The Nikko Blue Hydrangea (Hydrangea Macrophylla ‘Nikko Blue’) Care Guide


The Nikko Blue Hydrangea, otherwise known as the Hydrangea Macrophylla ‘Nikko Blue’ or Hydrangea ‘Grandiflora’, Panicle Hydrangea ‘Grandiflora’, Hydrangea ‘Pee Gee’, is a rather well known shrub plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and fast 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.

Fortunately, this is exactly what we’ll cover in this Nikko Blue Hydrangea Care Guide. So let’s dive in.

The basic care guidelines you need to remember for your Nikko Blue Hydrangea are the following:

  • Water: The Nikko Blue Hydrangea grows best with regular watering to keep the soil moist during the dry season. Reduce watering once the plant is established.
  • Light: Keep your Hydrangea Macrophylla ‘Nikko Blue’ in an environment where it can receive partial sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Nikko Blue Hydrangea in soil with moist but well-draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of sand, loam, and clay.

And as with many other plants, these are the only three care factors you need to remember to make sure your Nikko Blue Hydrangea is, for the most part, healthy and well to survive.

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Nikko Blue' plants

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Nikko Blue Hydrangea belongs to the Hydrangeaceae family, the genus Hydrangea and the species Paniculata, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Hydrangea Macrophylla ‘Nikko Blue’ (hye-DRAYN-jee-uh mak-roh-FIL-uh).

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

Growing Region

The Nikko Blue Hydrangea is a plant native to the Sakhalin, Eastern and southern China Japan, and Kuril Island.

You might be wondering why your Nikko Blue 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 ‘Nikko Blue’ will be most used to the heat zones in the 1 – 8 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a and the ideal climate zone is between 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, A2, A3.

Growth and Size

Growth

In terms of size and growth, the Nikko Blue Hydrangea is a relatively fast grower, which makes things tricky for any plant enthusiast.

Size

But, how big does the Nikko Blue Hydrangea actually get? What should you expect in terms of size? Let’s dive right in…

The Hydrangea Macrophylla ‘Nikko Blue’ can grow up to 10′ – 25′ (3m – 7.5m) in 10′ – 25′ (3m – 7.5m) and 8′ – 15′ (240cm – 4.5m) in 8′ – 15′ (240cm – 4.5m). 

These dimensions make the Nikko Blue Hydrangea a relatively large shrub compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 120″ – 360″ (300cm – 900cm) free so the Nikko Blue Hydrangea can spread to its best extent.

Water

In terms of watering, the Nikko Blue Hydrangea is a fairly complicated plant to take care of.

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

Specifically, most experts agree that the Hydrangea Macrophylla ‘Nikko Blue’ grows best with regular watering to keep the soil moist during the dry season. Reduce watering once the plant is established.

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

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Nikko Blue' care

Watering

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Nikko Blue Hydrangea in soil with moist but 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, moist, and occasionally wet properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

In our experience, the famous ‘thumb’ or ‘finger’ test is what works best for the Nikko Blue Hydrangea since with it, you will be able to give it the right amount of water, every time – regardless of the environment or placement where you do decide to keep it.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Nikko Blue Hydrangea prefers to have soil with good drainage, moist, 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 Nikko Blue 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 Nikko Blue 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 ‘Nikko Blue’ in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to full and direct sun (more 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).

Season

Being a deciduous plant, the Nikko Blue Hydrangea will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

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

Flowers

You can expect your Nikko Blue Hydrangea to flower around the summer and in the fall months from July to September (summer), and from October to December (fall).

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

The Nikko Blue Hydrangea produces some beautiful blue, or pink, cream/tangreen, and white flowers around this time of year.

Foliage

The leaves from the Nikko Blue Hydrangea have a beautiful green color during most of the year.

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

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

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Nikko Blue' up close

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Nikko Blue Hydrangea is well known for being able to attract butterflies, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant, as you’ll likely end up finding one or another in your garden.

Additionally, it has a special tolerance for salt, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Hydrangea Macrophylla ‘Nikko Blue’ will be fine.

Garden

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

Most Hydrangea Macrophylla ‘Nikko Blue’ owners agree that this shrub will look great in most contemporary and 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 Nikko Blue Hydrangea’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, and in hedges and screens, others use it for landscaping in a firescaping/fire wise, urban garden, border, cutting garden, specimen, mass planting, container, coastal exposure, or a woodland garden.

Companion Plants

Nikko Blue Hydrangea’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Ilex, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Hibiscus will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!

Conclusion

Even though we covered a lot of care information for your Nikko Blue Hydrangea, remember the basics: sunlight, soil and water, as these should be enough to grow a healthy plant at home.

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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