Hydrangeas Leaning To One Side? Here’s What You Should Do Before Winter Hits

It can be frustrating to see your hydrangea that's leaning to one side.

Many gardeners face this issue, mainly as the plant grows and produces heavier blooms. However, there are ways to address the problem before winter arrives.

Gorgeous bright colors of Hydrangeas in the garden

One of the main reasons hydrangeas lean to one side is because of their weight.

As the plant produces more blooms, the importance can become too much for the stem to support, causing it to bend and lean to one side.

Wind and rain can also contribute to the problem, especially if the plant is not correctly staked or supported.

If you don't fix the problem, the plant may become permanently damaged or even die.

Before winter hits, taking steps to correct the issue is essential. This may involve staking the plant, pruning back some blooms, or even transplanting it to a new location.

By taking action now, you can help ensure your hydrangea stays healthy and beautiful for years!


Hydrangeas are beautiful flowering shrubs that can add color to any garden. They are known for their large and showy blooms in various shades, including pink, blue, purple, and white.

But before you start growing hydrangeas, it's essential to understand their different varieties and growth patterns.

Hydrangea Varieties and Growth Patterns

Hydrangeas are popular for gardens and landscapes due to their stunning blooms and easy maintenance.

There are several different varieties of hydrangeas, each with their own unique characteristics and growth patterns.

Hydrangea Varieties

Here are some of the most common types of hydrangeas:

Bigleaf Hydrangeas

These are the most popular hydrangeas known for their large and showy blooms. They prefer partial shade and moist, well-drained soil.

Bigleaf hydrangeas bloom in early summer and can have pink, blue, or white flowers.

Panicle Hydrangeas

Panicle hydrangeas have cone-shaped flowers that bloom in the summer. They are more tolerant of full sun and dry soil than other varieties.

Panicle hydrangeas can grow quite large, with some varieties reaching up to 20 feet tall.

Smooth Hydrangeas

Smooth hydrangeas have large, flat-topped flowers that bloom in the summer. They prefer partial shade and moist soil.

Smooth hydrangeas are native to North America and can grow up to 6 feet tall.

Oakleaf Hydrangeas

Oakleaf hydrangeas have cone-shaped flowers that bloom in the summer and leaves that turn red in the fall. They prefer partial shade and moist, well-drained soil.

Oakleaf hydrangeas are native to the southeastern United States and can grow up to 8 feet tall.

Hydrangea Growth Patterns

Hydrangeas have different growth patterns depending on the variety.

Hydrangeas that Bloom on Old Wood

Hydrangeas that bloom on old wood include Bigleaf and Oakleaf hydrangeas.

It's important not to prune these varieties in the fall or winter, as you risk cutting off the flower buds for the following year if you need to prune these hydrangeas in the summer after they bloom.

Hydrangeas that Bloom on New Wood

Hydrangeas that bloom on new wood include Panicle and Smooth hydrangeas.

These hydrangeas can be pruned in the fall or winter without affecting the following year's blooms.

If you need to prune these hydrangeas, do so in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.

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Why Hydrangeas Lean to One Side

If you've noticed that your hydrangeas are leaning to one side, there could be a few reasons. Here are some possible causes.

Gravity and Plant Growth

One of the most common reasons why hydrangeas lean to one side is due to gravity and plant growth.

As the plant grows and becomes top-heavy, it can start to lean to one side. This is especially true if the plant isn't properly staked or supported.

Hydrangea Diseases and Pests

Another reason why your hydrangeas may be leaning to one side is due to diseases or pests.

Certain conditions, such as root rot or wilt, can cause the plant to become weak and start to lean over.

Pests, such as aphids or spider mites, can also cause damage to the plant that can result in it leaning to one side.

Correcting Leaning Hydrangeas

Don't be scared if you notice your hydrangeas leaning to one side because this is a common issue.

The good news is that there are several ways to correct this problem before winter arrives.

Consider the following options to help your hydrangeas stand tall and thrive:

Staking and Supporting

Staking and supporting your hydrangeas is a simple solution to correct leaning.

You can use bamboo stakes or a trellis to prop up the stems and keep them upright.

Place the stakes in the ground before securing the branches to avoid damaging the roots.

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Another option is to use a hydrangea support cage or hoop designed explicitly for this purpose.

The best hydrangea support cage or hoop is sturdy and tall enough to support the plant's weight. You can find them at your local garden center or online.

Pruning and Care

Pruning and care can also help correct leaning hydrangeas.

Cut back the stems by one-third in the spring to promote more substantial growth and reduce the weight of the blooms.

You can also remove any dead or weak stems to encourage new growth.

Proper care is also essential. Ensure your hydrangeas get enough water and are not exposed to extreme heat or cold.

Mulching around the base of the plant can also help retain moisture and protect the roots.

For more information, read this: When To Cut Back Hydrangeas [And How To Do That]

In Closing

If you have noticed that your hydrangeas are leaning to one side, taking action before winter hits is essential.

Following the steps outlined in this article can help your hydrangeas stay upright and healthy throughout the winter months.

Remember to start by assessing the cause of the leaning, whether due to weather conditions, pests, or overcrowding. You can correct the issue from there, such as staking or pruning your plants.

With a little effort and attention, your hydrangeas can continue bringing joy and beauty to your outdoor space for years.

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