Hydrangea advice please

Almost on impulse I've bought a couple of very nice, 2ft high hydrangea plants in pots. Deep blue 'mophead' variety. I need some colour in my garden to extend beyond August so they certainly fit the bill. Now comes the difficult bit!

I'm now floundering, trying to decide whether to put them straight into the borders or keep them as container grown. If the former, whether they can tolerate shade and still bloom; if the latter, what size pots and where ideally to site them. How to keep them blue. What kind of soil/compost. Probably other things I hadn't even thought of!

Is there anyone out there successful with blue hydrangeas and maybe who can save me hours of googling? Any advice at all would be very welcome.
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  • Ive got hydrangeas in my garden in partial shade and they're loving life. I found mine are actually quite low-maintenance, just need a deadheading every once in a while and a lot of water (HYDRAngea lol).

    One thing to bear in mind re colour is that the colour is dependent on the PH of your soil I believe, rather than the type of flower it is.
  • Teapot55
    Teapot55 Posts: 719
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    My Dad had blue hydrangeas in big pots & whenever I watered their garden while they were away I had to make sure I used rainwater from the water butt, not tap water from the hosepipe. 

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  • Davesnave
    Davesnave Posts: 34,741
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    One thing to bear in mind re colour is that the colour is dependent on the PH of your soil I believe, rather than the type of flower it is.
    Partally true. A blue hydrangea will be pink in alkaline conditions, but a naturally pink one won't turn blue in acid soil.  They also take some years to change if you move them from one type of soil to another. Tap water matters if your water is alkaline, but if it's acid you should be OK.

  • JulieM
    JulieM Posts: 749
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    Camelia and azaelia feed will help keep hydrangea flowers blue.
  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,310
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    I've been growing mine in pots in shade that has a fair bit of light if that makes sense.
    Currently I split it in two last winter and the one in shade is doing well while the one now in sun has terrible rust, brown leaves and brown flowers.
    They actually did a lot better when they were potbound for years than now I've given them space. So don't go too big too quickly. Besides a smaller pot is easier to plung in water every now and again.

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  • I've read that no hydrangea is 'naturally blue'. It's the availability of aluminium in the growing medium which produces it - a process which is inhibited by an alkaline soil make-up. Just my luck that I have a heavy clay...
  • Davesnave
    Davesnave Posts: 34,741
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    You still have lots of good hydrangeas to choose from though, from the oakleaf variety to more interesting pinks like Preziosa and the big white ones... names escape me right now. Then there's aspera....Mopheads are just a fraction of what's available.
  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,544
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    Probably other things I hadn't even thought of!
    Let them grow for a couple of years and then take out about a third of the stems each Spring. 
    I like to leave the flowers on over the winter - they look lovely when they have raindrops/dew/frost on them and help to protect the new buds. 
  • Falafels
    Falafels Posts: 665
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    Hydrangeas which have too much sun look afraid, get brown edges to their leaves and droop. They're fine in partial shade, with lots of water; if you can be certain they'll be kept watered in pots then keep them there before deciding - otherwise into the ground asap.

    My hydrangea is white, so I don't know about keeping the blue colour - but it looks like you've had some great advice.

    Good luck!
  • Thanks to all who replied.
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