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8 Best Fertilizers for Hydrangeas

Your gorgeous hydrangeas need food, water, and nutrients to thrive - just like you! So, what they need is good fertilizer.

Hydrangea Flowers in the Garden on Sunny Summer Day

When it comes to fertilizers, you will find plenty of options in the market. However, picking the right 'plant food' can be confusing. What kind of a nontoxic fertilizer should you buy? What is your budget? How do you optimally use it?

Moreover, you will come across several substandard products which might do more harm than good. So, how do you decide?

Well, we are here to guide you through the best options. After testing out a dozen of the top products, we have compiled a list of our top 9 recommendations. To make things easier for you, we have even included an informative buyer's guide after the reviews. Hopefully, it will help you make the right choice for your hydrangeas.

So, without further ado, let's get to the reviews, shall we?

Best Fertilizers For Hydrangeas

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced gardener, this list will provide you with valuable insights and recommendations to help your hydrangeas flourish to their fullest potential. So, without further ado, here's the list of the 8 Best Hydrangeas Fertilizers.

1. Miracle-Gro Tree & Shrub Plant Food Spikes - Best for Low-Maintenance Feeding

One of our top recommendations is the Miracle-Gro Tree & Shrub Plant Food Spikes. Feeding nutrients to your hydrangeas has never been easier. Simply drive the spikes into the ground, once every season, and that's it! You don't need to tamper with them after placing them on the ground.

Miracle-Gro Tree & Shrub Plant Food Spikes, 12 Spikes/Pack,...
  • Promotes vibrant color and lush foliage
  • Contains natural ingredients

Why Did We Like It?

First and foremost, we liked how innovative the product design was. The fertilizer comes in the form of spikes, which you have to drive into the ground using some force. Once they are in, you can forget about them for the rest of the season. They will slowly do their job - feeding nutrients to your plants and enhancing their beauty.

Although you will get 12 spikes with each pack, they come with only one cap. You should be mindful of this as you need the cap to store the rest of the spikes carefully. 

It is very easy to drive the spikes in after it has just rained. This makes the ground wet and soft, making it easier for the spikes to get pushed in. However, you can simply choose to wet the ground beforehand and then drive the spikes in. For best results, place the spikes about 3 feet apart.

What Could've Been Better?

We wish the manufacturer would have provided more than one cap for the spikes. Once you open the outer seal of the pack, the spikes eventually succumb to humidity and soften. To keep them intact, we had to place them in ziplock bags. You can even use them all together to avoid storage issues.


  • Does not require any maintenance
  • Ease of usability for most users
  • Promotes growth and vibrant color
  • Contains only natural ingredients


  • No inner seal to protect spikes during storage

NPK Ratio: 15-5-10 | Quantity: 12 Spikes/Pack | Fertilizer Type: Spikes | Application Method: Insert in the soil near plants | Duration of Nutrient Release: Up to 6 months | Organic/Natural: No | Target Plants: Trees and shrubs

2. Osmocote 274850 Smart-Release Plant Food Plus - Best for Controlled Nutrient Release

For all those serious gardeners looking for an all-in-one solution, our next recommendation is a great option. This fertilizer comes in a granular composition with a unique resin coating. The coating controls the flow of nutrients. It allows plants to imbibe just the amount they need; when they need it.

Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food Plus Outdoor & Indoor, 8...
  • OSMOCOTE QUALITY: Osmocote is the original slow-release...
  • OSMOCOTE’S BEST FORMULA: Each homogeneous granule contains...

Why Did We Like It?

Compared to our previous recommendation, the method of application for this fertilizer is quite different. It comes in an easy-to-use granular form, which can be used just once in six months. Just a scoopful of it is enough for 4 square feet, limiting wastage.

The fertilizer is composed of 11 vital nutrients that help your hydrangeas thrive throughout the season. The unique semi-permeable resin coating is a fascinating feature that we liked. This coating controls the number of nutrients that are released into the soil. It allows your plants to soak in just the amount they need, without giving them an excess or deficit. 

Moreover, the nutrients are released in varying amounts according to temperature changes. The higher the temperature, the more release there is. This ensures that there are more nutrients for your plants during the warmer, growing periods.

What Could've Been Better?

We loved the size and ease of use of the product; however, we had one complaint. Once the fertilizer dissolved into the soil, we were left with little plastic shells, which we had to pick out individually. This can be cumbersome and not a green initiative at all.


  • No-burn pledge ensures your plants aren’t damaged by excess fertilizer
  • Water permeable resin coating
  • Enhances growth and blooms of plants
  • Slow-release fertilizer


  • Nonbiodegradable plastic shells left behind

NPK Ratio: 15-9-12 | Quantity: 1, 2, 4.5 & 8 lbs | Fertilizer Type: Granular | Application Method: Incorporation into soil | Duration of Nutrient Release: Up to 6 months | Organic/Natural: No | Target Plants: All-purpose

3. Flower Fuel - Best for Larger Blooms

Looking for a high-quality fertilizer for larger and heavier harvesting plants? Flower Fuel is a great option you can explore. A super-premium nutrient fertilizer; that helps your plant produce bigger blooms every season. With over 40 organic ingredients, it is an excellent choice for those looking for a heavier harvest with vivid, succulent flowers.

Bloom Booster and Yield Enhancer for Plants - Big, Heavy,...
  • Flower Fuel is a 100% hydroponic-grade, soluble bloom...
  • Formulated to achieve larger, denser and heavier harvests....

Why Did We Like It?

What we liked most was the versatility of this fertilizer. You can use it alongside any base, including the popular 2-part and 3-part nutrients. Furthermore, it works excellently on any kind of soil as well as aeroponic or hydroponic systems and coco.

Produced with top-quality nutrients, organic compounds, hormones, vitamins, and amino acids, it is a super-premium product. It ensures that your plants produce a bigger and heavier harvest. Moreover, you only need to use 1/4th teaspoon per gallon, reducing any wastage. 

The pack comes with a 1/4th teaspoon and 2.5 teaspoon scoop, so you don't need to use any approximations or guesses. Add the fertilizer along with absolutely any base to give you a significantly larger bloom and healthier-looking plants every season.

What Could've Been Better?

Overall, we were delighted with this product and would recommend it for larger blooms. However, we noticed that the pH content of the water was affected. It is not necessarily a bad thing, but just something to look out for when using it on your plants.


  • The versatility of use with any base
  • Requires very little per gallon of water
  • Dissolves entirely without any residue
  • Long-lasting product


  • Reduces the pH content of water slightly

NPK Ratio: 1-34-32 | Quantity: 0.5, 2.2, 11 & 44 lbs | Fertilizer Type: Water-soluble | Application Method: Dissolve in water | Duration of Nutrient Release: Quick-release | Organic/Natural: No | Target Plants: Flowering plants

4. Burpee Organic Bone Meal Fertilizer

Bone meal contains vital ingredients such as calcium, phosphorus, and organic nitrogen. These enhance the growth of your plants and encourage root strength. When this comes in an easy-to-use packaged fertilizer, you can be sure that it will be an excellent choice for your hydrangeas.

Burpee Bone Meal Fertilizer | Add to Potting Soil | Strong...
  • STRONGER ROOT DEVELOPMENT: Bone Meal is a natural source of...
  • ADD TO SOIL: Add to soil or potting mix during seed starting...

Why Did We Like It?

Although there are various options for soil additives and fertilizers in the market, only a few are genuinely organic. Burpee offers a 100% organic product that you can safely use in your home garden without fear. Completely biodegradable and OMRI listed, this product does not damage your plants or the environment.

We were impressed by how easy it was to use it. Sprinkle it over the soil and simply water your plants as you normally would. Of course, be sure to always wear protective gloves when handling any kind of fertilizer, for added protection. 

Upon opening the bag, we noticed that the fertilizer has a strong, pungent odor. However, this quickly disappears once we add it to the soil, so it's not an issue! A 100% bone meal fertilizer, it is completely safe and works excellently on hydrangeas.

What Could've Been Better?

We have nothing negative to say about the product. However, we do have a bone to pick with the package itself. Once we opened the seal, there was no way to reseal it. This introduces moisture into the bag, which we didn't want. Transferring the contents to a zip lock bag is the only solution.


  • 100% organic compounds
  • Works slowly with accurate results
  • Easy spreading consistency
  • Dissolves entirely without any residue


  • Cannot reseal the bag after opening

NPK Ratio: 6-8-0 | Quantity: 3 lbs | Fertilizer Type: Granular | Application Method: Incorporation into soil | Duration of Nutrient Release: Slow-release | Organic/Natural: Yes | Target Plants: All-purpose

5. Jobe's Fertilizer Spikes

A slow-release formula that ensures your hydrangeas are well-fed for weeks. The spikes feed your blooms throughout the season. Moreover, their design allows the nutrients to reach right to the roots - where they need it the most. The design enables no mess, no smells, and no wasteful runoffs.

Jobe’s Garden Fertilizer Spikes, Organic Fertilizer for...
  • Package contains 10 flower fertilizer spikes and is produced...
  • Plant fertilizer is formulated with a 9-8-7 NPK to provide...

Why Did We Like It?

When it comes to ease of use and reduced wastage, we were impressed with this product. The spikes were the perfect size at 3 inches each. Gentle hammering or pushing was enough to place them into the soil without any difficulties. Of course, it is easier to do this after it has rained since the soil is much softer. You can also water the ground to make it moist and soft, then insert the spikes.

The slow-release formula worked excellently on hydrangeas. The nutrients were released over eight weeks, after which we could place another set of spikes. Just keep in mind; they are best placed after the blooms shed. 

What impressed us the most was the waterproof and resealable bags. Unlike its other competitors, this manufacturer ensured that we don't have to transfer the spikes to a safely stored ziplock bag.

What Could've Been Better?

Since they do not contain an outer protective covering, they are prone to breaking. However, this can be avoided entirely if you ensure that your soil is moist enough to allow easy access for the spikes. In case you apply too much pressure on the spike on dry soil, it may break.


  • The resealable bag ensures safe storage
  • No waste, odors, or hazards
  • Pre-measured spikes ensure your plants get the appropriate amount of fertilizer
  • Feeds for a full season


  • The spikes may break with excess pressure

NPK Ratio: 9-8-7 | Quantity: 10 or 18 Spikes | Fertilizer Type: Spikes | Application Method: Insert in soil near plants | Duration of Nutrient Release: Up to 8 weeks | Organic/Natural: No | Target Plants: All-purpose

6. Bonide (BND56428)

Are your beautiful hydrangeas suddenly losing their vibrant color? This product makes them bloom in vivid blue shades once again. The hydrangea pellets add natural minerals to the soil, making it more acidic. Easy to use pellet formula does not require any mixing. It naturally turns your hydrangeas blue without causing any damage.

Bonide Systemic Houseplant Insect Control, 8 oz Ready-to-Use...
  • Protect plants from insect damage with Systemic Houseplant...
  • Protection lasts for up to 8 weeks after application; the...

Why Did We Like It?

First, we were curious to try out this natural soil additive, which would turn our hydrangeas blue again. The formula was super easy to use. We simply had to add a scoopful to our soil and water the plants as usual.

The 90% elemental sulfur reacts with the soil bacteria, getting oxidized. This creates sulphuric acid, which naturally lowers the pH level of the soil. The acidic soil is great for acid-loving plants like hydrangeas, and we could see a difference in the blooms. 

Furthermore, this process naturally changes the color of hydrangeas, giving them a vivid blue hue. If your hydrangeas are already blue, this natural additive enhances their color over time, making them brighter and fuller.

What Could've Been Better?

In some cases, we noticed that the hydrangeas turned purple or a lighter hue of blue. The color change occurs due to the pH level of the soil. The manufacturer should have mentioned that you need to work on keeping your soil acidic to get optimal results.


  • Naturally reduces the pH level of soil without toxins
  • Safe to use around pets
  • Easy-to-use pellet formula
  • Scooper included for accurate measurements


  • You need to work on keeping the soil acidic for the best results

NPK Ratio: N/A | Quantity: 0.5 lbs | Fertilizer Type: Liquid | Application Method: Mix with water and apply | Duration of Nutrient Release: Up to 8 weeks | Organic/Natural: No | Target Plants: All-purpose

7. Espoma HT36 Holly-Tone Plant Food

We have almost come to the end of our list. One of our last recommendations is an all-natural plant food with bio-microbes. It works mainly on fussy or hard-to-take-care of plants. The natural fertilizer does not burn your plants, slowly releasing nutrients over a period of time.

Espoma Organic Holly-tone 4-3-4 Natural & Organic Evergreen...
  • THE ORIGINAL: Holly-tone is the original plant food for all...
  • FOR USE ON: Not just for Holly; Use Holly-tone organic...

Why Did We Like It?

Some plants are just harder to care for than others. Hydrangeas often require a lot of attention and care. They bloom well in acidic soil, along with good plant food and nutrition. This product was extremely easy to use. We just had to pour it over the soil, cover it, and water our plants.

In no time, we noticed that the pH level of the soil decreased naturally. This environment allows hydrangeas to thrive. Furthermore, the plant food was natural, with no chemical or toxic additives. 

The slow-release formula ensures that your plants don't burn with an excess of nutrients. It allows the nutrients to organically seep through - as and when the plants require it.

To top it off, the releasable bag works great for storage after use. It does not allow moisture to damage the fertilizer.

What Could've Been Better?

Honestly, we had no complaints about this organic fertilizer. We liked how easy to use it was and did not harm our plants. However, we did notice a mild pungent smell from the bag and the product itself. Fortunately, the scent naturally dissipates into the air, which is good.


  • Slow-release nutrient formula
  • Requires very little product for good results
  • Resealable bag
  • Safe to use with a family of children and pets


  • Mild pungent odor

NPK Ratio: 4-3-4 | Quantity: 36 lbs | Fertilizer Type: Granular | Application Method: Sprinkle around plants | Duration of Nutrient Release: Up to 2 months | Organic/Natural: Yes | Target Plants: Holly and acid-loving plants

8. J R Peters Inc 59324 Jacks Classic

Our final recommendation for this list ends with Jack's Classic hydrangea fertilizer. You are bringing the highest-quality, water-solution fertilizer for your blooming hydrangeas. This product is fast working. However, it lasts for two weeks to a month before you need to feed more to your plants. Moreover, it is easy to use and requires no aftercare.

Jack's Classic 7-3-3 Hydrangea Blue Water-Soluble Fertilizer...
  • 7-3-3 Analysis - Great for promoting lush leaves and enhance...
  • Many Ways to Feed - Hydrangea Blue can be used as a foliar...

Why Did We Like It?

Although hydrangeas come in a variety of shades, the blue ones look especially dazzling. This formula naturally enhances the blue hue in many blue and pink hydrangeas. It is easy to use and does not make a mess. You need to pour the formula near the roots for optimal results.

We liked how clear and concise the manufacturer's instructions were. For the first month, you need to feed this to your hydrangeas once every two weeks. However, after that, you can feed it just once a month. It is convenient and does not require much maintenance. 

The formula is entirely water-soluble, leaving behind no waste or residue. However, it is safest to use it near the roots and not the leaves or flowers itself. It is also recommended to use the formula during early mornings or late evenings, avoiding the day's heat.

What Could've Been Better?

Overall, we liked the effectiveness of this fertilizer. However, the manufacturer states that pouring it directly on the leaves may cause damage to them. This is worrisome, and you need to take precautions when feeding the formula to your plants.


  • Clear, easy-to-follow instructions
  • No mess formula
  • Enhances the color of blue and pink hydrangeas
  • Does not require aftercare or maintenance


  • Carelessly pouring it on leaves may damage them

NPK Ratio: 7-3-3 | Quantity: 1.5 lbs | Fertilizer Type: Water-soluble | Application Method: Dissolve in water | Duration of Nutrient Release: Quick-release | Organic/Natural: No | Target Plants: All-purpose

Best Hydrangeas Fertilizers Comparison Table

ProductNPK RatioQuantityFertilizer TypeApplication MethodDuration of Nutrient ReleaseOrganic/NaturalTarget Plants
Miracle-Gro Tree & Shrub Plant Food Spikes15-5-1012 Spikes/PackSpikesInsert in soil near plantsUp to 6 monthsNoTrees and shrubs
Osmocote 274850 Smart-Release Plant Food Plus15-9-121, 2, 4.5 & 8 lbsGranularIncorporation into soilUp to 6 monthsNoAll-purpose
Flower Fuel1-34-320.5, 2.2, 11 & 44 lbsWater-solubleDissolve in waterQuick-releaseNoFlowering plants
Burpee Organic Bone Meal Fertilizer6-8-03 lbsGranularIncorporation into soilSlow-releaseYesAll-purpose
Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes9-8-710 or 18 SpikesSpikesInsert in soil near plantsUp to 8 weeksNoAll-purpose
Bonide (BND56428)N/A0.5 lbsLiquidMix with water and applyUp to 8 weeksNoAll-purpose
Espoma HT36 Holly-Tone Plant Food4-3-436 lbsGranularSprinkle around plantsUp to 2 monthsYesHolly and acid-loving plants
J R Peters Inc 59324 Jacks Classic7-3-31.5 lbsWater-solubleDissolve in waterQuick-releaseNoAll-purpose

Buying Guide For The Best Hydrangeas Fertilizer

Now that you have all the information you need on the nine best fertilizers for hydrangeas, you're almost ready. But not quite - there are still a few things you need to know. When purchasing a good fertilizer, there are a few factors you need to be aware of.

Below is a complete buyer's guide, which will give you advice on how you can find the right fertilizer for your plants. So without delaying any further, go through this guide and make the right choice for your hydrangeas.

  1. Form & Structure

Fertilizers come in various forms - spikes, pellets, or liquid. Depending upon your plants' requirements and how you wish to feed them, you can choose from the following:

  1. Pre-measured Spikes:

These are undoubtedly the easiest to use. Moreover, they reach directly to the roots, giving nutrition where the plants need it the most. Using them is easy - as long as you wet the soil beforehand. There is no aftercare either, which is convenient. However, be sure to choose one which is nontoxic and doesn't leave behind any residue.

  1. Pellet Or Granular

When buying these fertilizers, it is essential to look at the manufacturer's instructions carefully. Most of these come with a scoop, so use it according to the instructions. Sprinkle the pellets around the plant and water as usual. In some cases, you may need to cover the pellets with some topsoil. If you want to avoid getting your hands dirty, use gloves - or opt for the spikes.

  1. Acid Type

The number of nutrients and their ratio will determine how acidic or alkaline the soil becomes. Fertilizers containing a high amount of phosphate will have the most acidifying effect on the soil. Check this information carefully before you purchase your fertilizer.

  1. NPK Ratio

The NPK ratio refers to the Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium Levels in a particular fertilizer. Each of these nutrients plays a different role in the feeding and development of your hydrangeas.

If your hydrangeas are yellowing, it is best to find a product with a higher level of Nitrogen. However, if your goal is to increase the number of blooms, opt for one with a higher phosphorus level. On the other hand, if root and stem health is your priority at the moment, go for one with a higher content of potassium.

Hydrangeas Fertilizers FAQ's

  • Why should I fertilize my hydrangeas?

    Fertilizing hydrangeas provides them with essential nutrients that they may not receive from the soil alone. Proper fertilization promotes healthy growth, vibrant foliage, and abundant blooms. It helps maintain the pH balance of the soil and provides the necessary elements like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium for optimal plant development.

  • When is the best time to fertilize hydrangeas?

    The best time to fertilize hydrangeas depends on the specific variety and your geographical location. In general, it is recommended to fertilize in early spring before new growth begins. However, certain varieties may benefit from additional applications throughout the growing season. Always check the instructions on the fertilizer package and follow the recommended timing.

  • Can I use general-purpose fertilizers for hydrangeas?

    Yes, general-purpose fertilizers can be used for hydrangeas. However, it is important to ensure that the fertilizer contains the necessary nutrients and micronutrients required by hydrangeas. Look for formulations designed specifically for flowering plants or acid-loving plants, as hydrangeas prefer slightly acidic soil.

  • What nutrients are important for hydrangeas?

    Hydrangeas require a balanced blend of nutrients, with an emphasis on phosphorus (P) for bloom production. Look for fertilizers with an NPK ratio that promotes flower development, such as 10-30-10 or 5-10-5. Additionally, micronutrients like iron, magnesium, and sulfur are also important for overall plant health.

  • How often should I fertilize my hydrangeas?

    The frequency of fertilization depends on factors such as the soil quality, plant age, and the specific fertilizer used. As a general guideline, hydrangeas can be fertilized once in early spring and again in early summer. However, it is crucial to follow the instructions on the fertilizer package for the recommended application frequency.

  • Can I use organic fertilizers for hydrangeas?

    Yes, organic fertilizers can be used for hydrangeas. They provide slow-release nutrients and improve soil health over time. Organic options include compost, well-rotted manure, and organic blends specifically formulated for flowering plants. Always choose organic fertilizers that are suitable for hydrangeas and follow the recommended application rates.

  • Can over-fertilizing harm my hydrangeas?

    Yes, over-fertilizing can harm hydrangeas. Excessive amounts of fertilizer can cause salt buildup in the soil, leading to root burn and nutrient imbalances. This can result in leaf scorch, stunted growth, or even plant decline. It is essential to follow the recommended dosage instructions and avoid applying more fertilizer than necessary.

  • How long does it take to see results after fertilizing hydrangeas?

    The time it takes to see results after fertilizing hydrangeas can vary depending on several factors, including the health of the plants, the soil condition, and the specific fertilizer used. Generally, you can expect to see improvements in plant growth and blooming within a few weeks to a couple of months after consistent and proper fertilization.

  • Hydrangea flower closeup


    With this additional information in hand, we hope you have a better idea of what to look out for. However, before we sign off, let us do a quick recap of our findings.

    If you are looking for a budget fertilizer pack, we recommend the Osmocote 274850 Smart-Release Plant Food Plus. For a pre-measured spike formula, the Miracle-Gro Tree & Shrub Plant Food Spikes is a good option.

    Apart from these two, the Flower Fuel will give you the best results in terms of a bigger and heavier bloom.

    That being said, we will now take our leave. Stay safe and happy gardening!

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