Can Hydrangeas Grow In Full Shade? (A Single Cultivar)

Hydrangeas are no stranger to flower lovers because of their brilliant beauty in front of every house. Hydrangeas with many vibrant colors such as pink, blue, purple, or white always make us stop to look every day.

Hydrangea is a flower that loves sunlight and open space. The most ideal habitat for hydrangeas is in the morning with warm sunshine for 4-5 hours, in the afternoon, covered in shade with a cool temperature.

So one of the questions many people ask is can hydrangeas live in the full shade because they don’t have space with a lot of suns. Especially, families with a small and closed area behind high-rise buildings or those who love to grow hydrangeas indoors.

Can hydrangeas grow in full shade? Is there any type of hydrangea that can grow and develop normally in full shade? Let’s continue to learn more details in the article below.

Can Hydrangeas Grow In Full Shade?

Hydrangea can live in full shade or not depending on the variety you choose. As you know, most hydrangeas prefer full sun or partial shade.

So, growing hydrangeas in a sunless space can end up wasting your time and effort if you don’t choose a suitable hydrangea variety.

can hydrangeas grow in full shade

Complete shade is understood as a space without direct sunlight but still able to receive light through slits, crevices, or sunlight.

For each type of hydrangea, the degree of light exposure is also different to facilitate the development and flowering process.

However, you need to clearly define the space to plant hydrangeas in full shade such as indoors or outside. At least how many hours of sunlight can your garden get each day? So you can choose the type of hydrangea suitable for your space.

If you only have a space with complete shade, climbing hydrangeas will be the most reasonable choice for you. Climbing hydrangeas are the only hydrangeas that can live in full shade, while other hydrangeas will need a few hours of sunlight each day.

The climbing hydrangea can live in the full shade because it mainly grows in height and spreads for height. In addition, climbing hydrangeas will face sunlight and try to receive sunlight for photosynthesis and growth.

Climbing hydrangea has the advantage of growing in height, so it will always face light to sustain life, so it is also the only hydrangea that can live in complete shade without a lot of light.

Read more: Is a Grow Light Considered Indirect Sunlight?

Some Types Of Hydrangeas Are Suitable For Partial Shade

As you know, hydrangeas prefer warm sunlight in the morning and cool shade in the afternoon. So, an ideal space for growing hydrangeas gets sunlight in the morning and shade in the afternoon.

The amount of light that hydrangeas receive each day will affect both the growth and development as well as the size and color of the hydrangea.

If your space still gets a few hours of sun a day (5-7 hours), you can still grow some of the hydrangeas below because they are also shade-loving hydrangeas or a part.

Big leaf hydrangea: The big leaf hydrangea is the most popular hydrangea variety in the United States. Large-leaf hydrangeas prefer warm sunlight in the morning and cool shade in the afternoon. In particular, large-leaved hydrangeas will grow and reach their maximum flower size in regions with hot climates.

Smooth hydrangea: Although in theory, smooth hydrangeas prefer a sunny spot, strong sunlight and high temperatures in hot, dry climates are damaging factors for these hydrangeas. So smooth hydrangeas also need a few hours of warm sunshine each day and cool shade in the afternoon.

Oak-leaf hydrangea: Oak-leaf hydrangeas are suitable for long hours of sun exposure in areas with warm and cool climates. However, in hot dry areas, oak leaf hydrangeas also prefer partial shade in the late afternoon to avoid dehydration and leaf burn.

How To Care For Hydrangea Flowers In The Shade?

can hydrangeas grow in full shade

To make sure your hydrangea can still grow and thrive in partial shade or full shade, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.


Hydrangeas love moist soil, however, that is when they are planted outside in the full sun each day. If you grow them in a shady area, you should adjust the amount of water less than growing outdoors to ensure that the hydrangea plants do not become waterlogged and root rot.

However, hydrangeas still love to be watered every day, so you just need to watch for signs of leaves, and moisture in the soil, and make sure the soil is drained every time you water to avoid waterlogging.

Soil Type

Hydrangeas are not a favorite flower for fertile, nutrient-rich soils because they can survive even in low-nutrient soils. However, an important factor that you should keep in mind when growing hydrangeas is the drainage of the soil.

Regardless of the type of soil, controlled drainage is an important factor in hydrangea care. Hydrangeas will grow and develop better in slightly acidic soil. If the soil is too alkaline, you need to improve the soil to reduce the alkalinity and increase the acidity.

The pH level in the soil will also affect the color of the hydrangeas when they bloom. Their color can range from white to pink, blue or light purple.


Nutrition is an extremely important factor for any plant. Therefore, you should pay attention to the source of nutrients for hydrangeas by adding compost to the soil to help the plant absorb nutrients and grow healthy even without sunlight every day.

You should apply slow-release fertilizers or specialized fertilizers for hydrangeas with rates that have been studied by gardeners. Therefore, you should fertilize your hydrangea plants several times during the growing season.

For slow-release fertilizers, you can apply 2 to 3 times during the growing season of hydrangeas and every 2 weeks for liquid fertilizers.

Will Hydrangeas Bloom In The Shade?

As I mentioned, climbing hydrangeas will bloom even if they live in complete shade.

For other types of hydrangeas, flowering depends on the amount of sunlight they receive each day. Besides, the amount of light they receive each day will also determine the number and size of the hydrangeas when they flower.

So if your hydrangeas still get 5 to 7 hours of sun or a little less a day, they can still bloom normally. However, the number and size of the flowers may not be as numerous and big as when they are grown in full light.


Most hydrangeas prefer full sun every day and cool shade in the late afternoon. Climbing hydrangea is the only flower that can grow and flower in full shade due to the advantage of height and direction of light.

Some other varieties of hydrangeas can still grow and flower in light or partial shade. Therefore, you need to pay attention to some factors when taking care of them such as the amount of water, fertilizer, or soil type.

Also, to learn more about hydrangea care and common problems, don’t forget to visit the hydrangea catalog here.

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