Mountain hydrangea (Hydrangea serrata)

The Hydrangea serrata is a shrub

Image - Wikimedia / A. Bar

You may have heard of the Hydrangea macrophylla, or that you even have one. This is the common hydrangea, the one that we can easily find for sale in practically any nursery, but there is another variety that is also very beautiful: the hydrangea serrata. It is not as well known as the one just mentioned, but since it requires the same care, we can say that it is easy to maintain.

I dare not say if it is perfect for beginners or not, but what I will tell you is that if you follow the advice that we are going to give you next, you will surely make it last a long time.

Origin and characteristics of hydrangea serrata

The Hydrangea serrata is a shrub

Image – Flickr/UBC Botanical Garden

It is a deciduous shrub grows wild in the mountainous regions of East Asia, specifically from Japan and Korea. In fact, for this reason the English call it the mountain hydrangea (mountain hydrangeas), although it is also known as sky tea (tea of ​​heaven).

If we talk about its characteristics, we have to know that can reach 1,2 meters in height and width, and develops dark green leaves which are 15 centimeters long. Its flowers gather in inflorescences that sprout during several months of the year, between spring and summer. They need the help of pollinating insects to produce fruit.

In general, it looks quite similar to the common hydrangea (H. macrophylla), but it differs from this one due to the color and size of its leaves, which are darker and smaller, and because they have a serrated edge. Besides, our protagonist withstands frost much better.

How do you care for mountain hydrangea?

It is a shrub that has to be out, either in the garden, or planted in a pot placed on the balcony or terrace for example. And it is that not only does it withstand sub-zero temperatures without problems, but it also needs to feel how the seasons change, and that can only be done if you live abroad.

But it is also very important to provide these other care:


to be really good, it has to be shaded. It needs a lot of light, but you should not give it directly, otherwise it will burn. It is best to have it in an area where there is a lot of clarity, but that it is in a protected place.


The Hydrangea serrata is a flowering shrub

Image - Wikimedia / Agnieszka Kwiecień, Nova

La hydrangea serrata it is an acid plant. This means that grows in soils with an acidic pH, between 4 and 6. Depending on how tall or short it is, the flowers will be one color or another. For example, if it is closer to 6 or even higher, they will be pink or white, and if it is 4 or 5.5 they will be blue.

But we cannot forget about their basic needs, hence it is very, very important to plant it in acid soils, because if it is alkaline or clayey it will lack iron, which will make its leaves become chlorotic and the hydrangea will weaken.

If we are going to have it in a pot, this is easy to do, since we will simply have to buy substrate for acid plants like this one from here!. But if we are interested in planting it in the garden, first of all we will find out the pH of the earth, and if it is greater than 6, we will make a planting hole of 1 x 1 meter, we will cover its sides except the base with shading mesh and we will fill it with a specific substrate for these plants.

Irrigation and fertilizer

The mountain hydrangea is a plant that has a hard time when it lacks water. At first, the leaves seem to hang down, but if the situation worsens, they will dry up. So, it is very necessary that it be watered several times a week, leaving the soil very moist but trying not to keep it waterlogged. To do this, rainwater or water with an acidic pH should be used, because if an alkaline water were used, we would lower the pH of the soil, and the plant could become chlorotic.

As for the subscriber, it is advisable to fertilize it with a specific fertilizer for hydrangeas such as this. It can be liquid or granulated, but it must be applied as indicated on the package.


It is a plant that, although it does not grow much, it should be planted in the ground or in a larger pot when its roots come out of the drainage holes; that is, when it has rooted well. Of course, it may be the case that it needs a change and that we do not see roots outside the pot.

For this reason, it is advisable that from time to time -every 3 years or so- we remove it a little from the container and see if doing so undoes the root ball or bread of roots. If it doesn't, then it should be planted somewhere else.


La hydrangea serrata It is a shrub that resists frosts down to -18ºC.

Mountain hydrangea is cold resistant

We hope you liked everything we have told you about the hydrangea serrata, which is, without a doubt, a very rustic plant.

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