My Honest Two-Year Review of Vitax’s Hydrangea Feed

Does the Job But I’d Prefer a Bigger Bag

By Daniel Woodley. Posted to: Blog. Published: 1st July 2022.

Hello, my name is Daniel Woodley, and I’m the co-owner and contributor here at DIY Gardening.

For the last 24 months, I’ve been feeding my hydrangeas exclusively with Vitax’s Hydrangea Feed.

This is my two-year review of the product and I’ll also discuss what’s in the bag, dosage and application rates as well as alternatives.

Vitax Hydrangea Feed 1KG
Vitax Hydrangea Feed 1KG (4)
Vitax Hydrangea Feed 1KG
Vitax Hydrangea Feed 1KG (4)
Vitax Hydrangea Feed 1KG
Vitax Hydrangea Feed 1KG
Vitax Hydrangea Feed 1KG (4)
Vitax Hydrangea Feed 1KG (4)

My Video

In a hurry?

Here’s my short video:

Vitax Hydrangea Feed: What’s in the Bag?

Vitax’s Hydrangea Feed comes in 1kg resealable bags and contains the following:

  • Nitrogen: 8%
  • Phosphorous: 4%
  • Potassium: 12%
  • Added magnesium: 3%

The higher potassium content is perfect for hydrangeas as it promotes strong roots and stems, with the latter crucial for plants that produce big, heavy blooms that could snap weak stems.

The nitrogen content is about right, enough to promote growth but not so high that it causes leggy stems.

Phosphorus promotes big blooms but hydrangeas don’t need high doses.

The feed is a mixture of fine, sand-like grains measuring around 2mm and some powder residue.

Notable is the lack of a measuring cup, the instructions simply state that the user should apply a small “gloveful” of feed.

Despite the packaging displaying a purple hydrangea, this feed won’t turn the flowers purple or help them to retain that colour, you’ll need a hydrangea colourant for that.

Vitax hydrangea feed contents

Dosage & Application Rates

While the granules in Vitax’s Hydrangea Feed aren’t exactly “slow-release”, they won’t be absorbed instantly either.

Vitax recommends a spring feed of a small “handful” and then a second application after 6-8 weeks.

I tried a different approach: I applied four doses last year and another four this year; that’s one in spring at the first sign of growth and another three about 4-5 weeks apart. This covers about 5 months of growth and is about right for hydrangeas.

It’s worth noting that other products on the market with similar fertiliser content have slightly different application rates, so none of this is set in stone.

Also, my hydrangeas are grown in pots, and I water them frequently to stop the soil from drying out. I would probably apply less feed if they were grown in the garden.

Application Method

The packet didn’t contain a measuring cup, so I used one I had spare and sprinkled 30g over the surface of the soil and worked it in with a hand tool.

Results

I haven’t had any issues with the hydrangeas since I started using Vitax’s Hydrangea Feed and my shrubs even recovered well from a harsh frost earlier this year that melted some of the buds and early growth.

The leaves are big and deep green in colour while the blooms are bright, plentiful and long-lasting.

I haven’t had any issues with yellowing leaves, something I’ve previously experienced with hydrangeas grown in pots.

Also, I haven’t witnessed any crazy, leggy stem growth, something that can occur when plants are fed a fertiliser with too much nitrogen.

Vitax Hydrangea Feed 1KG
Vitax Hydrangea Feed 1KG (4)
Vitax Hydrangea Feed 1KG
Vitax Hydrangea Feed 1KG (4)
Vitax Hydrangea Feed 1KG
Vitax Hydrangea Feed 1KG
Vitax Hydrangea Feed 1KG (4)
Vitax Hydrangea Feed 1KG (4)

Photos

Here are some photos of my Hydrangeas taken on the 1st July 2022:

Red and pink hydrangea blooms
Hydrangea leaves in hand
Green leaves and pnk blooms on a hydrangea
"Ab Green Shadow" closeup

What I Didn’t Like About Vitax’s Hydrangea Feed

No product is ever perfect, and there are a few things I didn’t like about Vitax’s Hydrangea Feed:

1) The Packet Size: The bag contains 1kg of feed, which is fine if you only have a few shrubs, but if you have many, this bag won’t go far.

2) The Resealable Strip Broke: The bag has a resealable strip at the top, but it broke on both of the bags I purchased. Some of the contents then got damp over the winter but didn’t spoil as far as I could tell.

3) Not Slow-Release: I prefer slower-release products, and while this feed isn’t absorbed instantly, it’s clearly not slow-release and won’t last over a month in the soil.

4) No Measuring Cup: Not a problem for me as I had a spare, but I like to measure out fertilisers rather than using a gloved hand.

Alternatives

Westland sells a liquid hydrangea feed with similar NPK ratios, although at about half the strength of Vitax’s product.

Their liquid feed should be applied every 7-14 days, hence why I don’t use it.

If you want to buy a bulk product, consider a balanced Fish, Blood and Bone feed as they’re often sold in huge 10kg tubs, which goes further, making them perfect for general fertilisation over large areas or for multiple plants.

Pink and red hydrangea against green foliage
Vitax Hydrangea Feed pouch and hydrangea flowers

A Final Point

While fertilisers can give hydrangeas a boost and prevent problems from nutrient deficiencies, they aren’t a substitute for water – something that hydrangeas need plenty of.

Pots, troughs and containers dry out quickly in the summer and a poorly hydrangea that’s under-watered isn’t going to spring back into life just because it’s been given a dose of feed.

If you have an issue with your hydrangea, it’s likely due to one of these:

  • Not enough water (stunted growth, small blooms, shrivelled leaves).
  • Incorrect pruning (prevents flowering).
  • Too much water, soggy roots (yellow leaves).
  • Poor growth in general (wrong location).
Vitax Hydrangea Feed 1KG
Vitax Hydrangea Feed 1KG (4)
Vitax Hydrangea Feed 1KG
Vitax Hydrangea Feed 1KG (4)
Vitax Hydrangea Feed 1KG
Vitax Hydrangea Feed 1KG
Vitax Hydrangea Feed 1KG (4)
Vitax Hydrangea Feed 1KG (4)

Further Reading

More From Daniel Woodley:

This review of Vitax’s Hydrangea Feed was created by Daniel Woodley and was posted to our blog on the 1st of July 2022.

Daniel is a keen gardener who has over 17 years of experience in the building trade.

When he’s not in his garden, you’ll find Daniel hiking and trekking in the mountains somewhere or planning his next DIY project.

Daniel Woodley

Find out more about the team behind DIY Gardening

About Us

Hannah Miller
Danny Woodley