When to Plant Hydrangeas in Michigan for a Beautiful Bloom

Written by

William Golder


Dorian Goodwin

when to plant hydrangeas in michigan

Hydrangeas belong to a diverse group of flowering plants with about 70-75 distinct species. They are well-known for their distinctive flower shape and are frequently showcased in floral arrangements and landscaping.

Understanding when to plant hydrangeas in Michigan is crucial if you want to grow them in the state. Hydrangeas are usually planted between April and June in the spring and around July to September in the fall.

Keep reading to know more!

Best Time to Plant Hydrangeas in Michigan

1. Season and Climate


In early spring, the cooler temps and moisture in the soil help with root establishment. This season provides hydrangeas with the necessary resources to grow and adapt before the warmer summer months arrive.

Fall planting also offers benefits, as the soil is still warm from the summer, and there is typically increased rainfall. This combination creates favorable conditions, enabling the hydrangea to establish itself before going dormant.

2. Planting Period


For a successful planting of hydrangeas, aim for late spring after any risk of frost has passed. Another option is early fall when the nights bring cooler temperatures. These periods allow the shrubs ample time to develop a strong system before their blooming phase.

If you live in a region with freeze periods, plant the hydrangeas at least six weeks before the first fall frost.

Observe the following frost dates to calculate the right sowing time in your area!

3. Last Spring Frost and First Fall Frost Dates

Place Last Spring Frost Date First Fall Frost Date Growing Season
Detroit April 27 October 24 179 days
Ann Arbor May 11 October 4 145 days
Flint May 13 October 4 143 days
Grand Rapids May 14 October 5 143 days
Lansing May 7 October 6 151 days

Hydrangea Cultivation Planting Tips

Pre-Planting Considerations

1. USDA Hardiness Zone


Michigan is under three different planting zones (4 to 6) that often experience a cool and temperate climate. Hydrangeas may grow in zones 3 to 7 as hardy perennials, but generally, they can thrive in up to zone 10. Thus, it will be well-suited if you plant hydrangea bushes in Michigan.

Since the state has its first frost around September 9 to November 1, July 29 to September 20 would make for timely planting dates, while spring gardening should be done in April to June, depending on where your last frost falls within these months.

2. Varieties of Hydrangeas


As the height of the summer season arrives, one flowering shrub becomes the star of the show: the hydrangeas. Hydrangeas comprise a varied collection of big fluffy flowers which captivate gardeners with their vibrant blooms. Here are a few common hydrangea varieties in Michigan.

  1. Annabelle Hydrangea – has breathtaking white blooms, frequently yielding flower heads with a diameter exceeding 10 inches.
  2. Tuff stuff or mountain hydrangea – a compact and charming variety of mountain hydrangea, sought after for its pink or purple flower clusters.
  3. Bigleaf Hydrangea – also known as mophead or Japanese hydrangeas. This type offers a delightful array of flower colors, depending on which soil pH you have.
  4. Endless Summer Hydrangea – has a remarkable ability to produce large, bold flowers on old and new wood. Suitable for containers.
  5. Oakleaf Hydrangea – This hydrangea flower is recognized for its distinctive oak-shaped leaves and cinnamon-colored bark.
Variety USDA Hardiness Exposure Colors Mature Height
Annabelle Hydrangea 3-8 Partial Shade/ Full Sun White 3-5 feet
Tuff stuff or mountain hydrangea 5-9 Pink, Purple, Blue 3 feet
Bigleaf Hydrangea 5-9 Blue, Purple, Red, Pink, White 2-6 feet
Endless Summer Hydrangea 4-8 Blue, Purple, Pink, Mauve 3-4 feet
Oakleaf Hydrangea 5-9 Pink, Red, White, Beige 3-8 feet

3. Soil Salinity


The soil’s pH, which ranges from acidic to alkaline, influences your hydrangeas’ color.

Alkaline soil (7 or higher) results in pink or pinker hydrangeas, while acidic soil around 5.5 maintains blue or bluer tones in your flowers. Between these numbers, blossoms tend to be purple.

Hydrangea plants thrive in fertile, well-draining soils that retain moisture well. Enhance your garden soil by incorporating organic materials and well-decomposed compost.

Pruning for a Successful Hydrangea Cultivation


Before you prune hydrangeas in Michigan, you must first understand the diverse nature of these flowering shrubs. While some varieties thrive and bloom better with regular pruning, others do best with minimal or no trimming.

Follow this table for a fool-proof hydrangea care!

Hydrangea Pruning chart

Variety When to Prune Where flowers appear
Annabelle Hydrangea Late winter, before winter begins On new growth
Tuff stuff or mountain hydrangea


After flowering (Summer) On old growth
Bigleaf Hydrangea After flowering (summer) On old growth
Endless Summer Hydrangea Unnecessary On old and new growth
Oakleaf Hydrangea After flowering (summer) On old growth


How big do hydrangeas get?

Most hydrangea bushes attain heights of 3 to 8 feet and widths of 4 to 6 feet. Climbing varieties are bigger, reaching up to 50 feet in height and six feet in width.

How much sunlight do hydrangeas need?

The ideal situation is to place hydrangeas in a spot that receives a few hours of morning sun and partial shade during hot afternoon hours.

Can I water my hydrangeas everyday?

To ensure hydrangeas thrive well, you need to water them deeply 1-3 times a week instead of providing regular but shallow watering. Ensure the top inch of the soil is always damp.


Hydrangeas are captivating and fun to look at! With their flowers’ vibrant colors, they can transform a boring garden into an extraordinary landscape.

Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a budding enthusiast, this guide made determining when to plant hydrangeas in Michigan easier!

Now that you have understood the essentials, do you want to add a touch of excitement to your garden? Start cultivating hydrangeas, and you’ll soon enjoy their colorful bloom!

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