Happy plant family?
April 15, 2020 7:36 AM   Subscribe

Over the past week I have come into possession of: a hydrangea, not-yet-bloomed tulips, and 2 different cultivars of hosta. I would like to arrange them in a large pot. Will it work?

The hostas are small, last year was their first year and, magically, they have come back! The hydrangea is also small. Recently purchased from the store it is currently in a 6 in plastic pot. The tulips are like this, and only have just started to bloom. The pot is 17 inches in diameter, and 13 inches tall. This is how i'd like to arrange them. It's not to scale but you get my drift. they would be on a north-facing porch that gets 2ish hours of direct sunlight in the golden hours
posted by FirstMateKate to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
Best answer: Everything but the hydrangea will work in that pot. Hydrangeas are basically small trees/large shrubs though and after a few years it will drastically outgrow that pot. The roots will choke out the other plants even if you trim the plant itself. At work we recommend hydrangeas go in the ground or a pot at least 20” wide and as deep as you can manage. But the tulips and hostas would be quite happy in the pot you mention.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:43 AM on April 15, 2020 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Another thing just occurred to me also- hydrangeas need acidic soil- which the other plants would not like. So for reasons of soil type they probably shouldn’t be in the same pot- though hostas and tulips are decently hardy regardless.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:44 AM on April 15, 2020

Hostas like some shade, some varieties like a lot of shade. Hydrangeas like a lot of light. Planted tulip bulbs are being forced to bloom now and are worthless after that's done. Yes, some folks can coach them to bloom again, but it's hit and miss. Unless you're a real gardening hobbyist, I say, toss 'em on the compost heap.
posted by tmdonahue at 9:51 AM on April 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

I’d put the hostas and tulips in your shade pot and look for somewhere sunny for the hydrangea - not full sun IME but I’d expect it to need more light than that. Unless you know of local hydrangeas growing with 2h afternoon light. The tulips probably won’t come back, you can look for other shade color. Pansies?

Me, for years and years I’d just bung them all in a pot and hope, and sometimes things flourished that general books said wouldn’t, but nothing flourished that my neighbors couldn’t grow.
posted by clew at 10:33 AM on April 15, 2020

Depending on the type, I've had hostas that grew to significant sizes under the right conditions. Most won't but just be aware of the possibility.
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 11:02 AM on April 15, 2020

Best answer: Hydrangeas are part-shade plants, I'm not getting the full sun thing at all- At work we have them in our shade section under cover! They can exist in some sun in some climates but all the hydrangeas on my block are facing north!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 11:04 AM on April 15, 2020

California is different. I have seen lemons fruiting in a Berkeley alley where the aspect would not support ivy in Seattle.
posted by clew at 12:10 PM on April 15, 2020

Very good point- the further north you go part-shade plants become full sun.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 12:17 PM on April 15, 2020

And as you go East from the California coast plants die of sunburn, and/or sudden hard freezes, and then (past the 100th Meridian) not so much with the dessication but the warm humidity brings fungal diseases. It’s all local, check your neighbors! If no-one near you gardens, maybe an Extension service in the US? Or a newspaper column? Or at least a regional section in a national gardening magazine.
posted by clew at 12:36 PM on April 15, 2020

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