to fill the new planting hole three quarters of the way with water before inserting the root ball. This way the soil will be well soaked. Once the water has subsided, you can begin to plant the hydrangea.

5th step: Enriching excavated soil
Hydrangeas need a lot of nutrients. Enriching the excavated soil with compost increases the nutrient content in the soil and ensures that the relatively high nutrient requirements of hydrangeas are satisfied.

Step 6: Planting
The root ball is to be placed in the center of the planting hole. The cavity of the plant hole is filled with the enriched soil. The ball of plants has to be at least eight to ten centimeters below the surface of the earth. This is pressed down after transplanting. This ensures more stability, especially for large specimens.

7th step: watering
Regardless of the previous watering of the planting hole, a hydrangea should be watered generously after planting.

8th step: “Aftercare”
In the following days the earth can settle and the earth’s surface can fall down. In this case, soil must be filled in so that the root ball remains optimally covered, as described under “Planting”. In the following two weeks, ensure that the soil is continuously moist and avoid drying out.

You should plant hydrangeas right at the beginning in a suitable location where the plant will feel comfortable for a long time. If the shrub has to be transplanted for reasons of space or poor growth, you should do this in autumn. Then the plant can use all its strength in the new location to anchor itself firmly in the ground as quickly as possible.

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