The Hydrangea Macrophylla (Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea) Full Care Guide

The Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea, otherwise known as the Hydrangea Macrophylla or Bigleaf Hydrangea, Hortensia, Mophead Hydrangea, Lacecap Hydrangea, French Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla), is a rather well known shrub plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and moderate growth, this shrub will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

This is why all the topics you need to know in order to achieve this will be covered in this Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea Care Guide. Ready? Let’s go!

The fundamental caring guidelines for every Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea can be summed up into the following:

  • Water: The Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea needs evenly spread moist soil – try to avoid letting the soil dry out.
  • Light: Keep your Hydrangea Macrophylla in an environment where it can receive partial sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of sand, loam, and clay.

That’s it – sunlight, water and soil! The basic 3 fundamentals for all plant care, and with the Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea this is no exception. With these three elements, your leafy friend will live healthy and happy.

Hydrangea macrophylla purple flowers

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea belongs to the Hydrangeaceae family, the genus Hydrangea and the species Macrophylla, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Hydrangea Macrophylla (hy-DRAIN-juh mak-roh-FIL-uh).

As with other Hydrangea’s, the Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea is a deciduous plant, which means it will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

Growing Region

The Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea is a plant native to the China, Japan and Korea and Southeast Asia;.

You might be wondering why your Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea’s native region is important. Well, if you know where your plant originally came from, you’ll know which environment conditions it prefers, and with it, knowledge on how to replicate it at home.

With this in mind, the Hydrangea Macrophylla will be most used to the heat zones in the 6 – 9 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10a, 10b, 11b, 11a and the ideal climate zone is between 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 3B, H1.

Growth and Size


In terms of size and growth, the Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea is a relatively moderate grower, which makes things somewhat easy for any plant enthusiast.


But, what size of Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea are we talking about? What can you expect in terms of height, spread and spacing? Let’s dig in…


In terms of watering, the Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea is a fairly complicated plant to take care of.

This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat irregular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Hydrangea Macrophylla needs evenly spread moist soil – try to avoid letting the soil dry out.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

Hydrangea macrophylla up close


As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage, and occasionally wet properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

However, in our experience, the best solution to knowing the right amount of water for your Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea is with the ‘thumb’ technique. Basically, you insert your finger into the soil, and based if you feel the soil moist or dry, you determine if it needs any water, which is the most appropriate way to go about watering your leafy friend.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea prefers to have soil with good drainage, and occasionally wet properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of sand, loam, and clay.

This is why most experts agree that the Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea requires soil with clay, high organic matter, loam (silt), and sand, which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea requires partial sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this shrub will do well as long as you keep it in partial to full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Hydrangea Macrophylla in from full or deep shade (no direct sunlight or at most 2 hours per day), to little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to dappled or moderate shade (under other plant’s canopy).


Being a deciduous plant, the Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (late), the summer (early, mid, late), and during the fall.


You can expect your Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea to flower around the summer months from July to September (summer).

In particular, this shrub is well known for its repeat flowering, flowers for cutting and showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.

The Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea produces some beautiful pink, or purple/lavender, bluepink, and white flowers around this time of year.


The leaves from the Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea have a beautiful green color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a simple arrangement with a opposite organization in its leaves.

You can expect the leaves from your Hydrangea Macrophylla to be around (3-6 inches) in size.

Hydrangea macrophylla care

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea is well known for its tolerance to salt, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Hydrangea Macrophylla will be fine.


How should you then organize your garden to include your new Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea? Here are some recommendations by expert gardeners.

Most Hydrangea Macrophylla owners agree that this shrub will look great in most cottage gardens of all types. 

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of informal and cottage, city and courtyard, coastal garden, and in traditional garden styles. 

In particular, the Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea’s best use for landscaping within your garden is as cutting garden, border, container, or a woodland garden.


So that’s it! These are the main plant care requirements that you need to keep in mind in order to have a healthy Sweetheart Halos™ Hydrangea in your garden or home.

Sebastian Moncada

I’m also a plant enthusiast and researcher. I’ve been privileged to have lived my whole life around the wilderness of Colombia and I’m happy to share everything I learn along the way. “Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience” – Emerson.

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